Long Overdue

Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public Attitudes About Libraries in the 21st Century, a report from Public Agenda In which we learn that: Americans prize public library service and see libraries as potential solutions to many communities’ most pressing problems… But few Americans are aware of the increasingly tenuous financial picture faced by many libraries.

The Librarian Empire

I’ve been reading A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge as my bedtime reading recently. For those of you who have not read it, spoilers ahead. Pham Nuwen is a character in this novel, more or less the founding father of the Qeng Ho, a spacefaring trading semi-culture. Sort of an interstellar Merchant Marine, but if the Merchant Marine was not an arm of any government but its own.. Read More

Festival of the Book

Paul beat me to the punch on blogging this, but here is the text of the email I got recently announcing the 2006 NC Festival of the Book: Subject: News: ’06 North Carolina Fest. o/t Book Greetings from the ’06 NC Festival of the Book: We’re proud to announce the launch of a totally-revamped and newly-updated festival site: www.ncbook.org There you’ll find a schedule of confirmed festival programs, as well.. Read More

War of the Worlds

Back in June, Paul pointed out that Dark Horse had started issuing a serialized web comic of War of the Worlds, a new installment every Friday. Well, 6 months later it’s concluded, so you can read the whole thing in one go. And yes, I’ve been tuning in every Friday or Saturday to read the new installment. Yes, I’m that big a geek.

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town

I’m reading Cory Doctorow‘s latest novel, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. Actually I’m reading it on my Palm: I downloaded the plain text, used DropBook to convert it to Palm Reader format, & synched it up with my Palm. I’m reading it on the bus, mostly. And it’s amazing to me how little reading I can actually get done on the bus, because people keep asking me what.. Read More

Rex Libris, flying off the shelves

I walked over to Chapel Hill Comics (formerly known as Second Foundation, which I think is a much cooler name, but I suppose only because I’m a big Asimov fan)… anyway, I walked over there earlier this afternoon to buy myself a copy of Rex Libris. Yes, I know we’ll be getting a copy in the SILS library, but I’m a graphic novel junkie & I want one for myself… Read More

Java Man

Recently I’ve been reading some of Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker essays. One of them that I particularly enjoyed is this one, Java Man, a review of the book The World of Caffeine, by Weinberg & Bealer. I’m totally going to read this now. “It is not extravagant to claim that it was in these gathering spots [coffeehouses] that the art of conversation became the basis of a new literary style.. Read More

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Yvonne & I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last week. And as we’re no doubt the last 2 people in the English-speaking world to have finished it, I have no qualms about engaging in spoilers. But first let me just say, you can have all of those One Book community reading programs: those only engage a single town or city or state. And you can definitely have.. Read More

The Tragedy of the Commons

I recently read the original 1968 article The Tragedy of the Commons, by Garrett Hardin, that article that coined that phrase. I had never read this before, despite the fact that that phrase is used all the time. I’d always thought of it as a seminal work in economics, but it isn’t about that at all. One of the biggest surprises for me was that it’s not really about commonses;.. Read More

Transactive memory, revisted

Here’s another spring-cleaning post. I originally wrote this back in March, shortly after Malcolm Gladwell came to talk at Duke; I no longer remember why I didn’t post it at the time, except that I never finished writing it. So here it is, completed & submitted for your edification. Since reading about the idea of transactive memory in The Tipping Point, I’ve tracked down the article that Gladwell cites on.. Read More