Information and the Future

This is the blog of the Information and the Future task force of the Rolfing Library at Trinity International University. The IF task force exists to explore the role of libraries in the future of Christian higher education.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Minutes from 7/28 Meeting

I. Introducing the IF Task Force

Primary expectations

b. Discussion
Secondary expectations

a.Engage Others on Campus
b.Raise profile of TIU librarians
c.Reflect critically as Christians on “information science”


a.Theory and practice
b.Diverse community of patrons
c.Public and Technical Service perspectives
d.Discerning between fads and lasting changes
How will we do this?

a.Reading – amount will be determined by the type of material but up to 200 pages a month.
b.Assignments to research and report back on specific topics
c.Host discussions with people outside of our library
d.Participate in the blog

IF Blog

2.Ground rules
3.Assignment – post an interaction with Friedman

Meeting time handout

Important developments regarding the future of Rolfing

Millennials - A new generation of students with high ideals, who are tech. savvy, have a strong desire for community, and who are suspicious of disingenuous attempts to market to them

The library as a center of community with expanded hours, food, and coffee

The use of online classroom management software such as Blackboard and Moodle

A new TIU web site with individualized web portals.

Encourage students to sign up for RSS feeds, and provide lists of good feeds

Classes can create wikkis on relevant topics for their class

An increasingly diverse population and growing awareness of global Christianity

Treating information as a commodity

Helpful resources on for learning about the future of information.

Guttenberg Elegies : the Fate of in an Electronic Age (New York : Fawcett Columbine, 1995Recommended by Rob.

Power Failure : Christianity in the Culture of Technology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos Press, 2003). Recommended by Matt.

Hipps, Shane. Hidden Power of Electronic Culture : How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel, and Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2005). Recommended by Matt.

Chronicle of Higher Education.Recommended by Rebekah.

Special thanks to Rebecca Miller for helping me compile these minutes and agreeing to help take minutes in the future!


  • At 3:50 PM, Blogger kc said…

    In the interest of time, being that we were out of it, i didn't present my recommended titles. So i'll do one here. It's Katherine Hayles' How We Became Posthuman (University of Chicago Press, 1999). Posthuman for her means various things, but most importantly it's the view that "configures human being so that it can be seamlessly articulated with intelligent machines. In the posthuman, there are no essential differences or absolute demarcations between bodily existence and computer simulation."

    In her book she tells three stories: 1. "how information lost its body," i.e., how information came to be viewed as separate from the material forms (brain, for example) that it was thought to be imbedded in, 2. "how the cyborg was created as a technological artifact and cultural icon," and 3. the "unfolding story of how a historically specific construction called the human is giving way to a different construction called the posthuman."

    Her conclusion: "The best possible time to contest for what the posthuman means is now, before the trains of thought it embodies have been laid down so firmly that it would take dynamite to change them. Although some current versions of the posthuman point toward the anti-human and the apocalyptic, we can craft others that will be conducive to the long-range survival of humans and of the other life-forms, biological and artificial, with whom we share the planet and ourselves."

    It seems to me that because technology, including primarily information technology, is taking us somewhere in a such a great hurry, we need as a human race to think quite seriously about where it's taking us and whether or not we really want to go there. There is the ever-present danger that our technology, as it seems often wont to do, will all too soon far outstrip our goodness. While the posthuman journey may take us down a number of paths, a depressing number of them seem to end in apocalypse. But maybe Hayles is right, and we can craft a future where all life forms, biological and artificial (and the seamless blending of the two), can peacefully cohabit the planet.

    And now i think i'll go blow up a steam-powered weaving loom.


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