Re: Various

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Heebie, nobody cares about dumn old books and movies from fifty years ago that weren't massive sellers. We need copyright exactly as it stands so people will keep writing new books like Fifty Shades of Gray.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:49 AM
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The copyright issue is probably going to get worse before it gets better. Twenty years from now, the only available book from the 80s will be Battlefield Earth and then the revolution will start.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:00 AM
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The author of the third piece is an associate professor of honors at Texas Tech University.
Honors?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:09 AM
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Yeah, some schools have faculty housed entirely within an Honors program.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:15 AM
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Unless you were marveling that Texas Tech has an honors program.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:15 AM
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We have an honors college but I never heard of anybody being a professor of honors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:20 AM
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There's a dean of the honors college, but you wouldn't be a professor of honors anymore than you'd be a professor of arts and sciences. As far as I know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:21 AM
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No, sometimes there are dedicated faculty. Really. Not at Heebie U, but this is a thing I've been forced to learn a lot about.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:21 AM
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I'm not doubting you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:23 AM
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Yeah, what 7 says, but 5 is funnier. Good to know, although prof of honors sounds odd.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:26 AM
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Yeah, it's really common to have faculty just in the Honors College. Normally people call themselves "Associate Professor of [Discipline Name] in the Honors College at [School Name]," though. Including the discipline name doesn't mean you have a connection to that department. It is just to make things clear.

I actually am officially an "Associate Professor of Arts and Humanities" and Last Chance Community College. The status of administrative units within the Division of Arts and Humanities is actually fairly fluid.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:28 AM
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The average dean is 60% water.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:32 AM
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It varies a bit by age and how long it's been since a bathroom break.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:34 AM
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It's maddening-- there's no way to legally get an electronic copy of Braudel's trilogy, or Goffman's books, or Thurber, or John Collier's stories.

Lessig had a nice orphan copyright proposal, but since the democrats are owned by the publishers and republicans have knuckle hair, nothing will happen.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:36 AM
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Deans have a lateral lines and inner ears, to hear with, rather than traditional human ears.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:36 AM
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Deans often go two weeks without food, and then eat a single hamster, whole.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:38 AM
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Other than polar bears and cats, deans are the only animal that kills for fun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:47 AM
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Paula Deen has a son named Dean, and when he read Catch-22 in high school he realized that it was his destiny to become a Dean. Unfortunately, he really sucked at academics, so much so that and he failed out of college in his sophomore year. He now works as a bail bondsman in Shreveport, LA.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:55 AM
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Unfortunately, none of 18 is true.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:56 AM
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Doesn't mean I can't repeat it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:58 AM
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If you delete 19, my conscience will be clear when I repeat it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:59 AM
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OK, for you wanna-be urban-myth-spreaders: some of 18 is true.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:12 AM
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Specifically, the first four words.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:13 AM
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Oops. Shouldn't have made that explicit. Kinda ruins it, I guess.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:13 AM
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First five words, dammit.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:14 AM
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"Paula Deen has a"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:14 AM
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dammit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:14 AM
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The phrase "bail bondsman in Shreveport, LA" is also true.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:15 AM
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I re-watched the miniseries of Stephen King's IT just yesterday, and today there's a post about scary clowns. Synchronicity!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:23 AM
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The posts are coming from inside your house.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:24 AM
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The posts are coming from inside your house.

Do they float?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:28 AM
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Can "bail bondsman in Shreveport, LA" actually be true?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:28 AM
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I thought we already had a professor of
honors.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:31 AM
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32: yeah they're suspicious types.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:34 AM
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Professor of Outstanding Achievement in the General Field of Excellence.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:35 AM
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The article at the first link is pretty interesting. I do find myself wondering to what extent the quest for social approval motivates claims of Coulrophobia (e.g. to what extent people claim to fear clowns because fearing clowns seems to be the current socially appropriate thing).

I also just found out I've been missing out huge on the J. Crew blog. Just look at that magnificent entry. My God.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:45 AM
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The graph above shows the simplest interpretation of the data. It reveals, shockingly, that there are substantially more new editions available of books from the 1910s than from the 2000s.

I think most of these new editions are print-on-demand or Kindle versions. 1 of these is basically the same as 12 of them, since it takes no effort to find the data and offer to print it up with a generic cover. So there are 8 versions of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt's "The Land War In Ireland", but the actual number means nothing. There could be 12 tomorrow.

