Sunday, November 15, 2015

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2015


 One visual interpretation of the Galactic Library glyph (Library Institute emblem), based on the verbal descriptions in David Brin's "Uplift" series of science-fiction novels (a five-fold spiral with a vertical bar through its center).

Daily Thoughts 11/16/2015

I checked the library Twitter and Facebook this morning.

Last night, I finished reading The Islands of the Blessed by Nancy Farmer.  I enjoyed reading this title.  It is the third book in the story of Jack the apprentice bard trilogy.  I rather like how Nancy Farmer seemlessly mixes, history, myth and fantasy into her stories.

I checked the gift books and the displays this morning.

I interviewed a few people today with a colleague.

I am spending some time talking to people about the public computers and the computer lab policies.

On the way home, I finished reading Superforecasting The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner.  This book is focused on the Good Judgement Project  It is about how to improve your accuracy in making predictions about the future.  The main focus is geopolitical in nature.  A lot of this book focuses on how to follow the news, keep track of ideas, understand statistics, take inside and outside views, and be open minded about what might possibly happen. A lot of the book is about how to ask the right questions and consistently do the research.

Web Bits

Beneath New York Public Library, Shelving Its Past for High-Tech Research Stacks

Check It Out With Andrew Richard Albanese: How the Google Books Case Could Change Fair Use on Campus

The World Brain

One of the things which happens when most of the books are scanned into a single source is that it improves the map of knowledge created by the web of information on the internet.  This web of information is what Google calls the Knowledge Graph.
Google Launches Knowledge Graph to Provide Answers Not Just Links.

Another way to look at the knowledge graph which I think of as the interrelations and connections between different types of knowledge is to compare it to the social graph.  The social graph is the total map of interrelations and connections between people on the internet.

Startup Unleashes Its Clone of Google's Knowledge Graph

This does not just apply to Google, it also applies to places like the Internet Archive which has massive amounts of all kinds of items scanned into it.  This is an example of a data set with 1 million album covers. Experiment with 1 Million Album Covers.

Mass scanning also allows the study of the total content of all the books put into Google.  This creates something called Culturomics which is a way to do mass text analysis of language.

It is not just Google books that is doing this kind of research.  It is the Hathitrust which is another archive with mass scanning of books.

There are two other organizations focused on creating universal access to information, Wikipedia and the Internet Archive which seem to have a goal of absorbing most knowledge.

On the fictional side, Isaac Asimov made his first reference to the Encyclopedia Galactica  in his short story, Foundation written in May of 1942.

There is also the Galactic Library in the Uplift novels of David Brin.  The first novel was written in 1980 called Sundiver. 

On a lighter note, there is also The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

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