Saturday, April 25, 2009

disaster pandemic aid notes

Bill Gates on mosquitos, Vinay Gupta on ending poverty with open hardware.



And now we have the Swine Flu in North America.

Disaster relief, open design solutions, local control, growing food from your own garden, solar water distillation and solar UV purification... all sounds a little more suburan in light of these worries:

C> Understand what pandemic flu is and is not. Do some reading, not just the news, but the “flubie” sites - there are a number. You’ll see opinions from “end of civilization” through to “keep calm and carry on.” Prediction is difficult, especially of the future, but understanding the range of options and contingencies is critical at this time. You are an individual and community actor in a situation which is as threatening to your life as a car crash or an aeroplan crash in many ways. The fact that the threat is large and distant does not change that it is real. Your brain is poorly evolved to act rationally around large, remote threats but you can compensate by reading, thinking and acting.

D> Go out, today, and buy four things. Surgical or N95 masks, hand sanitizer, a gallon of bleach, and a week’s worth of groceries. You need these things not just to protect you, but to protect the people around you if you get sick. The surgical mask stops you breathing in infectious particles, but it’s even more effective at stopping you infecting other people. Hand sanitizer should be used immediately on returning home or arriving at the office: if everybody does this is really helps protect these spaces. Bleach is a contingency measure in case of things like water supply problems or a need to disinfect an area. The groceries trip is practice for social distancing by reducing your number of trips out, and gives you a little buffer. Social distancing is about avoiding unnecessary contact with crowds and public places to reduce infection risks. If you are in an area at risk, make one trip, not five. Pretty soon everywhere may be at risk at least some of the time.

All of these measures have two effects. The first is that they protect you. The second is that by protecting you, they protect the people around you, and if enough of us do these things, we all protect each other.

Right now, London has no reported cases. If you are reading this in Mexico, however, you should implement immediately. And if cases show up in London, we are on a war footing immediately: everybody does these things to protect everybody else, period.

Friday, April 24, 2009

building library 3.0

Amazon's US page for my book is:


Got a book due out soon.  It's with the copy-editor now, an able chap named Peter Williams.

Here, I'll summarize the book.  Libraries gotta get with supporting niche groups & 'communities of interest' with 2.0 tools now so that when Semantic (web 3.0) applications start spilling out and wowing our public, we stand ready as trustworthy midwives to help them manage and evaluate more information than they've ever had to deal with before.  Hope my pubisher don't mind me doing that (sorry Dr. J for spilling the beans!), but that's what it's about.  Maybe you'll still see fit to buy a copy.

I interview such luminaries as Jessamyn West, Lori Bell, Bruce Sterling... other good stuff from other good folks too.  Todd Humble talks RFID.  Ramona Holmes talks Metadata.

It should be out by June, maybe even late May, but it's already peeping at:

It's the best statement I could have made about these issues at the time I was writing it, and I can't say it any better now than I could have some months ago.

Hope you'll find something valuable there.

This thing is a sort of love letter to libraries, but I think now it's also a kind of manifesto.
We've got A LOT OF work TO DO.  As usual.  It's the future again.  Look for it soon.

off the facebooks

Facebook was fun.  I'll miss it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

infosthetics messing me up

like I know he can.

now I'm thinking abt customizability (why not infinite?) and control.  And how control is pyschosis.  Why not infinite psychoses for an Augmented Reality or VR world?  Huh?

Do we have psycho sprouts jumping up now in the seedbeds of MySpace?


lib inst cms's

Thinking about instructional CMS... Libguides looks might smooth, very nice. Austin Community College seems to know how to use the tools.  But is the brand worth the money?

Now looking at Library a la Carte from Oregon State...

Seems to get the same job done.  Free & free, too.

But I'll keep reading and looking at yr CMS ventures, looking for gaps, failings, and wonderful things.  We're starting to wake up after 13 years now, and so we be late somewhat to the libguides action and other things.  I hold out hope that we may still woo our peeps even coming so late to the dancefloor like.

The Thing seems to be to me right now that I need to talk about the web with the web.  I need to talk about web tools (and even our dustybooks are found with a webtool) with web tools.  McLuhan and wot-wot: it's not just steam and bluster.  The medium, the medium.  If I keep talking websearch technique with paper and ink my audience will pick up, rightly, on the mental disconnect at work that keeps me from really groking the tool I demo.

It is time to get a little further out in the pond (all this is in ref to instruction, btw), and show folks how to swim, float, paddle, play, move, traverse, in the... uh... water.  While in the water.