Archive for the ‘ opinion ’ Category

What is everyone so afraid of?

That nothing can be done, when all that is needed is a little motivation. Listening to this debate Vandana Shiva really lays it out well. This quote says it all for me from the last section “A Debate on Geoengineering: Vandana Shiva vs. Gwynne Dyer”

“And the final issue is, that these shortcuts that are attempted from places of power, and I would add places of ignorance, of the ecological web of life, are then creating the war solution because geo-engineering becomes war on a planetary scale with ignorance and blind spots, instead of taking the real path, which is helping communities adapt and become resilient.” Vandana Shiva


The Real Story of Stuff

I hope that we can really make ourselves understand where we are and what we need to do. I am hoping to help further spread widely the knowledge found everywhere, starting here.

My heart Katherine’s opinion beautifully written…

Wow and I thought that one of the few areas of nutrition that always did make sense (as in being sound nutrition) was breast-feeding. And while she still states, “Breast is Still the Best” its hard to imagine if breast milk is increasingly becoming toxic to our own infants, then what is nutritious anymore? Without a fundamental change in our societal system all areas of nutrition are just a fallacy no matter which way society spins it. So at this point, I am only about half way through and I am asking myself, so how can real change occur. How does change within our gov take place if they are constantly kissing ass with the powerful and corrupt banks and corporations. Where does actual change need to occur? Where does it all begin again? At what level of power does someone need to have to say “We need to take a step back and re-evaluate what is happening all across the world? What measure is it going to take for people, not only to agree, but to really understand what that statement means?”

I feel a little better about the ending where she leaves the impression that its about people as a mass collection choosing to take action in one of those 5 areas to create change within, but I don’t know about the last statement where she says, “the gov is changing its efforts to look out for the people.” I still think that the governments are mostly still working in conjunction with the corporations and each others’ gov around the world.

Is Network Neutrality (NN) possible?

I don’t know.

There is a whole host of issues on both sides. Rather than going through a number of them, a good place to learn about the debate is @ Moyers on America: The Net at Risk.

But, I have recently read and have been mulling over and article by Kurt Dobbins “Hunting Unicorns: Myths and Realities of the Net Neutrality Debate” where he raises an solid point that

“The Network Neutrality public and private debate has been filled with more emotion than rational discussion, and in its wake a number of myths have become accepted as reality. Unfortunately, public policy, consumer broadband services, and service provider business survival hang in the balance.”

I think it is important to consider what the public and private sector each mean when they talk about Net Neutrality, or in what form would they like the internet to manifest their interests. Dobbins talks about 4 different myths while giving and interesting perspective approach each one.

Myth 1: The Internet can be “neutral” towards all types of applications

Myth 2: Network management is unfair

Myth 3: Network management violates privacy

Myth 4: DPI is just a P2P “Throttling” Technology

Information dissemination or knowledge management?

Information dissemination or knowledge management?

An insightful article by John Sutherland has made me reconsider what digital libraries/archives responsibilities are insofar as allowing users to be able to inform themselves with total freedom. The problem seems to be that when new technologies are implemented there is a lack in the management of the information and sound policy decisions on how to control the technology preventing abuse of power.

John Sutherland raises this issue that with the Google Library Project (GLP), Google may be able to take upon themselves to actively control the indexing of the millions of works they have digitized. He states,

As the president of the American Society for Indexing, Fred Leise, explained, the GLP indexes operate by means of what is called a “control vocabulary” assigned to every single text. Obviously, a brute-force word search through 5m vols looking for, say, “England” will come up with haystacks not needles. But who controls that control vocabulary, and the gateway to information? Google. And they who control it, control knowledge. Ask yourself, what would the Chinese government do with this tool?

Is this the role that indexing plays in digital databases of information? It does lighten the load of returned relevant material of general searches, but does this resource limit our ability to aquire the infomration we desire?

