Wordle memelet

After seeing several posts about Wordle I finally decided to play. The easiest thing for me to play with were my del.icio.us tags. Even these are not entirely representative or, I should say, not accurately representative.

Based on previous (faulty) workflow, it is the case that there are hundreds of posts in Bloglines that I commented on that never made it to del.icio.us, along with hundreds of posts that I didn’t comment on but still wanted/intended to bookmark. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as going back in and doing so as there were about 5000 items marked keep alive when I finally abandoned Bloglines.

So. My “comment” tag should be much larger, and if everything that I meant to tag was then several tags would grow, others would shrink, and some would appear. Hard to say which ones at this point though.

The first image is based on all tags and contains what Wordle considers “common words.” The second has removed the “common words.” Considering “comment” is considered a common word that is unacceptable to me. I have almost 600 items tagged with “comment” in del.icio.us and, as I said, it ought to be way more.

Wordle word cloud of my del.icio.us tags with common words

Mark’s del.icio.us tags with common words

Originally uploaded by broken thoughts

Wordle word cloud of my del.icio.us tags without common words

Mark’s del.icio.us tags without common words

Originally uploaded by broken thoughts

Hopefully the “comment” tag gives some idea of the lengths I go to to have discussions on blogs, to the limit possible by the medium, anyway. Also, it may provide some hint as to why I did not play along with the 30-day comment challenge. While I do believe that it is good to step back and question why and how you do something, I thought 30 days of such was a bit of overkill.  And based on some of the things I saw Greg, Meredith and others addressing I was right.

After playing with Wordle a bit I realized I could dump the text of some of my papers in it. The first several times I just got Java errors but it eventually worked.

The first one is from my paper for LIS590TR, “Mapping Thesauri for Interdisciplinary Work,” minus the bibliography.

Mapping Thesauri for Interdisciplinary Work

Originally uploaded by broken thoughts

I really like how “vocabulary” sits at the far left, sort of as a top term.

The next two are from my bibliography, “The Epilogue that Started It All; or, Integrating LIS (Harris and Hjørland).” I included 2 to demonstrate that Wordle seems to be treating capitalized and uncapitalized occurrences of the same word as different words, e.g. look for “Information” and “information” symmetrically opposed to each other near the right side, running vertically.

The Epilogue that Started It All

Originally uploaded by broken thoughts

Compare to this picture where all words are lowercase:

The Epilogue that Started It All

Originally uploaded by broken thoughts

Unless I’m blind, “information” does not exist twice in this one. I ran this test multiple times with different fonts and layouts and could not find any duplicates when I used all the same case. Doesn’t seem the algorithm is too bright in this respect.

I am aware that in some cases words which appear in a text as capitalized and as uncapitalized “versions” are, in fact, two (or more) different words, but more frequently they will be the same. Oh well. Can’t complain since it’s free. Actually, I’m not really complaining anyway but I would like to see one with the proper nouns capitalized and all other words in their lowercase instatiations but taking into account all occurrences.

This post has gone on far too long and took way too much time to construct, but it did force me to relearn image inclusion in WordPress. Go. Play. Wordle.


I got a quick IM from a friend the other night wondering how I was doing as I have been quiet lately.

Yes. Yes I have.

There are a lot of reasons for this. Some of it is lack of time to do all the things I’d like to. There are probably other reasons, too, in certain domains. But the two bigs one are lack of time and the fact that I haven’t exactly been very positive about much of anything lately. This has kept me very quiet.

As much as I may like to complain I do not enjoy burdening my friends with my gripes. And some of the things I have complaints about are very few people’s business anyway.

Another part of it is that being on the job market I must really watch what I say and do. It breaks my heart to even think such thoughts but I can be realistic. [Actually, I think I am far more realistic than most people realize, but that is another issue.]

This is a time when I probably need my friends more than normal. Yet, I have slipped back into my shell anyway. And then that cycle gets exacerbated.

For instance, Anna Creech noticed that I had linked to one of her older posts and the link was broken in some blog maintenance that she had done so she sent me an email with the new link. I greatly appreciated that and fully meant to write her back and thank her. But I haven’t yet.

