My previous journal was little more than a ranting room and a way to keep up with the lives of an assortment of friends and acquaintances who had become scattered across the globe. This incarnation is more ambitious and represents my attempt to do disciplined essay writing on a fairly regular basis. As you might guess from my default icon, this blog will have a great deal of political content. The guy in fancy dress is none other than Emperor Norton I of the United States, Defender of Mexico. If ever there was a time for Norton, that time is now. We either need him to come back and help us regain our dignity through reckless optimism or our era has become crazy enough that Norton seems the only sane choice. Now this blog is not some collection of lunatic rantings. Rather I hope to probe some of the deeper questions underlying the choices we make as a nation. This is in fact becoming the central idea of what may become a graduate research program on my part.
For those who don't know me already, I'm currently an Information Professional who straddles the territory between Computer Scientist and Librarian. I have an MS in Library and Information Science and have worked in almost every aspect of the IT world over the last sixteen years. I started out as a Scientific Programmer working in the University of Michigan Space Physics Lab. I worked a bit on data analysis of the Aurora Borealis and Aurora Australis as well as working in the ground control center for the HRDI project on the Upper Atmosphere Satellite. From there I worked as a Network Engineer, Web Application Developer and System Analyst for a whole host of ill defined projects involving information. Currently I serve as the Manager of Publications for a research institute specializing in language resources. Among my many projects is the development of an ontology for validating and qcing language corpora. That's a pretty blue sky project and may never come to fruition, but it's really cool.
In recent years, I have become interested in how societies process information and make decisions. This came about because I took several assignments in my master's program way too seriously and went farther afield from strict Library or Information Science and into Cognitive Science, Sociology, Social Psychology, System Theory, Cybernetics and Economics. The last is rapidly becoming my academic field of choice. Depending on how things turn out in the next couple of months, I may wind up pursuing a second undergraduate major in Economics as prep for graduate study in that field.
This incarnation of my blog may well serve as a sort of pre-print archive of stuff I intend to submit to journals at a later date. Think of it as a sort of poor man's ArXiv. In the upcoming weeks, I'm going to post articles about the politics of information, the personal and political motivations of secrecy and other other dispatches related to these subjects. I may also post my reflections on the history of Nationalism, the evolution of Professionalism and whatever else comes to mind. I will cross post of my work to LiveJournal and my DailyKos.
AM Dagoski is, naturally, a pseudonym. My real name is not all that hard to track down. However, this fig leaf provides plausible deniability for my employers and educational institutions. In other words, they know really clearly that anything I say here is as me, the inidividual, and not as me the devoted little worker.