Into the infosphere: theory, literacy and education for new forms of document

This is a slightly revised version of a chapter contributed by myself and Lyn Robinson to a Festschrift in honour of our colleague Professor Tatjana Aparac-Jelušić, of the University of Zadar in Croatia. We came to know Tatjana particularly through the LIDA conferences, of which she has been the inspiration and main organiser, through her… Continue reading Into the infosphere: theory, literacy and education for new forms of document

In praise of messy desks

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries (AA Milne) Some of us naturally have tidy desks. Others of us, including myself, do not. And we in the latter camp have traditionally been made to feel inadequate, if not slovenly. This is, of course, grossly unfair. It has… Continue reading In praise of messy desks

Visualizing, saving time and promoting insight

An interesting recent paper by Luciano Floridi, doyen of the philosophy of information, and his colleagues Min Chen and Rita Borgo asks what information visualization, one of the hottest topics in the information sciences over recent years in really for. Their answer is an intriguing one; it is not, as most visualization enthusiasts would have… Continue reading Visualizing, saving time and promoting insight

Emergence, novices, and all things new

The rather sudden arrival of spring leads one (well, leads me), naturally enough, to think of new things and emerging entities, and their information needs and consequences. Most obviously we might think of providing the knowledge needed by learners, at all stages and in any subject or topic, and of the need for those learners… Continue reading Emergence, novices, and all things new

Alas for the paperless office. Weep for the fragile archive.

Farewell, obscure objects of desire, an article by Matthew Reisz in the Times Higher (19th January 2012) reports a British Academy conference on open access academic publishing. It attributes some interesting views to Alice Prochaska, principal of Somerville College, Oxford, who notes that libraries and archives have invested huge resources in digitisation projects to make… Continue reading Alas for the paperless office. Weep for the fragile archive.

Information Ecology in Bratislava

Last week I had the chance to attend a conference on the topic of 'Information Ecology and Libraries', held at the library of the Comenius University in Bratislava. Organised by Jela Steinerová, of the University's department of library and information science, the meeting attracted participants from several countries. The city of Bratislava has now entirely… Continue reading Information Ecology in Bratislava

Canoeing fox, kayaking hedgehog

Speculating on the future, and spotting trends, is always fun, and I indulge myself quite a lot in this blog in ruminating about these things from an information viewpoint. I find myself quite outdone, however, by the Edge web forum, which examines new trends and concepts, particularly in science and technology . Each year, the… Continue reading Canoeing fox, kayaking hedgehog

New year, old idea ?

A new year always provokes thoughts of what has gone and what is to come. The news media, feeding our liking for the comfort of the repetition of the annual cycle, devote much space in January to this kind of reflection, which often seems not to change much from one year to the next. I… Continue reading New year, old idea ?

How to forget, when you’ve remembered to do so

In a previous post, I wrote about the need to 'forget' the cloud of digital information which we all seem obliged to create nowadays, and which may come back to haunt us forever. I mentioned the idea of having some of this information 'self-destruct' after an appropriate time. Those clever people (Hank Levy, Tadayoshi Kohno,… Continue reading How to forget, when you’ve remembered to do so

Remembering to forget

Most of us have problems with remembering things at time. Memory problems usually go one way - we can't remember things. Drastic loss of memory has been a theme of many books (I can, just about, remember Asimov's Currents of Space as being the first with this theme that I read) and movies (the Bourne… Continue reading Remembering to forget