Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daily Thoughts 2/10/2010

The lion statues at the New York Public Library, with a mantle of snow during the record December 1948 snowfall. It is snowing heavily outside. I was excused from work because of the snowfall. I can see the whiteness outside the window covering everything. I think this is the first time I have used an image more than once.

Daily Thoughts 2/10/2010

This morning, I did some more of the Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management course online from the American Library Association. I had to turn cookies on in my browser to do my assignment. This time it was about budgets. I like reading the forums. Someone mentioned Better World Books which takes discarded library books selling them for charitable purposes. A percentage of the proceeds goes back to the library. They are a social business venture.

I also have been reading more of The Talented Miss Highsmith. Apparently she used to read abnormal psychology books at the Queens Public Library when she was ten. Maybe it was good practice for her writing dark suspense stories. Her childhood was supposed to have been very dark.

While at Barnard College, she is quoted as saying, "I am four people: the Jewish intellectual, the success, the failure, and the fascist snob. These shall be my novel characters." Joan Schenkar, the biographer leaves none of the negative characteristics of Patricia Highsmith out of this biography. There is hatred, vitriol, and angst against a variety of different peoples. The author is trying to present a complete picture of Patricia Highsmith as a person. I especially liked learning that Patricia Highsmith's first job out of college was writing the comic Fighting Yank. There is a certain literary irony in this.

The Talented Miss Highsmith will take me some time to read, it is 684 pages long including notes, photographs, diagrams, selected bibliography, and index.

I am also reading, You Are Not A Gadget A Manifesto by Jaron Lanier. Jaron Lanier is famous for his early work in virtual reality. He is writing about the relation between people and machines. He decries what he calls lock in or how certain programs like Unix or the music program MIDI become very inflexible standards. One idea which he makes clear is that with things like Web 2.0, he views the people in the network as more important than the network itself. He is not a fan of some of the new media ideas.

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