Monday, January 14, 2013

Daily Thoughts 01/14/2013

Tony-Robert Fleury, Girl Reading, 1880

Daily Thoughts 01/14/2013

On the way to work, I read a little bit more of The Visioneers.  The author is focusing on Eric K Drexler an early proponent of nanotechnology.  Drexler is famous for writing the book, Engines of Creation.  A concept which the author describes is exploratory engineering or working on technologies which we have not  developed yet.  The X-prizes are examples of exploratory engineering.  Towards the end of the book, W. Patrick McCray writes about Spaceship One and Burt Rhutan which won an x-prize.

This made me think back to an earlier book which I had just read, How To Create a Mind by Ray Kurzweil.  Kurzweil describes the concept of the thought experiment. It reminds me a little bit of exploratory engineering.   Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Thought Experiment).

This morning, I checked the Facebook and Twitter accounts for the library.  I also checked the displays and the new books section.  The new books have been going out steadily.  I also checked the gift books.  There is a display of books for Martin Luther King's birthday in the front lobby windows.  There are also a lot of urban fiction books coming in.

I checked out the book, Librarians As Community Partners, Edited by Carol Smallwood.

I read the latest Times Literary Supplement which is British.  There were an interesting title, The Mummy's Curse The True History of a Dark Fantasy by Roger Lockhurst which follows the horrid luck of handling Egyptian mummies.  I also read the latest New York Times Book Review.  I put the book, The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn from Traditional Societies by Jared Diamond on hold.  I liked his other books, Guns, Germs and Steel  and Collapse.  They were both informative and excellent.

On the way home, I finished reading The Visioneers.  The end of the book writes about the value of having a positive view of the future.  It also describes some of the modern "visioneers" like Peter Diamantis and Ray Kurzweil.  The brief description of transhumanism which is about how to make people better with smart drugs, longevity medicine, implants, and nanotechnology unsettles.  I like not being tethered to technological devices and enjoy having a quiet moment.

I joined the New York City Data Scientists meetup.

Web Bits

Content Vs. Container (The Library as a Whole Edition)

A Library Without Books Bibliotech to Open

What You Can Do About Ebooks and Libraries

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