Presentation on theme: "Why put a library in everybody's pocket? Greg Newby Director, Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks Director and CEO, Project."— Presentation transcript:
Why put a library in everybody's pocket? Greg Newby Director, Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks Director and CEO, Project Gutenberg (volunteer)
Outline of todays discussion Get acquainted Dream: What could be Think: What we are doing today Plan: How what we do tomorrow can help bring about our dreams
Your humble narrator Information scientist, with broad interests Involved with Project Gutenberg since 1991 Working today in a variety of contexts to connect people to information More: www.petascale.org
Lets dream together Technology augments human capabilities
Information technology augments human knowledge, intellect, analytical skill
Information technology also makes it possible to engage more directly with other people, and with information systems: transcending the individual
Where can information technology eventually take us? For individuals: Unbounded intellect, unlimited access to information and analytic capabilities For society: Peace and understanding, as a result of effective shared meaning Or… your own goals
Lets think together How might a personal library help achieve our goals?
What I just did is a major shift in information empowerment, as important as the first moveable type printing press Books used to be chained… people couldnt afford them, and literacy was rare
From printing press … to digital press First eBooks: 1971 Google Books: 2005 Kindle: 2007 iPhone: 2007 Today, there are over 6 billion mobile phone subscribers. Can we get them each a library?
Yes, we can Project Gutenberg wants everyone to have his or her own book, and to make a collection in his or her own library www.gutenberg.org/cdproject: ISO maker for larger collectionswww.gutenberg.org/cdproject www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Bookshelf: subject collectionswww.gutenberg.org/wiki/Category:Bookshelf Auto-conversion to EPUB and MOBI and other formats, not just text and HTML. All books, in all major formats, for any device. Save … print … extract … convert … delete … expunge … reformat … mash up … Help create the next new book! www.pgdp.netwww.pgdp.net
Lets plan With Project Gutenberg as an example, what other data content could be in someones digital pocket? What trends are counter to this desire?
Impediments to other personal libraries Locality of information source (can we access, and re-access, directly?). Good: download a sea ice map from NSIDC; less good: Flash-based infographic on cnn.com Utility of information source (can we easily manipulate it, or are we limited by external constraints?). Good: raw data, editable images. Less good: uneditable formats or restricted utility
Tyranny of the Interface Interface: what is between us and the information we need? Do we need to re-navigate the interface on every visit? Login? Understand some sort of API or other programmatic interface?
Why locality matters Latency to access, including possible need to re-navigate an interface Integration with other external information (i.e., a memory system, which emerges over time and requires ongoing maintenance)
Clouds versus Dreams If its in the cloud, its not in your pocket. Might be behind an interface, tied to a particular device or program, and with limited functionality. Havent we all lost access to some content, even content we paid for, because something changed over time? Is this the way we want to treat our exosomatic memories?
Questions for data providers Can an information object be manipulated: extracted, reformatted, rearranged, transformed, excised, expurgated, augmented, jazzed or colored? Can it be joined to other information objects, much as our own memories are engaged in an endless self- creating montage?
What does literacy do for achieving our dreams? How is access to literature (or other content) beneficial? Augmentation of ones direct experiences: augmenting knowledge, creating memories, expanding horizons In electronic form, literature (like other information sources) integrates fairly directly with our psyche In the long run, literature (like other information sources) will directly tie into our memories and thought processes Summing up, from the eBook perspective
Whats in it for your project? Takeaway thoughts Are your activities leading extending human intellect and capabilities? If not, why not? Identify impediments to full utilization, full access, and minimally invasive interfaces. What can you do about minimizing the impediments?