Johnny goes to the library . . . .

My love of books began with a box of crayons. OH! how the black on white needed emphasis! I find my powers of research challenged as literature moves through the digital age. Graduate school presents new information for my enjoyment and consumption. READ ON!!!!!

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Location: mind

thinking about it?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Johnny meets the subatomic world, or Inside the looking glass

Inside the looking glass

I remember as if it happened sometime in my lifetime. They were calling it ENIAC, or BRAINIAC, or MANIAC: I forget. These new number crunchers would soon rule many societies’ destinies. It was only the beginning, only my first thought. Then more thoughts, more questions.

· Who is creating these things?
· What are they capable of?
· When will they start affecting my life, and the lives of those around me?
· Where will I first encounter one of these?
· Why are people worried about them?
· How will I deal with them if they take over the world?

{flashforward ~50 years}

Welcome to “Library Science 6080- Information Technology.” Working with and against computers during this last generation has taught me many things- not least of which is, “I don’t know diddly about computers, networks, or anything associated with the two.” Taking this course is beginning to satisfy my curiosity. To further this self-realization, I have chosen to learn more about the field of digitization.

I performed a query in a search engine with “digitization,” only to find I was still left without a real direction to go. This field is extremely vast, and growing. Technologies appear, and disappear if they are not going to fit the bill in the big scheme of things. So, my first dilemma was what idea to pursue. I was stopped cold- by a face in the monitor. He was Saint Bartholomew entangled in rolls of parchment! They had not yet discovered red tape.
(SEE I moved from that face to the print: Metadata. It was a vision, a grail, a light at the end of the tunnel.

Who came up with it? What does it mean? When did it begin to mean anything? Where was the person when they thought of it? Why did they create this word? How did they convince their cohorts to accept this term into the confines of their intellectual community?
It was not much to go on, but it was a start.

Not that we do not have enough data yet, or are about to run out of circuitry with which to put that data- do not worry. Just in case you are worried about a job being opened for you- do not. A new info explosion has occurred. Didn’t you hear it? You must not have been there when it dropped in the woods.

Meet Metadata, data about data, double dipped, refined, regurgitated, and who knows what else. At least twice as much to go around, wouldn’t you think? This is all very exciting. Not only have I uncovered a new, powerful, and interesting word, but whatever is going to happen with it has yet to happen. So there will be subject materials for years to come!

Once I have digested today’s installment, I will get back with you with the nuts & volts, the nitty gritty, and whatever else this Metadata may be. What next? Digital objects? Yeah, right!

{to be continued}


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