Raja Ravi Varma, A Student, Painting of a member of a royal family in his study room.
Daily Thoughts 12/5/2011
This morning, I finished reading Spontaneous Happiness by Andrew Weil. He includes an 8 week program focused on creating positive mental health. Towards the end of the book, he also describes how having a strong social network, gratitude, and charity help create better mental health.
I also read some more of Zahra's Paradise which at times can be quite brutal. It is definitely a mature story. It tells a lot about repression and fear in Iran.
This morning, I updated the libraries Twitter and Facebook account. I also checked the gift books to make sure they were in order. In addition, I spent some time looking at programming. We are going to have someone talking about foreclosure in January.
We are meeting tomorrow for the Technology Committee.
On the way home, I finished reading Zahra's Paradise. It was a very interesting graphic novel. There was a glossary, afterword, and a bit on the 2009 Iranian presidential elections. A lot of the book was about protest and dealing with corrupt government bureaucracy. This story would be very much tied in with the Arab Spring or the series of revolts around the arab world in Syria, Libya, and Egypt. There are some note on how computers and cell phones very much change things. I found this to be a very different graphic novel. There is a website at http://www.zahrasparadise.com/
I also started reading Free Ride How Digital Parasites Are Destroying The Culture Business, And How The Culture Business Can Fight Back by Robert Levine. Robert Levine starts out bemoaning the loss of mainstream television like Seinfeld, Friends, and Cheers which I feel no great loss for. If bands like KISS are what he considers culture, then there is no great loss if some of the white elephants and doddering old fashioned television programming go away. Robert Levine successfully reminds me that the long tail of greater variety on the internet with the greater ability to choose what I want to listen to and view is better than the walled gardens of 1980s and 1990s television.
The New Digital Divide
Statement by Jeffrey W. Cannell, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education and Acting State Librarian, New York State Education Department
This is important because of the focus on the internet. Libraries are increasingly the only place which poorer people can get internet access. Many people come in to apply for jobs and learn basic computing at public libraries.