readings: week one term one

And here begins my bloggy notes on things I’m reading for school. If you’re following along, trying to get the equivalent of an MLIS degree without going to school, this is the stuff to read.

Monopoly vs Myst and other things about technologyby Nardi and O’Day

It is not necessary to jump on the digital bandwagon. It is dangerous, disempowering, and self-limiting to stick our heads in the sand and pretend it will all go away if we don’t look. We believe that much more discussion and analysis of technology and all its attendant issues are needed.

On Information Ecologies by Nardi and O’Day:

Diversity is necessary for the health of the ecology itself, to permit the system to survive continual and perhaps chaotic change. Monoculture – a fake, brittle ecology – gives sensational results for a short time, then completely fails. Information ecologies should be teeming with different kinds of people and ideas and technologies. It is captivating to wander through a rain forest and stultifying to be stuck in a hundred acres of soybeans. A diverse information ecology is a lively, human, intensely social place, even if it incorporates very advanced technologies. It has many different resources and materials and allows for individual proclivities and interests.

There was also an interesting bit in there about how they advocate constructing good info ecologies instead of resisting harmful ones.

What else? The first chapter of Reference and Information Services in the 21st Century by Kay Ann Cassell and Uma Hiremath. That one had some ethical considerations for librarians which were not unreasonable, and some good stuff about Reader’s Advisory work.

For another course we had to read a big heavy philosophical piece on Information As Thing. Evidently this is very similar to what Plato says about art as well. The biggest weirdness I had with that article wasn’t Information as a thing, but information as a process. I don’t think of information being the same as education, but the article kind of took that as a given and then went into all sorts of details about how information is stuff. That went really well with module 2 from LIBR500

Speaking of LIBR500: Russell Ackoff, a major systems theorist, wrote that the content of the human mind can be classified into five categories:

1.Data: symbols 2.Information: data that are processed to be useful; provides answers to “who”, “what”, “where”, and “when” questions 3.Knowledge: application of data and information; answers “how” questions 4.Understanding: appreciation of “why” 5.Wisdom: evaluated understanding.

And then there’s another thing I read that argued with that categorical system, because the idea of people being involved in Wisdom Management seemed unbearably pretentious.

And at this point I think I’m at the point of being whelmed with information. Not underwhelmed anymore. I’ve got a whole ‘nother day off tomorrow to read more supplemental stuff if I feel like it. I missed school.

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