I installed a plugin to find broken links a while back and eventually it found 680-some odd broken links. [68x broken links out of 93x posts is quite disheartening.] I had fixed a couple of links already but when I fixed Anna’s the count immediately started going down. Rapidly. I tracked the downward progress over the next 18 or so hours and it got down to 196.

And then it started going back up again. After another 2 days or so it was back up to 680. Gah! I watched all this and took notes as it went down and then up again. All of this took longer than I had meant to take to write Anna a thank you note, though. When it all finally stabilized I was feeling bad for not responding to Anna yet. And so I haven’t.

I know it makes no sense. But there it is. [I do hope to write Anna before posting this.]

I have watched another friend come out of their shell and seem to flourish lately which does my heart no end of good. So I have left them alone due to my negativity lack of positivity. Not something they need right now.

I am also applying to jobs. I hate applying to jobs. I spent 20+ years in the Army to avoid just this. I have been in school for the past 10 years, some of which was possibly to continue avoiding this. I have no issues with working, only with applying for work.

I have lots of disappointments in my life and the whole process is full of disappointments. So not so much fun (as most might well agree). It seems funny but whenever I have spent a while somewhere many of the folks come to really appreciate having me around. My current workmates seem to want me to stay (as usual) but they have no job to offer me. I in no way look forward to having to go on interviews and “peddle my flesh.” My flesh is not worth peddling. It is my heart and soul (and mind) that you want. And I am incapable of showing you that in an interview. Well, perhaps not incapable but certainly recommended that I not try.

Alright. Mark, stop!

I promised myself this would not get out of hand but it has already. [And, yes, I cut lots out; multiple times.]

Let me just say:

  • I am tired.
  • I am sore, always.
  • I am stuck in my own head with no one to help sort out the messes.
  • I am really scared that my intermittent illness is coming back.
  • I am looking for a job.
  • I am about to be a non-student student. That is, I am not done but will lose most every “privilege” that comes with being a student. Like the ability to use the health clinic.
  • I’m not happy with much of anything on this blog in a long time. E.g., if WP is to be trusted then no one has linked to me since that idiocy about e-book week back in February and I can’t say I blame ’em. That wasn’t even a conversation I wanted to have and it probably got more links than any other post except a Carnival post.
  • My son is heading back to this fucked up war of ours. Yes, it is ours. Yours and mine. And it is still going on lest you have failed to notice recently.
  • And I am terrified that I will deal with this no better than the first time.

Everything is not bad, to say the least, which is why I changed negativity to lack of positivity above.

  • I have been seriously enjoying the flowers and trees as they bloom.
  • I have been enjoying taking photos of them and actually learning to use my camera a bit (which has greatly helped).
  • I have been enjoying laughing at all the people complaining about the weather. Yes, even my friends.
  • I have a book reviewing gig for a prominent publication.
  • I was complaining to Allen Renear about an example in an article and he fully agreed with me that the authors blew it on that one.
  • I saw many of my far flung friends Sunday at Commencement.
  • I got a nice compliment from a ravishing woman Sunday.

Heavenly wine and roses
seem to whisper to me when you smile

Lou Reed – Sweet Jane

There’s just too much thinking going on in my head and I basically have no one to talk about it with. And this blog is not the place to do so for most of it.

So. There you have it. I’m being quiet and that is probably best. In fact, best would be to strip out 90% of this post.

I do want my friends to know, though, that I do love them deeply. I am not trying to avoid anyone and would not resent anyone checking in with me if they desire to. No promises on speed or length of reply though. I already owe a couple people a response.

All in all, I’m actually pretty good. I am not depressed right now. Just not exuding a lot of positive vibes lately. And I need to reserve those for the job search and, more importantly, for my friends.

But I won’t let it change me, not if I can
I’d rather believe in love
and give it away as much as I can
To those that I am fondest of

Allen Reynolds – Dreaming My Dreams with You

As for the good, I need to say a very special “Thank you!” to an amazing person I am honored to call friend. We spent a good 5 1/2 hours talking last night. She let me bitch and moan. We talked about the good(s), too. We talked about things I just do not talk about with anybody. And then she let me into a special piece of her world. Thank you!

i search your profile for a translation
i study the conversation like a map
’cause i know there is strength
in the differences between us
and i know there is comfort
where we overlap

Ani DiFranco ¤ overlap ¤ out of range

WP 2.5 and Zotero, test post 2

Harris, Roy. 1998. Introduction to Integrational Linguistics. 1st ed. Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Pergamon.

