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July 30th, 2003 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jul. 30th, 2003

01:53 am - Create Your Own Digital Library

I love books, but they take up a lot of room and aren't very portable. I'm thinking of digitally photographing the pages of my favorite books, storing them on a portable firewire drive, then selling most of them. There appear to be a number of copy stands intended for this purpose (among others), but I don't want to get something so specialized. Rather, what I would like to get is a tripod with an long arm that clamps to the tripod's center pole. At the end of the arm I'd attach a 360' ball joint, which in turn would be attached to the camera. Has anyone else done what I'm proposing? If so, what are your experiences?


Below is a ascii side view of what I have in mind:

    ||            (ball) (camera)
  ===================O===[  ]
    ||                    ==
   /||\                (book)
  / || \           /------\/------\
 /  ||  \          ================

02:44 am - Comparative advantage for journalists

Peter Gallagher explains how to explain comparative advantage so that a journalist understands it.

I usually use...the story about the busy lawyer and her secretary. The $200/hour lawyer types faster and more accurately than her $25/hour secretary. When the pressure is on, she sometimes wonders if she should persist with her secretary or do the work herself.

In all my work with students, business people and even journalists in Australia and in my work for the UN in two dozen countries, I've never met anyone who didn't get the point of that story.

...The problem, I find, is that many people assume the idea doesn't scale. They are afraid to apply the same analysis to global exchange.

If you say: "Now, suppose we are talking about a deal between a rich country and a poor country; do you think that the same rule applies?"... they frequently get cold feet. Suddenly, imports become a threat and (bizzarely) exports become the purpose of trade.

03:07 am - The Day I Became an Autodidact


An autodidact is, simply, a self-educated person.

Kendall Hailey is the author of an amazing book, entitled, The Day I Became an Autodidact. It's a journal of her decision to begin a life of self-education. It's amazing because it begins in her junior year of high school and traces her choice to finish high school early and her self-educational adventures. As her friends head off to college, it's obvious that they won't be getting a tenth of the education that Hailey is giving herself.

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