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August 31st, 2004 - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Aug. 31st, 2004

01:36 am - Distributed Library Project

A very nifty idea. There are nodes for other areas, that will eventually be connected together.


What is the DLP?

The Distributed Library Project is an experiment in sharing information and building community in the Triangle Area.

Unfortunately, the traditional library system doesn't do much to foster community. Patrons come and go, but there is very little opportunity to establish relationships with people or groups of people. In fact, if you try to talk with someone holding a book you like - you'll probably get shushed. The Distributed Library Project works in exactly the opposite way, where the very function of the library depends on interaction.

How does it work?

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02:36 am - Tool Lending Libraries

Via Kevin Kelly's always enlightening Cool Tools:

A decade ago some community librarians in California initiated a great idea: why not lend tools as well as books? The idea slowly spread to a couple of dozen other US towns, but the most active and well-stocked tool libraries are still in the Bay Area -- one in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. The typical tool lending library offers basic hand tools, and a selection of garden, landscaping and construction tools. The hot items with waiting lists at the San Francisco Tool Lending Library (now in the middle of a move to a new location on Howard Street) are heavy duty power tools. The top four borrowings are: an electric jack hammer, a drain snake for clearing sewage lines, an electric weed wacker (the library only deals with electrical tools, no gas), and rotary impact drills. There are racks of shovels, rakes, stampers, crow bars, pliers, and the usual shop tools, but the Saws-alls, belt sanders, wet tile saws, and other not-so-often needed tools get the most rotation. Many of these occasional tools are what you might find at a tool rental shop; indeed anyone with a city library card -- including contractors -- can, and do, borrow tools for the maximum 3 days.

Lending tools, like planting trees, is unalloyed goodness. Tool Lending Libraries are a great idea that should be duplicated everywhere. The biggest cost is not the tools but the liability insurance for the power tools. Patrons are pretty good at returning things in good order -- they want to be able to use 'em again.

10:51 am - Distributed Library: The top five books or movies you most want to see?

I'm going to enter my books into the Distributed Library Project, but I have a lot of books, so I'd like to enter in those that people want most. What are the top five books or movies you want to read/see?

08:16 pm

As you might expect, picking up a millipede with your bare hands feels really strange.

08:18 pm

Opponent of immigration often cite the negative externalities that Hispanic immigrants impose on the rest of us as reason to deport them.

However, if it's worth preventing Mexicans from crossing the border, would not the same logic apply to preventing Mexicans from crossing vaginas? Yet, you rarely hear immigration foes calling for compulsory birth control.

Also, if the negative externalities are the issue, why export only Mexicans? After all, native born poor blacks also impose similar externalities. Shouldn't we also have a policy of exporting them back to Africa?

And why stop at national borders? If it's good prevent Hispanics from entering the U.S., then it should also be good to prevent them from leaving the states where they are already concentrated. Perhaps we should have a policy of internal border control?

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