I like this.

27 02 2008

A friend of mine in the band Ghosts posted this on my production company’s myspace profile. I thought I’d share it here.

You can also buy it, a t-shirt, here.
Plus a funny story real quick, my GF works at a public library. This guy she hadn’t seen since high school, tenish years ago, sees her behind the desk, approaches her and says, “I didn’t know you work here. That you’re a librarian. With your glasses and hair all up.” He then proceeds to stare at her with a slackjawed gaze to the point that her coworkers got the creepy vibe from him. My GF was not wearing her hair up and she has 20/18 vision. Ahh the power of fantasy.


26 02 2008

Some of the posts I’ve been reading, and the distrust of technology, have brought to mind some music and music videos.

The first video is kind of defacto pomo. It is a present day reflection on a retro futurism. The band is from Tulsa and they are called Recorder. They won the $10, 000 prize at famecast.com this year. They won the critics pick and the fan choice awards. They managed to win fan fave despite Tulsa being w/out power and internet b/c of the ice storm.

The second one is a ballad about a servant robot that a family gets and everyone loves, but the new wears off and the robot commits suicide. It is by Grandaddy and comes off their album Sophtware Slump. That album is considered one of the best albums ever made by a lot of music critics, young and old.

1066 & Arthur Rimbaud

22 02 2008

My group of friends and I used to have a bourgie (see #2) quiz we made up to see if/how bourgie one was. I don’t recall all of the questions on said quiz but I do remember one fairly well. The idea was to say the phrase, with some gesticulation, “It has a certain, how the French say, I don’t know what,” and if one got that the phrase was a joke, they were bourgie. Further, if one got it because they thought the phrase ‘je ne sais quoi’ could be used, they might be bourgie. But if they laughed because they knew the humour arose from a double entendre, they were bourgie bourg, or bourgcore. (Of course the joke is a double entendre. Je ne sais quoi literally means, “I don’t know what.”)
The other questions were of the same ilk. Questions about useless, pretentious (there may be an argument made that all pretentious knowledge is useless) knowledge that no one knows unless they have had all their basic needs met for the duration of their lives. It wasn’t mean spirited or elitist, believe it or not, just a way to probe each other’s depths of bourgitude. The ironic part was that to be bourgie was not cool, but to think of a question that would show someone’s bourgitude was. Is that ironic or just hypocritical? Anyway, I thought of this when thinking about reference interviews in one of Lester’s papers on Information Behaviour Systems.

A lot of the systems we have been studying have accounted for affective/cultural/geographic/temporal effects on information behaviour. I think it may be interesting to take the reference interview sociologically or social psychology-ly. That is, look for human dispensations of reference interviews between people in everyday settings, social settings, and how patterns may arise within cohort groups. I am familiar with the research that has been done in the area I am describing, but I do not recall any that has approached the “getting to know” aspect of human interaction as a reference interview.

PS, here’s an update on the funding for the presidential race frontrunners with the bold being Obama and the italic being McCain. Six of the top ten contributors to each campaign were the same. Those are reprinted here.

Citigroup Inc $221,578
Citigroup Inc $153,362

Credit Suisse Group $118,250
Credit Suisse Group $65,000

Goldman Sachs $421,763
Goldman Sachs $85,252

JP Morgan Chase & Co $243,848
JP Morgan Chase & Co $65,485

Lehman Brothers $250,630
Lehman Brothers $63,450

Morgan Stanley $155,196
Morgan Stanley $55,701

You dropped a balm on me.

20 02 2008

Since Doc Martens has decided not to share the papers written for our fist assignment due to the graphic nature of some of them, I thought I’d share mine. I respect that some of them may have some personal information the authors may wish to keep semi-private but, since I like reading the papers others have written, I thought I’d repost mine here. Also, while I do respect the wish on the part of the authors, I don’t understand it. I haven’t had any secrets since before I can remember. This is true to a fault. I often find that I have made, how the Fench say, a foxpass, without knowing, by making public certain details that offend good taste. Sadly, the following is not one of those cases.

My Informational Career: The View From Here

I didn’t start working at a library until 2003, though I’ve had a love affair with books, knowledge and learning, since I was in the seventh grade. This was not always the case. Until my seventh grade year, I was a “reluctant reader” (Sullivan 2003, 25-32). Of course, that changed. I would not be so passionate about education, learning, knowledge, literacy, if it had not. I remember the book that caused that change. I remember the Summer I read it. I remember the teacher who listed it on the summer reading list.

When my life changed, I was getting ready to start my seventh grade year at a new school. I had gone to Darnaby Elementary in the Union school district since kindergarten. This year I would be starting at Holland Hall in August. At the time, Holland required seventh graders to choose three books from a list of titles recommended by the seventh grade teachers to read over the summer. My book was one of the titles recommended by Mr. Marshall. The book was L’Étranger or, The Stranger, by Albert Camus, and it changed my life. After reading that book, I would no longer be a reluctant reader. I would be a voracious reader.