Harris, Roy, ed. 2002. The Language Myth in Western Culture. Richmond Surrey: Curzon.

Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.

Harris, Roy, and Indian Institute of Advanced Study. 2003. History, Science, and the Limits of Language : an Integrationist Approach. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

Hickman, Larry A. 2007. Pragmatism as post-postmodernism : lessons from John Dewey. New York: Fordham University Press.

Levy, Neil. 2007. Neuroethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Above test failed.

Test based on feedback from forum.

Maxwell, Robert L. 2008. FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed. Chicago: American Library Association.

Richards, Jennifer. 2008. Rhetoric. London: Routledge.

Shiga, Jason. 2007. Bookhunter. Portland, Or.: Sparkplug Comic Books.

Test post re WP 2.5 and COinS plugin

Feel free to ignore this post. I am simply testing the new version of WP with the COinS generator plugin that I have been using.

One of the main things I checked after the upgrade was whether it was working. Past posts still showed the data and the draft of last week’s readings did, too. But having now just posted it I noticed that everything was stripped except for the post’s data. All of the book and article data was stripped out. Which is utterly unacceptable to me.

Perhaps it has to do with that post being written across the 2 versions. Sounds stupid to me, but who knows? So this is a fully native WP 2.5 post with some test COinS data.

Levy, N. (2007). Neuroethics. , 346. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Maxwell, R. L. (2008). FRBR: A Guide for the Perplexed. , 151. Chicago: American Library Association.

Richards, J. (2008). Rhetoric. , New critical idiom., 198. London: Routledge.

Shiga, J. (2007). Bookhunter. , 1. Portland, Or.: Sparkplug Comic Books.

Swift, J. (1996). Gulliver’s travels. (Unabridged [ed.].). Mineola N.Y.: Dover Publications.

Toolan, M. J. (1996). Total Speech: An Integrational Linguistic Approach to Language. , Post-contemporary interventions., 337. Durham, N.C: Duke University Press.

Wilson, P. (1968). Two Kinds of Power : an Essay on Bibliographical Control. , Librarianship., 155. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Doesn’t matter whether I drop COinS data in the visual or the so-called HTML editor, it is stripping it all out. Crap!

I really needed one more fucked up thing in my life right now! Thanks, WordPress!

OK, now I am confused. Is the span tag deprecated or not? Musciano and Kennedy claim that it is in HTML & XHTML: The Definitive Guide, 5th ed. (2002) but I can find nothing on the net that says so. In fact, lots of newer items say to use them to replace things done with deprecated and/or obsolete tags.

Also, WP has left in the spans being used to style the above entries but removed those with the COinS metadata. Clearly, WTF?

Anyone have any insight into this? Please comment here or email me.

For now I’m off the the WordPress and Zotero forums to see what I can find. BTW, I’m using the COinS Metadata Exporter 0.1

By the way, if you are reading this Walt, it is certainly screwing with even simple formatting—like paragraphs—in the HTML editor.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

I have just upgraded to WordPress 2.5 so please let me know if you notice anything wonky going on.

I need to upgrade my template probably but I do not like all the changes that were recently made to it. Thus, I’ll stick with the older version until I find time to modify all I don’t like about the new version or else find a new one.

I also left the Live Comment Preview turned off as it hasn’t worked since I upgraded to WP 2.3 anyway.

The biggest change is that I have removed my contact form. I was getting way too much spam from it. I hope to find another solution that meets my requirements for ease of use and security, but I’m not counting on it.

In the meantime, I have put my (new) email address on that page. If you desire to contact me please feel free to email me at mark {dot} r {dot} lindner {at} gmail.com. Just make sure to type that last name correctly. 😉 That is probably the prime reason I want a contact form; most people have issues with getting it right.

As for the new interface I’m reserving judgement for now. I have already seen a few things I am not so happy with but most will probably just involve getting used to.

As for some of the changes I’ve read about, such as paragraph (and other) formatting not being hosed I’ll see soon enough. As of the moment and in this simple post I see no difference in the Visual vs. HTML interface. I really have a hard time with something calling itself an HTML editor and not showing me paragraph tags, though.

