First Post (27FEB2005)
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ramblings of an information troubleshooter
May Day isn't a holiday in Canada ...
today marks the end of the current round of
wars, so some lucky sod will win an xbox out
of the deal. it's funny that some analysts figure
that the latest 'grand theft auto' game might
bite into the opening weekend box office for
'iron man'. gaming has really come out of the
ghetto that i remember it being in when i was
growing up. that whole man-child phenom is
poked at by 'knocked up' and 'superbad', but
really, why would someone willingly take on more
responsibility if there isn't any social cost
to *not* playing the conventional societal game ?
sort of along those lines, why work for an org
that doesn't get it, when you can work for one
that can ? May Day is supposed to be about the
empowerment of labour, but i think these days
labour needs more *enlightenment*. larry page,
co-creator of google, is interviewed by 'fortune'
magazine on 'how
to save the world'. here are a few tidbits:
"... The question is, How many people are working
on things that can move the needle on the economy
or on people's quality of life? ..."
"... it's hard to get people to work on those kinds
of things because of the personal risk they feel
they're taking. Also, people don't have the right
training. If you say you want to automate cars and
save people's lives, the skills you need for that
aren't taught in any particular discipline. ..."
"... As a society, on the larger questions we have,
we're not making reasonable progress."
"<Interviewer>: What kind of background do you
think is required to push these kinds of changes?
I think you need an engineering education where you
can evaluate the alternatives. For example, are
fuel cells a reasonable way to go or not? For that,
you need a pretty general engineering and scientific
education, which is not traditionally what happens.
... If you look at the people who have high impact,
they have pretty general knowledge. They don't have
a really narrowly focused education.
You also need some leadership skills. You don't want
to be Tesla. He was one of the greatest inventors,
but it's a sad, sad story. ... If you invent
something, that doesn't necessarily help anybody.
You've got to actually get it into the world ..."
this recalls an interesting discussion i had last
em's sister who was up visiting, about the perils
of inflexible pedagogies. there isn't much
sympathy for generalists at universities these
days, which i think is a shame (consistent with
my opinions when i was in student politics as
well). universities are gradually introducing more
time-flexibility (poor xan is taking summer classes),
but opportunities for cross-disciplinary exposure
are limited by curriculum requirements. i was lucky
in snagging a co-op job on campus during my MLIS,
which allowed me to take additional courses beyond my
degree requirements, including a Ph.D.-level course
on the political economy of information, which
really helped to cement everything i had taken in
library school up to that point and justified the
tuition expense and time spent away from the
one of the reasons that i picked selkirk college
over the degreed film programs was that i wanted an
environment where i had more control over what i
learned. nelson is a smaller city, with fewer
distractions than the metropoli of toronto, montreal
or vancouver, and the program is only going into its
3d year, so nothing will have had time to ossify.
as well, with only 2 semesters to worry about, they
can react very nimbly to changes in the marketplace
- e.g., the potential actors strike this summer may
give them an opportunity to have a star instructor
for some of their courses in the fall.
so, now i just have to figure out what grand
project i'll be interested in applying my varied
skill-set towards after i graduate - who knows,
i may just end up at google, which i had
contemplated at the same time that i was
considering library school, way back in 1998
going north, going south
so, my trip up to pond inlet at 72 degrees
north latitude went swimmingly. umm, not
literally, as the sea ice there is still
ultra-frozen unlike the puddles now spreading
around iqaluit. the scenery was fabulous
and the locals were ultra-friendly. i've
on facebook, but here are a few teasers:
the hamlet of pond inlet (legal aid office
in the foreground):
bylot island 24 kilometres away across eclipse
the wall of an iceberg with exquisite blue
striations, frozen into the sound south of the
the iceberg cavern in all its massive glory:
sandwiching the trip, i hit up the astro theatre
for the debut friday showings of 'iron man' last
week and '21' tonight. i enjoyed both films, but
will likely only allow 'iron man' a repeat visit
tomorrow nite when i also take in 'the forbidden
'iron man' really hit the spot and demonstrated
that even a mid-level superhero can be
transmorgriphied into film properly, even after
hollywood gets its mitts on the property. '21'
had lots of escapist vegas fare, just made for a
time when the general economy appears to be going
down the tubes. 'i *need* this money' may be a
refrain that we'll begin to hear more often in real
life, but the music in the movie was excellent, and
the editing in both movies was unjarringly seamless.
however, the performances by gwyneth paltrow and
robert downey junior gleamed in 'iron man' and that
tips the re-viewing balance in their favour.
First Post (27FEB2005)
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