In effect, with e-publishing, every book that's out of copyright and has been scanned in somewhere is available electronically, and every book that's out of print but still in copyright is not. Is that right?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:46 AM
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I support truth functions defined on noun phrases.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:47 AM
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there's no way to legally get an electronic copy of Braudel's trilogy

Although I suppose someone who owned it could scan a copy into a PDF for their own use?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:48 AM
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37: I don't know, but I do know that Amazon has absolutely no problem asking for $10 for an electronic edition of book that was written 90 years ago. The fuckers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:51 AM
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I do find myself wondering to what extent the quest for social approval motivates claims of Coulrophobia

Anecdotally, the two things that seem to reliably send small children into paroxysms of terror are clowns and people in masks - especially whole-head masks, the kind of thing you might see actors wearing at Disney World. I don't think they're doing it to get social approval.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:56 AM
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Clowns, people in masks, and being asked to sleep.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 7:57 AM
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41: I'm not accusing the children, although I'd be careful about weighing the supposed anecdata: if clowns and mascots were that reliable at sending kids into "paroxysms" of terror, surely Disneyworld should be buried under an avalanche of parental lawsuits and Cirque du Soleil should be bankrupt. But I actually have more in mind many of the adults who lay claim to being coulrophobes.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:00 AM
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I do find myself wondering to what extent the quest for social approval motivates claims of Coulrophobia (e.g. to what extent people claim to fear clowns because fearing clowns seems to be the current socially appropriate thing).

Definitely nothing scary about clowns.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:02 AM
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Clowns and mask-people look good as TV characters. Not so much in person. I'm curious if the traditional notion of "clown" as basically "funny acrobat" changed to "face-painted monstrosity" as a result of TV. Will read the OP article, it probably answers it.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:02 AM
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Coulrophobes are people scared of Dave Coulier? They oughta know.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:05 AM
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As a kid I loved Bozo the Clown.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:05 AM
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TV characters and also characters in dramas. Kids have always liked puppet shows, but there is no expectation that they interact with the puppets.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:06 AM
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46 was great, but I had to google to be sure it was making the joke I thought it was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:07 AM
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44: Depends on the clowns. One could argue that fixating on Pennywise is rather putting one's finger on the scale.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:07 AM
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We need copyright exactly as it stands so people will keep writing new books like Fifty Shades of Gray

I have really enjoyed reading Jenny Trout's exhaustive documentation of how godawful those books are.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:08 AM
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41: I'm thinking of very small kids here - 3-4 year olds. Probably a bit young for Cirque du Soleil. But, yes, anecdata. (Though a bit of googling shows lots of pages of advice on what to do when your kids burst into tears on seeing Mickey Mouse, so it's not that rare a problem.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:09 AM
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(I personally find anime characters, with their distorted proportions, uncanny features and dead, soulless eyes, far scarier. Animephobia. You heard it here first, everyone. It's gonna be big.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:11 AM
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50: Meh. They should all be replaced by Tim Curry.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:12 AM
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An entire caste of entertainers, cloned from the DNA of Tim Curry. Now that's a horror script that writes itself. *shudder*


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:13 AM
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Plenty of villains in the all-Tim Curry script, but not many protagonists. I guess the hero would either be King Arthur or Nigel Thornberry.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:20 AM
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Now that's a horror script that writes itselfn ideal setup for a remake of Kind Hearts and Coronets


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:22 AM
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51: Thanks for the link. Very Left Behind-ish.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:23 AM
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53: That doesn't look like anime, rather photoshopping to bring anime characteristics into the uncanny-valley.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:31 AM
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59: Or perhaps... they were always in the valley to begin with. Other children watched Robotech in joy at the lazer-zapping antics of its mecha... and I watched in heart-palpitating dread as the horrors within gazed into my soul.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:33 AM
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While searching for scary clown images, I discovered that in 1998 Margot Kidder was in an obscure low budget horror movie about a killer clown.

Your totally random entertainment industry fact for the day.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:37 AM
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This is various-- here's the Amazon description of an author who wrote a book about cloning Jesus:

James BeauSeigneur is a former intelligence analyst who has worked for the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. As an author, he has assisted the Department of Homeland Security by serving on "Terrorist Red Cells" to speculate on possible terrorist targets and tactics. He is a former newspaper publisher, and he taught political science for two years at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His background brings a special focus on scientific and political realism to his novels, which have been published in 12 languages.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:40 AM
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re: 62

Heh. Just googled that because I've read a novel about cloning Christ. I found that guy's trilogy, and reviews of at least another two or three (all terrible), and yet none of those were the novel I read.

