Saturday, September 02, 2006

2 ultraculture

quick fyi,
seems tomorrow (Sunday, the 3rd of September) is the second ultraculture massive.
d.i.y. ritual, if you Will.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

13 info viz: scientometrics from drexel

Someone's jazzing up the viz of bibliometrics...
Via info aesthetics:


CiteSpace: Visualizing Patterns and Trends in Scientific Literature /
Chaomei Chen

hi again myspace

The community college I work for has just unmade a decision to block from all campus computers.

This debacle was brief and ridiculous -- the computing administrators for our college unilaterally acted to block it -- and the librarians (among others) got all high-hackled and started growling. In side of, what, 3 days? they've backed off.

Well, we smell weakness now. They won't be able to censor so easily next time around. A very bad strategic move on their part, this was. If nothing else comes of it, they've lost their position of strength with this play, and that could hurt all of us one day.


Listening: Hobosapiens by Cale

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

free texts

From (my other blog) libSOS:


free text books

From Library Journal:

Freeload Press believes it has discovered a way to knock skyrocketing textbook prices down to nothing—literally! The rub is that the free downloads of thousands of books will include ads. The fledgling St. Paul, MN-based publisher (it launched in 2004) reasons that print products like magazines and newspapers traditionally have been able to keep their prices low, and in many cases free, thanks to ad sales. The AP reports that in exchange for filling out a quick survey, students will be able to freely download PDF files of eventually as many as 250,000 textbooks and study aids by 2007. To date, 25,000 students have registered and downloaded 50,000 titles.

So. Go get your 'free' texts.

9 teaching: briefly, on quality control

Back in June, Iris wrote about her experiences reading sophomore writing portfolios. She says:

So far, after reading only a couple of portfolios, I've learned that:
  • underclassmen don't understand citation, but that they can do it if guided
  • they are happy to use outside sources, but the sources control the writer rather than the other way around
  • that they think of "fact" and "interpretation" as much more distinct categories than they really are...

I'm concerned about that second one, most. I've seen that happen to me. Once you recognize it, you can control the tendency. Teaching students how not to be so controlled is hard -- there's so much available information, that [it seems] almost as easy as stopping wherever you happen to land with a search, looking around, and grabbing what you need from that pile and forcing it to work for you.

Note to self: remember to stress this with your classes -- you control the search, not the other way around. You control the info you use; don't let the info you happen to find use you to spread without good reason.

topic flowers

Thanks to Information Aesthetics and Neoformix, it looks like we've had an "art and recreation" heavy month here at ISHUSH:


Weather: wild fermentation + heat again
Watching: no more Deadwood, for awhile. There's Shakespeare, and there's Milch. But I don't pay for no HBO.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

buckyballs to buckypaper to buckybooks

Doc Nokes points out in the comments that he confused 'buckypaper' with 'smartpaper'... I neglected to read this correction at his blog.

Dr Nokes (at Unlocked Wordhoard) rocks the mike and spreads the meme for the future of paper and the future of the book:


Buckypaper and the End of Print Literature

Scribal Terror has a link to this article in Science Daily about buckypaper. I first heard about buckypaper a few years ago, but in a much different (and more significant) context.

Though it is not mentioned in the article, one of the potential uses for buckypaper that I heard discussed in those days was to make buckybooks (sorry, I have no link -- I heard this long ago). The idea, as I remember it, was to have paper made entirely of buckyballs that were dark on one side and light on the other. The "off" setting for the balls would be for the light side to be facing out. When current was run through the buckyballs, they would flip over so that the dark side was showing. By selectively turning some on and turning some off, you could create writing on the page (much as a marquee sign does by turning lights on and off).

The article talks about a lot of less important uses, like body armor, shielding airplanes from lightning strikes, etc. While all those things are nice, none of them will change the world. Buckypaper has the potential to change the world as significantly as Gutenberg's printing press...


blogging about this blog

In case you['re] new to ISHUSH... This blog isn't a work blog, and it isn't a personal blog -- but sometimes I talk about stuff related to work, and sometimes I talk about all kinds of other, more personal stuff. Mainly I talk about subjects that are somehow related to info-science in some kind of way. And I say "talk" because it feels more like talking than writing, most of the time. I think I "talk" to myself and to some of you loyal readers, to flesh-out notions and shore-up plans. These plans get implemented at work, at home, and elsewhere, times.

On the work front, things have been tough lately. I've spent the last two weeks in a perpetual bout of gland-handing with people in 'positions'. I've spent way, way too much time in meetings that concern me little or not at all, and way, way too much time listening to titled folks brag about their pet projects. It was driving me batty. I just wanted to get back to work in the library. The political side of things drives me crazy -- I find it so inane and insane, the meta-positioning the organization does to sustain itself as an organization, and the ego-tripping the positioned folks have to do to keep their positions within it. And so on.

On the home front, it's been tough too. Been a hard year. Been a hard three years. But we're getting our health put back together right, and things are blue skies again. And we've got a rascal of a new cat -- looks like a hunger-mad tarsier, and climbs legs and backs with its claws with great glee.

And the weather just broke. We hope.

So. Here's a new semester. I anticipate writing more here now that things are settling down a bit.

Monday, August 28, 2006

bye myspace

The community college I work for has just made a decision to block from all campus computers.