Submitted by Blake on September 8, 2016 - 10:06am
The research suggests a radically different view, in which learning of a child’s first language does not rely on an innate grammar module. Instead the new research shows that young children use various types of thinking that may not be specific to language at all—such as the ability to classify the world into categories (people or objects, for instance) and to understand the relations among things. These capabilities, coupled with a unique human ability to grasp what others intend to communicate, allow language to happen. The new findings indicate that if researchers truly want to understand how children, and others, learn languages, they need to look outside of Chomsky’s theory for guidance.
From Evidence Rebuts Chomsky's Theory of Language Learning - Scientific American
Submitted by Blake on February 29, 2016 - 11:31am
Why is this relevant to libraries? I think it’s past time that we start paying very close attention to the details of our data in ways that we have, at best, hand-waved as a vendor responsibility in the past. There have been amazing strides lately in libraryland in regards to the security of our data connections via SSL (LetsEncrypt) as well as a resurgence in anonymization and privacy tools for our patrons (Tor and the like, thank you very much Library Freedom Project).
Data about our patrons and their interactions that isn’t encrypted at rest in either the local database or the vendor database hosted on their servers (and our electronic resource access, and our proxy logins, and, and, and…) is data that is subject to subpoena and could be accessed in ways that we would not want. It is the job of the librarian to protect the data about the information seeking process of their patrons. And while it’s been talked about before in library circles (Peter Murray’s 2011 article is a good example of past discussions) this court case brings into focus the lengths that some aspects of the law enforcement community will go to in order to have the power to collect data about individuals.
From Apple, the FBI, and Libraries | Pattern Recognition
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on November 5, 2015 - 1:32pm
Using IMLS 2013 data Levi Bowles, data science professional, applied a "nearest neighbor" methodology to find peer libraries for an example library system. The nearest neighbor method is widely used across many fields. The factors matched on were population served, branches, funding per capita, visits per population.
For the full post visit http://www.datasciencenotes.com/2015/10/peer-group-determination-library-peer.html.
Submitted by Blake on August 18, 2015 - 9:06pm
My principal connection to the field of history is through an undergraduate course I co-teach called “History of Information.” It’s a course that seeks to take students from Lascaux to WhatsApp and beyond in fifteen weeks: its key transitional phrase, as my colleague notes, is “moving right along.” The naivety of such an enterprise probably reveals to the audience of this blog that neither of the teachers is a historian.
From When was the age of information? | JHIBlog
Submitted by Blake on February 16, 2015 - 12:53pm
It’s their very detachment, what you might call the cold-bloodedness of science, that makes science the killer app. It’s the way science tells us the truth rather than what we’d like the truth to be. Scientists can be as dogmatic as anyone else — but their dogma is always wilting in the hot glare of new research. In science it’s not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe.
From Why science is so hard to believe - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on January 10, 2015 - 8:38pm
The worlds that went paperless first were not, it turns out, those designed to make a more open world. Rather, they were, without exception, communities deeply invested in the control of information. They wanted information to be under their control more than they cared about its circulation on your behalf. Amid all our optimism about what digitization can do, this seems like an origin story to remember.
Submitted by Blake on February 7, 2014 - 9:45am
The Stupidity of Computers
The good news is that, because computers cannot and will not “understand” us the way we understand each other, they will not be able to take over the world and enslave us (at least not for a while). The bad news is that, because computers cannot come to us and meet us in our world, we must continue to adjust our world and bring ourselves to them. We will define and regiment our lives, including our social lives and our perceptions of our selves, in ways that are conducive to what a computer can “understand.” Their dumbness will become ours.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 30, 2013 - 12:40pm
This week’s episode is super cool. We got David Lankes, a professor of information studies at Syracuse University (also known as the world’s best public speaker), to talk to us about libraries. We thought we’d have a grand debate on the topic of libraries and electronic media, but what we actually had was a wide-ranging discussion about knowledge and access to knowledge. We’re wicked happy that we got such a great guy on our show, and we’ll happily have him back on any time his little heart desires!
Listen to full piece here.
Submitted by Blake on March 6, 2013 - 9:36am
This grand challenge would require librarians, information scientists, telecommunication experts and specialists on space flight. The lessons learned could be applied to earth-bound libraries and could re-envision how libraries are connected to each other and to the resources that they use. It could also impact other industries and how they communicate or share information. The work could place libraries and librarians front and center in a number of communities because we would need to be involved in creating the solution.