I was burned in a propane explosion when I was four years old. I sustained first, second and third degree burns over approximately fifty percent of my body. From this accident, I have scars with me to this day. Because of these obvious physical scars, I was often the target of my peers’ ridicule and torment while growing up. I had few friends and fewer people to talk to or who understood what it was like to go through what I was. I’d never seen another burned kid, there were no support groups for me. I was the only burned person in my sphere of consciousness. I felt utterly alone.

At this point in my life, the books we were read consisted of fairly simple morality tales or stories about regular people fitting in, getting along, conforming and being happy. These stories did not resonate with me, but that was the sum of my reading experience at that time. This was the cause of my perfunctory attitude toward reading.

In the pages of, The Stranger, I found a lead character who was alienated, alone and chastised. This resonated. This was something I could identify with, find meaning in, layers of meaning even. With that one book, a spark was ignited in me. I had found that there were books written about people like me. It was that very spark, the discovery of outsider literature, that drove me towards a career centered around education, learning, knowledge, literacy.

That spark lead me to work first in a bookstore, then at the library. At this time, I have worked with books, in either a bookstore or library capacity, for ten years. Though I have only worked in libraries for three years, my previous work experience has given me many of the tools needed to be a successful librarian. While working at Novel Idea Bookstore I became well trained in reader’s advisory. Without knowing what the technical jargon for such things was, I was engaging in “berrypicking,” “area scanning” and “subject searching” (Bates 1989). Though I have not read much by John Grisham, I can recommend similar authors to devoted fans. This is true of Christian fiction, romance novels, westerns and a host of other genres.

Before gaining employment at a library, I was a counselor at Shadow Mountain Behavioural Health System. There I was in charge of the “Threshold” unit. This was a population of inpatient juvenile male sex offenders. Relating to that population in the capacity of authority figure and as friend/confidant, as the counselor role demands, gave me a tremendous amount of patience, tolerance and empathy. My listening skills became very sharp indeed. Due to that experience I have become an active listener. I am able to deconstruct/decipher/interpret, by use of what some would call a reference interview, a user’s “compromised need” as it is related to me, the information specialist, and get a clearer idea of the user’s “formalized need” and sometimes approach the user’s “conscious need”(Taylor 1968, 178-94). I am able to pick up on some of the user’s sociological cues, i.e., socioeconomic status, education, mood, etc things that influence both what the user is saying and the kind of information the user wants. Where I am not able to pick up the cues, I am able to ask the right questions, and have the appropriate professional empathy, to determine these factors as needed.

At this point in my informational career, I feel that I have obtained the most knowledge I can from my professional situation as one is able without continuing in school. I feel that by completing the coursework necessary to obtain my Master’s Degree, I will gain a better understanding of the system in which I work. My goal is to use apply the knowledge I obtain in the University Of Oklahoma’s Master’s Program in Library And Information Studies to the library system as it stands. I want to be a part of the intellectual force of change that is always looking for better ways to do things, find new strategies, new approaches. I want to help the library adapt to current and future trends in information behavior and information retrieval systems.

Libraries are a social institution. As such they necessarily derive their legitimacy from the very people who use it (Weber 2003, 354-5). It is important to me that libraries remain a vital part of the community’s social sphere. This can only be achieved through the constant education of its employees. The serious library employee must stay informed of current trends in information behavior and information retrieval systems. They must also be versed in the canon of the LIS profession. This canonical knowledge not only provides great insight into current system models, it also provides a very stable foundation from which to engage in research or thought experiment on how best to adapt or build onto the system. This information base is also handy when trying to adapt a system to new technology or trends that come to pass. An MLIS also helps steer new studies and thought away from the mistakes, dead ends and pratfalls of the past.

It is precisely by keeping a knowledgeable employee base, one trained in information behavior, information seeking, information searching, information retrieval skills, that libraries remain relevant. It was not long ago, around 1999, that many pundits and talking heads were predicting the end of libraries and if not the end then the marginalization of the institution. This has not happened even on a small scale. Libraries are remaining vital because of the educated, passionate people that work there. By getting my Master’s Degree I hope to help the library maintain its relevance. I also want to aid in educating the next generation of librarians, who will pick up when my generation exits the work place. It is this spirit, obtaining knowledge to better the community and drive to pass that knowledge on, that has kept the library such an important cultural icon and institution.

Off the box thinking.

17 02 2008

Why is America obsessed with Sen. Obama’s race?

The Congressional Black Caucus honored Bill Clinton as the nation’s “first Black president” at its 2001 annual awards dinner. The Diversity Inc article also tells of other presidents who may be considered black (who is considered ‘black’ is dependent on who you ask, especially since there is no biological, genetic or otherwise scientific basis for race categorizations/definitions, except for one, the human.)

Which reminds me of when Alan Keys said of Sen. Obama that he, “possess[es] insufficient negritude.” That is quoted from Obama’s autobio reprinted in this article- Identity Crisis.

No commentary, just relating some interesting information.

