January 24, 2007
Putting our money where our heart is
The South Beach Diet doctor is losing money providing preventive care. As much as I'd like to think that all the emphasis on healthy living from the federal government, health insurers, and national associations is sincere, it's hard to believe in the face of the economics of health care. As a society, we practice either hipocrasy or self-delusion, and perhaps both.
Of course, we say we value education, and the football coach frequently has a higher salary than the classroom teachers. At least we're consistent.
January 23, 2007
Thoughts about the paperless library
Having been in libraries long enough to remember the much-heralded advent of the paperless office (currently belied by my desktop, among other indicators), I'm not at all worried about the death of the book. Richard Akerman of Science Library Pad summarizes succinctly why it's possible for librarians to hold simultaneously two ideas that are often portrayed as being opposed to each other: Welcoming Google Books and the improved research capability that digitization brings, and loving books per se, as objects of interest, pleasure, and perhaps beauty.
Should we be concerned that reading is on the decline by some accounts (A Librarian's Lament)? or that elementary and high school students may not be getting the broad cultural knowledge they need to be independent thinkers and productive citizens (a review of The Knowledge Deficit, by E. D. Hirsch Jr.) ?
I'm not sure. Reading for pleasure and general knowledge has always been an acquired taste. Is it more important than understanding music or appreciating art, neither of which I do particularly well? I think digital information can supply the basic information we need to conduct our lives and research, and we each find our own sources and formats for the finer things in life.
Here we go again
My previous blog blew itself up, so I'm starting over.