Comments on the 2nd I-School Conference
The "I-School conference" is a meeting of some twenty schools that are, or would like to be, considered "information schools." They are, or were, with few exceptions, schools of library and information studies continuing the long-term broadening of their scope. They have started to meet annually to discuss what the phrase "i-school" might mean and how that role might best be performed. More at iconference.si.umich.edu.
In addition to Dean Saxenian, we will also hear from the following speakers:
Alex Dailey: Virtual Libraries in a Digital World.
Brief report: The virtual world Second Life has attracted enormous interest as the next iteration of online experience. It's the 3-D web, with companies like Intel, CNet, Sun, and Reuters, as well as educational communities like Harvard and New Media Center setting up shop to explore what is — and isn't — novel about this emerging space. Alex Dailey will talk about some emergent properties of this "metaverse" in the context of his collaboration with the California Digital Library to explore ways to meaningfully engage with the new technology.
Joseph Lorenzo Hall: Electronic Voting as a Case Study in Supporting Transparency in Digital Democracy.
Transparency is a value that is not particularly important (or not "supported") in mass-market computing and networking products. However, as these technologies are used in the most basic function of representative governments — elections — transparency becomes a very important "feature." I'll outline my dissertation proposal which includes a discussion of what I call the "enclosure of transparency" over the U.S. electoral history and what our research is doing to bring transparency back to computerized elections.