You'd think publishers would be bored of the trope by now.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:51 AM
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I liked the idea better when it was a Star Trek episode about Kahless.

But the really scary part of BeauSeigneur's bio is: As an author, he has assisted the Department of Homeland Security by serving on "Terrorist Red Cells" to speculate on possible terrorist targets and tactics. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in those brainstorming sessions.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:54 AM
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62: "Good Lord Jimbo", we used ta call 'im.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:57 AM
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59: Is that photoshop? It looks like makeup to me.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 8:57 AM
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I'd be better off reading sutras or doing something useful for others, as I'm already misanthropic. But I would be interested to read the book about cloned Jesus.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:07 AM
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I'm not scared of clowns, but historical reenactors and mimes freak me the fuck out.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:07 AM
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61: The Clown at Midnight? Very Shakespearean.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:12 AM
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what to do when your kids burst into tears on seeing Mickey Mouse...

When I was around 8 or 9 my family went to Disney World and Goofy persistently hit on my mom (I think my dad was off somewhere dealing with my younger brother or getting us tickets or food or something). We were on a park bench and he kept laying down with his head in her lap and mostly ignored me and my brother. It made me very uncomfortable. Never did like that dog.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:13 AM
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historical reenactors and mimes freak me the fuck out.

¡spɹoʍ ǝɥʇ uɹɐǝן


Posted by: Opinionated Havelock Vetinari | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:15 AM
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68: My efforts to find an image of a mime in a Civil War era uniform are coming up empty.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:15 AM
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60: Eh.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:17 AM
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73: Not being a human does a lot to move it from the uncanny valley to the dissected plateau of adorable smugness.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:22 AM
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39: I think that's right, as long as the PDF is only for personal use. Not sure if you're allowed to make mix PDFs and share them, with titles like "The Wheels of Commerce turn all night, baby". That may run afoul of rules designed for course readers.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:23 AM
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72: A pretender to the French throne in a Union uniform is the closest I can find to a mime.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:24 AM
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37: I think the guy tried to correct for edition multiplication and proliferation. The title vs. edition thing is a surprisingly difficult information organizational problem, leading to acronyms like FRBR and WEMI.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:28 AM
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70 is awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:30 AM
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It'd be better if he wouldn't stop sniffing her crotch. Or humping her leg.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:30 AM
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68: The issue with historical reenactors is when they talk like they're in the era they're recreating and expect me to play along. HATE IT.

The hatred of mimes involves a long ago festival and some magic mushrooms. Trauma.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:30 AM
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Confidential to Minivet: I just got a refund from the veterinarian.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:31 AM
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||

Stupidest opinion piece paragraph I hope to read today:

Just after the 2009 Minneapolis election, we conducted a public opinion survey that revealed a series of startling disparities in political voice. Among Minneapolis voters, 61 percent earned $50,000 or more per year; only 39 percent earned less than $50,000. College graduates made up 62 percent of voters; only 38 percent had less formal education.

Sigh.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:32 AM
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81: Is this something we talked about with SOOBC?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:33 AM
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Fifty percent of people are below the median in their understanding of basic statistical concepts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:36 AM
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61 ,69: Have we not fucked the clowns at midnight?


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:37 AM
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85: Richard Cory knew what to do in that thread.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:39 AM
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83: It's OBAMACARE! It's infecting the cats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:39 AM
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37 is right. Of course you shouldn't be shocked that there are more "new editions" of things out of copyright than there are within in it -- all of a sudden you have lots of new publishers who can create identical electronic copies of the same book, or even (ie Project Gutenberg) distribute it for free. The difference of course is that the authors and/or authors heirs don't receive anything from the sale of those works.

As to access, I'm not at all an expert in old-book publishing or library stuff, but I'm skeptical as a practical matter that there are significant barriers (as opposed to maximum convenience and making everything available for free). Orphan works are a real issue and should probably be dealt with better but are a pretty small subset of important cultural production -- Thurber and Braudel (mentioned above) are not orphan works, it's just that their publishers haven't cut deals for mass-distributed electronic versions, though if you but the book you're free to make a PDF for your own use.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:42 AM
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79 He pawed at her a lot. Does that count?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:43 AM
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Maybe the inaccessibility of Thurber is from the movie studio trying to hide the source material in advance of the new WALTER MITTY movie, like they did with TRON LEGACY.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:57 AM
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though if you but the book you're free to make a PDF for your own use

