Overview of content related to 'open access' http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/taxonomy/term/169/all?article-type=&term=&organisation=&project=&author=pete%20cliff&issue= RSS feed with Ariadne content related to specified tag en Book Review: Delete - The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue62/cliff-rvw <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue62/cliff-rvw#author1">Pete Cliff</a> hopes he'll not forget this marvellous book, even when the author seems to suggest it might be better if he did!</p> </div> </div> </div> <!-- v.2.0 --><!-- v.2.0 --><p>In the past the storage and recall of information (the act of remembering) was limited. If people wanted to keep a record, it had to be written down (at great expense in the days before printing) or they had to rely on (notoriously error-prone) human memory. As time moved on, more and more could be recorded, but recall in the analogue world remained difficult - the <em>raison d'être</em> of information science. However, with the proliferation of digital recording and the advent of cheap and vast storage, the balance has shifted. In a world deluged with data - including our personal collections of digital photos, email inboxes and the like - it has become easier to record everything than attempt any kind of manual pruning - deleting bad photographs, irrelevant emails, etc. At the same time recall methods have advanced, so that I can (should I want) look up an email I sent more than five years ago or see what a colleague blogged last year.</p> <p>This shift from people forgetting to machines remembering is the central theme of Viktor Mayer-Schönberger's book <em>Delete, </em>published by Princeton University Press.&nbsp;And a fascinating, frightening, well-argued and accessible read it is!</p> <p>The work opens with the now familiar horror stories of digital remembering - a newly qualified teacher failing to get a job on account of the picture of her on a social networking site, the psychotherapist refused entry to the USA because of a (presumably open access) journal article, published several years before, in which he mentions having taken LSD in the 1960s. Examples of how society is now able to discover (to remember) facts about your life that you have forgotten yourself. This opening chapter neatly sets the scene and highlights just how much Mayer-Schönberger has read around the problem of 'perfect memory'.</p> <p>In the next two chapters, the reader is taken on a ride through the psychology, sociology and history of forgetting and humankind's battle against it. They culminate in the rise of the technologies that now leave us with a society capable of seemingly perfect memory (though not everything is remembered digitally and we'd do well to remember that!) while individuals are now capable of looking up their past in ways hitherto unimagined. Though the author's arguments are compelling, they are on occasion overstated or based on false premise - is it really all that easy to mine the vast data resources we have at our command yet? However, the book does get the reader thinking and the author himself states that part of his reason for writing it was to stimulate debate.</p> <p>Chapter IV, <em>Of Power and Time - Consequences of the Demise of Forgetting, </em>is probably my favourite - perhaps because I love a good tale of doom! It examines the consequences of total recall and boils the issue down to two fundamentals. Firstly there is the loss of power, as information about us is duplicated and reused (often out of context) with or without our permission; and secondly the negation of time. Among the issues are two terrifying possibilities: that perfect memory threatens reason, abstract thought and the ability to make decisions in the present, and; that the reasons for retaining data now may seem sensible, but what if (as with the chilling example given) it should fall into the wrong hands in the future?</p> <p>Having clearly and concisely built a picture of the problem, from the early days of human history to the present, Mayer-Schönberger then turns to some potential solutions. Chapter V outlines six potential responses, drawing on information privacy issues as well as other areas. Curious here is the way he suggests one response would be for information sources (us) to use digital rights management techniques to ensure our data are safe, effectively turning the tables on the music industry or search engines. It is an interesting idea, though one the author later dismisses.</p> <p></p><p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue62/cliff-rvw" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue62 review pete cliff princeton university university of oxford data information retrieval open access privacy search technology software Sat, 30 Jan 2010 00:00:00 +0000 editor 1536 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk Digital Repositories: Dealing With the Digital Deluge http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue52/digital-deluge-rpt <div class="field field-type-text field-field-teaser-article"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><a href="/issue52/digital-deluge-rpt#author1">Pete Cliff</a> gives an overall view of the multi-stranded JISC conference held in Manchester over 5-6 June 2007.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue52/digital-deluge-rpt" target="_blank">read more</a></p> issue52 event report pete cliff eduserv eurocris jisc science and technology facilities council ukoln wikipedia curation data digital repositories eportfolio higher education institutional repository metadata mis open access preservation repositories research search technology tagging web 2.0 Sun, 29 Jul 2007 23:00:00 +0000 editor 1339 at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk