Odyssey Online

Entries from June 2012

Summer Reading Suggestions

June 28th, 2012 · Comments Off on Summer Reading Suggestions

…this summer we haven’t blogged the reading suggestions as we’ve done in summer’s past (see the link for Recommended Book to review what we’ve suggested), but in my blog wandering I can upon 101 Things to Read This Summer Instead of ’50 Shades of Grey.’ A flow chart of mood, life moment, type of book, theme of book, size of book, and need to read all marvelously interrelated.  Truly one of the great (I’m gushing I realize) graphical representations of choosing a book published on the Web.  Lots of good advice, too, so in lieu of home gardened recommendations, use 101 Things to Read…more on the libraries soon!

Tags: Books · Recommended Book

Write or Die App

June 20th, 2012 · Comments Off on Write or Die App

…we’ve got new databases and new search features all to be rolled out this summer, so the posts here at Odyssey Online are about to turn to library services, library services, and library services.  Before they do, the Write or Die App (here detailed by Jenny Diski in the London Review of Books blog).  These Apps through one means or another are designed to keep fingers moving on the keyboard, keep words going going going, and thus encourage writing.  Ms. Diski has a fairly pointed critique of said observes that what is lost is, “…about the space in between the writing, when nothing seems to be happening…Almost always, you do eventually start to write, and it seems that you’ve been considering after all.” That is, what is lost is the pondering, the introspection that comes in searching for words, in crafting in the noggin.  Is that the rub?  That what we can expect from networked information technology is business: are all the measures of the efficiency of networked information technology quantitative and thus driven by measures like characters and not metaphors?  To put this another way, within Diski’s argument is certainly the suggestion that having one’s feet up and staring out the window is the most efficient way to render nature to advantage dressed…

…or the argument in Sallie Tisdale’s still relevant piece in Harpers from 1997 on the value in libraries…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies

Internet as Leveler & the Internet for Readers

June 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Internet as Leveler & the Internet for Readers

…ahhhh,  mid summer blogging after a commencement filled lull…two articles to feature that touch on key underlying assumptions about networked information technology.  The first to note is by James Curran, and is titled Why Has the Internet Changed So Little.  His point is that while the technology has changed quite a bit, society hasn’t–that the idea of the Internet as a leveler in terms of social equity, access to information, access to power is more optimistic myth than biting reality.  Also in Atlantic Magazine Alexis Madrigal argues that the number of readers is growing, that the Internet as the grim reaper for reading is much overstated.  Madrigal acknowledges that the data he is looking at doesn’t account for the quality of the reading, but optimistically notes that the notion of the Internet ending reading may be a kind of inverse nostalgia.  Both are good pieces for a summer evenings pondering all things ‘net…

Tags: Essay on Technology · Information Studies

St. Lawrence University