Thursday, July 27, 2006

Continuing to study social navigation of information space.

But back to the effect on the direction of my studies. I learned to critique science after reading Cooper. This lead me to really understanding some topics in the sociology of science and technology early on in my studies and after becoming credentialed in statistics allowed me to pick up the pace with reading and critiquing science. I have also picked up more sociology and technology readings and lectures. I read many books in the 76.9 range where computers and society are studied. This lead me to blogs, which are a personal micro history, or as Cooper puts it, blogs are histographs not history or herstory.

So the questions that rage through my mind when writing on a blog have to do with appropriateness as suggested by the team of psychiatric rehabilitation actors I have used. Also privacy and things like libel effect my writing. But as I read about social navigation I am becoming aware that appropriateness is socially defined by people and is appropriate in places where people go and do things. So necessary for the definition of appropriateness are people just as laws are created by people and set out appropriate behaviours.

I am also combining my reading of social navigation with reading Cooper. I started reading this new field last week. I suspect the recent social networking web site engineers have studied this field.

The bibliographic cite for this reading is
Dourish, Paul. Where the Footprints Lead: Tracking Down Other Roles for Social Navigation in Munro, Alan J. & Höök, Kristina. & Benyon, David. Eds. Social Navigation of Information Space (London, UK: Springer, 1999) at 15-34.
This article starts by suggesting navigation to be possible as spatial navigation, semantic navigation and social navigation. The author explores social navigation, as more than book recommender web sites in fact examines ways that social navigation could use a wider possible group of social interactions. He briefly touches on architecture and distinguishes between space and place. Spaces being physical and the root human understanding of the world and places being more socially defined and having meaning for people, He depends here on urban and architecture studies that are much older than computer software design. He also briefly looks at perceptual awareness of others as an example of a social interaction to be added to social networking of information space. That is information about the activities of others gained on the periphery. He sees social informatics as both a way to help others find information and at the same time a way to exploit for financial gain the information others have left in their use of the same information. He does mention that privacy is an issue with using information about people. He stubbles when discussing generalized information and presenting trends and aggregate data which I think needs more understanding from a paranoia of identity theft and also the natural hiding many do on the Internet. But all in all this was a good two-day read.

I read some of Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry this morning.

I have read this fellow Dr. Cooper when young and idealistic. Also I only began to read him when some other roles were being played by me. One I was newly diagnosed as schizophrenic. Two I was a new holder of a bookstore credit card that someone else paid for in the end. Three I was looking for studies that would motivate me. This last point had the greatest effect. I do though still buy books on credit and have done this for years and years. It is one of my main activities that I get pleasure from. I also continue to play the role of schizophrenic but these days I hide this role for large periods of time when I am acting other roles where being schizophrenic does not really need to be played. But back to motivating studies.

I sought after reading this doctor to read more about knowledge and epistemology. That is what is knowledge and how do we organize it. The general attack that Doctor Cooper makes is on scientific knowledge being appropriate for human relations.

Cooper makes a point in the introduction that I read tonight that bears repeating decades later on this blog. Human actions are not repeatable. It is fine for the scientist my father to repeat a few times or many times the experiments he does on things. And true human life and human micro-actions seem to be routine like washing the dishes. Thus yes we repeat washing the dishes. But do we? When in fact it is those of us with deviance that stop washing our dishes.

So this leads the doctor to saying there are two types of rationality. Human relations cannot use analytical reason( scientific/numerical/metric), but must use dialectical reason. Plato or Socrates as Plato recounts him developed the dialectic I finally learned in 2001, as a fact I could remember. It is really the same as seeing humans and human issues from many angles but also simply put it is talking about human reality, human behaviour. It is not really that simple because a good dialectic will be like a court case where both sides or even more than two sides will be talked about. Thus weighting the pros and cons is a simplified mostly non-artistic way of being dialectical. This is like I have learned to do in executive meetings when making decisions in a group.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

I am continuing to read the book on social navigation of information space.

I started the second chapter in the book I borrowed on social navigation. The bibliographic cite for this chapter is
Dourish, Paul. Where the Footprints Lead: Tracking Down Other Roles for Social Navigation in Munro, Alan J. & Höök, Kristina. & Benyon, David. eds. Social Navigation of Information Space (London, UK: Springer, 1999).
This chapter gets me really thinking about social interaction and the possibility of other interactions that could occur, both as the authors are trying to suggest inside information spaces, but also thinking about social interaction in general. I am also reflecting on my work helping other consumer/survivors of mental health services, use computers and the Internet.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I completed reading the introductory chapter of a book on social navigation.

