Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reading books

One advantage of flying to the US is the chance to do some reading. At Newark (EWR) I picked up Guy Kawasaki's "Reality Check", which is a fun read. You can get a flavour of the book from this presentation Guy gave in 2006.

While at MIT for the Elsevier Challenge I was browsing in the MIT book shop and stumbled across "Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge" by Frenchman Jean-Noël Jeanneney. It's, um, very French. I have some sympathy with his argument, but ultimately it comes across as European whining about American success. And the proposed solution involves that classic European solution -- committees! In many ways it's really a librarian complaing about Google (again), which librarians just need to get over:

OK, I'm not really doing the arguments justice, but I'm getting a little tired of European efforts that are essentially motivated by "well the Americans are doing this, so we need to do something as well."

Lastly, I also bought Linda Hill's "Georeferencing: The Geographic Associations of Information", which is a little out of date (what, no Google Maps or Google Earth?), but is nevertheless an interesting read, and has lots of references to georeferencing in biodiversity informatics. Given that my efforts for the challenge in this area where so crude, it's something I need to think about a bit more deeply.

Now, if I can just find my gate...

1 comment:

Mauro Cavalcanti said...

Dear Rod,
I do agree. To be sure, I like French philosophers, but admit that most of them are indeed quite reactionary although fond of presenting themselves as "revolutionaries". And of proposing "committees" as a "final solution" (sorry), see how heavily bureaucratic are the European initiatives to databasing biodiversity are as compared to those agile and mostly efficient adopted by the Americans.