28 February, 2007

it's all about placement

Sometimes, where a paper decides to run an image can be confusing. I thought this man sodomised nations but now it seems like...

23 February, 2007

All talk, no protest

For all my talk on this blog about the American gulags in Gitmo, I managed to meet the 'merkin ambassador this week and I failed to raise the issue. My 'I (heart) David Hicks' T-Shirt just didn't arrive in time.
Oh, OK I didn't even order one. But I did meet the ambassador.
He dropped in to the public library to say g'day to me. Umm, look I know I am given to storytelling, but it is true damn it. You see in December the embassy donated some books to us via the Joint Defence Facility at Pine Gap and it turns out that Mrs ambassador was on the library board of Atlanta ore somewhere like that, so she's a public library groupie (we get lots of them).
So, I said g'day thanks for the books and then sat back and watched our puzzled patrons try and work out who this bloke was and why the library had so many large men with headphones wandering around.

I did however manage to talk gitmo with the head of the Pine Gap base who had also dropped in at the same time, well I say discussed, I mean made jokes about but that's my style. I'm not sure that he quite knew what to say in reply, but I had fun anyway.

Conferencing again

I've just had another conference paper accepted, yeah w00t and spl0rk!

This time it is for the Australian School Librarians Association, XX Biennial Conference. Learning, Literature and Literacies, 2nd to 5th October 2007 Adelaide Convention Centre. so, loyal readers, here is your preview...

Their Ghosts Stalk the Shelves:
the information seeking behaviours of the millennial generation

Millennials, Generation Y, the Myspace Generation, MyPod Generation, Generation Next, Nintendo Generation, the Cynical Generation. Call them what you will, the students coming through our schools at the moment are in many ways more prepared for what the education system will throw at them, than any generation before them. They are full of confidence in their own ability and so sure of their own information finding abilities that most fail to see any need (beyond some recreational reading) for their school and public libraries. This high level of information literacy should have advantages both for them and their librarians but many of them are failing to engage with libraries and are failing to see the relevance of outmoded concepts, like authority, in their information sources.

So how do we show a cynical generation that we have something to offer?

This paper will examine ways in which librarians can be integrated into student’s learning. It will look at methods librarians can use to draw the students in. It has been suggested that millennials find referrals from their contacts to be more valid than information gathered from more traditional sources. These students don’t know of a time before the internet, so they are not pen and paper thinkers, they are not lineal thinkers, they think in a web. But not the old web, these are the people who think web 2.0. So, this paper will consider questions like; does your library have a myspace page? Have you considered adding all of your students to your friends list? Do you edit wikipedia articles and if you do, how do you make your students aware just how hip and trendy you are. And more to the point, will editing wikipedia no longer be cool by the time I present this paper. Will everyone under the age of 30 leave myspace en masse once it is overrun by librarians and how can you possibly stay one step ahead of all these trends?

06 February, 2007

just like working in a public library

This offering from penny arcade is just so much like the life you have offering people advice on what to read.
Ah, the public. They're so stupid.

Oh, and for the record, if you don't read Penny Arcade then you are a total n00b.

02 February, 2007

Cover of New Harry Potter Novel

One of the fantastic things about working in a library is the access to information well before most of the world knows about it.
Oh the power!
So here it is,
the art for Harry Potter Book Seven.
Remember you saw it here first.

Scott Adams Is A Brilliant Philosopher: who wants nothing more than to make the world a better place

PZ Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Unfortunately he is also a self-important, humorless, autofellating, ass hat, or at least that is one theory which Scott Adams has put forward.
Having been a reader of Dilbert books for some time, and a reader of Scott Adams own blog for the last little while I am inclined to accept Adams word on this. But then, I also like to think I have the power to make up my own mind (Adams would assert that free will is an illusion, and perhaps that this means I'm not really making up my own mind). Still I visited Myers' blog pharyngula and had a look at his post on Adams' writing. In it Myers admits that he is humourless, although, like many humourless people he then criticises the humour of Adams. Fool, he can't understand that as someone humourless he is in no position to judge humour in others. Imagine if you will, I am a chef (I am not hence the imagination bit) you have come to my restaurant despite having no sense of taste. Am I then going to accept your complaint that the soup is flavourless? Myers doesn't admit to being an autofellating, ass hat, and I can't comment on that from reading a couple of blog posts, but he certainly comes across as self important.

Still, enough deriding of the man who criticised my guru. Onto the meat of the point, why should you accept Adams is a brilliant philosopher, seeking to make the world a better place.
Firstly I would point you to his classic works on the stupidity of western corporate culture, The Dilbert Principle and The Dogbert Top Secret Management Handbook either of which you should find at any half decent bookshop or public library. These works, while satirical are in fact profound reflections on the nature of the world in which many of us are forced to exist. Adams finds ways to illustrate and express what many of us have felt but been unable to articulate.

He goes further on his blog (and in his book God's Debris) with his discussions of theology (of a type), cosmology and free will. For example on a recent post he discusses free will. "My understanding of the human mind is that our reasons are just rationalizations for our urges."
He also expresses why he keeps posting on these topics despite the many cries for him to 'stick to humour'. Or perhaps, how he rationalises his decision to keep posting.
"The part I like the most is the comments. I like the smart comments because they make me think. I like the dumb ones because they fascinate me and make me feel smart at the same time. I like the funny comments because they make me laugh. And the whole process makes me feel connected to something larger than myself."

So despite being a Christian and a believer in free will, my Guru is an atheist who believes we are all 'moist robots'. After all, if you can't laugh at yourself then you're obviously a self-important, humorless, autofellating, ass hat.