greeting

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Friday, June 05, 2015

Grr ah. Grr ah. Grrr rrrr rrrr ah.

Introduction

The Stanford Daily is archived and searchable back to 1892. This has been up for a little while, but a recent dip of the toe suggests that either the optical character recognition (OCR) process by which scanned images become letters has been improved, or the searching has been improved, or something - because I found a bunch of interesting stuff, more Dead than Garcia related.

Big 'C'

Golden Bear is ever watching;
Day by day he prowls,
And when he hears the tread
Of lowly Stanfurd red,
From his Lair he fiercely growls.

So, why is the Daily Californian (http://archive.dailycal.org/) so woefully behind? Some affluent Deadhead Berkeley alum needs to step on up to the plate. I bet $100k could be matched up in various ways and could help whatever work is (hopefully) already underway to completion.

Go Bears (unless they are playing the Buffs, or the Huskies)!

Broader Point: Patrons of the Arts (and Letters, and Sciences)

Oh yeah, and in thinking about tagging this, I am creating a new tag called patrons-of-the-arts, to identify philanthropic opportunities that might be of interest to folks who might come across Jerry Garcia's Middle Finger. In various posts I have talked about the importance of affluent, interesting people providing philanthropic support for some of the institutions that we have called "public" - commonly provided goods the consumption of which is, public choice economists would say, "nonexcludable". This, of course, is the very idea of "open access" resources, as the Independent Voices repository plans to become from 2017.

In the US we used to provide for public goods through taxes. Somewhere along the line, questions one might have thought settled, as that we should all pony up to care for the young, infirm, and elderly, we should probably pay to educate all of the children independently of everything else - opened up again, and the answers have changed.

I credit California Proposition 13 (1978) for this, which phenomenologically correct, at least. If I recall correctly, 1978-1979 saw the loss of the hot lunch program at Burton School in Lafayette, along the old railroad line running in from the Delta and over the Oakland Hills to the Bay, now, in affluent suburbs, trails for the requisite fitness pursuits. More importantly to a third grader, the after school sports program was eliminated, though it was probably made up by terrorizing ten square miles on our Mongoose bikes (private goods, natch). Burton shut down after that year (as did a number of others across all the levels in the Lamorinda School District covering the towns of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda) in a big old consolidation that sent us to the newly-christened Burton Valley Elementary (on the former twinned campus of Merriewood Elementary and Fairview Intermediate), where kids from all the the eliminated schools came for the first time, to the Merriewood kids' home turf. Many got their first dose of meaningful class and other socioeconomic difference in this encounter. Even through the crow don't fly, some kids from the Walnut Creek side of the hills were zoned in and had to drive up and down a few ridges to a rather different neighborhood, bringing all sorts of socioeconomic exotica with them, divorce, alcoholism, abuse, even some kids who didn't get A's and weren't already queuing up the Cal and Stanford applications. Hard times after Prop 13.

Elsewhere on the blog I have advanced the claim that great cities deserve great libraries. San Francisco Public Library and San Diego Public Library (SDPL), Salt Lake City, of a few I have visited, seem to have gotten some good support from their communities. The fundraising must be good in all of those places. Tip o' the cap. There is no more research efficient public space in the Garciaverse than sitting at a state of the art film scanner at the San Francisco Public Library. I am using it, but someone else paid for it. Thank you.

Anyway, educational institutions are in the same predicament, I am sure Cal could use the support. The Stanford Daily archives display individual donor names on returned search results. So one could probably curate around one's own years of attendance, for example. Very cool. The Californian may well have lots more stuff than we know and think for essential work around Berkeley and everything it has experienced and must, in some ways, represent. It'd be fun reading.

In Closing: The Hat

In closing/by way of reminder, here are a few needs that I have observed in my own research.
  • New Englanders, including members of the Boston Area Deadheads Who Give A Shit Foundation (tagline: "Share The Wealth, Kids!"): Buy some great digital scanners for the Boston Public Library.
  • Cal Bear alums: drop your battle ax on Stanford's head, and all that. I want to spin through the Daily Californian, and posterity will thank you!
  • Anyone: the Grateful Dead Archive, Special Collections, Mchenry Library, UC Santa Cruz.
  • The Independent Voices project to digitize and, by 2017, make open access a collection of underground newspapers. I don't know how this collection will relate to the Underground Press Collection microfilm - one hopes that IV will totally deprecate it - but it looks like a great project that will allow us to understand ourselves and our world better than ever.

1 comment:

  1. http://www.salon.com/2015/06/08/massive_endowments_massive_tuition_massive_debt_our_colleges_are_out_of_control_and_crushing_students/

    "A far more serious problem is the unspoken, and even to some extent unconscious, incentives and distortions created by a system in which university budgets become increasingly dependent on the continuing generosity of the wealthiest Americans. Those incentives rarely come in the form of an explicit quid pro quo. But one doesn’t have to be a young woman in desperate financial straits to realize that rich old men generally expect to get something for their money."

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