FTW! and getting beyond us.

You teach kids how to succeed when they successfully foil the educational system. –Arlo Guthrie via Robert Greco

A well-ordered humanism does not begin with itself, but puts things back in their place. It puts the world before life, life before man, and the respect of others before love of self. –Claude Levi-Strauss via Robert Greco

These quotes summed up my feelings about our information resources and the web at large. They are full of quirks, tricks and snares, and my best reference work and teaching involves helping the people I work with to be able to game information to their advantage. Any database is an enemy that obstructs real understanding of how things relate to one another. Reference is not the art of designing better systems or databases, full of their special biases and publishers agreements, layered by proprietary search algorithms. It is the art of helping people transcend them. To ask for better systems is to ask for a better way for libraries to co-opt individual thought into our own systems of organization, to flatten the originality of the query to better fit our technology. Reference needs to be that well-ordered humanism that does not put itself before those it serves.

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