Lazy web requests: Online job applications; and WordPress comments and LISHost

I have two lazy web requests.

Online job applications

I am in the process of filling out my first fully online job application and it is not pleasant for so many reasons. Complaining is not my point here, though.

The main issues are that in several places there is not enough room to add the information I need to. For instance, in the section for references there is nowhere near enough characters in the lines for the reference’s organization and title. And let’s be honest, academics and their institutions have lengthy titles.

For instance, I run out of room at Graduate School of Library. So, should I just type as far as I can and stop? Or should I try and do some abbreviating? For instance: GSLIS, UIUC; or, Graduate School of LIS; or, ….

After filling in a million form fields, I will be able to upload either pdf or Word copies of my résumé and letter of application. Thus, there may be some mitigation of the above issue but I have no idea how those copies will or will not be employed or if they will even be viewed since I have to put much of that info into those million form fields in the first place.

Any suggestions?

Also, what is the best salutation for a woman? I do know her rank from the library’s web site. Somehow “Dear Associate Professor X” sounds a bit stilted to me, though. I could address my letter to the Search Committee Chair, I guess, but I do have a specific name.

Any suggestions for this?

WordPress comments and LISHost

This one is for anyone using WordPress that has email notification of comments turned on and is on LISHost.

After the wonkiness this past weekend I am no longer getting email notifications for comments or comments in moderation. I have checked my WP install and those options are still checked and I even forced a refresh of them to no avail.

I have spoken with Blake and he thinks that perhaps what he had to do might have had an effect but he also undid those changes last night. He wants me to get back to him if the situation does not go back to normal and I certainly will. But I was wondering if anyone else is having this issue all of a sudden. If so, perhaps it might help Blake pinpoint the issue(s) causing it.

If you have lost your email notifications from WordPress all of a sudden feel free to comment here but, more importantly, please let Blake know.

Thankfully this is not a crippling issue but it does cause a definite inconvenience. Getting those email notifications is a much faster way to know whether someone has commented than checking the blog or blog admin panel.

And, yes. I have received several comments this weekend, to include a couple after I spoke to him last night. Nor is my email spam filter grabbing them all of a sudden.

Some things read this week, 3 – 9 February 2008

Monday, 4 Feb 2008

Portrait: Charles Taylor by Ben Rogers. Prospect.

At the heart of Taylor’s thought is a critique of “naturalist” modes of thinking, whether manifest in philosophy, social science, economics or psychology. For Taylor, naturalism is the view that all human and social phenomena, including our subjectivity, are best understood on the model of natural phenomena, by using scientific canons of explanation. So wherever possible, apparently complicated social entities should be reduced to their simple component parts; social and cultural institutions and practices explained in terms of the beliefs and actions of individuals; value judgements reduced to brute animal preferences; the physical world to sense data; sense data to neurological activity and so on. Taylor believes that in the last 400 years, naturalism has fundamentally reshaped our individual and collective self-understanding. Seeing the limits of this mode of thought promises to give us a critical purchase on ourselves and our culture.

Taylor’s critique starts from the belief that you can’t understand human actions unless you make an imaginative leap into the worlds of the agents—a leap which has no counterpart in natural science. You can’t understand ethical or aesthetic values on the model of animal preferences because all human cultures give central place to some version of the distinction between “lower” appetites and higher goals by which appetites should be judged and regulated. Taylor argues, in short, that narrowly scientific, reductive approaches to the human world always prove “terribly implausible.”

I really need to look into Taylor’s views on naturalism because as much as I am a child of Big Science I, too, believe that naturalism ala Taylor is not an unmitigated good and, in fact, is quite dangerous. Science cannot, nor should it try, to explain everything.


Harris, Roy. 2005. The Semantics of Science. London: Continuum.


Re-read ch. 7: Science and common sense.


Brachman, R.J. 1983. What IS-A Is and Isn’t: An Analysis of Taxonomic Links in Semantic Networks. Computer 16, no. 10:30-36.


For Ontology Development. This article gave me the giggles in so many places; especially in the context of my current work. With this many facets of what it is to be an IS-A relationship, much less the combination of those facets, it simply boggles the mind to think we’ll ever be able to globally represent these relationships in our statements about the/our world(s).

