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Infotechnodemo

User: Infotechnodemo
Lunenfeld
Visuals: Gerritzen
2005

Submitter: This is in a university’s engineering and science library. It’s in the QA 76.9’s (for those more familiar with Dewey, that’s the more theoretical books about computers). We found it misshelved and happened to crack it open while discharging it.
It looks like some angsty art student’s design project barfed up into a book. You flip through it and…. it…. just… keeps…. going…! You can start at any random page and lose nothing for skipping whatever came before it. We’re not sure what point the “author” is trying to make, but it looks like he disapproves of something. And this comes from MIT Press, of all people.

It has no checkouts. Have you ever wondered if there’s some department in the Library of Congress you can write to and suggest they may have miscatalogued something?

PS- the scanner drastically desaturated the colors. They’re very neon in person.

Holly: Peter Lunenfeld is a “digital media theorist.” From what I gather, he is a philosopher on the relationship between digital technology and art, design, and culture. (Forgive me, I’m sure it’s much more complicated than that!) This could be interesting for students of media studies, I guess. At least it’s in the right kind of collection (university), although whether it goes in science and engineering, art, communications, or philosophy I couldn’t say. The Library of Congress probably couldn’t figure it out either, so they made their best guess. Catalogers? What say you?

More Questionable Cataloging:

Witches

Turn That Frown Upside Down

33 Responses to Infotechnodemo

  • This is possibly the weirdest adult book I’ve seen at Awful Library Books. The layout resembles a children’s book, but the text is very adult (average pornsters ?). This was from MIT Press? Perhaps it’s “self-publishing for students”?

  • I must get a copy, I am a philosopher, engineer and artist….

  • Walking Thoreauvian? Diana Thater’s multicolored theater of high theory?? Urine Nation … featuring hardcore Euro-kink??? WTF has any of this stream of consciousness overflowing its banks to do with computers?

  • Looks dreadful. Time to call the fire department-Weed…and then burn….

  • I am pretty sure that the actual content is viable. . . I am not sure what the truly correct adjective is for this artistic-sociological-philosophical meandering. The graphics remind me rather forcefully of high school days. Not really what I want in an A-S-P M kind of book.

  • I am seriously tempted to urinate on this book. Should I be sad at my lack of awareness?

  • i wonder if if this book was hailed by Dieter on “Sprockets”? http://www.hulu.com/watch/276488

  • Ugh ugh ugh. I think urine trouble if you understand any of this. And, full credit/blame goes to Mieke Gerritzen for the blinding visuals.
    http://miekegerritzen.com/about/

  • I’m not being flippant when I say this appears to be the writings of someone who has bipolar, in the middle of a manic phase. Why on earth was it ever published? It wouldn’t have passed muster as a Geocities page!

  • It’s the Dr. Bronner’s soap of library books!

  • We have lots of books that look just like this one here at our design library. Our students love them. For the longest time, my director and I would buy these type of books just on sight. We were lost at understanding them. Circulation was high. We shrugged our shoulders.

    One day, I had a conversation about these type of books with the Dean of Architecture. She pointed out how many people who enter a design education are visual learners. Unlike text base learners such as an english major or a librarian. She said, the text pops off the page in a way that makes visual people able to follow along. Made sense to me. I still buy them, and have even learned to understand them! 🙂

    Today, I would say 1/5 to 1/4 of the collection are books that look just like this. The challenge is in the cataloguing, as several have allude too. We use the 500 fields to add in visual descriptive information that students will remember the book by and ask us for later. Such as the Hamburger book. http://tinyurl.com/qystktw Student come in everyday and ask for the Hamburger book.. :/

    • That is genuinely interesting insight to the concept. Do you have any input on this one after seeing the preview? In other words, even in this style there have to be books that aren’t worth it; do you think this is one of them?

      • This one is just outside our scope of the collection. If we already owned, it I would want to see what the circulation says. However, its now 10 years old. I can tell you the graphics show its age. When I first saw this post, I knew it was at least 10 years old. I also believe the call number might be accurate. I believe we have a few books like this in our QC section. QC is not a large section at our library.

        In short, there are many other graphically similar books that are way better than this. I can’t imagine a public library owning a book like that.

    • “Deaccessionized”?

    • That’s great… “learned to understand them.” The closed minds who mock, on the basis of seeing a blog like this and a couple of screenshots, seem to bringing their baggage of needing something to mock.

  • This is like a crazy person’s website, but in book form.

  • It reminds me of McLuhan’s _The Medium is the Massage_.

  • Hm, considering Playboy has decided to stop publishing nude photos and just do articles because they can’t compete with internet porn he’s kind of right in that section. Still sounds completely bonkers, mind you, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  • Author here. I’m assuming this site attracts primarily librarians, though it seems to have a fair share of amateur psychiatrists given the bipolar, manic, crazy and bonkers diagnoses (not sure the latter two are in the the DSM). I’m actually fascinated by the view from the other side of the circulation desk. When a book you’ve written goes on the remainder table, shows up in a used bookstore, or gets deaccessioned, it’s not exactly pleasant, but it’s part of the overall ecology of publishing. On behalf of Mieke Gerritzen, the designer, Doug Sery, the editor at MIT Press, and myself (delighted to be triangulated between the esteemed Drs. Bronner and McLuhan), wishing you the happiest of holidays!
    Peter

  • I’m a quiltmaker. To me, 25/8 is the equivalent of 3-1/8 yards of fabric, which happens to be what I need for my current project.

  • The author of Latawnya The Naughty Horse also made a personal appearance.

  • So, is the Aristotelian maxim “8/25”? I’m reading a lot of Aristotle, and I’d like a citation of “8/25” so I can go look it up.
    (I’m pretty sure the phrase about the unexamined life not being worth living is from Plato/Socrates).