I picked up a book last week in the 76.9 range. I read the first chapter on the way home from school but didn't finish reading this chapter until this morning.
Here is the bibliographic cite for the whole book:
Munro, Alan J. & Höök, Kristina. & Benyon, David. eds. Social Navigation of Information Space (London, UK: Springer, 1999).
This book is incredibly inspiring and after playing Second Life it left quite an impression on me. Also within Second Life my avatar is researching the concepts on social networking at a virtual cyber research centre in world. This first chapter also related quite well to the use of and also this year's business topics on the Internet such as social networking.

I reviewed the first chapter of a school textbook on Java programming for beginning programmers.

I had read this book, or at least the first two chapters in May 2002. I was trying out a first year course in Java programming that spring. I withdrew from the course and did not complete the course. Instead in the summer term that year I studied wrongful convictions in an advanced sociology course in criminology. I withdrew because I was failing to complete the first programming assignment properly.

Tonight, I read quickly the first chapter by scanning for keywords and reviewing. In fact, the first three chapters of this book are basic programming that I have known from the middle 1970's.

There is even some connecting in the book of objects and methods with variables and functions; in other words, there are connections made between the procedural programming I was taught in the 1970's and 1980's, with the object oriented programming students are taught these days and in this book.

Mostly I reviewed in chapter 1 the JAVA specific learning that I have not really used yet. But some of this applies to programming in SAS or XML, as well as it applies in Java. In particular, the naming rules for variables or name space concepts are almost the same in all three languages.

Here is the bibliographic cite for this first year JAVA programming book:
Savitch, Walter. Java: An Introduction to Computer Science & Programming (Upper Saddle River: N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1999).
This book covers basic programming with JAVA. I reviewed the first chapter tonight and will review chapter two soon. Then I have ten more chapters to read. I will practice writing JAVA with the Code Warrior software. I found out tonight there is also a copy of Code Warrior for the Mac on the book's CD but none of my present Macs have an older copy of Mac OS to run this no doubt.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The gendered digital divide really hits home.

From being told I was smart when a kid to the present day the gendered digital divide is so real I cannot ignore this. I have been reading a book about this and here is the bibliographical cite:
Cooper, Joel, & Weaver, Kimberlee D. Gender and Computers: Understanding the Digital Divide (Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003).
This book through a great number of studies of students in classroom experiments to test gendered differences in computing use as these fit various psychological factors, studies the gendered divide in computing use. While may be success with computers is too simplified in this book and certainly this divide is lessening these days, it is certainly a key feature of my own experience with computing.

The Debian install worked better this time.

I managed to install Debian 3.1 revision 2 and am now making more CD's from that revision so I can install anything from the archive by CD. I still do not have a PCMCIA working socket so cannot ethernet on this laptop. I do have X windows, a Gnome desktop and the Debian drop down menu. Last time I installed Debian 3.1 on this laptop I did not have the Debian drop down menu and that made it difficult to access a number of useful programs. This laptop is very slow. I now must consider buying a battery for this laptop which would cost about 100$ or spending about 500$ to get a used Thinkpad from IBM for a Debian laptop. The first option costs a lot less.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Computer tasks today.

The installing process for Linux is working ok. I may have made one mistake on the video RAM memory selection. I should be able to test it out later today. I also successfully installed the Code Warrior Lite software on the PC side of the Macbook and programs to use with the Java textbook. I may start reading this textbook and working the programs also later today.

I got a free copy of a Marita Moll edited book: Tech High

At our union meeting I browsed some free books at the labour council offices. I grabbed a lot of teacher's books and also this book:
Moll, Marita. Ed. Tech High: Globalization and the Future of Canadian Education (Halifax, N.S.: Fernwood, 1997).
Maria is also a National Capital Freenet (NCF) member, or was in the middle 1990's when I was a frequent NCF user.
I also got this book back from a retired army radio engineer I had loaned it to:
Flickenger, Rob, et al. Wireless Networking in the Developing World: A practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure (London, U.K.: Limehouse Book Sprint Team, 2006) <>.
This book is available free at the web site . I bought a copy to support their project but also because sometimes I prefer hard copy books.

I am installing Linux on a computer to use R and various other open source softwares.

I have an old Pentium 1 computer. I was given this for free last winter. I tried it to install Debian 3.0 and had it working. But the command line on that version of Debian did not by default have an edit menu. I need to be able to copy and paste into the command line so need an edit menu on the command line. So I am trying to install the next version of Debian 3.1 and by now that is at 3.1 revision 2. I am having some trouble with installing this from CD. I was not able to keep the PCMCIA system working after the base install. I may use this as a non-networked machine. So that is one study project I am doing today.

