Thursday Threads: History of the Future, Kuali change-of-focus, 2018 Mindset List

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This weeks threads are a mixture of the future, the present and the past. Starting things off is A History of the Future in 100 Objects, a revealing look at what technology and society has in store for us. Parts of this resource are available freely on the website with the rest available as a $5 e-book. Next, in the present, is the decision by the Kuali Foundation to shift to a for-profit model and what it means for open source in the academic domain. And finally, a look at the past with the mindset list for the class of 2018 from Beloit College.

What Happens When History Fights Back — A Review of “11/22/63: A Novel” by Stephen King

11/22/63 11/22/63Stephen King; Scribner 2011WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 
Pluck a string and it vibrates. As it vibrates there are points along the string where it is absolutely still. Pluck a companion string and sometimes those points line up. If you pull that string tighter there are more points of stillness and a greater chance that points will line up. If you pull it too tight, it snaps.

“Mash-Up” Term is Over 150 Years Old!

Ron Murray, a colleague at the Library of Congress (and no known relation to me), sent me a note about the history of the term “mash-up” in the Oxford English Dictionary (subscription required). The definition of the first sense is “A mixture or fusion of disparate elements” with the notation that usage is rare before the late 20th century, and the OED includes this quotation:

1859D. BOUCICAULT Octoroon I. 13 He don’t understand; he speaks a mash up of Indian, French, and Mexican.

The Internet Comes of Age

ICANN Logo Just as it turns 40, the internet comes of age. One day before of the anniversary of the first two computers connected together by a prototype network in 19691 — a move that foreshadowed the worldwide network of computers we know today — the U.S. Government announced that it was forever releasing direct control over a key governance organization that makes the internet run. Called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), that governance organization is what runs the top level domain name servers (DNS). And that is important because it is the DNS that translates human-friendly names such as “www.google.com” and “dltj.org” into network-friendly addresses.