MIT 1700 Lecture 8: Information and the New Library

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Media, Information and Technoculture
Media, Information and Technoculture 2200F/G
Kane Faucher

MIT 1700 Lecture Week 8 March 1, 2011 Week 8: Information and the New Library - Key Points - Birth of the Personal Computer - Search and find Utopia - Amazon, POD, rejection of Dewey - Meta-tagging, filtering, hand-clustering results - Google Books and Digitization: A Faustian pact with libraries - UPC, RFID, ISBN - Information Management - drastic changed in how we access info came in 1960’s/70’s Allan Kay - Personal computers should be at a price point for average consumers - Computer as a ‘meta-medium’ - Democratizing the technology - Standardize production like Henry Ford to make computers accessible - Ford wanted to do this for the money, Kay had the peoples’ interests at heart. - Make computers the medium of information exchange - ARPA has been receiving funding from the US Government. Congress put law in place that said that funding would only be given to things for National Defense. - They didn’t realize that computing in general can help defense. - Kay said that corporate and state interference shouldn’t happen here. He saw computers as a kind of Public Sphere. - Bring computing to the people. - How we organize information is important. We need to find efficient ways of organizing to make it useful though. - The more information we have, the harder it is to find. Search Woes - Implicit vs. Explicit Information Result - Junk Sites - Profit Motives may be the hierarchical model - Contempt for the expert - Google M.D - Will crowdsource tagging help? - We use referential language when we write/speak. - Our search engines have no way of turning up referential terms though, unless someone tags it. So there is a lot of information out there that we won’t be able to find. - How can we find stuff that isn’t explicitly referenced? - We are no longer passive, we are producers and consumers of the Internet. - We can tag and produce content with meta-data descriptors. We do this in personal life with facebook tagging and commenting. - Crowdsourcing: NASA has millions of pictures that need to be sifted through and tagged, so that have the public help them. You become the average astronomer. - Another form: online editing, revising, Wikipedia. But a Wiki article can have misinformation/disinformation, and can never be fully complete and can be changed by anyone. MIT 1700 Lecture Week 8 March 1, 2011 - How can we discern what is relevant and true? - Mills’ Marketplace of Ideas - we reject the bad so we can embrace the true. - Polarizing around opinions so we may disregard the grey area of a subject and only focus on the black and white. - The quantity of information put out by global warming deniers may persuade you just based on quantity, not quality. Contempt For Expert - We seek out information that supports our views like Google M.D. which creates the issue of self diagnosis - We make Google tell us what we want to hear. Too Many Books (Library of Congress) - Has 150 million items, 50 million books - 7000 new books each day, sent to 400 cataloguers - 300 000 subject headings, 8 000 new ones created every year. - Problem: - first order organizati
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