War of the Worlds original broadcast turns 70 tonight.

30 10 2008

  Oh general public, how much more discerning and critical though hast become.

Article with link to original broadcast.

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Initial rumblings in, $20 billion in bonus pay.

29 10 2008

  Update, AIG burns through $123 billion in a month, with no idea where it went.  Read.

 

  This article is the first of what I am sure will be many more stories of corporate bailout bonuses paid for by us, the taxpaying US citizens who, on average, make less money in a lifetime than one ‘set aside’ amount.  Since this is one of the 1st reports, the 1st I have seen, I’m sure the subsequent figures will only get bigger.  I guess $20 billion isn’t so bad, we have pledged $800 billion (more but who’s counting?).  It’s kind of like losing a penny in your drawer of hundreds.  And I’m the Jew (self-description, not hate mongering) looking for the damn thing and bitching at you for losing it. 

  I guess we should actually be grateful that the current administration is so down for the upward redistribution of wealth instead of that evil kind Obama is talking about which would shamefully, evilishly and communisticallyish redistribute wealth from the top down.  Ludacris. 

  We should actually be beating and jailing the poor for getting us into this mess in the first place, not just taking their money and rewarding the hard working captains of commerce that heroically fought for America’s best interests, that shackled themselves to an ethical, moral foundation in a truly Kierkegaardian fashion, despite the temptation being thrown at them by the poor.  You damn poor people, take it wretched scalawags, ye loose strumpets and jackanapes.  See the ruin you have wrought on the rich and be loathed.

  Here is one of my favourite lines from the article:

     “Critical producers and critical managers will be retained with the same bonus they had last year,” said Robert Sloan, head of U.S. financial-services recruiting at Egon Zehnder International, a New York-based executive-search firm. “The others will see sharp cuts.”

  I sure hope it’s the workaday jerks, the Joe Sixpacks and soccer moms that got us into this mess that they mean but, ‘the others.’  Let’s see some hourly wages get reduced, that would serve them right,  damn evil doers.  Cause without these bonuses, that are going to the the ‘critical’ producers and managers, who, due to their salaries, make up the 10% of America’s top earners.  These bonuses could potentially save 100% of the home foreclosures on multimilliondollar houses.  What a shame it would be to lose all that African and Brazilian hardwood flooring and minimalist furnishing.





What’s zee problem?

28 10 2008

  Item the Eighth under My 10 Items, is about the z-axis and how third dimensional capabilities in visual interaction with teh internets could potentially revolutionize not just the way we see data and the way data interactions are structured but would necessitate such things as new mouse design and different keyboards.  While the applications for gaming and movies are obvious and visceral, the z-axis also holds great potential for digital collections. 

  The 3rd dimension, the z-axis, has been around in visual representations for a long time.  Its application has been limited.  Mostly by cost and technology but, as terabytes and ever faster processing speed have become almost passé, the application of the 3rd dimension to visual data interactions becomes more feasible and likely. 

  The z-axial application could be a revolutionary application or tool for the visual data interaction we all have with digital collections.  The z-axis, fore and aft, could be a citation stream.  As one moves forward one would go through the articles cited by the original article and aft would be articles that have cited the original article.  This is just my initial thought on the z-axis.  I am positive some industrial types could think of better ways to use the z-axis but, this seems handy to me so I include it here.  This could also be used for links, with fore and aft, one could go to pages that link to the original page and the other way round.

  For websites this could be used for similarity chases.  Say one is on Amazon looking to purchase a new CD or mp3 download, fore could be a search through other retail sites that list your item as well, aft could be scrolling through Stereogum, Pitchfork, Allmusic, etc., for reviews and cross listings in the vein of “if you like this, you may also like” style.  Again, I’m sure there are better applications but, I include this here only for an example of how it could be used.  There could even be a “hard fore” and a “hard aft, ” excuse the implicit puns.  Soft movement could be through the current site, hard could be the situation I just described.  This could be made true of current “<-” and “->” buttons.  A soft “<-/->” click would move you through the original page’s page history while a hard “<-/->” could redesignate an original page or move you through the browser history of one of the other fore/aft pages history.  So, if one starts on Amazon, moves forward to Stereogum and then clicks a few links there, the soft “<-/->” would move you through Amazon level’s browser history.  A hard “<-/->” would move you through your current level’s browser history.  I hope this is convoluted enough.

  This is very new and is just starting to be discussed and mulled over.  I see the z-axis as inevitable.  It will become part of the way we interact with data, maybe not until we are all old and enfeebled but, it will happen.  Thinking about its uses and applications is fun as it makes me wish that this system was already in place.





I Believe The Children Mirror Our Future.

17 10 2008

  Obama wins in Scholastic’s election poll, read the article here.  Some of the awesomeness of this article includes; this poll has mirrored the real election results all but twice since 1940.  The kids voted for Dewey over Truman in ’48 and Nixon over JFK in ’60.  Also, there is this, the kids voted for Gee-Dub in 2000.  So depending on how you viewed that election, the kids’ votes didn’t predict the actual vote or, you are batshit insane.  The popular vote that year elected Gore, the Supreme Court appointed Gee-Dub.  So, I’d say the kids were right all but thrice since 1940, still a very good record. 

  One could read this Scholastic history in a number of interesting ways.  One of those being, democracy is doomed to failure.  If the foundation/cornerstone of a good democracy is an informed public, then the fact that a children’s vote has mirrored the actual vote all but thrice since 1940 means that Joe Sixpack and soccer/hockey mom are as informed, have the same capacity for reason, the same guile and insight as children.  Or perhaps something else could explain the very close relationship.  Perhaps both populations are getting their information from the same places, rather place, rather the exact same place- the TV.  If both populations saw the same commercials and saw the same news clips, and that was the extent of their information outlets, that would help toward an explanation of why these two votes mirror each other so closely. 

