None of these (late again!) tidbits have anything strictly to do with library science, library management, library work, reference work, or other facets of Libraryland’s inner workings (when will I learn to be on topic with this stuff?) but they all have to do with library-related stuff that I think about from time to time.
Another bit about Google; yes, I am obsessed with Google. I am obsessed with what Google’s continued growth and ambition means for libraries and librarianship. I am obsessed with the precedents that Google’s operations and plans are setting for those of us who deal with data management on a daily basis and with its implications for the methods and goals of research for everyone. This particular article comes from author Douglas Rushkoff, whose work I’ve read (and enjoyed) and who I have real respect for. I don’t agree with his final point, that Goggle somehow has sullied its otherwise sterling reputation as a genuinely new internet company by buying five percent of AOL. From what I can find, it wasn’t this purchase that made them a competitor to Microsoft–they were always competitors of Microsoft. Every tech company that is not Microsoft competes with Microsoft in some way, shape or form–that’s a message the Bill Gates has sent to the world loud and clear over the past twenty years. If it isn’t, then why has Microsoft bought so many new and interesting companies and technologies and done its best to integrate the newest tech into their own products? (Please don’t try to tell me it’s all about making Windows the best OS ever–it hasn’t been the case for over a decade.) That’s what Bill repeatedly calls "innovation." (I call it "eating the opposition.") But the point is the same–the relationship between huge mega-companies in the tech field is complicated and ever-shifting, with each year bringing events that nobody very accurately anticipates. If Google feels that owning a bit of AOL gives them an edge in the marketplace, and they’re using their own funds to do it, that’s good enough for me.
That’s not to say this is necessarily a great strategy for Goggle, mind you. I still can’t figure out how they intend to make this new purchase work for them–I don’t know what AOL has they can genuinely make use of (except enormous cash flow, which is not a bad thing.) Must be why I’m not a MBA.
Another speech from Bill Moyers: read everything Moyers ever wrote, said, or otherwise spoke of. You won’t go wrong. Even if you hate him and everything he stands for (social justice, equality, integrity) you will learn from his work. I promise.
Finally, we have this bit from Andrew Tobias’ website. Please don’t tell me this is off topic. Integrity in data formulation is always on-topic for a library blog. This is a big deal, folks. A. Very. Big. Deal.
Update: Here’s a follow-up to Friday’s article on Andy’s site, and here is a link to a GAO report on the veracity of our election process. A. Very. Big. Deal.