Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

The Public Library: A Photographic Love Letter to Humanity’s Greatest Sanctuary of Knowledge, Freedom, and Democracy

“A library is many things,” E.B. White once wrote in a letter to the children of a little town to inspire them to fall in love with their new library. “But particularly it is a place where books live, and where you can get in touch with other people, and other thoughts, through books… Books hold most of the secrets of the world, most of the thoughts that men and women have had.”

Maria Popova: “As the daughter of a formally trained librarian and an enormous lover of, collaborator with, and supporter of public libraries (you may have noticed I always include a public library link for books I write about; I also re-donate a portion of Brain Pickings donations to the New York Public Library each year) I was instantly enamored with The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (public library | IndieBound) by photographer Robert Dawson — at once a love letter and a lament eighteen years in the making, a wistful yet hopeful reminder of just what’s at stake if we let the greatest bastion of public knowledge humanity has ever known slip into the neglected corner of cultural priorities. Alongside Dawson’s beautiful photographs are short reflections on the subject by such celebrated minds as Isaac Asimov, Anne Lamott, and E.B. White. From architectural marvels to humble feats of human ingenuity, from the august reading room of the New York Public Library to the trailer-library at Death Valley National Park, braving the glaring sun at one of the hottest places on earth, from the extraordinary vaulted ceilings of LA’s Children’s Library to the small shack turned into a book memorial in the country’s only one-person town, the remarkable range reveals our elemental need for libraries — as sanctuaries of learning, as epicenters of community, as living records of civic identity, and above all as a timelier-than-ever testament that information and human knowledge belong to everybody; not to corporate monopolies or government agencies or ideological despots, but to the people.”

Currency depreciation against the dollar affects oil importers and exporters differently

EIA – “Widely traded futures contracts for North Sea Brent crude oil in global financial markets are typically priced in U.S. dollars (USD). The appreciation, or increase in value, of USD against most other currencies since last summer can either mitigate or exacerbate the effects of the recent sharp decline in USD-denominated crude oil prices,Continue Reading

Google Search – Deep Learning Revives the Neural Net Revolution

Follow up to previous posting – Google – Still in the Search, How Google Search Dealt With Mobile – The Never Ending Search by Steven Levy, see also parts two, three and four of this series: Part 2 – Google’s Secret Study To Find Out Our Needs – To improve search, ask people what theyContinue Reading

The Forecasting Power of Consumer Attitudes for Consumer Spending

Working Paper No. 14-10 by Michelle L. Barnes and Giovanni P. Olivei 2014 Series “The widely studied Reuters/Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment is constructed from the answers to five questions from the more comprehensive Reuters/Michigan Surveys of Consumers. Yet little work has been done on what predictive power the information taken from this more thoroughContinue Reading

Economic Policy Uncertainty and Risk Spillovers in the Eurozone

Bernal, Oscar and Gnabo, Jean-Yves and Guilmin, Grégory, Economic Policy Uncertainty and Risk Spillovers in the Eurozone (January 22, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2554046 “This paper focuses on the impact of economic policy uncertainty on risk spillovers within the Eurozone and contributes to these two growing literatures. To this end, we adapt theContinue Reading

Education Rights and Wrongs

Heise, Michael, Education Rights and Wrongs: Publicly Funded Vouchers, State Constitutions, and Education Death Spirals (November 1, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2554070 “Professor Julie Mead considers whether publicly funded voucher programs “subvert” states’ ability to provide an “adequate” public education consistent with state constitutional requirements. The critical analytic move in Mead’s paper involvesContinue Reading

McKinsey – Getting big impact from big data

New technology tools are making adoption by the front line much easier, and that’s accelerating the organizational adaptation needed to produce results, January 2015 | by David Court “The world has become excited about big data and advanced analytics not just because the data are big but also because the potential for impact is big.Continue Reading

The Most Innovative Companies 2014

Boston Consulting Group – The Most Innovative Companies 2014, Breaking Through Is Hard to Do: “Innovating isn’t getting any easier. Nor any less important. Our ninth innovation report since 2005 finds that although innovation remains a top corporate priority, executives are feeling less confident in their innovation capabilities. It’s no longer enough to be goodContinue Reading

Reuters Interactive Graph – Journalists killed 1992-2015

Source: Committee to Protect Journalists – Graphic by Matthew Weber/Reuters Graphics – Journalists killed – Click on any person to see more information on the Committee to Protect Journalists website. Users may query by: Name, Position, Gender, Country Killed, Organization worked for; Coverage; Local or foreign; Source of fire; Type of death.

Carabinieri Recover Biggest Stolen Archeology Collection in History

Silvia Donati | January 22, 2015 | Italy Magazine: “More than 5,000 precious artifacts from the past have been recovered in an operation by the Carabinieri that has been described as the biggest recovery of stolen archeological items in history. The collection comprises vases, bronzes, statues and frescoes, including rare pieces, stolen from different ItalianContinue Reading

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

CRS Report – Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations. Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs. January 21, 2015. “This report provides an overview and analysis of U.S.-Yemeni relations amidst evolving political change in Yemeni leadership, ongoing U.S. counterterrorism operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) operatives in Yemen’s hinterlands, and international effortsContinue Reading

Paper – The Creative Wealth of Nations

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 7118. The Creative Wealth of Nations – How the Performing Arts Can Advance Development and Human Progress – by Patrick Kabanda, Foreword by Amartya Se. “Cultural activities are increasingly noted as drivers of meaningful development. But they have yet to gain a prominent place in the architecture of development strategy.Continue Reading