Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The promise of noopolitikk

The promise of noöpolitik
by David Ronfeldt and John Arquilla
This is another interesting article from First Monday, about the noosphere - a realm of communal mind conceived of 80 years ago by Teilhard de Chardin, but only now enabled by cyperspace - and its impact on grand strategy and diplomacy in the form of noöpolitik. The authors' thoughts on noöpolitik will be collected in a forthcoming handbook on public diplomacy.

Table 1: Contrast between realpolitik and noöpolitik.
States as the unit of analysisNodes, non–state actors
Primacy of hard power (resources, etc.)Primacy of soft power
Power politics as zero–sum gameWin–win, lose–lose possible
System is anarchic, highly conflictualHarmony of interests, cooperation
Alliance conditional (oriented to threat)Ally webs vital to security
Primacy of national self–interestPrimacy of shared interests
Politics as unending quest for advantageExplicitly seeking a telos
Ethos is amoral, if not immoralEthics crucially important
Behavior driven by threat and powerCommon goals drive actors
Very guarded about information flowsPropensity for info–sharing
Balance of power as the “steady–state”Balance of responsibilities
Power embedded in nation–statesPower in “global fabric”


I hate to interrupt, but this is important...
"Infomania is the mental state of continuous stress and distraction caused by the combination of queued messaging overload and incessant interruptions."
Interested? Read the whole article, "Infomania, why we can't afford to ignore it any longer," in the August issue of First Monday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

IFLA Toolkit for Developing Reference Services

This toolkit might be of interest to IRCs, and their library contacts, in some parts of the world; "To assist librarians and decision makers in developing countries and elsewhere, the Reference and Information Services Section, through an IFLA project, successfully developed a Toolkit for Developing Reference Services. Designed to enrich reference knowledge and to advance reference services, the Toolkit prepares reference librarians and decision makers to understand reference functions and the information needs of library users."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Views of Press Values and Performance: 1985-2007

A new Pew report examines perceptions of the press:
"The American public continues to fault news organizations for a number of perceived failures, with solid majorities criticizing them for political bias, inaccuracy and failing to acknowledge mistakes. But some of the harshest indictments of the press now come from the growing segment that relies on the internet as its main source for national and international news. The internet news audience – roughly a quarter of all Americans – tends to be younger and better educated than the public as a whole. People who rely on the internet as their main news source express relatively unfavorable opinions of mainstream news sources and are among the most critical of press performance."