- Solitude and Leadership — an amazing essay on the value of managing one’s information diet. Far more than yet another Carr/Morozov “the Internet is making us dumb!!” hate on short-form content, this is an eloquent exposition of the need for long-form thoughts. I find for myself that my first thought is never my best thought. My first thought is always someone else’s; it’s always what I’ve already heard about the subject, always the conventional wisdom. It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. And often even that idea doesn’t turn out to be very good. I need time to think about it, too, to make mistakes and recognize them, to make false starts and correct them, to outlast my impulses, to defeat my desire to declare the job done and move on to the next thing. (via Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011)
- Building The Perfect Data Repository (Cameron Neylon) — in which Cameron talks about solving problems for the people with the data. One of the problems with many efforts in this space is how they are conceived and sold as the user. “Making it easy to put your data on the web” and “helping others to find your data” solve problems that most researchers don’t think they have. […] A successful data repository system will start by solving a different problem, a problem that all researchers recognize they have”
- Macaulay on Copyright — periodically someone rediscovers how the the 1841 debate on copyright mirrors our own, but that it was discovered before does not mean it is not worth reading again. At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men.[…] Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot.
- ALAC — Apple Lossless Audio Codec is now open source by Apple.
"information overload" entries
Solitude and Leadership, Data Repository, Copyright History, and Open Source Audio
- Exploring Computational Thinking (Google) — educational materials to help teachers get students thinking about recognizing patterns, decomposing problems, and so on.
- Feedly — RSS feeds + twitter + other sites into a single magazine format.
- Attention and Information — what appears to us as “too much information” could just be the freedom from necessity. The biggest change ebooks have made in my life is that now book reading is as stressful and frenetic as RSS reading, because there’s as much of an oversupply of books-I’d-like-to-read as there is of web-pages-I’d-like-to-read. My problem isn’t over-supply of material, it’s a shortage of urgency that would otherwise force me to make the hard decisions about “no, don’t add this to the pile, it’s not important enough to waste my time with”. Instead, I have 1990s books on management that looked like maybe I might learn something …. (via Clay Shirky on Twitter)
People are saying technology is making us stupid. Technology is shattering our attention. Technology is ruining our children. Technology is making us busier than ever. Taking that train of thought a step further: technology can fix the problem. I believe we can make smarter email and smarter phones – and we should. It just won’t fix the problem. We can…
I fell in love with email in 1983. I was a computer-savvy educator and children’s librarian teaching teachers about the new technologies available to them. Email came into my life, offering immediate gratification: no stamp, no trip to the post office, no phone tag, no long messages. Questions were answered quickly. Personal exchanges often felt as intimate as a written…