random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  Religion is for people who have never matured in their understanding of ethics. Religion teaches a child's view of ethics, that 'being good' means 'obeying your parent.' It gives a moral blank check to those bold enough, dishonest enough, to claim to speak for God. Atheism means looking at ethical questions as an adult among other adults, considering ethics as a means of maintaining peace and cooperation among equals, so that all may pursue happiness within the limits that ethics defines.

tagged: religion, ethics, obedience, belief
  —John B. Hodges

Google Book Search panel at ALA Midwinter

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

The ALA’s Copyright Subcommittee (Committee on Legislation) is hosting a panel on the Google Book Settlement at ALA Midwinter this year — Saturday at 1:30 at the Grand Hyatt. (I’m on the committee and on the panel.) Should be interesting. Come to the Google Book Settlement Session at ALA Midwinter Conference January 24th, 2009, 1:30-3:30, […]

oclc will take member feedback on catalog records policy change

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

OCLC will take member feedback on its recent proposed change in licensing terms on cataloging records. See OCLC’s press release from yesterday, “OCLC Board of Trustees and Members Council to convene Review Board of Shared Data Creation and Stewardship.” link from librarythingtim yaay. update 2009/1/15: Salon on OCLC at Radical Reference, Friday, Jan. 23, 8 […]

unwillingly part of the rich people’s zeitgeist

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Damn you, rich people who own really giant homes. I have been designing libraries for my dream home since I was, like, ten — and now I find out that the home library is now trendy among the wealthier folks. Who, natch, like them for d├ęcor.

call to libraries to boycott DRM

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Following an action at my own BPL, the anti-DRM organization Defective by Design is calling for libraries to boycott products that use DRM. The Open Letter to Libraries is posted @ DBD’s website, and they have also made a sample letter / template available for us to send our own letters. Link via cory @ […]

elsevier is now part of elsevier

Monday, April 28th, 2008

novel library architecture in Colombia

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

Although it feels weird to talk about Colombia without addressing the political issues, I nevertheless present this io9 link + pictures of a beautiful and strange library in Casanera.

Section 108 report released

Friday, March 28th, 2008

The Section 108 study group has finally released their report. See: Section 108 Study Group Executive Summary of Report Full report For those who are not copyright or library geeks, Section 108 is one of the most important parts of the Copyright Act for libraries. For those who are having trouble reading the medium-grey on […]

mostly information law news round-up

Monday, March 3rd, 2008

* Judge White withdrew his order requiring the shutdown of wikileaks.org. See also 3/1 bits blog. (NYT 3/1) * The music industry has yet to pay artists any of the money it has received in settlements and lawsuits; the artists are pissed. NY Post 2/27) * The owners of the game scrabble are pissed off […]

Elsevier’s environmentally-unfriendly licenses

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Why does Elsevier hate the environment and all the trees and all the little children who will be living in a world 50 years from now harmed by Elsevier’s really stupid insistence that its electronic documents be PRINTED and then SCANNED IN before being sent out for ILL ???? Seriously, faculty should really reconsider submitting […]

florida protected from stoner librarians

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Or at least those who stuck around for the drug tests. After Gainesville, Florida, implemented drug testing for its library volunteers, the number of volunteers, most of whom were senior citizens, dropped from 55 to 2. Bill Maher gave this story the fisking it deserves, and radref at Radical Reference pointed me to it to […]

“scan this book”?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

siva linked to “scan this book!”, a NYT magazine article by kevin kelly, with a promise to post comments about it soon. i look forward to them, and in the meantime will post my own (hurried & no-doubt flawed) quick reactions to one point: Authors and publishers (including publishers of music and film) have relied […]

data mining & online information

Sunday, December 25th, 2005

Today is a beautifully misty day, perfect for leisurely procrastination from holiday tasks like installing back-up hard drives for the mom-in-law. (Well, “in-law” if we were in Mass.; everywhere else in the US, “mom-in-out-law”.) So naturally I found myself doing a little backlog reading of blogs that I don’t read every day, and was fortunate […]

Calling Doctor Google

Friday, December 23rd, 2005

As a former medical librarian I thought this editorial by a medical librarian in the BMJ was fascinating. First this amazing information: Within a year of its release Google Scholar has led more visitors to many biomedical journal websites than has PubMed (J Sack, personal communication, 2005). … which certainly lends credence to the pro-tagging, […]

morning tea round-up

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Yahoo!’s historically less-than-stellar track record of protecting user privacy is made much, much worse by this news: Yahoo! turned over a user’s identity information to the Chinese government, and now journalist Shi Tao has been sentenced to ten years for “e-mailing a government’s plan to restrict media coverage around the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen […]

google print: google’s evilness is beside the point (Bonus Rant Included)

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

I’m pleased to see the Google Print issue spurring discussion of the role of corporations in controlling access to information. See, e.g., today’s post @ Gnuosphere [link from sivacracy] Gnuosphere, Siva, and others point out that Google isn’t doing Google Print out of the goodness of its heart; the company is scanning, indexing, and providing […]

essence of library

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

I like the flow of the google / library discussion: what’s the essence of library? and suspect I’ll be thinking about that one for a long time to come. (It sounds like a delightful perfume: a bit musty with an sweet undernote of decaying paper and an overnote of astringent preservative, maybe.) Just picking out […]

google & not-for-profit libraries

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

More on Google and Siva’s response (and my responses to Siva): Recap: In response to publisher anxieties & thinly-veiled threats of litigation, Google is implementing an opt-out provision in its scan-copyrighted-library-books program, and delaying scans of copyrighted books until November. [google blog] This has been widely reported as Google backing down. See, e.g., “Chilled by […]

old works, new copyrights

Monday, August 8th, 2005

Sony is claiming copyright over “Zorro” and has sent a C&D to Sobini Films, which is wanting to produce a movie set in the future (well, 2010 – barely the future any more!) about Zorro. Johnston McCulley first introduced Zorro in 1919 in The Curse of Capistrano. The BBC article states it thusly: “Sobini contends […]

Et tu, Louisiana?

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Not content with their shared top-ten ranking in teen births, Louisiana State Rep. A. G. Crowe (R-Slidell) wants Louisiana to join with Oklahoma and Alabama in segregating (or banning) gay books. Good for you, Rep. Crowe. You tackle those problems that Louisiana is facing (high cancer mortality rates, high teen pregnancy rate, low education rates, […]

some observations about library architecture

Thursday, January 13th, 2005

The 10th anniversary of SF MOMA prompted an article in SFGate today [1/13] about MOMA’s architectural values, functionality as an art museum, and fitness into the SOMA neighborhood. I particularly liked the opening observation: A big problem with architectural criticism is that buildings often are treated as if they are inert works of art, sculptures […]


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