Library of Congress vs Wikileaks … and some silliness, too

I’m sure most of you know about Wikileaks – interesting stuff, for sure. For the most part, I’m not getting into that – I’ll leave all that legality stuff for others to discuss.

However, I WILL mention the Library of Congress and their decision to block access to Wikileaks. And the Federal Government’s memos going out “reminding” government employees who don’t have access to classified documents that they aren’t allowed to view them, even when not at work.

I like what this article called it – “a classic case of shutting the barn door after the horse has left.”

In my mind, anyway, the Library of Congress and the federal government are being sorta silly:

  • Yes, many government employees don’t have access to classified documents
  • whether you like it or not, Wikileaks just published them
  • so whether you like it or not, those published documents are really no longer classified – they’re now freely available on the web
  • unless, of course, the government is being silly and is telling people “please turn your heads the other way and don’t look.”

This is pretty different from, say, before the web. Way back then, if a classified document was swiped and shared, you could potentially track it down and stop the leak.

But now, there’s no getting those documents back. Sure, you can block access. Sure, you can arrest people (if they broke laws). But get the documents back? Good luck with that. They’re now freely available on the web, being copied on millions of servers, and parts of those documents are being quoted by multiple news outlets.

Is that still classified? Well yes – legally, it is. But no – in reality, anyone can now see it, which sort of defeats the purpose of calling them “classified.”

And Library of Congress – since you are blocking access to those documents … are you also blocking access to all the news organizations that are currently publishing bits from those classified documents? Because they’re all quoting from them.

Here are two good articles I saw over the weekend with some good thoughts this whole fiasco:

What do you think?

New Song/Video Announcement and Call for Participation!

Read all about it here! Or just read this … remember that song/video Michael Porter and I created last year? Well… we’re at it again – with Library 101!

Here’s what Michael says:

“Getting into this video is actually really easy. Simply take and share a picture of YOU posing with a 0 and a 1! (Tagging it with library101 on flickr will be really helpful). We even have the flickr group linked above [ok, I linked it here] where you can put your 101 pictures. So c’mon! Do it and get just a little bit famous! Your family and friends will love finding you pop up in the video (and maybe even your coworkers?)! Put your kids in it! How about the family dog!? And you know grandma loves the library too, riiight? :) The most interesting your submission the more it will be featured, so get creative!

Look for the song and video in October of 2009 (debuting at a special “Connecting Through “Lights, Cameras & Action” session at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterrey, California).”

Now all Michael and I have to do is this:

  • write words for the song
  • Create and record the music
  • Somehow fly Michael to Kansas to record the song and shoot some video
  • Get Michael back to Seattle so he can video edit like a madman
  • collaborate on a multimedia presentation for Internet Librarian like you’ve never seen before…

Whew! I’m already getting psyched!

Pic courtesy of Libraryman

New Song and Video: Social Digital Global Shift

I recorded a new song and video for y’all! This song is all about social networking and how people are using the emerging social web to connect with each other, to communicate… and in my case, to sing songs to my blog readers.

When writing the song, I was thinking about facebook, twitter, MySpace, and all the social connections that are happening 24/7 – I find it extremely fascinating.

Social Digital Global Shift
by David Lee King

I haven’t seen her since high school
never thought I’d see her again
but yesterday I got a facebook request
she asked to be my friend

so I took a little time to catch up
browsed through her photobucket and blog
I watched some funny videos of her kids
and then I wrote this song

’cause it’s a social digital revolution
social digital relationship
social digital communication
it’s a social digital global shift

I have friends around the world
they’re growing globally
some of them live in Saskatchewan
while others live in D.C.



I’m No Antidigitalist: a song about GormanGate

Click To Play

Last week, as I was reading and responding to everyone’s responses to Michael Gorman’s blog posts, I re-read a couple of the posts myself… and this phrase from his earlier “blog people” article started running through my head … and wouldn’t leave.So I did what any self-respecting closet musician would do on his day off – I wrote a song!

A little more explanation – I wrote the music (with a little help from GarageBand here and there). For each line of the lyrics, I pulled random Gorman quotes from these three articles.

This is probably some odd self-fulfilling prophecy, since I am a blogger, since Gorman said “entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs” … and that’s pretty much what I did to construct this song!

Now, on to the song! And here’s a game for you while listening: try to find each quote while you’re listening to the song!

I’m No Antidigitalist
Music by David Lee King, lyrics pulled from Gorman quotes

an associated flight from expertise
believers in Biblical inerrancy
authoritative printed sources
an extreme example of technophiliac rambling

human beings learn, essentially, in only two ways
verifiable credentials and demonstrable expertise
derision of the professorial authority figure
hyperventilating not blasphemy

I’m no Antidigitalist

there are obstacles to such a benign outcome
antihuman and intellectually debasing
the endemic confusion of means
the triumph of hope and boosterism over reality

I’m no Antidigitalist

read what they want to read … random facts
read what they want to read … paragraphs

an associated flight from expertise
believers in Biblical inerrancy
human beings learn, essentially, in only two ways
hyperventilating not blasphemy

I’m no Antidigitalist

The structures of scholarship and learning are based on respect for individuality and the authentic expression of individual personalities.


The Next DOPA?

From my comments – “Dopa is reborn as DOPA jr… ” (thanks, Steve!)

From the full article: “Sen. Ted Stevens, R-AK, introduced S.B. 49 at the beginning of the
current legislative session. The bill is reported to have identical
language to DOPA, with one addition. According to a report on ZDNet, Stevens added language that had been
part of a failed communications bill that required all sexually
explicit websites to be labeled as such, or impose prison sentences on
website operators who fail to comply.”

Just an FYI to those who hadn’t heard about it yet…