The library becoming more popular than ever, but books no longer the primary focus

The New York Public Library recently embarked on a controversial plan to move two to three million books off-site.

The New York Public Library (NYPL) retired its pneumatic-tube system sometime last year. It had been used to request books for more than a century. The New York Public Library opened in 1911 and that pneumatic call system had changed little since then. You still filled out a slip, and you still turned that slip over to a clerk, who would load it into a metal cartridge. The cartridge would be driven by air pressure to a station down in the stacks, where another clerk would retrieve your book, which was then sent back up to the call desk by a dumbwaiter. In recent years, this procedure would take about 20 minutes. In decades past, I’m told, it was closer to five.



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Internet is our main source of memory instead of our own brains


Our brains are being boggled by Google.

Our main source of memory is coming from the internet instead of our own brains, a study has concluded.  In the age of Google, our minds are adapting so that we are experts at knowing where to find information even though we don’t recall what it is.

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The Day that Google Died


Futurist Thomas Frey:  It was a frenzy of activity as workers scurried from office to office, making their final checks, gathering books, papers, and personal belongings. Many were still stunned over the announcement that Google was closing its doors. The final minutes before the deadline were reserved for tearful hugs and remorseful goodbyes, but for the people of the world these brief moments of stunned silence would soon be replaced with long term anger and outrage.


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3 Pressing Questions Facing the Future of Social Media

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Social Media connects us in ever changing ways.

The conversation about social media in our society is shifting significantly. We’re no longer asking questions like, “Will people use social media?” or “Are sites like Facebook and Twitter simply trends that will soon lose steam?” After billions of tweets and 600 million people on Facebook, it’s settled: People want to share online. And with Facebook moving toward a $100 billion valuation, there is money to be made.

The emerging conversation is not if we will be connected but is instead, “How can we effectively and productively connect?” Now that we can get constant updates on just about every aspect of our friends’ lives, how do we receive that which is relevant?

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Having Trouble Remembering Things? Spring Clean Your Mind


If you have trouble remembering things you probably need to declutter your mind.

Having trouble remembering names and numbers or can’t remember to follow the plot of a film?   Help could be at hand.   The problem is that you know too much – and you need to declutter, or spring-clean your mind, according to scientists.


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Rethinking Education – The needs of the future are mandating that we produce a faster, smarter, better grade of human being


The average person in the U.S. has 100,500 words flowing into their heads on a daily basis.

In 2008, Roger Bohn and James Short, two researchers at the University of California in San Diego, decided to do a study to determine the amount of information people have entering their brains on a daily basis.


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Should Individual Tax Records Be Public Information?



A recent essay in the New York Times raises the question as to whether individual tax payments should be considered public information.  It has been suggested that public disclosure of tax payments would create pressure to correct inequalities and loopholes in the current tax system.  Surprisingly, strict secrecy regarding tax records is a relatively modern aspect of the system.

In the first half of the 20th century, Congress twice required tax disclosure. In 1923 and 1924, individual and corporate taxpayers had to make public their tax payments but not entire returns. Proponents of disclosure said the measure would encourage tax compliance and reduce improper business conduct…

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Emergence of the Internet


Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, is now concerned that the net has become more powerful than even he believed possible

An interview with Tim Berners-Lee recently highlighted his belief that the web needs to be studied scientifically as a source of potential emergent behaviours. Emergence is usually considered a threat, where a complex system can exhibit behaviour that was unpexted, because of unexpected complex interactions among system components. In nature, 50 year waves happen because of the rare(every 50 years at a particular place) interaction of waves coming from different directions, and they can sink ships. On the web, waves of information can bring down servers and even large sections of the net. But it isn’t just waves that can casue problems. The internet is a very multidimensional entity, and indeed, even the world wide web is only one of the services running on it, albeit arguably the most important one.

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