There are several axes along which IS-A links can vary:


  1. type of conceptual entity that a node can represent (description, set, predicate)
  2. basic syntactic function of the link (sentence-forming vs. description-forming)
  3. for sentence-forming ones:
    • quantifier (e.g., universal vs. default)
    • modality (necessity vs. contingency)
  4. does the link make an assertion (33).

Highly recommended. Not as difficult as one might think.

Tuesday – Wednesday, 5 – 6 Feb 2008



MacDorman, Karl F. 2007. Life After the Symbol System Metaphor. Interaction Studies 8, no. 1:143-158.


Found at Wikipedia via UIUC Language Evolution Group wiki back in late Sep 2007.


Wednesday, 6 Feb 2008



Bates, Marcia J. Hjørland’s critique of Bates’ work on defining information. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology.


Sent my way by Christina.

Thursday – Friday, 7 – 8 Feb 2008



Harris. The Semantics of Science. [see above]

Re-read ch. 8: Supercategory semantics.

Saturday, 9 Feb 2008



Wright, Lawrence. The Spymaster. The New Yorker. Jan. 21, 2008: 42-59.


Given to me by Pauline Cochrane as a possible job opportunity.


I am really loving the newest update to Zotero. I can now drag-n-drop citations directly from Zotero into WordPress. Talk about a serious reduction in work flow! Previously I was exporting a citation as HTML, opening the web page, viewing the source, copying the piece of HTML I needed, and then pasting it into the Code view of WordPress. Now I just drag-n-drop a citation right out of Zotero into the WYSIWYG editor of WordPress and it is automatically formatted and includes the COinS metadata. Woohoo!!

The only issue at the moment is some slightly wonky formatting in WordPress. I’m not sure if it is WordPress or Zotero causing it though. I need to play with other citation formats and see if they cause the same issues. It could be WordPress though as they seem to have changed some of their HTML formatting in the version I upgraded to last week.

Nonetheless, this is a massive improvement in functionality and will probably encourage me to actually input more stuff into Zotero in the first place.

Successful WordPress upgrade?

I finally got around to upgrading this blog’s version of WordPress from 2.2.3 to the newest, 2.3.2. There’s an brand-new updated version of the Cutline theme that I use that I still need to do but …

… I did something really stupid when I did the upgrade. With printed instructions in front of me. One of the critical early steps. What a freaking oaf!

So please have a quick look around and let me know if you see anything amiss if you have a moment and the inclination.


Need a New Name, Round 2

Don’t worry … I’m not looking for a new name for this wittily named blog (wasn’t christened by me anyway 😉 ). I’m starting a 2nd blog and no worries. I am not breaking my thoughts here, either. This is nt a professional/other stuff split like has been discussed here before from assorted angles.

My intention is to install a 2nd WP install and the CommentPress (“a WordPress theme for social texts”) theme. If you’re not familiar with CommentPress you should check it out as it has some real potential in varied circumstances. Comes from the good folks at The Institute for the Future of the Book. Here’s an example install with the Iraq Study Group Report.

So, what would I use it for? Current and recent past thoughts (barring unforeseen copyright issues) include: Draft Final Working Group Report, Hsieh-Yee’s report on cataloging/metadata education*, Panizzi’s 91 rules, drafts of parts of my paper as I write it, suggestions from others that fit within my interests, … and then hopefully discussion around those sorts of entities, at assorted resolutions down to the paragraph.

On one hand, I have a very specific and timely (past now) idea and, on the other, a very vague one.

And the beauty of it all … I need a name for it. This is your chance for fame and glory in perpetuity. Just ask Richard and Walt; they still get the credit (or blame?) for naming this blog after about a year and a half now.

With any luck it will be a proverbial water cooler.

Please send suggestions. Most likely without water cooler being involved, though; or, at least it was not an explicit hint.

Now is your chance to:

Find the line, find the shape
Through the grain
Find the outline and things will
Tell you their name

Suzanne Vega “Night Vision” Solitude Standing

Also, it’s your chance to prove Andrew wrong:

you weren’t there that day for the naming of things
the naming of things

Andrew Bird “The Naming of Things” The Mysterious Production of Eggs

Will you be there on naming day?