That solves every problem ever. There's nothing at all absurd about a copyright system where I have to do hours of work to get ready access to something I've already paid for and I can't pay the publisher for an accessible edition and I certainly can't spend 30 seconds googling to get what I want (and would have paid for) for free.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:58 AM
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85: An Unfogged chronology should use "BFYC" and "AFYC" to periodize comment threads.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 9:58 AM
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||

I just attended a meeting for a local nonprofit at which we were deciding who would serve on a committee tasked with making an important public decision. Service on the committee is considered a significant honor. We were presented with a list of proposed names. The chair stressed how important it was that the committee members be accomplished, prominent, etc., but also that the committee should reflect the organization's strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. It must be a diverse committee reflecting the varied perspectives of our entire community. Okay then. This was an all-white room, perhaps I should say. We began discussing various candidates on the list. The first two candidates on the list were discussed and approved. The third name was discussed and also approved, at which point the chair said "Okay, and that's great--Mr. Johnson [the third name on the list; names changed for anonymity] is African-American, so now we have diversity on the committee. Let's see--Mr. Smith, Mr. Davenport, Ms. Barrow, ... [proceeds to name a few more names from further down on the list] are also all African-American, so we can cross their names off of the list." [Emphasis added.] I had a little trouble believing I was hearing correctly, so I asked: "I'm sorry, why are we crossing these other names off the list?" The chair replied: "We had included several names of qualified African American candidates so that we could choose from among them in order to have diversity on the committee. Mr. Johnson is African American, so he will be the diversity on the committee." He seemed to think that was responsive to my question, and moved on.

At one point later in the meeting, we were having trouble coming up with satisfactory suggestions for the last few candidates (having exhausted the names on the list), and someone said, "What about Ms. Barrow? [Who was earlier crossed off the list.] She's [proceeds to list Ms. Barrow's impressive qualifications]." "No," said the chair, "not Ms. Barrow. We already have diversity on the committee." (These are all direct quotes.) We muddled our way through other names until suitable candidates were chosen.

I basically sat through the entire meeting without saying anything save the one question noted above, because I don't know anyone or have any real role in this process and why I'm even in the room is a long story with professional implications. But I think I may need to formally resign. (Which would be professionally ugly.) I feel dirty. Ugh.

|>


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:06 AM
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93: It is hard for me to imagine anyone being that blatant about that sort of casual/stupid racism here. But maybe I don't go to enough professional committee meetings. I do know that I chatted with a fellow at a function once who was a prominent African-American banker who served on A LOT of committees as "the diversity," because he was (a) Black and (b) rich and well-connected. He seemed to have a pretty positive attitude about it, but it seems like it would get kinda old to keep getting asked to be on this or that committee all the time to be "the diversity."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:12 AM
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Wow, jesus. How gross.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:13 AM
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I should have said: "No, not Ms. Barrow. We already have diversity on the committee" basically got a lot nods in agreement from the audience and an "Oh, yes, that's right" response from the person who asked the question.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:18 AM
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This was an all-white room, perhaps I should say.

We probably could have guessed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:18 AM
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It is hard for me to imagine anyone being that blatant about that sort of casual/stupid racism here.

I was shocked.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:19 AM
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I think you should definitely contact people involved with this organization through back channels and ask why there was a rule saying there must be exactly one African American on the committee. Explicitly refer to the possibility that Ms. Barrow was a victim of discrimination because membership was capped at one black person.

You don't need to resign until you are sure that everyone in the organization understood and approved of what was going on.

Another interesting threat to have in your arsenal is contacting Ms. Barrow.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:20 AM
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Further to 82: The income should hardly be startling at all -- 2010 median income for Mpls was ~$45K -- so voters are slightly wealthier than non-voters. Big surprise. I guess the college one might come as a bigger shock, as the proportions are basically switched -- 37% of residents over 25 having BA or higher, 63% not. But realistically, I would think most people would expect that discrepancy to exist, just based on who you see at the polling place.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:21 AM
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Were minutes taken at the meeting? Do they describe the decision being made in this way, or are these people smart enough not to do shit like this on paper.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:21 AM
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Another interesting threat to have in your arsenal is contacting Ms. Barrow.

I don't have a clue who Ms. Barrow is or how to contact her. I had no real business in this meeting other than warming a seat--I basically knew none of the names on the list. (I've heard of several of them, but not most, and I personally know none of them.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:23 AM
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99.last: Right, but don't contact Ms. Barrow and Mr. Johnson. That would be too much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:24 AM
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No minutes. Not described that way on paper.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:24 AM
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Surely people on the committee have access to a resume or CV.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:25 AM
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I think you should definitely contact people involved with this organization through back channels... You don't need to resign until you are sure that everyone in the organization understood and approved of what was going on.

