Re: If Academic Libraries Remove Computers, Will Anyone Come?
Weinheimer Jim <j.weinheimer <at> AUR.EDU>
2010-05-03 08:03:52 GMT
Laval Hunsucker wrote:
The point seems to be that you don't grasp, or perhaps choose not to acknowledge, the difference between
information ( the process, or perhaps even result, of being informed -- a phenomenological/cognitive
matter, the difference between a prior and a subsequent state of understanding in a given human mind, or in
Bateson's terms "the difference that makes a difference" ) and what you're now calling "materials" : what
I called "documents". This is in fact a large and ( pragmatically as well as philosophically ) significant distinction.
The former cannot be organized for anybody else by librarians, or by whosoever. The latter can, obviously,
be organized for ( access by ) other parties. This is what librarians have been doing, and doing fairly
well, since at least the time of Ashurbanipal.
It only, at best, muddies the waters -- while fatuously bolstering our ego's, I suppose, and that seems
sadly in fact to be the purpose -- to say, in organizing materials (documents) and/or their surrogates and
metadata etc., that we are in the process of "organizing information". Quite absurd. If you, as did
Daniel, carefully consider the term "hypostatization", you may better come to see what kind of manoeuvre
is involved here. It was no accident that I chose to use exactly that word in my response to your previous post.
I hesitate replying to this since the topic is rather arcane, but I simply cannot accept the idea that
librarians do not organize information.
I believe I understand what you are saying, it is just that I disagree with it. I don't believe I am committing
any fallacy here (I may have committed fallacies elsewhere, but not here!) The basic question is to
determine "what is information?" While I agree that on some level there are feelings and ideas that
necessarily must remain only inside people's heads, they nevertheless must be shared with others to be
considered as *information*. After all, "information" comes from "inform" which strongly implies
sharing of some sort from one person to another.