* Hsieh-Yee, Ingrid. “Cataloging and Metadata Education: A Proposal for Preparing Cataloging Professionals of the 21st Century.” A report submitted to the ALCTS-Education Task Force in response to Action Item 5.1 of the “Bibliographic control of Web Resources: A Library of Congress Action Plan.” Approved by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services. Web version available since April 2003 at http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/bibcontrol/CatalogingandMetadataEducation.pdf.

Off the Mark in 2008

There will be changes in this blog this coming year. Not necessarily, and, in fact, not particularly, intended. Those intended may well not happen.

“Some things read this week, …” posts will likely continue. They will be reconfigured somehow—not yet discerned—by the change in my reading habits, at least through mid-May.

As the year begins, I am working on a bibliographical essay tying Hjørland and Roy Harris (and Integrationsism) together. From there I will be embarking on producing my CAS paper as previously described here. This is a major undertaking for me as for achievements go; even academic.

I shall also be pursuing a job; preferably to begin shortly after defending my paper in early May. I could, in theory, start a job at any time. Although I still have 3 years from this coming May to finish my degree, I much prefer to finish this May and then start a new job. But I remain open-minded.

So, “Some things read …” posts will most likely be much simplified as I will mainly be re-reading things from (primarily) this past year, along with re-reading parts of things. I will want to keep some record for myself, but it need not be fully publicly expressed. I will comment when I have anything particular to say about a specific piece or idea, though.

I will be reading some other things, though, as I hope to sit in on 2 seminars: subject analysis and ontology development.

Seeing as how my “Some things read …” posts were a goodly portion of this year’s output I imagine output will shrink, for several months anyway.

I doubt I will be much engaged with any (other) big ideas or the biblioblogosphere either. Not due to lack of desire; there was so much I wanted to engage with this past year and/or more deeply engage. No doubt the future will remain the same on this one.

No idea as to how the job search will affect my blogging. My goal is certainly to get one and a good one that fits me, too. Perhaps less public display of my angst and pain is forthcoming.

I have some evidence that there is already wild speculation regarding what kind of decision I am currently putting off and hoping to forestall. If one were to go back a couple months in this blog and read forward (with some exemplars linked above) they would find much of relevance to decisions that must possibly be made. All three posts are long and cover several areas.

Perhaps they’re better left unsung” discusses the seminars I hope to sit in on this Spring (why linked above), issues with school (anymore) and especially Python class mid-semester, and depression (See especially the comments).

Certificate of Advanced Study Project” discusses my CAS (why), generally, originally (early plans), and the route to my current topic. Links to “Tunneling …“.

Tunneling for rabbits” is the first explicit description of where I am headed.

No doubt there are other commentaries sprinkled among my blog, but the situation is that I am right back to this “place.” Sure. Some, if not much, of the immediately felt/lived experience of mid-late Fall semester is only a memory, but the place I was and the decision(s) I felt I had to make soon, at the time, are back as full-strength, lived experience.

I’m kind of at the same place as Jennifer was, school decision-wise, mid-year. But for vastly different reasons. I adore my program. Sure, it has issues; every program does. But, all in all, it’s been great. Perhaps I just need a break. There’s much more that feeds into my “situation” but it all ends with staying in or leaving school.

On top of feeling this way, I must make serious forward progress with my work on Harris and Hjørland. As I wrote before,

Yeah.” Anyone got a match?

I really do not want to discuss this right now. That’s why it didn’t come up any time over Christmas. Emotional energy? I have none for this. I am thankful that it is delayed for the moment, and hopeful that it can be forestalled. For that to happen I must—besides going back to work—do a lot of (quality) serious work until the 11th. Spring semester starts the next Monday, the 14th.

Back to the (post) topic at hand, and the intended changes that may not happen. I would like to get upgraded to current WordPress version, and I’d like to get an install of CommentPress running. [Still says CommentPress isn’t playing well with the newest WP. So upgrading is secondary.]

If I could get a CommentPress install (as a 2nd blog) up and running I might put up some of my paper as it gets written. Or not. Would’ve been nice to have for the LC Working Group’s Draft final Report but that is water under the bridge.

So. Changes, possible changes, and not so much change but reversion to a postponed state.