Pageantry of vanity

It sort of overturns my apple cart when a script for an upcoming podcast — that I have worked on for months — seems to be summed up in under four minutes . . . on Youtube . . .

Quote: “Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder…”

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition contains definitions and diagnostic criteria for every mental disorder you can imagine…. In 2008, the Journal of American Psychiatry argued that “Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder that merits inclusion in DSM-V.” …. The following pathologies run rampant on the ‘Net:

  • Generalized Trolling Compulsion.
  • Comments Derangement Syndrome.
  • Manic Confirmation Bias.
  • Fanboy Disorder.
  • Delusional Capital Exchange Disorder.
  • Narcissistic Market Prognostication Imbalance.
  • and more

Link: Beyond Internet addiction: Ars diagnoses your online maladies

Meformer, informer, which one are you?

Meformer or Informer

“Meformer” (vs “informer”) is not a new term,[1] but for some reason it is making its rounds on social media the last few[2] months.[3]

NOTES:
[1] Jennifer Van Grove, Mashable,  “STUDY: 80% of Twitter Users Are All About Me”, September 29, 2009, accessed July 15, 2014, http://mashable.com/2009/09/29/meformers/
[2] Patrick Allan, LifeHacker, “Be an Informer, Not a ‘Meformer’, To Get More Followers On Social Media”, May 29 2014, accessed July 15, 2014, http://lifehacker.com/be-an-informer-not-a-meformer-to-get-more-followers-1583508468
[3] Kirk Englehardt, LinkedIn, “Are you a Twitter ‘Informer’ or ‘Meformer’?”, June 03, 2014, accessed July 15, 2014,
https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140603184736-3091133-are-you-a-twitter-informer-or-meformer

A bookless American library

Empty shelves at the downtown city library

Why can’t I find a copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five at a local public library? I’m wandering through the aisles of bookshelves thinking, It’s not an obscure title. Is it? Earlier, I visited a couple library branches and couldn’t find a single copy. How is that possible? Later I would find a copy at a bookstore (actually, I would find copies at three of the local bookstores, but I would be out of cash and wouldn’t be able to afford to buy a copy… more on that later… like, wait-for-my-memoir later…).

Is it possible? Are American libraries moving toward booklessness? At the main, downtown city library I stare at a whole wall of bookshelves emptied of books (see photo). Glancing around the place it appears that the only thing people do at that library is use the toilet, enjoy the air conditioned space on hot summer days, and rent CDs and DVDs. The magazine racks are full and there is an man, probably in his 60s, reading the latest copy of the New Yorker. Beyond the reference desk, I see that every computer terminal is occupied. My mood is turning away from searching for a copy of Slaughterhouse-Five, to mischievous. I want to walk over to the reference desk librarian and ask, “Where might I find a book about Tralfamadore?” From experience, I know what the reference desk librarian will do. The scene will go something like this:

“Excuse me, but where might I find a book about Tralfamadore?”

“Tralfamadore? Let me see,” he says as he opens a web browser on the computer and sounds out the word tral-fam-a-dore under his breath. “Oh, Tralfamadore. From Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five.”

“Did you just google that?” I ask.

He looks at me and doesn’t say anything.

“Shouldn’t that be unholy sacrilege to use Google in a library?” I ask. “I mean, this is supposed to be a house of intellect.”

He folds his hands in front of the keyboard and says, “I used Wikipedia.”

“Wikipedia?” I snort.

The reference desk librarian catches the eyes of the library’s security guard who walks toward us.

The scene concludes with me mumbling something about the democratization of content leaves an intellectual void that is too quickly filled with bits of data rather than depth of knowledge and wisdom.

But I don’t walk to the reference desk. I get lost somewhere in the fiction aisles–somewhere in the section where books by authors with last names beginning with “k” are placed. The whole thing–the search for a single copy of a book and the failure to locate it at a public library–is loathsome to me. I have this uneasy feeling ‪that Ray Bradbury’s‬ ‪Fahrenheit 451‬ may be prophetic. And I want to start memorizing large volumes of literature for the mere preservation of it to share with the next generation. Isn’t that why books are written? To share not just with this present age, but to extend beyond the life of the writer? My eye’s find a book about bean trees–or rather, a novel. It’s not a very thick novel, but it seems to have found me and I can’t just leave it on the bookshelf and I don’t want to leave the library empty-handed.

After the book is processed silently by a librarian, I walk to catch a bus home. Reading the first few pages at the transit center I know I have found a new friend in this book. It’s a feeling I can’t say I have regarding Google or Wikipedia. To me, they are repositories of data–vapid of personality in the same fashion as the  Borg–to be mined or to be assimilated.

Quote: Patti Smith

Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book. There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.

Patti Smith (via libraryland)

ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) Kelly and Moen—who published their work this week in The Journal of Health and Social Behavior—found that employees who switched to ROWE took better care of themselves. Not only did they get an extra 52 … Continue reading

Read: Digital Maoism

The problem I am concerned with here is not the Wikipedia in itself…. the problem is in the way the Wikipedia has come to be regarded and used; how it’s been elevated to such importance so quickly. And that is part of the larger pattern of the appeal of a new online collectivism that is nothing less than a resurgence of the idea that the collective is all-wise…. This is different from representative democracy, or meritocracy. This idea has had dreadful consequences when thrust upon us from the extreme Right or the extreme Left in various historical periods. The fact that it’s now being re-introduced today by prominent technologists and futurists, people who in many cases I know and like, doesn’t make it any less dangerous….The beauty of the Internet is that it connects people. The value is in the other people. If we start to believe that the Internet itself is an entity that has something to say, we’re devaluing those people and making ourselves into idiots….The hive mind should be thought of as a tool. Empowering the collective does not empower individuals — just the reverse is true. There can be useful feedback loops set up between individuals and the hive mind, but the hive mind is too chaotic to be fed back into itself.

HT: longformorg: A cautionary inquiry into the unchecked hive mind. Jaron Lanier | EDGE | May 2006

Link: Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism

The home of the next generation of beautiful apps

“Users can see the passion of the team behind their products. That’s my  number one advice for everyone; take the time you need to create the  best result you’re able to create, forget ‘release early, release often’  and move to ‘It’s done, when it’s done’.”

Link: Why Berlin is home to a new generation of beautiful apps

A QR codes is two-dimensional code, very much like a barcode, that is designed to be read or scanned by a smartphone. The two-dimensional black and white patterns encode text or other data (for example, a URL link to a web site or a phone number). According to Wikipedia, data storage on a #QRcode is

7089 characters (numeric)

4296 (alphanumeric)

2953 (binary)

(via wikipedia)
Link: QR code data capacity