Everyone involved with the leadership of the organization was in the room.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:26 AM
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I just think getting these dudes to explain themselves is a necessary first step here.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:29 AM
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I'm really sorry to say this, because it's hard, and in your position I'd be desperately looking for furniture to hide behind. But I think you have to do something -- at a minimum raise it in substantively the same terms you did here with the other people at the meeting, plausibly resign if remedial action isn't taken, and maybe go public.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:33 AM
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Venting on Unfogged doesn't count as doing something?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:33 AM
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Also, not that it's helpful to say this, but those fuckers. What is wrong with people?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:34 AM
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109 and 110 both exactly reflect my feelings.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:37 AM
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I do think the language that Helpy-chalk used - "Why is there a cap at having exactly one African-American person on the committee?" - is useful.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:39 AM
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Can you speak privately to whoever's chair you were warming, assuming that's a person/entity with real power, as a first step? Given your JD it's also worth framing as "this is a lawsuit waiting to happen, and no one wants that."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:41 AM
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Is there any way you can spin the nature of your presence in the room as an obligation to provide legal advice? Because you could advise the organization that they're going to get sued if they act like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:44 AM
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I personally would concern-troll that the cap was unpatriotic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:47 AM
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113.2 seems like a powerful gambit. Good thinking. The only drawback being that it would probably lead to a non-apology and an informal cap of three African Americans, or two and a Hispanic, when what needs to happen is for the people who started this crap to be outed and hanged, drawn and quartered in the public square.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:47 AM
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rob helpy-chalk's line sounds excellent if you want to take the direct attack, but possibly saying `Let's not put Barrows on as diversity, then, let's put her on as our best razzlefratcher.' And if they pull moues at that, use the direct attack.

Or you could argue sweetly that the experiences of black men and black women are different, and go for the complete Venn-diagram version of `diversity'. That seems likely to backfire somehow, though.

Do they seem to be consciously gatekeeping, or unconsciously? I suppose if they're good at it you can't tell.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:49 AM
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Purely practical shifts to get around 39: you can scan your books and keep the physical copies in deep storage; easier is to slice the pages out of the binding and send them through a sheet-feeder. Possibly, in the US, you might only need to keep the front covers. If you think anyone ever will want the physical copies again (twenty years from now when we scan them into holographic repro with haptic detail? wevs) wrap them up airtight and put in more dessicant than you'd think you'd need. Or store in someplace in New Mexico, fireproof.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:55 AM
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This thread was more fun when it was about scary clowns.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:58 AM
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"Why is there a cap at having exactly one African-American person on the committee?"

I agree this question is worth asking and I will ask it, but based on the interactions in the room I also think with a pretty high degree of confidence that I can guess the answer. It will be something very close to: "Of course there is not a 'cap' of exactly one African-American on the committee. We do aim to have at least one minority on the committee in order to promote diversity, but the general selection guidelines for the committee are just to select the best overall candidates available for service."

Restating: we would personally choose to have no African-Americans on the committee, but we do so for good PR. If we just subjectively selected who we thought was best, there would be no African Americans on the committee. Having selected one who is suitable, the rest are not worth considering. (Because we're flaming racists.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 10:59 AM
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This thread was more fun when it was about scary clowns.

This thread never stopped being about scary clowns.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:00 AM
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I do think your best practice would be to complain to a broad audience, even if limited to within the organization. While people are fuckers, and they suck, you can't be the only person who was horrified and didn't manage to effectively raise it at the time. Getting the statement that it was unacceptable out there lets anyone else horrified know they have support. Email to the meeting attendance list, warning of the risk of suit?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:02 AM
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Could someone help me understand what the risk of lawsuit would be? These are not job applicants.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:03 AM
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You could spell out various scenarios and we'd need more specifics to do so, but I think the important thing is less to precisely indicate actual legal risk than to point out (accurately) that this kind of thing is indicative of a culture that could look very very bad in any kind of legal proceeding and, if its a nonprofit, to large grant donors and the like. In terms of strategy, there's almost certainly one lawyer on the board of the organization who acts as their de facto general counsel. I'd find that guy and go and talk to him about the concern, framed in terms of concern for the organization rather than a general concern for justice. If there's no response there, you could consider other action, but probably they need a memo from their GC telling them that they can't run their procedures this way. Without knowing anything, that's what I'd try first.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:10 AM
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122 is clever.

