Meta-Library

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / NoHier / Deschooling /

My adult life has been devoted to reform of how the society keeps and uses records. In 1970 I hooked my star to Ivan Illich’s. He said that communities could free themselves to live like humans by more fully utilizing the concept of the community bulletin board. He was showing us a practical, peaceful way that people could free themselves of top-down, hierarchical tyranny. Instead of schools compelling attendance, anyone who though they could teach could post their availability on the community bulletin board. I added

  1. that the community bulletin boards, all volunteered information, could be coordinated world-wide: that local networks could inter-network.
  2. and that if teachers, peers, evaluators of the teachers, and physical resources could be digitized and stored on a computer, as Illich suggested, then so could every other kind of resource.
    Illich was extending the idea of the community bulletin board. I was extending the idea of a library from a place to store books to a place that could coordinate every type of marketplace.

Between us, Ivan Illich and I offered a cheap, simple, voluntary, low-tech, universal internet. Individuals would not have needed either computers or terminals to a computer; the “library” could handle the technical end. Some of the librarians would need to be programmers, all of the librarians would have to learn to operate the resulting applications. The public would have to know no more than to ask for what they wanted and let the librarian get it for them.
This internet could have cost mere millions instead of billions and trillions.

Of course the public gave me nothing: not even enough to live on: let alone raise a family. The public watched me fall ever deeper into poverty, as I still tried to help it. (Still do, schmuck that I am.)

(Hey: it’s a lot more comfortable than hanging on the cross with your skin flayed off for trying to help that same help-less public.)

(Illich died in agony from a cancer he heroically didn’t let the doctors touch, trying to keep his mind clear for work.)

Note that same set of ideas extend other concept already familiar in the pre-1970 world: The Illich / pk internet would have extended the bulletin board (into an e-bulletin board), the library (into an e-library), and also the familiar white pages and yellow pages of the world of telephones. White and Yellow pages after all are basically alternate ways of sorting overlapping data. The white pages are alphabetical by surname, the yellow pages are alphabetical by subject. Again: the phone company already merely extended the library with its card catalogue: the card catalogue typically distinguished by representing the books by Author (alphabetical surname), by Title (alphabetical non-article), by Subject (alphabetical keyword).

An internet account has allowed me to comment on these things since 1995. My home page since bred Knatz.com, Deschooling, and Macroinformation. The former two both now have pk thoughts about libraries, bulletin boards, and their natural e-extensions. A search (just below) of key words such as “library,” “records,” “bulletin” … will find a host of references, but I start gathering some links right here:

Principal relatives (menu to be rebuilt and verified after I finish resurrecting the balance of the censored and censorship bykill modules):

Libraries: Is Their Purpose Ambivalent?
FLEX as Improved Record Keeping
Library: Actual vs. Potential
Meta-Library: this file
Illich: Deschooling Society: Chapter Six
History of Schools, Universities
And a few of secondary importance:
College Bookstore Committee
Scholar vs. Merchant
Birbeck College: Free Learning Revisited
EDCENTRIC: Free Learning
The FLEX LEx Net
Church … School … John Birch
FLEX: the Meaning of It All
FLEX’s Founder
Deschooling Update

Keywords: information, library

Deschool Menu

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About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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