Thursday, April 19, 2012

Daily Thoughts 04/19/2012

Evening Reading, oil on canvas, 74 x 90.5 cm, Frederick Zezin

Daily Thoughts 04/19/2012

I read a little bit of Too Big to Know Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Eveywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger.
David Weinberger is writing about networked information inside computer systems.  In this environment none of the information is destroyed, and it is also often filtered by groups of people in a social network.  This is a very different method of filtering information than what happens inside a library where people acquire books then deselect them when they no longer are needed.  His descriptions are quite interesting.  They remind me of the concept in science fiction of the "Final Encyclopedia" or a computer system that contains the sum total of all human knowledge.  This book also introduces concepts like the data commons.  It also reminds me to find out a little bit more about "Big Data", or emerging ways to view very large amounts of knowledge.

There are very real applications in the library setting for big data.  Overdrive Inc. is bringing "big data" to the world of library e-books.  It is also an emerging concept in ASIS the American Society for Information Science.  With very large open source systems, massive amounts of data can be sifted to learn new things about libraries, library patrons, and how we read and learn. 

This morning, I finished checking through the New York Times Book Review and checked the current events display.  I am also going to look for some more books on abstract art.  I spent some more time finding books on abstract art, mostly American abstract painting.

I also spent some time this afternoon in the computer lab helping people with job search and how to fill out basic online applications.  We had the computer lab open between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today.  I also took time to speak to our computer instructor who comes in on Tuesdays to teach a basic and an intermediate computer course.

I read a little bit more of Too Big to Know on the way home.  He is describing how the idea of facts was created.  It is a relatively recent invention.  With the idea of "facts", we get the creation of experts and knowledge.  Books store static knowledge creating a "canon" of acceptable and vetted facts in a limited contained area.  In contrast, the internet is a giant ever expanding mass of often self-contradictory, inaccurate information.

One idea that strikes me is that e-books are not similar to books, yet they are still packaged and sold as a self-contained product.  I rather like this O'reilly article called The Line Between Book and Internet Will Disappear.  I do not agree with the idea that all books should be locked to the internet.  Many are perfectly fine as self contained objects.

I also had a chance to read some more of An Economist Gets Lunch New Rules for Everyday Foodies.  I rather like that the author likes food trucks, local ethnic cuisine, barbecue, and disdains fast food, big name restaurants, and junk food.  His tastes are appealing to me.

Web Bits

Why One in Five U.S. Adults Doesn't Use the Internet

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