Thursday, February 26, 2009

Peter Suber at Berkman:

All copyright reform in the past few decades have been in the wrong direction.. . .

Librarians are among the most important allies in the OA movement. But put all the allies together and you still don’t have OSF. Libraries should be sending letters against the Conyers bill. When you negotiate subscriptions you should negotiate the right to pur articles from your authors into an OA repository. Libraries are the only buyers of peer-reviewed journals. When you’re the only buyer, you can dictate your terms, subject to anti-trust. Obama says that we have the right to demand transformation from the banks we’re saving. Librarians can do the same thing for journals. Journals are not serving all of our interests and are acting against other interests.

via JOHO. Thanks Frank.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Open systems: Medpedia

In an email, Alan Herrell points to Medpedia:

Welcome to Medpedia

Medpedia is just getting started. It is a long term project and is not yet a comprehensive resource. See what is already available and how you can add to it.

Medpedia is applying a new collaborative model to the collection, sharing and advancement of medical knowledge that, over time, will produce the world's most comprehensive resource.

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Artichoke: Best of British Food is #47

Saturday, February 21, 2009



  1. Ten law school libraries call for move from printed law journals to open access e-versions.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Paeon to HOO MO

When you come across a news story that really interests you, you begin to appreciate the completeness of vacuity of the mainstream news product. I mean, this is a story to die for:

Missouri man, 
angered over DTV switch,
 shoots his TV set

Who would not want to know every last detail? Next to the guy who threw his shoes at the asshatavistic exprez, this guy - WALTER HOOVER - deserves veneration. But do we get a picture of his noble countenance, of his austere home, proud wife and family, his humble, now lifeless, tube, his weapon of choice? Do we know how he spent his last moments before going for his _____________? Where is contact info for the pilgrimage site his fellow Joplinians are doubtless constructing even as we ask?

How I long to know what sort of gun -- a double-barreled shotgun would have been ideal, blasting the screen, the useless converter widget, the cable powers that agreed that the change should take place, the walls, perhaps a cat, the regulators who gave their 'yeas."

Instead, we get "a firearm." Best story I've seen in months, perhaps years, and this is the best we can do?

To you, WALTER HOOVER, we lift our bronzed goblets in the florid state with only the finest Falernian or Cacuban. Of you shall our garden gods murmur, in you our shall our bees delight with jocund hum.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Programming opportunity

"I love this place and its people", says Mr. Stanford. That relationship deepened four years ago, he says, when he met a local Catholic priest with wounds in his hands and feet that he believed to be the stigmata of Jesus Christ. As a memento of that life-changing experience, Mr. Stanford carries with him a vial with the congealed fluids drained from the priest's foot. 

Antigua in the shadow of R. Allen Stanford, from the Wall St. Journal, as cited in the Guyana Chronicle, March 31, 2002 (h/t to Kia). (The page reverts but search on Stanford and it'll pop up.)

So, really: if one were to go back over the last eight or nine years, and remove all things Texan from all things economic, all FIRE wheels and deals since the end of Clinton, what would the global economy look like? Could someone please devise and run that program? Then tweak it a bit, and delete all Republicans -- just for mierdas y huelgas. pls?

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Early Belgian Streaker

Cantoris in a moment of religious exaltation went so far as to run nude through the streets of Brussels declaring himself the saviour of mankind. link

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Call of the nolds

To think of news as a stable product is misleading, and the reason that it is misleading makes it all the more difficult for its purveyors to say what it is they do.

News of this ilk (or this ilk) is merely a loose (if not random) set of instantiations of the current consensus narrative.

What we think is news is detail, illustration, hypotyposis, within the master image, narrative, tape of the moment.

But even as the newsgatherer is offering his gleanings with gurgling martyred newsboy cry, the reader's attention has turned to what the next master narrative will be, so he's receiving the proffer in the nape of the neck.*

It's not received as some static, given report, rather as one moment in a call and response, one state within an experiment, one datum within an hypothesis that posits, above and beyond any and all stories, the meta news story that says, with all the authority of the ancient fabulous, "there will be new news."

So the the stories news gatherers present are -- no news here -- really the nolds -- a disfigurement of the new tale that the reader is forever anticipating.

*I am reminded of a talk David Weinberger gave last year in which as I recall he described the new front page for the news junkie to be more Twitter than Times.

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Dennett does Darwin

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thumbs down on small payments, says Shirkey

Clay Shirky: Why Small Payments Won’t Save Publishers:

The invocation of micropayments involves a displaced fantasy that the publishers of digital content can re-assert control over we unruly users in a media environment with low barriers to entry for competition.

What matters at newspapers and magazines isn’t publishing, it’s reporting. We should be talking about new models for employing reporters rather than resuscitating old models for employing publishers;

All of which seems sensible to me with regard to commodified news. But what about other sorts of publishing and archival marketeering? He's at FASTforward09, and seems not yet to have moderated his comments. Here's one I left earlier today:

Clay, do you see no role for microeconomics for vended content? One area where one has imagined it proving useful is academic treasure houses like JSTOR, ProjectMUSE, which simply close themselves off to potential readers by operating within an institutional subscription format.

What sort of model would you prefer?

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Monday, February 09, 2009


Slide [9] One important element of collapse-preparedness is making sure that you don't need a functioning economy to keep a roof over your head. D. Orlov, via Gifthub.

In Florida, there's an abundance of homes filled with five families trying to make ends meet. And there's an abundance of housing stock, standing empty, waiting to be squatted in, vandalized, or converted to interior agronomics.

Can't wait to see what the market does.

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. . .  if you were to have one of the future ultra-precise atomic-synchronised clocks in your home, the time it told would be different according to how far up the wall it was fixed. link

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Thursday, February 05, 2009


If I sold candles the sun would never set; if I dealt in shrouds, men would become immortal. Avenezra

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

zimbucks too

Next I tried another online micro-job site that posts small jobs requiring a tiny bit (and nothing more) of human intelligence. Sample writing work there? 1000+ word product guides. Pay: $5.00. In 1986 I would have made about $1,000 for that job. In 1999 I would have made $3,000 for that job. Today, some one will do it — maybe not well, but they’ll do it and search optimize it — for five bucks. Jeneane.

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Monday, February 02, 2009


 the Cayman Islands and other little parasitic operations like it are causing enormous damage to the state of our government’s finances. 
Johnston has a few choice words for Reaganomics. In fact, more ideas than you can shake an asymptotic  stimulus package at. Me, I'm going, the next time I am employed, to have my salary sent to the Caymans. Then I'll pay myself my salary at a lower rate, giving me a tax write-off and USia the middle finger of tax relief. Video for Republicans coming soon, $79.95.

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The L Word: JSTOR by any other name...

JSTOR and Ithaka Merge

JSTOR ( and Ithaka ( have announced the merger of their organizations. The new combined enterprise will be called Ithaka and will be dedicated to helping the academic community use digital technologies to advance scholarship and teaching and to reducing systemwide costs through collective action. 

More from Ithaka here.

More logos, brands: Aluka - Portico - NITLE


"Increasingly we are approached for help on a range of initiatives that seek to leverage this investment...” said Guthrie.

Update via AKMA: Jo Guldi's constructive vision for Journals that take seriously what it means to disseminate.

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