I may also try to install some Java tools on my Macbook on the windows side. These tools would be from a first year university Java programming course textbook. I would be expected to know this textbook in my systems science program this coming year. I would hope to work through this book by the end of August.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Studying more about the doctoral dissertation.

I am reading about topic selection and now have some advise on measurement error statistics and might buy a book on this topic. One of my professors knew a book on this topic and sent me the bibliographic cite for the book. I am not able to afford it right away, but should buy it in the next month.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I am reading a book on Linux.

I am reading one of those large, easy to read books on computers. This one is written on the Linux operating system. I also borrowed a book on information security from a business strategy perspective. I am going to have to leave this library soon although I will have my alumni card to use still. I will also loose my school email and school web page(s).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I was offered a job at Statistics Canada today.

I have been offered a job at Statistics Canada and will be taking it. I am not sure how this will affect my school plans. I will start working and do not need to decide on the graduate school plans until August 21st. I will keep studying for this graduate school though. I will have to quit my teaching assistant work right away. In fact, I just sent an email giving notice to the director of the mathematics and statistics school. I also let my immediate supervisors know that I am quitting in two weeks. I also let one of my supervisors at another job know that I am quitting.

Reading more on managing the doctoral dissertation.

This book on managing the writing of a doctoral dissertation can be applied to a master thesis as well. This is what I am using this book for. I read another chapter, this one about selecting an adviser and a committee. I then a few hours later read the list of potential advisers in systems science and circled on this list all the research areas of the advisers that corresponded to topics I am either interested in pursuing such as computer crime or web applications, or topics that I have a background such as statistical inference, numerical methods, and ecology.

A possible topic I chose tonight was general statistics of experiments with error bound measurements. Apparently most statistical models assume error free measurement or perfect measurement. But many science studies and use of instrumentation uses a possible error based on an assumption of errors in measurement. Also apparently error such as measurement error can simply be included in the error term in a statistical model. But perhaps there is a whole other set of models and theories where error bound measurements are the basis rather than perfect measure. I could explore this from a systems approach and develop a whole other system of statistical inference models if such models exist.

I am continuing to grade statistics homework over night.

I have an assignment due back to the professor on Wednesday. I have been marking overnight again. Last night I did not manage to stay up and do this, so I have more to do now. But the pace is coming along, and it is actually not all that much work.

I must be fair and consistent in my marking, which means sometimes I have to go back over everything I have marked and check that I have given or taken off the same marks for everyone. This consistency principle helps me mark when some students have done a very good, thorough job and some students have done just the minimum work required.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I continue to prepare for graduate school and mark statistics assignments.

I have been staying up late these past five days. I reason that staying up late gives me quiet time without distractions to do my scholarly work. But often I spend this time wastefully doing on-line shopping. This morning I read more of the book on writing the doctoral dissertation. I got to some help on writing, software tools and formatting tips in this book and then downloaded a LaTeX template from a University of Ottawa web page. I then experimented with this template a little, merely writing my name as author and a supposed title for my thesis. This would be my M.Sc. thesis, which actually won't start until at least 2007, if not more probably in 2008.

I did less expensive on-line gaming this morning. I am still sitting at a social simulations researcher's research centre in the game. This morning I spent about half an hour studying the scripting language for this on-line simulation game. I practiced an example, "Hello Avatar" script, but it did not work when applied to an in-world object. I am still a little awkward with the tools for creating objects, but can walk and chat alright in world. I can also teleport. I have trouble also with views, but am working on this, as I explore more of the drop down menus. I do plan this morning to attend a lecture or other on-line in world event. I should just search for some events now after doing this post.

So I am up all night and have been steadily marking statistics assignments. I set small target completion times and have almost stuck to these times. This setting of mini deadlines keeps me going. I have marked two Q's now out of 9 and started a third Q.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

I did some more reading of Kling, Rosenbaum, and Sawyer's Understanding and Communicating Social Informatics this morning.

I was trying to find my place in this book on social informatics. I did not feel comfortable reading the chapter for teachers but have read the beginning of that chapter. I instead tried reading the beginning of the next chapter about communicating social informatics research and this was going fine but it got me really thinking about getting some web mastering work done which I have now almost done.

I also read some more of the book on simulations, in fact, covering a strict mathematical definition of a random number such that the number is between 0 and 1 and all numbers between 0 and 1 are equally likely to occur as the random number. The authors choose the symbol r bar, which cannot be displayed in html on this web page but can be done in latex math mode with the code \bar{r}.

