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2002-05-31 18:10:10 ]


This message was written to various SLIS faculty to try and get
some input on how to proceed in the program. Seemed worth saving.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 31 May 2002 18:08:36 -0500 (EST)
From: cdent@burningchrome.com
To: Undisclosed recipients:  ;
Subject: Farming for fall class advice

Hello, I'm writing to various folks for some off the cuff advice
about course selections at SLIS for this coming fall semester. If
you have the time to look over this message and offer some advice
I'd be very grateful.

If I am able to take L509 in the fall and am able to waive L546 or
L577 I will have completed the degree requirements for the MIS,
but will still need plenty of credits.

Some of you know me relatively well so I hope you will just tell
me, "hey, I think you should take such and such" and we can talk
about it. Others may not. There's a great deal of context on my
current interests linked into the independent study I'm doing
this summer session. It is described in the links found from these:


They describe a lengthy project I'm doing with Kathryn La Barre
to create a conceptual access structure to an email archive
housed at Doug Engelbart's Bootstrap Alliance
<www.bootstrap.org>. The project integrates many themes that have
captured my interest:

- Novel tools for access to information and knowledge
- Applications of technology tools to augment instead of automate
  human processes and processing (in the Engelbart sense)
- Augmentation in general
- The friction between categories and classification and the
  implications that has for how we think about cognition,
  communication, organization, representation and what can be
  done with technology
- The multi-layered semantics of content (polysemy and friends)
- Programming as a formal but dynamic response to needs
  (programming as dialog instead of tool)
- Knowledge as an evolutionary, dynamic, dialectic process (see
  http://www.burningchrome.com/~cdent/sliswarp/ )
- The philosophical underpinnings of experience, learning, and
  sharing (little to no experience in this area)
- The importance of historical context to understanding

The paper I did for Andy last fall discusses some of it:


Some other slis work is at:


I've unfortunately become rather convinced that my interests
don't really fit here, but I've also convinced myself to try to
ride things out because while I don't think my interests
necessarily fit into the apparent definition of Information
Science held at SLIS I do think they fit into _my_ definition of
Information Science and, I'll go ahead and say it, what I think
Information Science at SLIS ought to be about. I also think,
based on conversations I've had with many of you that there is a
great deal I can learn from you but opportunities are lacking.

I've already taken 9 credits outside SLIS (from Computer
Science, to enhance my programming vocabulary) and after the end
of this summer I will have taken 6 credits of independent study.
My options seem to be quite limited. Any suggestions on how to
proceed, things I may have missed, rules that can be bent, or
anything, would be most welcome.

I began this message intending it to be much shorter than it is
but then I realized that although it may not show up here in
email until the end, I'm issuing something of a challenge. I'm
doing things with the stuff I am learning at SLIS and I want to
do more and continue. I need to find more from the organization
in order for that to happen. I have opportunities elsewhere that
I could pursue. Those opportunities continue to grow as I do more
work and more of it gets noticed by people outside SLIS. Before I
run off to do those things I'd like to get more from SLIS. I know
it's in there somewhere.

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