Urple's story is very sad. WTF.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:12 AM
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Here, I'd be more worried about state and local anti-discrimination than federal anti-discrimination law; I don't know what the local laws are like in Undisclosed State. But honestly, whether there's a winning lawsuit in it for anyone doesn't mean the organization couldn't plausibly be sued. It's not the damages, it's the publicity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:18 AM
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37: In effect, with e-publishing, every book that's out of copyright and has been scanned in somewhere is available electronically, and every book that's out of print but still in copyright is not. Is that right?

Pretty much right.

That Atlantic piece -- or the study it reports on -- has a lot of holes in it.

Chiefly, and glaringly: it's not at all the case that the availability of out-of-print books is accurately represented by crawling offerings on Amazon. Amazon started out offering only in-print books and has only in the last handful of years begun to provide space for out-of-print books. Independent used book sellers themselves are providing them with the data for those books in a random and piecemeal fashion, but the books slowly being offered on Amazon have been available on Abebooks, Alibris, ABAA, ILAB and numerous other non-Amazon sites for a couple of decades, and of course much longer than that in your friendly neighborhood used bookstore. So finding a dearth of offerings for 1923-1971 *on Amazon* means little.

It's really a technical matter, on Amazon: they've been set up from the beginning to tie book listings (records in their database) to ISBNs. Pre-1971, roughly, books had no ISBNs. Amazon's system can pretty easily handle "new editions" -- print-on-demand, e-books -- of older titles which assign themselves a new ISBN (for something that never had one). It fell on its face repeatedly in setting up a system for handling non-ISBNs altogether, and those are the 1923-1971 titles.

By way of demonstration, about 1/3 of the titles in my own shop's catalogue of 20,000 titles couldn't be listed on Amazon -- their system couldn't provide for it -- until about 5 years ago. Even now, we have to create the listing ("product detail page") ourselves. Multiply that by the millions of mid-century books held by used book sellers across the nation, and Amazon perforce shows a huge lacuna in that area.

Here's the thing: the title of that piece, "A Hole in our Collective Memories", seems to suppose that if it's not on Amazon, it's ceasing to exist. Bullshit. I dislike Amazon because it has increasingly made itself the only thing people can think of when looking for books. That someone would do a careful, number-crunching study of the availability of mid-century books in our society by studying *what's on Amazon* is sort of jaw-dropping.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:19 AM
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Literally crossing off names of African-American candidates before looking at their credentials seems like a smoking gun. Not that this system will be much better once they've learned not to do that, but to just murmur about `collegiality' or `skills matrix' when they get to those candidates.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:20 AM
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"No," said the chair, "not Ms. Barrow. We already have diversity on the committee."

OK, now that I've actually read 93...wow. 122 gets it right.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:24 AM
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As a sidebar: I'm not sure how the study's author did his crawling of Amazon, but it is most definitely the case that Amazon's search engine for non-ISBN books is dreadful: they never had their indexing set up for that initially. I have numerous books on offer on Amazon that you will not be able to find (searching by author, title, year) to save your life, though their advanced search, which most people don't know exists, is quite a bit better.

Anyway, I'm curious how the crawling was done.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:27 AM
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More plus for 122.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:27 AM
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every book that's out of copyright and has been scanned in somewhere is available electronically

Sooooooort of. Some scans were faulty -it isn't actually trivial- and if the original got dumpstered or misfiled in Palmdale or whatever, you're SOL if you need it. *Extra* SOL if lots (all? Oops) of the physical copies were deaccessioned because someone saving money in a library figured the scan was available.

Also, the conventions for making sure that the electronic copies are indexed, available, backed up, not all on a single server, cryptosigned, etc. sure wasn't complete when we started scanning everything. ttaM probably knows more about whether the world actually has a system as-good-as or better than the paper libraries now. Since all library funding, paper or digital, seems to be about as stout as sandcastles right now, I worry.

All this on top of parsi's vivid comments about the *non*library world. Self-fulfilling prophecy, the _Atlantic_ article; if no-one looks for books anywhere but on Amazon, the indie sources *will* go out of business.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:32 AM
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Possibly useful background: ISBNs are cheaper if you buy lots. (Because there's maufacturing efficiencies of scale for ASCII strings, yeah.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:35 AM
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129: That's sort of why I think it's a lot better, if you can manage it, to blast-email your complaints. Raising it discreetly seems to invite 'fixing' the process to look better without changing things.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:35 AM
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Independent used book sellers themselves are providing them with the data for those books in a random and piecemeal fashion, but the books slowly being offered on Amazon have been available on Abebooks, Alibris, ABAA, ILAB and numerous other non-Amazon sites for a couple of decades, and of course much longer than that in your friendly neighborhood used bookstore. So finding a dearth of offerings for 1923-1971 *on Amazon* means little.

This is absolutely true. I don't like Alibris because search results are overrun with print-on-demand crap, but Abebooks has tons more out-of-print books than Amazon does, and more information on each individual book too.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:45 AM
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we have to create the listing ("product detail page") ourselves.

Can you use the MARC records that already exist? If you can retrieve them as XML, converting to whatever format Amazon requires for preparing bulk submissions should just be one fiddly xslt.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:46 AM
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133: All this on top of parsi's vivid comments about the *non*library world

Worth noting that we sell to libraries constantly: university libraries, high school, municipal, museum and institutional libraries, historical societies, nationally and internationally. Libraries don't stand independently of the used book trade.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 12:10 PM
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136: I don't like Alibris because search results are overrun with print-on-demand crap

Ned, try a site called Via Libri, an umbrella search engine of smaller online bookselling sites. It allows you to check off "no PODs" -- works very well, and provides results from numerous smaller sites, including Alibris.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 12:13 PM
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Anonymous 137: Yep, that's what I do. I retrieve bibliographic information via MARC code (z39.50), export in tab-delimited format for our own database in Filemaker Pro, then can upload to Amazon in bulk. BUT Amazon has some problematic requirements: for ex., you must have a publication date that's a single four-digit date. You can't have, e.g. 1813-1814, or [n.d.], or ca. 1954. You must have an author. Other things.

Pain in the ass, I tell you what.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 12:23 PM
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93: I hope you bust the fuck out of those fucking clowns. Fuck those clowns.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 12:23 PM
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Open letter in general: anyone who has questions or frustrations about trying to buy books online should feel free to email me off-blog. I do this for a living, and may know of resources; not to mention that one doesn't hear of buyer experiences nearly often enough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:15 PM
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Thanks. I will if it comes up. Fortunately, I can have the librarian go find hard to get stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:19 PM
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119, 133 et al, it's like being at work!

I don't think anyone is really doing the proper digital archiving of books. The Internet Archive have a pretty solid system as far as it goes [and some nice low-cost tech involved]. Some of the better funded European national libraries have digitised a substantial percentage of their holdings, and some have even made that stuff freely available. Norway, for example, are pretty far down the road of having a complete online digital archive of everything. France, it will surprise no-one to discover, have also done really quite a lot in this area.

Funnily enough, storing books digitally also turns out not to be cheap. So libraries need real money to do it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:32 PM
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I've just caught up with the thread, and 93 is indeed appalling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:32 PM
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Related query: I have about a third of my books catalogued by Library Thing, which allows you to export as MARC files. Is there a way to transfer these to Mendeley easily? Mendeley doesn't have an import function for MARC. In fact, until the most recent update, the import for .enl files didn't work right either.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:33 PM
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There are probably XSLTs from Marc to basically everything, as Marc is the de facto catalogue standard. What _can_ Mendeley import?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:35 PM
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Except for manuscripts, where politics mean that they will (literally) refuse to catalogue their stuff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:36 PM
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I must say I have no idea what Mendeley is.

Further out, a sample from the book world:

"Yes, my point exactly! With the media being monopolized by an oligarchy what will act as an effective counterpoint to their viewpoints? This should be a major concern for anyone, right or left, interested in the need for an open diverse media to keep a democracy viable and healthy. Add this to the discomfort one should feel at the idiotic prospect being proposed by some of the "bookless" society where all books are "ebooks" of one sort or another thereby making the job of Orwell's Ministry of Truth so much easier by having the written record changed by a few key strokes. Yes, I know it all sounds paranoid, but maybe you can be paranoid and right!"

He's actually talking about Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:47 PM
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Mendeley is bibliography management software that also manages your .pdf files.

It is supposed to import Zotero, Endnote, RIS and Bibtex files, but I have never gotten it to import anything right. I thought that the upgrade would fix the problems with the Endnote files, but I just checked, and it still didn't work. It is actually fairly frustrating software.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 1:54 PM
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Hm, okay: what I do is at a more basic data level than that. I need everything I work with to be able to work with tab-delimited format for import or export. If you can't do that directly between programs, you need an interim thing to 'wash' the data through.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:17 PM
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Yeah, I think I need to find some way to read my current files, which have the suffixes .ris, eml, and xml, and make them tab-delimited or comma-delimited files.

This isn't a priority project. I haven't been putting much effort into this, and no one else should either.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:21 PM
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I have a whole bunch of extra commas, if that helps.

