Odyssey Online

Entries from May 2010

Friday Blogging, Henry David Thoreau

May 28th, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, Henry David Thoreau

…partly because my seventeen year old son is writing a fifteen page paper on Thoreau’s legacy, and partly because I’ve been a lifelong reader of Henry David Thoreau, I thought we’d do a little Thoreau blogging.  I’ve just finished Robert Sullivan’s book The Thoreau You Don’t Know: What the Prophet of Environmentalism Really Meant, and it’s excellent: witty, insightful, a marvelous personal reflection on Thoreau.  With that in mind, and with summer reading season officially open, below is a list of editions of Walden and other writings, along with newer titles about Thoreau:

Great way to start the summer. ODY is closed over the Memorial Day weekend, but open again on June First.  Because of various teaching and bibliographic commitments Odyssey Online is going to be dormant until June Seventh, but then we’ve got some great summer blogging planned. Until then…

Tags: Recommended Book

Friday Blogging, the Future of Libraries

May 21st, 2010 · Comments Off on Friday Blogging, the Future of Libraries

Walt Crawford is a long time and very interesting commentator on librarianship, and for years has been publishing his own newsletter, Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large.  In the most recent issue, he has a piece called “There is No Future” (it starts on page 3) where he cites to comments on a thread about the future of libraries that recently tied a bunch of library oriented blogs together.  What Crawford does that’s so good is contextualize this particular discussion by describing how many of the opinions blogged fall into patterns common in the literature of librarianship. He’s good at separating the wheat from the chaff…so if you are interested in reading an involved (it’s a bit long) librarian to librarian dialogue on what the future seems to hold for libraries as institutions, and a dialogue that includes both the thoughtful and reactive, give Walt a read…

Tags: Blogging · Books · Essay on Bibliography · Essay on Technology

Facebook Users Using Privately

May 18th, 2010 · Comments Off on Facebook Users Using Privately

…or at least showing some considerable awareness that Facebook activity has privacy implications.  Two interesting pieces in the New York Times by Sarah Maslin Nir and Laura Holson chronicle young Facebook enthusiasts making very deliberate decisions about what they put online.  It all rings as good news these kids thinking about their futures through privacy savvy.

However, in thinking about the sum total of networked information technology that the whole concept of privacy is going through a significant change, a change with cultural breadth, and a change that ends up with privacy-lite as the norm, particularly if you accept that privacy is the ability to control who has access to personal information.  To a certain extent the articles linked here demonstrate individuals doing just that…exerting control…but to do so they have to game the system. The system isn’t set up for them to control personal information.  Perhaps the ability to control personal information was never one held in both hands, but a memory can’t be hacked…that has to mean something…

…neither of course, can an abacus…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Facebooked

Updates on the Internet

May 12th, 2010 · Comments Off on Updates on the Internet

…getting going again, a few things on the “state of the Net.” This from Atlanticwire.com on the steady erosion of Internet Explorer’s market share. While still the biggest player, it continues to cede screens to Firefox and Chrome (to name two). While we’re at it here’s an interesting piece on the next iteration of Firefox, and something, maybe, on Chrome’s continued evolution into an operating system.

Tags: Information Studies · The Academic Internet

Study Break Reading

May 3rd, 2010 · Comments Off on Study Break Reading

…what better to fill up a finals week study break, then to read a short story.  With that in mind, here is a list of anthologies of short stories, and a couple of titles about short stories mixed in.  Good reading between cramming for calc or psych…

Enjoy. With finals here Odyssey Online is going to take a short break, but catch up with you next week with plenty o’ blogging…

Tags: Recommended Book