critical reading for the rude

Vinay’s still at it (and thank goodness, too)!


July 31, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol, green, making | 3 Comments

suzuki says,10,165&pageid=551

An excellent companion piece for Claude Shannon on information theory, really.

July 30, 2007 Posted by | info sci | Leave a comment

hell’s kitchen

I started watching the teevee channels and I love it.

A guilty pleasure.


July 24, 2007 Posted by | personomy, video | Leave a comment


It is hard to communicate nuance when we all hunger for brash, wide-armed gesticulations, clear, simple, sweeping visions… but nuance is necessary, and attention to detail absolutely paramount… when dealing with evil sonsofbitches with WMDs…

I’ve been kinda low on Hillary, but this is a point in her favor. It shows a careful and paced understanding of political process that few of her opponents (dems or republicans) seem to have…

The Obama campaign today sent out a memo, claiming Clinton “reversed herself last night, disagreeing with Senator Obama’s assertion that we should use every tool at the president’s disposal to address problems before they become threats.”

They include as evidence an April quote from Clinton in which she said, “I think it is a terrible mistake for our president to say he will not talk with bad people.”

When asked about this, Albright responded, “She made very clear it was essential to do the pre-diplomatic actions” by sending lower-level envoys first. “She didn’t say there would be no engagement. For me, and I’ve been involved in this, she showed a nuanced and sophisticated understanding of how this process works. She did not change her position.”

July 24, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol | Leave a comment

particulated debate

The democratic debate (cnn-youtube, 23 July 2007) is all smeared out, particulated, disparate, spread over multiple youtube user accounts, with no clear starting point, no clear index, and is violently temporally amix. I’ve had to watch it piecemeal. Haven’t found a watch-from portal at CNN or YouTube yet. Relying here on the kindness of uploads from political junkies… with varying results re: quality… and the net effect is that the big 3 or 4 get the most time (because they’re searched for more, linked to more, therefore ranked higher in results?).

I like this new 2.0, user-centered online media thing. I don’t like this post-postmodern scrambled-and-popularity-ranked outcome. I like like it when things are easy to find and contextual.  I don’t like watching 2 minutes here, 4 minutes there, all out of order.

Somebody give me a hint.

July 24, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol, video | 2 Comments

library sparring

An ongoing game of “finding out” would be a good exercise for librarian bloggers. Do more with the outboard memory than store info — maybe run a few hot cycles, pour some ether in the carburetor?

In that spirit, what’s this:


July 23, 2007 Posted by | blogs, info sci, occult, search | 2 Comments

gaming culture, libraries

Open ‘note to self’,

read if you want to.

just thinking out loud

abt instruction, libraries, and “digital natives” (ha!)


The kids who were born in 1990 (BORN in 1990!) are in our library… many “grew up” online… and watching teevee that referenced “online life”… You’ve Got Mail… that Sandra bullock movie abt ‘the net’, Hackers in 94? many better examples. Et.c. These are webby people. And they’re still learning and growing…. Developing (RIGHT NOW) more advanced critical thinking faculties, we hope…

they’re on that myspace and that e-mail, using them world wide webs, on that zwinky and facebook, and trading mp3s and mp4s, and e-mailing Craig Ferguson and e-mailing tha RZA fan mail. They’re frustrated when the web isn’t easy to use, and they don’t understand that there’s a wider Internet of which ‘tha web’ is just a subset.

for them, sadly, books are dusty dead-ends. We’ve got to show them how the web opens books. How our webby tools behoove them… get them the grades.


virtual environments even as CRUMMY as myspace are their turf.

Video or virtual games is how they learn to solve probs.

There must be ways to exploit their fascination with the virtual, to teach them information literacy skills, cyberliteracy skills, critical thinking, for their own benefit. There be many good ways, yah.

All learning is distance learning once they step out of the “2.5 hrs in desks” – profs using that time to push info to attentitve listners? Hopefully, hopefully, but real learning is independent learning. Real learning happens when you make the connection for yourself, you open the book for yrself, you seek that key bit of gov’ment statistics in the NIH database yrself.

It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.Robert Anton Wilson

Nothing of any importance can be taught. It can only be learned, and with blood and sweat. – ibid.

How do we enable self-teaching and classroom teaching for these webby learners?

Take a digital game world, throw it in a blender, add some information and research skills, sift out the word educational and maybe, just maybe, we have a new and effective way to teach our students bibliographic instruction.

Something to think on…

Related – Second Life, mmporgs, learning-by-doing, strategy and critical thinking…

Fictional economies, economies of attention, social positioning via problem solving…

Bibliographic instruction formatted for participation, execution of searches…

Beyond the ‘scavenger hunt’… points for playing = real stakes. REAL STAKES.

From virtual to “real”. Physical to informational and back again. AR v. VR.

how do we use these media

as object lessons

for instruction in using these media

for real-world outcomes… i wonder.

I do wonder that.

July 23, 2007 Posted by | info sci, libraries, search, teaching | 4 Comments

hotmap views


When you increase the information level, once you’re good and zoomed in, you see the number of searches per smaller cells in much greater detail.  There are many many many cells that get least-viewed status all over the U.S., and all over the world.  A finer toothed comb.

My read: There’s a bald little spot a mile to the north-east of Agadem, Niger, which represents the least-viewed most westerly spot in Africa (and excluding one such similar spot in rural Argentina, and the North American tundra, the most westerly least-viewed on land in the hemisphere):


In Europe, the most westerly least-viewed is a few square miles to the immediate east of Rastimyarvi, Russia:


Hotmaps : popularity of views in MS’s virtual earth software.  Might be fun to compare popularity of views in Google Earth to MS.  Anyways,

What does it show?

Hotmap shows where people have looked at when using Virtual Earth, the engine that powers Live Search Maps: the darker a point, the more times it has been downloaded. Each square represents one unit of imagery, called a “tile”. When the program starts, it shows tiles at zoom level 11, which has tiles at a resolution of 74 meters-per-pixel. At the closest in, Virtual Earth has tiles at zoom level 19, 0.3 meters-per-pixel. You can look at higher- or lower-resolution points with the “select data level” indicator at the top.

A sample of imagery and a relative sense of what was in a given spot is available at each scale by right-clicking on the map. The “locator map” shows imagery at the specific point clicked.

This data is based on a sample of tile logs on servers from January through July of 2006; it is not live. It combines server hits from road, aerial, and hybrid imagery in one view.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | geo/pol, info viz | Leave a comment

please librarians i hope you will not

let architects do all your thinking for you please (yeah).

[Joshuah Prince-Ramus on abt Seattle’s public library design]

Joshua Prince-Ramus is architect of the Seattle Public Library and principal of REX (Ramus-Ella Architects). Previously, he was U.S. Director of Rem Koolhaas’s Office of Metropolitan Architecture. Through a series of beautiful visualizations, he deconstructs the collaborative process of building the Seattle Public Library, and also offers a sneak preview of his works in progress (The Wyly Theater in Dallas, Texas and Museum Plaza in Louisville, Kentucky). (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 20:43) – More TEDTalks at

July 18, 2007 Posted by | info sci, info viz, libraries, video | Leave a comment

writing typing fonts

I reckon a book or a blog needs to carry on with that rhythm, page to page, post to post,  and carry it on with pictures and colors (whenever used) and sounds (both audio and in terms of the “sound” of the words used, the prosody) and maybe some other attributes I’m not thinking of.  Like tone and attitude.

Font becomes library.

July 18, 2007 Posted by | blogs, books, writing | 1 Comment