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July 27, 2006

I started to read a new field, the field of social navigation.

But back to the effect on the direction of my studies. I learned to critique science after reading Cooper. This lead me to really understanding some topics in the sociology of science and technology early on in my studies and after becoming credentialed in statistics allowed me to pick up the pace with reading and critiquing science. I have also picked up more sociology and technology readings and lectures. I read many books in the 76.9 range where computers and society are studied. This lead me to blogs which are a personal micro history or as Cooper puts it, blogs are histographs not history or herstory.

So the questions that rage through my mind when writing on a blog have to do with appropriateness as suggested by the team of psychiatric rehabilitation actors I have used. But as I read about social navigation I am becoming aware that appropriateness is socially defined by people and is appropriate in places where people go and do things. So necessary for the definition of appropriateness is people just as laws are created by people and set out appropriate behaviours.

I am also combining my reading of social navigation with reading Cooper. I started reading this new field last week. I suspect the recent social networking web site engineers have studied this field.

The bibliographic cite for this reading is
Dourish, Paul. Where the Footprints Lead: Tracking Down Other Roles for Social Navigation in Munro, Alan J. & Höök, Kristina. & Benyon, David. eds. Social Navigation of Information Space (London, UK: Springer, 1999).
This article starts by suggesting navigation to be possible as spatial navigation, semantic navigation and social navigation. The author explores social navigation, as more than book recommender web sites in fact examines ways that social navigation could use a wider possible group of social interactions. He briefly touches on architecture and distinguishes between space and place. Spaces being physical and the root human understanding of the world and places being more socially defined and having meaning for people, He depends here on urban and architecture studies that are much older than computer software design. He also briefly looks at perceptual awareness of others as an example of a social interaction to be added to social networking of information space. That is information about the activities of others gained on the periphery. He sees social informatics as both a way to help others find information and at the same time a way to exploit for financial gain the information others have left in their use of the same information. He does mention that privacy is an issue with using information about people. He stubbles when discussing generalized information and presenting trends and aggregate data which I think needs more understanding from a paranoia of identity theft and also the natural hiding many do on the Internet. But all in all this was a good two day read.

I read some of Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry this morning.

I have read this fellow Dr. Cooper when young and idealistic. Also I only began to read him when some other roles were being played by me. One I was newly diagnosed as schizophrenic. Two I was a new holder of a book store credit card that someone else paid for in the end. Three I was looking for studies that would motivate me. This last point had the greatest effect. I do though still buy books on credit and have done this for years and years. It is one of my main activities that I get pleasure from. I also continue to play the role of schizophrenic but these days I hide this role for large periods of time when I am acting other roles where being schizophrenic does not really need to be played. But back to motivating studies.

I sought after reading this doctor to read more about knowledge and epistemology. That is what is knowledge and how do we organize it. The general attack that Doctor Cooper makes is on scientific knowledge being appropriate for human relations. Cooper makes a point in the introduction that I read tonight that bears repeating decades later on this blog. Human actions are not repeatable. It is fine for the scientist my father to repeat a few times or many times the experiments he does on things. And true human life and human micro-actions seem to be routine like washing the dishes. Thus yes we repeat washing the dishes. But do we? When in fact it is those of us with deviance that stop washing our dishes.

So this leads the doctor to saying there are two types of rationality. Human relations can not use analytical reason( scientific/numerical/metric), but must use dialectical reason. The dialectic I finally learned in 2001 was developed by Plato or Socrates as Plato recounts him. It is really the same as seeing humans and human issues from many angles but also simply put it is talking about human reality, human behaviour. It is not really that simple because a good dialectic will be like a court case where both sides or even more than two sides will be talked about. Thus weighting the pros and cons is a simplifed mostly non artistic way of being dialectical. This is like I have learned to do in executive meetings when making decisions in a group.

July 24, 2006

The gendered digital divide really hits home.

From being told I was smart when a kid to the present day the gendered digital divide is so real I can not ignore this. I have been reading a book about this and here is the bibliographical cite:
Cooper, Joel, & Weaver, Kimberlee D. Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003).
This book through a great number of studies of students in classroom experiments to test gendered differences in computing use as these fit various psychological factors, studies the gendered divide in computing use. While may be success with computers is too simplified in this book and certainly this divide is lessing these days, it is certainly a key feature of my own experience with computing.

July 23, 2006

I got a free copy of a Marita Moll edited book: Tech High

At our union meeting I browsed some free books at the labour council offices. I grabbed a lot of teachers books and also this book:
Moll, Marita. ed. Tech High: Globalization and the Future of Canadian Education (Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood, 1997).
Maria is also a National Capital Freenet (NCF) member, or was in the middle 1990's when I was a frequent NCF user.
I also got this book back from a retired army radio engineer I had loaned it to:
Flickenger, Rob, et al. Wireless Networking in the Developing World: A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure (London, U.K.: Limehouse Book Sprint Team, 2006) <http://wndw.net>.
This book is available free at the web site http://wndw.net . I bought a copy to support their project but also because sometimes I prefer hard copy books.

I am just exploring some of the settings and templates on this blog.

I am just exploring this Moving Type blog and different settings. I can't seem to find the day light savings time setting, for instance.

I have been doing more reading about communicating social informatics research.

The main thesis of Kling, Rosenbaum, and Sawyer's book is that computer professionals have to be aware of the social reasons software fails. I have been reading this thesis a few times in reading the later part of their book Understanding and Communicating Social Informatics.

July 22, 2006

Non-action, I slept in

Instead of attending the protest I got prepared for today's union meeting. I have three sign up kits and some dues stamps. This reminds me I need to write an agenda for today's union meeting.

July 21, 2006

I just used plain messages on my protest sign.

I wrote a lyric on one side of my sign which reads "War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing." On the other side I wrote "workers against war and violence". So these weren't bizarre or original statements. I now hope to sleep and get up on time for the rally.

There are too many battles in the world today.

As I sit in a country that hasn't seen war in generations, I view the nightly news where wars are breaking out, increasing and murdering people. In Canada, we need to rescue Canadians from the conflict. Tomorrow on the hill a rally has been called to voice our concerns, as workers that war is wrong. I need to make some signs for protest tonight to take tomorrow. I will use an old green party sign if I have one, or something else. I will make some absurdist but funny and light hearted peace statements on placards.

July 14, 2006

I am studying a variety of systems science topics.

I am reading a book on simulations. I also studying a basic C++ book and a C++ recipe book for programming neural networks. I am also reading a book for managing a dissertation.

July 4, 2006

I am preparing some Free CD's and DVD's for a school Frosh event on Free Culture.

I am using Bit Torrent to download some Debian CD's and will make copies for a school free culture Frosh event or other activity where I can give these away. I will also make some copies of the Project Gutenberg sample books DVD.

July 3, 2006

I sent emails to some Liberal leadership candidates.

I sent some emails supporting two Liberals for their leadership bid. But actually I am reading/studying Marx and actively working with the communist candidate on union business. Our communist candidate happens to be our union's business agent. I myself though am a green party volunteer. We are having our national AGM this August and are also electing a new leader. I know the old leader and am in touch with him concerning some volunteering. So yes, computers and the Internet help me do politics.