Sunday, June 08, 2014

#SLA2014 : Notes from the Opening General Session

Musqueam Elder Shane Pointe
xwmuthkwey’um Musqueam Elder Shane Pointe (Ti' te-in) opened the Opening General Session with a chant and story of "the right way." The Musqueam value seeking out the right way (which sounds like "Sutsnam"). Those that help discern the right way are the medicine men.  They gather information to help in the endeavor.  Elder Shane Pointe said that librarians also work to gather the right information that helps people find the right way.  His message was a wonderful way to open the annual conference.

John Wilbanks (@wilbanks), Chief Commons Officer at Sage Bionetowrks, delivered the keynote speech.  He began by taking us back to1992, when he first looked up information on the internet. Cheap data is changing everything. Cheap data is not slowing down.  It is moving expertise to algorithms.  

We need to store, organize and query content (data), which sounds a lot like what librarians do.  This data allows for deep learning. Unfortunately we don't have a map of all of the data. 

Cheap data transgresses a lot things that we thought were guaranteed, but aren't.  For example, privacy.  We don't have a legal right to privacy.  Technology is not making it possible to transgress someone's privacy.  We can't monetize our data, because it is too small.  However, a company can amass large amounts of data, which can have a high value.

Cheap data changes authority.  When technology puts expertise into non-expert hands, authority shifts.  

Borders and maps don't yet exist, but they are starting to form.  Connections are being made across disciples.  

He referenced the law of network effort (Metcalfe's law),

Small but compatibly communicating groups can create value. 

Wilbanks talked though a research challenge that resulted in the article "Multi cancer molecular signatures and the interrelationships".   When you make the work transparent, others can take advantage of it and build upon it.  The accuracy of the information can get better as a result.

He has made is own genome available online for researchers and this are sites with growing amounts of genome information.  Easy to get data out there, but hard to get it into the hands of researchers. Yet when it gets into the hands of researchers, knowledge can be built.

Open standards are hard to develop, but ca create the biggest innovations.

What us the value of any single measurement, when we can measure everything?

Joy's law is truer then ever.  Joy's law is that not all of the smart people are "in the room."'s_Law_(management)

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