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Everywhere you go, you are data. You purchase an apple and suddenly ones and zeros are racing through the clickstream like they're wearing superhero capes. Someone, somewhere now knows more about when people eat apples, the likelihood that you will purchase one again, how they correlate to your longevity, your salary, your risk of disease. You shape the universe as you go.
And you live in the Prague Spring of data — a time when you can study from your laptop in a coffee shop what procedures really heal, what great teachers really do, or what pitches end up in infielders gloves in the bottom of the ninth — and then— click — you can share with a thousand others. There's much to be gained from that — better hospitals and schools, say. Since an intuition for data can move mountains, here are three books to help you make the most of your data driven life.
New services are appearing weekly and all offer to either, save publishing, or redefine it within the new digital world. This last week has been no different and has seen three new services gain visibility, drive interest and create a significant volume of debate amongst the industry thinkers, and advisors.
What is now interesting is that services are being launched with outside funding and these are not only different, but are potentially very disruptive in how they challenge the way we do business and interact within the market.
Are objective today is not to decide the winners and losers but to explore some of the challenges and their potential to disrupt tomorrow.
A nice, non-legalese summary of the Google Books story from Read Write Web:
"Google's long-running fight to digitize the world's written works has closed two more chapters, but the story hasn't quite reached the end. Despite stakes that include millions of dollars of ad revenue for Google versus the potential loss of revenue and royalties for publishers and authors, however, the epic saga's climax is turning out to be surprisingly muted.
There are three parts to this story so far, with Google Books the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on your point of view) at the center of all of them. Following two separate court decisions this week and last, two of those parts are now concluded, leaving only one more thread of the tale to wrap up."
Opinion piece on the NYT: Long Live Paper
LAST week, Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared a war on paper textbooks. “Over the next few years,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club, “textbooks should be obsolete.” In their place would come a variety of digital-learning technologies, like e-readers and multimedia Web sites.
Such technologies certainly have their place. But Secretary Duncan is threatening to light a bonfire to a tried-and-true technology — good old paper — that has been the foundation for one of the great educational systems on the planet. And while e-readers and multimedia may seem appealing, the idea of replacing an effective learning platform with a widely hyped but still unproven one is extremely dangerous.
A letter to the Editor from the director of the Harvard U. Library, Robert Darnton via The New York Review of Books on the anticipated changes to the Rose Reading Room of the Main Library. LISNews reported on the story this past spring.
"Polemics rarely lead to happy endings. They usually produce hard feelings and a hardening of positions, rather than mutual understanding and mutually acceptable results. The loud debate about the Central Library Plan (CLP) of the New York Public Library may, however, be an exception to this rule—not that it has come to an end, but it has reached a turning point, which should satisfy both sides.
Critics of the CLP were especially incensed about its provision to remove books from the seven levels of stacks under the Rose Main Reading Room and ship them to offsite storage in order to make room for a circulating library to be installed on the lower floors. They petitioned, they provoked a debate—some of it conducted in these pages [Letters, NYR, July 12—and they were heard.
After studying the problem further, a committee of the library’s trustees has made the following recommendations, which were accepted by the full board on September 19:
• Another level of stacks under Bryant Park will be developed, creating room for onsite storage of another 1.5 million books.
• Books shipped to ReCAP, the offsite storage facility in Princeton, New Jersey, from the onsite collection will mostly be works that are already digitized and available online. -- Read More
Book: The End of Your Life Book Club -- Will Schwalbe
Excerpt from NYT:Reading Together, Knowing the Ending
My mother, Mary Anne Schwalbe, had been an educator who had worked in college admissions and in high schools before devoting herself in her mid-50s to the cause of refugees — as founding director of an organization that is today known as the Women’s Refugee Commission. Before she died, she wanted to do one more big thing: help raise money for a national library and cultural center at Kabul University, and for traveling libraries to reach remote villages throughout Afghanistan, a country she had repeatedly visited, and loved. (Today, the main library building is almost finished and there are nearly 200 libraries across all 34 provinces.)
Destruction of Manchester library books halted after writers' campaign
A campaign by the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and a number of other literary names to stop the destruction of hundreds of thousands of books at the UK's largest municipal library appeared to have succeeded.