  I have for a long time believed, and have read many convincing arguments (No LogoManufacturing Consent, The Corporation, etc.),  that the media panders to the lowest common denominator.  That would be a 5th – 7th grade level, which is the average intelligence level of the American population.  That children don’t want to be challenged by their information sources is understandable, that adults who choose to vote also don’t, is not.  That an adult who chooses to vote, can stop at the TV’s level of information and be satisfied and contented with the information they have, enough so that they feel they can make an informed decision and vote, is not ok.  With that in mind, it just seems unlikely that if adults got their information from sources other than TV, the outcomes of both populations would be so closely related. 

    Go ahead, think that this means that kids vote how their parents do, that the biggest influence on a kids vote is how their parents vote.  I don’t buy it.  This vote encompasses children from k-12, more than enough of a population of people who would rebel against their parents.  It would also not explain Dewey or Nixon.  No I think the reason is where the populations are getting their information from.





Community Centered International Librarianship

17 10 2008

    My interest in international librarianship is simply and best put like this, in my experience working with the underprivileged, many are the children of recent immigrants.  It is my intent to work toward an equality of opportunity.  Since many who are among the population that does not share in the opportunities of majority culture are recent immigrants or the children of recent immigrants, a knowledge in international librarianship would help me prepare them, help me to give them the equality of opportunity the nonimmigrants in the same programs receive.  I guess my interest in international librarianship can be related to the localism bumper sticker that reads, “think globally, shop locally.”  My interest in international librarianship is to the extent that one who engages that knowledge can say, “I am interested in international librarianship to the extent that it can be used to improve the situations of those around me.”

  I guess I’d really like to go to a library and appeal to a librarian who specializes in the international stripe of librarianship.  Better yet go to an international type library and ask any of the workers.  If I was able to go to any of these places, I could also take the people I mentioned above with me and they could learn how to engage this type of librarian, collection or library. 

  I think I have found enough written by scholars in the field that supports my thoughts to feel that this is an acceptable way to think about and engage the ideas of international librarianship.  See the lecture by Peter Lor, What’s So International About International Librarianship?  and the book, International Librarianship: A Basic Guide to Global Knowledge Access, by Robert Stueart.  In the book, one of the points or areas Stueart lists as as important to the field and in need of work is,  “Identifying international philanthropic agencies, which can facilitate development of international information services.”  I think that could very easily mean an exchange in information between people like I desribe, people working with immigrant populations trying to get them the equal access of the nonimmigrnats in the same programs.  This could be a simple exchange of what works but could be much more developed and greatly expanded upon.

  Since I have not spent a lot of time in this specialized area, international librarianship, any and all comments, recommendations, etc are needed and welcomed. 





Annonymity and/VS Equality

9 10 2008

In a weird way, I feel forelorn about what I am going to write about.  But, this is an area that, for me, has some depth and potential for offshoot arguments and opining.

In the world of digital collections, where one can choose one’s level of anonymity, *equality* is almost apriori.  It doesn’t matter who creates a collection.  What matters is the collection’s relevance, usability, accessibility, etc.  That is to say, regardless of ethnic make up, sexual orientation, sex, etc., the person, or persons, who create a digital collection is/are irrelevant.  The collection is judged based on its own makeup, independent of the creator’s(s’).  That is equality, in a sense.  That is also, essentially, not equality.

One can argue the things that lead to one’s ability to create a digital collection, educational attainment, access to said education, socioeconomic background, etc., but the collection’s makeup still exists independently of the creator’s(s’) makeup.

The thing that forelorns me is that this might not be true, or as true, if people knew, or could see, the maker(s) of a digital collection.  It forelorns me that to have *equality* it may be necessary that the users be kept ignorant of the maker(s).

That said, digital collections allow women (womyn) to make the same as men, dollar for dollar, for doing the same thing.  That is something we are still trying to rectify in the world where people know with whom they are engaging.  Would this be true if the user knew that the maker was female?

A quick example, law school students will pay the same for access to LexisNexis whether the creator was a minority or a part of majority culture.  But, if the face of digital collection A was Thandie Newton and the face of digital collection B was this guy, I think more folks would access A or pay more for A.  But even this does not answer the question.  These ‘faces’ are not necessarily the maker(s) of the digital collection.  They could just reflect poor marketing choices.  But since it essentially takes one person and a computer to create a digital collection, one may  not come up against unfair hiring practices or getting skipped over for a promotion.  One may also avoid stereotypes, since it is possible that no one knows who the maker(s) are.

While one may say that people do not know who owns Popeye’s or Target, that is not the same argument.  One still has to interact with people, most of Target’s sales are still done the old fashioned way, in person- at a store, one still has an experience of the people at the store.  This is not the case with a digital collection.

If the above seems simple and unexplored by a critical faculty wielding author, it kind of is.  As this idea came to me while writing a post about organizational culture in another class and I just wrote this out as I thought it.  I definitely need to give this topic more reflection, and I will.  For now though, here is my post.





Unimpressive Things About Me

9 10 2008

Guy, the author of the “Intertubes” blog that is listed in my blogroll, has j’accuse’d me.  I am to write 6 unimpressive things about myself.  I see you sire and I call:

1) Like John Cusack’s girlfriend in High Fidelity, I rub my feet together while going to sleep.

2) I like Steve Madden & Kenneth Cole shoes.

3) I believe long sleeved t-shirts to be the perfect garment for covering your torso.

4) I own more Nine Inch Nails cd’s than anyone who is not gothic ought to.

5) I can make scrambled eggs.

6) I can drive a stick shift & a standard automobile.

I hope these things are unimpressive.  I am surely duely impressed by this list’s lack of impressive qualities.