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Let me know if you need more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:23 PM
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148: Wait, what?

149's MoT is why I'm sorry our scans don't get published with checksums. Which would need to be catalogued elsewhere. And, as ttaM points out, servers with their access & attendants aren't cheap.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:27 PM
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137 was me, and to 152, xml to tab is straightforward with xslt. As long as th xml represents like-formatted records.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:29 PM
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A bird just missed shitting on me by inches so I'm going to figure karma is after me for 153.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:33 PM
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152: If you take this up at some point, I'd avoid comma-delimited. Go for tab. Sounds like lw knows what he's talking about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 2:34 PM
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Didn't Elsevier buy Mendeley?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 4:55 PM
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re: 154.1

Sure. Politically it's near impossible to get people to create Marc records for (our) manuscript material. There is no machine readable catalogue for our 'special' stuff, believe it or not.

re: 154.last

We archived checksums with our master images. However, a lot of those are being reformated, so the checksums aren't much use. They do let us/me verify that what I have as source is the same as what was archived ten years ago, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:12 PM
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Clew, I can provide more info via email.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:23 PM
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re: 152

There's a marc2bib perl script out there. So you could go from Marc to BibTeX.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:24 PM
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No archives standard in the UK? You're never going to get most manuscript material (if you mean archives, not single items) into MARC, but there are other standards. Some reasons for this are better than others, but it's been tried, hasn't worked, and MARC is supposedly on its way out anyway.

This may be too professionally close for me to get into. I hate that about pseudonymity.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:24 PM
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re: 162

Sure, people use EAD for archives, and TEI for textual stuff and individual manuscripts. However, place-I-work still uses a printed catalogue and a collection of non-standard finding aids for special material.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 5:27 PM
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Ah. My opinion doesn't count for much but I'd guess that their reasons for that aren't great. My place of work has a lot to do still but the goal is to get what can be gotten into shared standards.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 6:05 PM
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non-standard finding aids

What, like Philip Marlowe?

"I knew the dame was trouble the minute she walked through the door in a dress showing far too much calfskin. 'It's my husband Marc," she said. 'He's no good."


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:31 PM
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re: 165

Heh. Like bloody Excel spreadsheets, or Word documents in which someone has written a nice long-hand un-marked up description of the thing.

re: 164.last

I think there is some long-term ambition to do it [and TEI and EAD is being created for various collections], and certainly proper metadata is being created for digitised versions of the things. But there won't be any entries for the non-printed material in the standard unified catalogue for a long time to come, because ... no Marc.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 7-13 11:39 PM
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Or store in someplace in New Mexico, fireproof.

There are fireproof places in New Mexico?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 12:18 AM
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165: Kaiser Lupowitz, surely.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 1:18 AM
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166: There should be an EAD to MARC conversion, at least for the top level. I mean, you can't put the whole thing in MARC but at least do that.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:24 AM
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Really late. But 93...Bogglesome.

On grounds for trouble for them. If they get any federal assistance (in some cases even indirectly) they could lose it all through administrative decisions. No need to go to court. More fun, Title VI civil rights complaints to not one but every federal entity that provides assistance. The hours lost in dealing with that could be large. Plus the potential of a negative decision and its consequences.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:24 PM
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Speaking of scary clowns, this may have been posted here before, but: Killed by being swung around by the heels by a circus clown. Age 13 (clipping from 1854).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 4:39 PM
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162: MARC is supposedly on its way out anyway

What's that, now? In what timeframe? I don't imagine I need to be concerned about it, as long as it's still in use for the next, say, 15 years.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 5:24 PM
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171: That is some pretty legit coulrophobia fuel.

OT: Found from that same site... the Jewish lawyer meme in hip-hop. Which I've never noticed before but is like, super-fucking weird. (And I do not believe all of those guys have Jewish lawyers.)


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 6:06 PM
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172: The transition could take years, but a group is working on it.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 7:15 PM
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171: What they don't tell you is that "circus clown" was an early euphemism for a malfunctioning McCormick reaper. Over the years, the original meaning fell away, causing a great deal of confusion in both agricultural historiography and linguistic studies of carnival argot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-13 8:21 PM
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173.2: I was going to say it doesn't sound that weird, Jews and lawyers have always gone well together in stereotype (e.g. Saul in Breaking Bad), but on viewing the sheer number of clips that video was able to pull together still surprised me. It's like "Jewish" is being used as short for "hotshot, expensive".


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 9-13 7:00 AM
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