Sometimes information spewers talk like information seekers.

7 02 2008

Am I the only one, or did someone else notice but didn’t care? You’ve all surely seen it, if you live in Tulsa or visited and been fortunate enough to have a tour guide that has a certain, how the French say, I don’t know what. IT was located at 3420 E 11th St, that’s on 11th between Harvard & Yale (that IT was located between those two schools is telling?). IT was The Right Wing. Not the big tent party, that paradoxically shuns the Log Cabin group, kind of right wing, the chicken joint. Now IT has apparently been the victim of some junta. IT is now called The Right Wings, tellingly not, “The Right Wing’s”.

I really feel like we’ve lost something here. In exactly (if by exactly, I mean not at all) the same way that Huckabee, good ol’ Huckster (shucks), thinks South Carolina has lost something by not being able to fly the Confederate Battle Flag over its state capital. Not the Stars & Bars mind you, the Battle Flag of the Confederate Army, the one with the fiery cross of St. Andrew on it.

Many were the friends, visiting from out of state, who’d ask me in total disbelief, to take them to The Right Wing. Once there, there would inevitably be some photo ops with them in front of the sign. These were replete with the requisite reference to Oklahoma being the buckle of the Bible Belt, the 900 ft Jesus, etc.

What Huckabuck is saying, rather, the information he’s sending, is that he identifies with racists. He’s doing it in a coded way, but he’s still doing it. It may be more accurate to say, he’s describing his racism to the public in a Q4(Taylor, R.S., “Question-Negotiation and Information Seeking in Libraries) way. Let us not forget that under this flag the punishment for any Northern officer found commanding black troops was death. An immediate and swift on-the-spot execution. For those flying the flag Huccotash feels so impassioned about, this was SOP.

The Right Wing was Tulsa’s way of telling passersby, tourists, the world, that this is God’s Country. That name was sending information, like if Taylor’s Q3, maybe even toward a Q2, came right out of the mouth of an information seeker. No compromised Q4 action here. I didn’t like the message but I liked its delivery.

Maybe with McCain’s apparent, likely, nomination, the big tent party is telling us something. Maybe, with the change in names over at Right Wings/The Right Wing, Tulsa is speaking as well. May it be that Tulsa is becoming the (epi)center of maybe? (Get it?)

Right into my brain meat

1 02 2008

The information models I’ve recently been reading and discussing has brought to mind an idea. Methinks it would very interesting to look deeper into the models from a, and I say this hesitantly, Marxist view, ie, who controls the means of information production. Who supplies us the information (evidence/news) we use to define information? If I may indulge:

People occasionally get upset when Coke or McDonald’s opens up shop in a school and peddles their wares. Does it have to be that obvious?

I assume most educated people know that on the list of Rupert Murdoch’s assets can be found, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, HarperCollins, myspace & Fox among others.

Viacom owns MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon, Noggin, DreamWorks (jointly w/ CBS, which until 2005, was owned by Viacom), Paramount, United International Pictures (a joint venture w/ NBC Universal) + others. Does anyone else notice a problem, maybe a conflict of interests, by owning Nick/Noggin & BET/MTV? I guess that is called a cross-promotional opportunity.

CBS, which until 2005 was owned, as were ALL of these assets, by Viacom, owns MTV Books, Nickelodeon Books, Charles Scribner’s Sons, Simon & Schuster, Showtime, Sundance Channel, Westinghouse Electric.

GE owns NBC Universal, A & E (co-owns w/ Disney), The History Channel (co-owns w/ Disney), TiVo, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures, etc, etc.

Disney owns, ABC, Touchstone, Miramax, ESPN, Lifetime, A & E (co-owns), The History Channel (co-owns), HBO (co-owns w/ Time Warner), Hyperion Books, etc, etc.

Time Warner owns, HBO (co-owns), Cinemax, CNN, NASCAR, New Line Cinema, AOL, etc, etc.

That’s a lot of stuff owned by very few companies. What I’ve written only scratches the surface. I just wanted to get a little into Fox, ABC, NBC & CBS. One can branch out from where I left off and get more involved in subsidiaries & parent companies. Better still, find out who sits on the boards of these 5 companies. There will be a lot of crossover. Find out what other boards these people sit on. The average board is around 12 people. Of the people that sit on the top 50 corporations in the world’s boards 99% of them sit on 2 or more other boards in the top 50. These corporations don’t just own media, food brands, electric companies, retail stores or clothing. They own textbook companies. You know, the ones kids read in schools.

To see who/what is giving money in the 2008 presidential race click here. Choose your candidate, then click on “Top Contributors.” You can also check on state and local politicians. Look up some of those companies, they are owned by some of the people I talked about above. Also, you will notice that the top contributors (just for instance, Goldman Sachs is top contributor for both Clinton & Romney) for both parties have a lot of the same companies listed. Now, why would that be?

PS, I just saw this-

The Huckabee X-Mas card. Pretty rad elbow patches, no?