Submitted by Blake on March 1, 2013 - 7:42am
The library in 2020 is the last bastion of truth. Sure, you can search yottabytes of free data by simply batting an eyelash. But it's dangerous to believe what you see through the iGlass lens. As you learned the hard way back in the Facebook era, if you're not paying for it, you are the product. That research study about the safety and efficacy of Lipitor Lollipops™ was sponsored by a subsidiary of a subsidiary of Pfizer. That consultant you almost hired wrote his own customer reviews. And while you can't tell for sure because the algorithms are opaque, it sure seems like the first page of web search is pay-to-play. You routinely skip past the top ten results.
Submitted by Blake on January 22, 2013 - 10:33am
David Lee King with an interesting question, what do we think is important? Do our users agree?
Think about some of these things libraries have, for example:
-Library Catalog – interesting to our customers?
-Article Databases – interesting to our customers?
-Periodicals reading room …
-Reference desk …
I think our goal should be two-fold:
1.spend time, money, and expertise on stuff our customers care about
2.do stuff that our customers care about
Submitted by Blake on September 26, 2012 - 2:55pm
Jill Hurst-Wahl: "At this lunch event, I would like to gather as many of this organization's employees as possible. Then I would like invite two students for each employee. (So twice as many students as employees.) Why? Students are used to thinking creatively and I want to "up" the creative thinking in the room, but not totally overwhelm this organization's employees."
Submitted by Pete on July 20, 2012 - 8:17am
What do copyright law, baseball, Wikipedia and Google have in common? Read on:
Everyone knows that the flow of information is complex and tangled in society today -- so thank goodness for copyright law! Truly, no part of our national policy is as coherent, in the interest of the public or as updated for the Internet age as that gleaming tome in the US Code.
But one MIT economist, who recently presented his work recently at Wikimania, has found a way to test how the copyright law affects one online community -- Wikipedia -- and how digitized, public domain works dramatically affect the quality of knowledge.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 13, 2012 - 3:21pm
Submitted by Blake on May 8, 2012 - 9:37am
Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years
Considering how long Facebook dragged its feet to get into mobile in the first place, the data suggests they will be exactly as slow to change as Google was to social. Does the Instagram acquisition change that? Not really, in my view. It shows they’re really fearful of being displaced by a mobile upstart. However, why would bolting on a mobile app to a Web 2.0 platform (and a very good one at that) change any of the underlying dynamics we’re discussing here? I doubt it.
Submitted by Blake on May 1, 2012 - 7:52am
Libraries are Obsolete
The real retort to the deficit argument that libraries are obsolete is not to find new and bigger problems, but to focus on (or at the VERY least include) aspirational arguments for libraries.
"Libraries as band aids may be obsolete, but that is not why we need libraries. We need libraries so we can fix our education system, so we can fix our economy, so we can fix our democracies yes. But we need libraries even more to discover new knowledge not found in any textbook. We need libraries to create whole new opportunities for innovation. We need libraries to give our communities a voice and power in the working of government. Libraries will never be obsolete so long as our communities dream, and strive, and work to ensure a world of insurmountable opportunities."
Submitted by Blake on May 1, 2012 - 7:50am
Positive Vision and Questions in Libraries
How can we shift our professional discourse away from all the problems facing libraries and instead think about questions like “what what do libraries look like when they are at their best” and “what would an ideal library look like?”
Submitted by Blake on March 24, 2012 - 4:22pm
Deep Thought is Dead, Long Live Deep Thought
‘Where are these jobs that will require such rapid “searching, browsing, assessing quality, and synthesizing the vast quantities of information”? We don’t need those skills to drive a truck or manage company accounts or sell clothes or do IT customer service or write novels or write code or give inoculations to patients or teach seven-year-olds how to read … so what do, or what will, need them for? And how many of us will need them?’
Submitted by Blake on February 12, 2012 - 10:47am
The Age of Big Data
The story is similar in fields as varied as science and sports, advertising and public health — a drift toward data-driven discovery and decision-making. “It’s a revolution,” says Gary King, director of Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science. “We’re really just getting under way. But the march of quantification, made possible by enormous new sources of data, will sweep through academia, business and government. There is no area that is going to be untouched.”
Submitted by Blake on January 19, 2012 - 7:56am
Is The Web Really Just Links Or Is It Evolving?
A web of links can be limiting when looking at applications. When looking at reading a news story, links make sense, but reading articles is only part of the web. By looking at the data available, we are starting to create a more interactive and informative web. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch thinks this could be moving towards a web of apps, but that post is more focused on mobile apps. As I said previously, mobile apps tend to be limiting in their own ways.