According to the first rule in the Library Bill of Rights, “Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves.” I think it is necessary to consider if we are giving up or trading some basic freedom of access to the information we have. Or, is it implied that with the huge increase in the amount of information available and the need for the tools to efficiently search and find needles in mountains of data, we also require stricter controls over how it is all managed?

Maybe Google is trying to make us stupid…

Losing Control

Recently I have been seeing a lot of news blurbs about the changing nature of the internet.

I read things that talk about growing global internet governance where ICANN Takes First Step to Becoming a Global Content Regulator . This international body will have the power to decide which newly created global Top Level Domains (gTLDs) – domain names being represented as .edu, .gov, .org, etc. – will be appropriate for use. The domain names themselves are subject to scrutinization as stated:

must not be contrary to generally accepted legal norms relating to morality and public order that are recognized under international principles of law

Or coming accross reports that companies we trust to keep our personal data private and secure turning over to the next company like Google being Told to Turn Over User Data of YouTube, relinquishing millions of subscribers viewing records…which I didn’t know they kept records of that in the first place.

Or finding out that social networking site Facebook is able to track the buying habits of its users on affiliated third-party sites even when they are logged out of their account (via /.)

There is also debate on whether the Internet is Bad For Science. In the class I just completed -Libraries, Information and Society – this was a major issue. Some professionals believe that having academic journals available via open source publishing or articles availbe through databases online would decrease their credibility or their chance at having their work peer reviewed…if their idea isn’t stolen first. Having so much information at your fingertips as a researcher can as easily hinder or help your work.

Beyond this quick snap at recent dialogue, how else has the way we share, find, create information been affected? There seems to be a certain push in requiring some kind of control either through policy, access restriction, or filtering content. This may not be good for the democratic nature of the Internet.

I would rather see more tools being developed and implemented that would allow and empower the users in how they choose the use the resources available through the Internet. As we have the freedom to hold our own perceptions of the world, we should also be able to shape our own individual experience through our intellectualy shared resource.

Can’t find the words

After spending the last 10 days learning about libraries, information and society I feel like I have received a good crash course in the way the profession of library and information science works. I’m not really sure how to evaluate the profession as a whole. I think I am more excited about the possibilities its presents me to have a very important role in the future. 

There seems to be a shortage of people actually willing to manage problems, but a rush of people who have quick solutions or traditionalists who can’t see anything worth changing. There is always common ground and that is our understanding. Each perspective of the problem and solution contains value and needs to be allowed a voice. I would have to say my professor Leigh Estabrook was the perfect instructor for the course. The way she laid out the problem gave me a clear understanding of what I want to do. 

It is increasingly difficult, and at times to my pleasure, how to consider our civilization. We are changing, becoming more dynamic and creative every moment. Yet we are sometimes still ruled by our apprehension to trust our power. There needs to be and over-arching respect for the human spirit, and contempt against any idea of our place in the universe as being undeserved or worthless. We are just as important as everything else. We cannot separate ourselves from Nature, but Nature doesn’t rule us either. We are part of the world as it is and must respect it as I hope we will eventually respect ourselves.

The Word

Nothing has made itself more of a staple of our humanness than the written word. It simultaneously holds our whole of understanding, creativity, and experience.

And yet compared to the ideas and forms our words try and represent they are empty shells, almost meaningless…almost.

But, this almost is what seems to matter to us most. We are ‘happy’ with the almost; it’ll do for now. I can at times see and realize the sources of these traces, these silhouettes, these shadows of being. But, immediately they mean nothing. As quickly as I grasp reality, I misplace it. I do wish it would find me, but then that would be so frightening I’m not sure how I would handle it, poorly I bet.

There are a lucky few who have been found by reality and were able to recognize it right away. Even fewer if any have held onto reality. So revel in your suffering and inability to deal with the way things are.

Cause if you understood, you wouldn’t be here. By coming here you have punished yourself because you wanted to feel something. Whether this be a noble or ignoble virtue can never be agreed upon, and it should not be.