Jose-Marie Griffith spoke at a research forum today about Leadership in Context, specifically in connection with library and information science professions and institutions. She covered material on economics, education, and ethics for library leaders. According to her research there is an increase in the use of libraries during economic recessions. Recent studies in Florida and elsewhere estimate the return-on-investment in libraries as 6 to 1, six dollars of gain for every dollar invested.
To begin with: I liked the movie. I’ve liked most of the movies that David Fincher has made and I think that he’s one of the best directors working currently in Hollywood. But…there was something that bothered me. We’ve been here before. I’ve seen the same story again and again in Hollywood productions about Silicon Valley, magazines profiles of big businessmen, puff pieces for any and every magazine you can remember reading or not.
I found a video by John Cleese via Presentation Zen that continues some of the themes from my last post on creativity. I’m not entirely convinced by all the hyperventilating people who claim that the internet is making us stupid. But I do think there is a serious concern about the drawbacks of multitasking, and excessive attention to social media. One key to being more creative, says Cleese, is to avoid interruption.
Crises come and go. I think if you look deep enough into any field you can probably find a crisis brewing and probably a few that were brewing a few years or decades ago. There’s something that appeals to our hind brain whenever someone lets loose the cries of crisis. Just look at how long we’ve been inundated in the “education crisis.” (N.B. Education does have serious problems, I’m talking about the trope/rhetoric of crisis, not the specifics of education)
Back in my youthful glory days I remember watching with interest the adventures of Will Steger and his arctic band of adventurers. In 1986 Steger and seven colleagues traveled to the North Pole by dogsled. I even attended a speech by Ann Bancroft, the only woman in the 1986 expedition, in the late 1980s. The expedition left March 7 and reached the pole fifty-five days later, which works out to May 1st.
A new exhibition of paintings and drawings by Guillermo Kuitca, the Argentinian artist, just opened at the Walker Art Center this weekend. I went in to view the exhibition and see the artist interviewed by Olga Viso and Douglas Dreishpoon, two of the curators for the show. There were a couple of works that caught my attention as I wandered through the gallery before the discussion. In the first gallery there is a smaller canvas that has a large black polyhedra with lighter round ink impressions surrounding.
I’ve been reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf this summer. It is a wonderful and brilliant piece of art, part of the high modernist literary flowering from the first half of the twentieth century. The style reminds me of Henry James in many places, but with a smoother syntax. The link to James is the focus on internal dialogue, the thoughts that go on inside each of us when we think about our family; Woolf takes that idea and develops it to a fever pitch.
Nina Simon the author of The Participatory Museum and the Museum 2.0 weblog was in the Twin Cities this week to promote her book at an event hosted by the Walker Art Center. I was already at the Walker to give a public tour and decided to stick around and listen to what Nina had to say which was a good decision. Simon spoke for half an hour about her work on encouraging participation by museum goers.
An old idea (2008) from the drafts folder that I’m posting now. A related post back in 2008. Two people are interviewed by a single person. During the interview the interviewer tells the subject a private piece of information about a third person, called X. Three conditions: shares information without comment, tells subject not to share information, pays subject small amount ($10-$20) to not share information. Then the subject is interviewed by another person, perhaps at a later date.