The Fourth Policeman is scheduled to cover Internet Librarian 2011. The conference theme is a step down from a few years ago when the organizers found it impossible to deny that the conference was taking place within capitalism. The financial horrors of 2008 could not be avoided, except by the organization’s executives’ refusal to reduce temporarily registration fees or to move the show to a place that would offer an answer to the question: Who would attend Internet Librarian if it were not in Monterey? This year, apparently suggesting — and this might be a stretch — a linkage to the Arab Spring, the theme is “revolution,” specifically “revolutionizing the internet through content and other stuff.” The Fourth Policeman was not asked to the executive committee meeting where seers settled on “revolution” for the conference moniker. On October 19, when the conference ends, expect the internet to be transformed, utterly new, bursting with retina-ripping content you have never before witnessed. Is the conference concluding with a screening of one of Eisenstein’s films?
The only “revolution” in Internet Librarian 2011 that TFP has detected thus far is that Jeff Wisniewski’s name appears only three times in the program this year (if my pdf item counter worked without a glitch), down from previous conferences when it seemed, like Celine Dion in Las Vegas, he should have had his own permanent performance space at the conference hotel.
The theme for this year’s conference ought to have been lowered expectations.
If you plan to attend, bring your “revolution” notebook/checklist with that notebook/checklist possibly linked to the usual social networking sites (see usual Lifehacker entry on how that happens), and keep score of the following as you attend each session:
1. A presenter makes a snide comment about Microsoft. (5 points)
2. A presenter mentions her “blogaversary” expecting immediate applause. (3 points)
3. A presenter points out that a multi-pronged electrical outlet is a “form of social networking.” (6 points)
4. A presenter praises anything connected to Apple and has no idea about this, and thus can feel no complicity about being an Apple polisher. (10 points)
5. A presenter explores as a tangent to the advertised topic of the session the notion that things labeled open-source equal political freedom. (4 points)
6. A presenter exhibits no knowledge that the internet’s genesis as a U.S. military project has relevance to the present state of the internet, and is not prepared to concede the sideshow point that those responsible for Arpanet never envisioned public use of such networks. (5 points)
7. A presenter weaves a colorful, embittered tale in which the presenter is a cutting-edge, hipster-worker in a library, usually dressed in black, battling constantly against uninformed, majority Luddites who neither appreciate nor understand the presenter’s “revolutionary” suggestions and credentials. (8 points)
8. A presenter touts the inspirational/revolutionary possibilities available via the iPad. (2 points)
9. If #8 includes computer projected images of David Hockney’s iPad drawings, add a 3 point bonus.
10. A presenter declares that gaming is an underused, undervalued road to advanced cognitive skills and/or to world peace — world peace being the stage after the IL2011 “revolution.” (5 points)
11. If World of Warcraft is an example used in #10, add 20 bonus points.
Toward the end of the conference, calculate the total score, and any number greater than one means that IL2o11 failed in its “revolutionary” aspirations, but managed, once again, to reinforce its own ideology.