Friday, November 21, 2008

Thomas Nelson Publishing and the Blog Reviewer Program

I signed up for the Thomas Nelson Publishing Blogger Review deal. Initially I'm not impressed by their offerings.Check out the book here. This was the best one; seriously.Look for a review shortly once the book is received.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Study Finds Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

Study Finds Teenagers’ Internet Socializing Isn’t Such a Bad Thing

The second paragraph is immediately interesting as the ability to "create" a home page is part of the skill set for contemporary living. Regardless of problem solving or communication, you need to be able to pick out your fav pic and upload it to your profile. That's going to come in handy later in life. If these kids are creating html and flash pages from scratch then they should get serious kudos. Signing up for MySpace and Facebook does not count nor can you include that on a resume. Also towards the end of article the study manages to find that people look up information online and use it giving the example of using an image search to understand how to install a video card. High-five to the kid who figured that out; it does show some creativity. Did we really need a study to figure that out? I look up information on a very consistent basis as a librarian, where's my study? Librarians use information, study finds...
It is also interesting to note the redefintion of terms that occurs in this article. The idea of an intimate community is redefined by text messaging and instant messaging. Intimacy is redefined then as being accessible not on the level of communication that occurs between two or more people. Intimacy is no longer sharing or deepening relationship but intertwining superficialities based on a pirated and poor, acronymic language.
In his book Mythologies Barthes discusses signifiers of the bourgeious such as red wine. Barthes tracks how in France red wine has become a social equaliser and a thing, a myth, greater than what was simply a bottle of wine. It is the same with this study. This study cannot offer us any actual factual information about internet socializing. The use of Facebook or Myspace, and the culture and language of texting, has become a signifier of what teens do and has successfully assumed its place as asign, a mythology that now drives and informs the interactions of these individuals. This use of internet socialization has become necessary to interact with people of similar age.
All this study does is to notice and to help this  practice to become taken as given in our particular culture.

Al-Qaeda vows to hurt Obama's US

Al-Qaeda vows to hurt Obama's US

I really, really hate terrorists. I am curious what gives an motley, insurgent group the gall to call America a criminal and see themselves as righteous defenders of truth, at the very least when you consider their treatment of women.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

OCLC and the paradigm shift

This is much better than my understanding and explanation of OCLC's grab for information. Stefano Mazzochi takes on not only the present situation but some excellent thoughts and solutions for what the future will bring and require from us as librarians to rebuild OCLC in a better fashion. Read it here

(Found this info via a post by Librarian.net the blog of library consultant Jessamyn West; excellent blog, excellent writing.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maelstrom Over Metadata

Maelstrom Over Metadata

OCLC is definitely trying to pull a bit of a fast one with this metadata appropriation. The comments after the article give some additional information as well. OCLC's move is not unlike Wikipedia deciding to finally charge for people to access the records they originally helped to create, police and confirm. This move, at the very least, proves the value of information within our society. If nothing else the appropriation of what was/is public access information proves the monetarily and intrisic value of information to a corporation that takes precedent when they can make profit from it. If OCLC continues to go through with this, it will set a potentially mistrustful relationship with any other companies that gather information from public sources. Users/participants will require additional legalese to protect their investment of time and records challenging the perceived openess of the Web.

IRCAM: The Quiet House Of Sound

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Church Preaches The Music Of Beethoven

Church Preaches The Music Of Beethoven

"...the idea is to find spirituality through culture, through the cultural
gifts that so many people have suffered for and created over so many
generations..." There is some truth to this and value. Viewing these cultural gifts, such as Brahms' Requiem or Bach's cantatas outside of their, purportedly, sacred settings can diminish a complete apprerication for their work. The idea of this church does make a strong argument for absolute music, music that exists for itself and not to express or imply a "program" or underlying meaning. To some extent this is where churches, such as Tenth Pres in Phila have successfully used culture to point towards spirituality; music as a vehicle to point to the glory of God not as an end in itself.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lessons of a Summer Teaching Online

Lessons of a Summer Teaching Online

I wholeheartedly agree with the advice to not to offer group projects for online classes. It is brutal and fairly ridiculous to attempt to get people with full time jobs and family to schedule multiple times to work on these group projects. I despise group projects anyway; I prefer group discussion. That way the person(s) that didn't do the work get to enjoy the discussion instead of capitalizing on the rest of the group's work. 

This American Moment — The Surprises