25 September 2006

Circuit Overload

I think my god-given processing unit (brain) is already overloaded with information as I process this week's readings.

Generally speaking, the vast amounts of information available to USERS are mind boggling. I would suspect that databases, of every sort and scope, populate some dark corner of the Internet: an untapped keg of information. So how do you tap that keg of information? Lyman’s “Executive Summary of How Much Information” underscores this unprecedented and growing phenomenon. In dealing with this incredible explosion of information, which needs to be of some use to the end-user, Bates' provides solutions in he article, "Internet Librarian: 30 Search Tips in 40 Minutes," which is just the tip of the iceberg.

Ironically, Turkel provides additional tips that are consistent with my current method of reading, in terms of completing a 375-page book in five days. Recall, if you will, the two-week old comments by the gentleman to the left of the obstructive column in the room (sorry, don't know the name!), which Turkel echoes by stating, "Another (student) became very discouraged by the thought that he would spend a decade writing a book that some other grad student would process in an hour and a half."

Cohen's tips on databases and how to narrow search criteria are fine and dandy, but his article, and those of others, point to a far greater dilemma: access. We debated the same issue before and read Rosenzweig's material that emphasized the importance of "access." Even though I have had a computer for ten + years and I have self-taught myself how to write programs, develop websites, etc., I am NOT a computer programmer! This stuff is really hard! I tried like hell to figure out CSS and begin work on my GWOT website- but I am lost!

SAS said it best in his blog, Too Much Information! What good is all the information if I can't obtain it- or a lousy second-rate rendition provided by some spider bot? Herein lay the essence of the debate as it relates to using the power of the Internet and traditional methods of research. I would be more inclined to trust the latter, but I guess it depends on your own preferences.