(Greg's academic page)
What could be more important than who decides what we care about? Ok, maybe food, clothing, shelter and basic education are more important -- but in the modern world, it's the media that tells us about what's going on in the world, and even how we feel about it!
Here are my notes from an FCC hearing on media consolidation from March 2003 in Durham, NC. To provide input to the FCC decision process (which is not covered much - if at all - by corporate media), visit their comment page.
Rulings made by the FCC and Librarian of Congress are very hurtful to small media such as college and community radio. For more information, visit Save Our Streams
You can read about my trip with NOLS to the Andes Mountains of Chile: the AMT 2001.
In March 2001, I did my own salary analysis. Bottom line: 10 years of experience as a college professor warrants a 18.2% cumulative raise, after adjusting for inflation.
Despite major concessions to insurers and initial support from some industrial interests, the much-touted healthcare initiative failed in the face of one of the greatest and most expensive lobbying battles in American history. The President's effort to regulate firearms (as promised during the campaign) by passage of the Brady Bill drew bitter, lavishly financed attacks from the National Rifle Association and firearms manufacturers. New rules proposed by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt to control grazing by Western ranchers on federal lands at below-market rates ignited a firestorm. Oil companies opposed new taxes on energy, while seeking drilling rights in Alaskan wildlife sanctuaries. Most firms in oil, paper, chemicals, electric power and related industries were up in arms over a proposed treaty on global warming. Although the Administration revised the government's approach to regulation along lines many industries had been demanding, efforts to put across legislation for environmental cleanup went nowhere, despite some significant business support. (Thomas Ferguson, "Smoke in Starr's Mirror." The Nation, March 8 1999)
You can hear me weekly on Tuesday from 2:00 - 4:00 pm Eastern time on WXDU, Duke's community radio station at 88.7 FM, or via the Web. It's a standard rock-oriented show.
(In case you were wondering, WXYZ, UNC's station, only allows people who have paid the UNC student fees to be DJs.). I used to be very involved with a community radio station in Urbana, Illinois: WEFT. Support community media! Avoid corporate media!
On April 11, 2000, I was forced to remove materials from my class Web pages for INLS 183 relating to playing DVDs on Linux. I have written a press release and essay about this incident, along with some links to issues related to DVDs, here.
Note that it's UNC's legal counsel that has forced me to remove these materials, as a result of a complaint from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The MPAA is suing several parties (NOT me, and NOT UNC) because they have figured out how to play DVD movies they legally buy on DVD players they legally buy without using software licensed by the MPAA's cronies, the DVD CCA.
The crux of the MPAA's argument is the new Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. This federal legislation is being challenged in numerous court cases - among other things, the DMCA supersedes copyright law's notions of "fair use" (including basic things, such as your ability to use a copyrighted material you legally buy for its intended purpose), and provides ridiculous protection to anyone who uses an access control mechanism (including encryption) to prevent using their materials.
I joined the faculty at SILS in fall 1997. I'm involved in teaching courses in our undergraduate minor, as well as courses geared towards MS and PhD students. My research interests focus on text retrieval and information visualization, and I've been a participant in the Text REtrieval Conference ( TREC) for 5 years running.
One of my favorite volunteer activities is my work as the director and chief executive, main FTP manager, mailing list maintainer and auxiliary tech guru for Project Gutenberg. This is a free collection of thousands of electronic texts, including most of the world's great literature.
On the personal side, I'm married to Ilana Kingsley who is a technical writer at IBM. She is also a great outdoorsperson, and has worked many summers over past years as a wilderness instructor at Voyageur Outward Bound School in Ely, Minnesota. Ilana has a freelance indexing company, too.
So, there you have it. Now you know almost everything there is to know about me, without taking a peek at my Vitae, which includes links to many papers and other activities.
You can send email, too. Try firstname.lastname@example.org. My GPG key is available (binary).
Here's some funny stuff for people interested in literature. Read literature combined, a bunch of jokes that you only get if you've read the books involved.
For other recent immigrants, here's Tips for Northerners moving South
"...we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations." Libraries, An American Value, by the American Library Association.
We can reasonably conclude that how we think is not just mildly interesting, not just a subject for intellectual debate, but a matter of life and death. If those in charge of our society--politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television--can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
-- Howard Zinn, "Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology."
"Whenever you are in doubt, apply the first test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be any use to him. Will he gain anything from it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? True development puts first those that society puts last." - Mahatma Gandhi