I spent some time and money playing the on-line social game Second Life. I was investigating a social networking researchers space or virtual land inside the game Second Life. I was using the map a lot tonight and then started to explore land for sale. I looked for a place near the social researcher's land and of course for the cheapest place. I made a mistake though after I bought the game money to buy a place, because in the end, that place was not for sale. I then spent some time searching for land for sale with the on-line search tool. I can now buy 512 sq ft of land and it will not cost a monthly maintenance fee. I would like to have a city lot or suburban lot. But the result is I now have a premium membership until October, and am now some 60 real dollars poorer and can afford some virtual land perhaps. I also now know more of the tools and environment of this on-line game/social world. I also downloaded one of the researcher's papers on social networking. So I learned more about this game well but need to read more of that paper to learn about social networks. The paper is on the topic of data collection for social networking research.

I went back to marking work now and have got it started.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Continuing to prepare for graduate school.

I am reading a book called Writing the Doctoral Dissertation: A Systemic Approach by Gordon B. Davis and Clyde A. Parker. They argue for structuring the research to help with writing a dissertation on time. They have an argument about not taking a job until the final draft is done or even later for instance. I will probably stop being a teaching assistant for the next few terms until I get my feet at the new school and new level of study.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I have almost completed marking about 100 undergraduate statistics tests written by engineering students.

I am nearing the end and have been working for four days now trying to get this marking done. I have worked about 3 to 6 hours a day meaning about 12-18 hours so the last two hours is no big deal. After this grading this test I have only one more assignment to grade for this course for the summer term. This course is an introductory statistics and probability course for undergraduate engineering students at Carleton University. It is my third year being a teaching assistant in this course. It is a more challenging course to teach but I am now fairly comfortable with it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Preparatory study for grad school.

I am reading this book to prepare for grad school.
Kleijnen, Jack P. C. & van Groenendaal, Willem. Simulation: A Statistical Perspective (Toronto: John Wiley & Sons, 1992).
I just completed reading the first chapter. The authors are business management teachers.
I will continue to post my progress with reading this book.

I worked for another 3 hours and am nearing the end of this marking

I worked for another three hours and am nearing the end of marking this test. At the moment I am too tired to continue to mark. I did manage to start a book on simulations and am just now installing a compiler, X code, for the Mac on my Macbook. But I realize I already have a G++ 4.0 compiler installed and can do the practice code from the C++ how to book using G++ I think. I will do some practice code from that book and try some simulations programming from the other book. But right now I am logging off and sleeping.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Marking is coming along fine.

I am doing my marking quite regularly now and should be done marking this statistics test by Monday.

I am just practicing some French with my partner.

She is asking me for the meaning of pomme terre which is apple of the earth. And then Fruit de la mer which is seafood. Then finally jesus le sieginer.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I got some marking done on time this week.

I did get some 25 assignments marked this week and back to the lecturer on time. But I am dragging my heals on marking the test.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I did not succeed in installing the data mining course lectures pdf's on the Palm.

There is something wrong with the Adobe Reader for the Palm and I was not after quite a few attempts able to install the pdf's from my desktop school folders to the Palm.

I have been starting a book on Neural Networks in C++

I borrowed a book on programming neural networks written in 1993. The book is
Masters Timothy Practical Neural Network Recipes in C++ (Toronto: Academic Press, 1993).
I read the first chapter earlier this morning.

Otherwise, I am marking a statistics test written by engineering students.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I updated my school web info page today.

I updated and made current my school hosted web page about myself in a school context. It is at this address:

Monday, July 03, 2006

I printed and read the web page describing the systems science department and program.

I printed the web page from the university of Ottawa that describes the systems science program. I have read this page a few times now. I am particularly interested in the reseach of the professors that extend the study into social impact of computers and other technology.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Loading Portable Document Format school files on my Palm.

I am installing all the lectures from the data mining course I took taught by Dr. Shirley Mills in winter 2005. I am also installing a collection of thesis that were found searchng to the term "Victims" at Carleton's thesis collection. I will read these on the move like when I am on the bus.

I have a copy of the school year's schedule for systems science now.

The administrator sent me a copy of the course schedule for the up coming school year at the university of Ottawa. I am thinking of taking two courses per term in this program. But I am also thinking of taking one course at Carleton in media and technology to start the diploma in sonic design. Speaking of which I bought a few computer accessories just this weekend on-line.

I did some marking this morning

I worked on some marking this morning. I marked a question about what type of probability theory various problems needed for solution. Theories the students could choose included Classical, Subjective, and Relative Frequency. I also marked an eight sided dice problem involving conditional probabilities. This marking is due this Wednesday along with the 100 tests.

I studied the role of Information Systems Security Officer

I read a few chapters of a book describing the role of information systems security officer.