The World (and Jason Griffey) Interviews Vernor Vinge

Jason Griffey kicked off the session by introducing Dr. Vernor Vinge and talking about his many accolades as a science fiction writer and futurist. Dr. Vinge then talked about how humans are the best tool-creating animal and the only animal that has figured out how to outsource their cognition — how to spread their cognitive abilities into the outside world.  As an example, he talked about how  writing and speaking are an outsourcing of our thinking and money represents an outsourcing of our perceived value for things. As humans continue to outsource cognition more effectively by harnessing powerful machines and complex networks, we move closer to a point of technological singularity.  At this point, where a superhuman intelligence can be achieved by machines or some combination of humans and machines, it will become too difficult for humans to fully grasp the present or to predict the future.  As an example, he talked about how someone might be able to explain the…


Open Library Environment Project (OLE) ALA session

I attended this session on Saturday morning. For those not familiar with OLE it is a project to build an open ILS using service oriented architecture and business modelling. The presenters were Robert H. McDonald (Indiana Univ.), Carlen Ruschoff (Univ. of Maryland), Beth Forrest-Warner (Univ. of Kansas), and John Little (Duke Univ.). The project is just finishing its planning phase and its draft document can be accessed at their website oleproject.org While the end product hopes to be an open source ILS right now the project is formed as a community source entity – like an open source but with members that have made committments and thus formed a community dedicated to the project, unlike an open source where one main player hopes others will join in and form a community. It seems to me that the community source approach ensures something will come out of the project. Some of…


The Open Library Environment Project

McCormick Place West, W-196a Building an ILS for Service Oriented Architecture Structure Beth Forrest-Warner, University of Kansas; Robert H. McDonald, Indiana University; John Little, Duke University; Carlen Ruschoff, University of Maryland. Really, this has as much of a positive implication for public and special libraries as it does for academics, especially as regards financial and HR management integration (think payroll and acquisitions). Not initially, but wait and watch for the trickle-down.