Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Swimming through that sea of information, to foreign shores

We are swimming in a sea
no, an ocean
of information.

The question is how to swim.
How to row a boat
How to move ahead, in a direction, to foreign shores, new ways of doing things, learning from the others, truly learning, not just registering vaguely that they have a personal experience, a personal understanding based on their context.

Far too often, we condition our involvement in a network with our own output, and how the networks reacts to that output. "Look at me! Read my blog!". Some networks are more prone to encourage such behaviour than others. Some networks are very good at giving the nodes tools to connect, really connect, the dots. The blog entries. To link them together, conceptually, and to follow the lead of other agents, agents who have been swimming these these shores, who have seen a few shores, who can make tangible links to ever new places, and also some old ones.

To link the old with the new. The well-known facts, basic assumptions, with the need for bleeding innovation.

We are swimming through that sea of information, to foreign shores. Hopefully, they will be foreign. Surprising. Not just mere "oh, that's interesting", but true eureka moments. Seeing how we might have had a limited approach to all these things. Limited and self-centered. What I can do to save the world myself. Me:Superstar

So, the question is: How do we become better swimmers? Are there ways we can get out of this series of little tubs of water, and swim in the larger sea, the larger ocean, of information? Where there are ever fewer boundaries. Boundaries between old information, and new. Information published by the MIT or Harvard scholar, and that of the 21-year old curious young man from Kenya. Between what is seen as useful, and what is seen as useless.

Sampling the streams of information, sampling, and mixing, and remixing, in ever new constellations.

Views: 18

Comment by Thomas Pinkerton on March 23, 2010 at 2:25pm
Well, there are a few ways to make your way through it all. For one, you have a Coast Guard in us librarians.

See, a lot of our skills of finding, evaluating, and organizing information are not simply useful within a library -- its stacks, catalog, and databases -- but also to the internet as a wh***. We learn techniques such as pearl growing (using existing searches to develop new ones), good old boolean logic, adjacent and "near" searches. We provide directories and indexing services, and I would like to direct you to a wonderful idea that is being implemented by librarians for organizing the internet's information. It was developed by the giant company OCLC, who is responsible for the massive database WorldCat (worldcat.org).

Dublin Core. Dublin Core is a set of XML code that can be embedded in a website that offers bibliographic information about the site: date of creation, format, author, subjects. Were it to be applied on a global scale, we could, theoretically, index and catalog the internet. Imagine the benefit of subject-searching for food security. No longer would you get pages on security systems, the food network, or feeding your security guards. Instead of just searching for the words within a site, we would look for either author-submitted or reader-submitted subjects, like tags, that would tell us exactly what the article is about.



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