Posts in: Research

How are you doing, Internet? I’m obviously Not Okay, with my mom having leukemia and all, but I’m trying to do things besides worry about her anyway. I’m doing pretty well at that.

Have we talked …

🔖 Read As We May Think by Vannevar Bush

This 1945 essay by Vannebar Bush is one of the first texts they had us read when I got my MS in Library Science.

Notes and highlights

A record if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted.

one needs not only to make and store a record but also be able to consult it,

every time one combines and records facts in accordance with established logical processes, the creative aspect of thinking is concerned only with the selection of the data and the process to be employed and the manipulation thereafter is repetitive in nature and hence a fit matter to be relegated to the machine

Whenever logical processes of thought are employed—that is, whenever thought for a time runs along an accepted groove—there is an opportunity for the machine.

There may be millions of fine thoughts, and the account of the experience on which they are based, all encased within stone walls of acceptable architectural form; but if the scholar can get at only one a week by diligent search, his syntheses are not likely to keep up with the current scene.

The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.

Bush points out that indexing systems and rules do not duplicate the human mind - we must convert our own mental associations to a form we can use to search them - but that the human mind works by association. I extrapolate from this the idea of hypertext as a model of how the mind works. I’m going to keep an eye out for other instances of this idea.

if the user inserted 5000 pages of material a day it would take him hundreds of years to fill the repository, so he can be profligate and enter material freely.

How many people use Evernote as a Memex?

When the user is building a trail, he names it, inserts the name in his code book, and taps it out on his keyboard. Before him are the two items to be joined, projected onto adjacent viewing positions. At the bottom of each there are a number of blank code spaces, and a pointer is set to indicate one of these on each item. The user taps a single key, and the items are permanently joined. In each code space appears the code word.

This is tagging.

There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record.

It me! This is kinda what people who operate as web librarians do. Web librarian isn’t my job title or description, but it’s just kind of who I am.

His excursions may be more enjoyable if he can reacquire the privilege of forgetting the manifold things he does not need to have immediately at hand, with some assurance that he can find them again if they prove important.

This is one of my difficulties. I put a lot of stuff in my blog-as-memex but don’t have a good way of surfacing them again. Theoretically I could do this with categories, but that gets overwhelming fast. This is why I’m thinking about using a blog and a wiki together for this purpose.

He may perish in conflict before he learns to wield that record for his true good.

I fear this is so.

This is the fourth post in a series contextualizing my position as a researcher of connected learning.

Here are all the posts published so far:

  1. [What Is Connected Learning? ]
  2. How Connected Learning …

This is the third post in a series contextualizing my position as a researcher of connected learning. Here are all the posts published so far:

  1. What Is Connected Learning?
  2. How Connected Learning …

This is the second post in a series contextualizing my position as a researcher of connected learning. Here are all the posts published so far:

  1. What Is Connected Learning?
  2. How Connected Learning …

I start working remotely for the Connected Learning Lab tomorrow and while a lot of people are excited for me, most of them don’t actually understand what I’m going to be doing. So I’m writing a blog …

Thanks to Jennifer Polk’s co-working session, I made big progress on a paper revision today. 📝

I am making a few notes here now that I hope to turn into a longer post later. As I scrolled Twitter and read there what some colleagues have been working on, I started to feel my current post-PhD …

– Read

Meet the Southern librarians fighting for racial justice and truth-telling – Scalawag



Read this because it’s on Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom’s Human-Information Interaction syllabus for this semester. (I like to look at updated syllabi for classes I’ve already taken to see what I might have missed recently.) Going to pull out a couple of quotes that stuck with me. I hope in time I’ll write a more robust response to this article.

The public rarely sees the many processes that happen behind the scenes at libraries—which cultural priorities inform decisions of what to include in a collection, or to digitize; which books to display; which films or speakers wind up on the calendar—all of these choices are determined by the priorities designated by the library leadership. And, of course, their biases play a part.

The ALA isn’t a worker’s union. It’s an association that includes everyone from paraprofessionals to directors of large systems. Several people told me that as library workers, they didn’t feel represented by the organization—far from it.

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I’m writing up a response to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Nebraska Today article, Knitting’s resurgence …

An IndieWeb Webring


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Professional Reader Frequently Auto-Approved

I acknowledge that I live and work on unceded Lumbee, Skaruhreh/Tuscarora, and Shakori land. I give respect and reverence to those who came before me. I thank Holisticism for the text of this land acknowledgement.

We must acknowledge that much of what we know of this country today, including its culture, economic growth, and development throughout history and across time, has been made possible by the labor of enslaved Africans and their ascendants who suffered the horror of the transatlantic trafficking of their people, chattel slavery, and Jim Crow. We are indebted to their labor and their sacrifice, and we must acknowledge the tremors of that violence throughout the generations and the resulting impact that can still be felt and witnessed today. I thank Dr. Terah ‘TJ’ Stewart for the text of this labor acknowledgement.