User:Information Ecologist

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Information ecologist[edit]

I evolved into the role of Information Ecologist - now Professor of Information Ecology - at Information Habitat: Where Information Lives [1] in the spring of 1996, in response to a conception of information ecology as an embryonic holistic life science and operating system for sustainability and peace. This evolution took place in the context of the final stages of preparation for the 1996 Habitat II Conference in Istanbul, for which Information Habitat - an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic and Social Council had built and managed the web site and the principal electronic mailing lists. The seeds of information ecology had been planted with the conceoption of Information Habitat: Where Information Lives in May 1990 at an interfaith Caring for Creation conference in preparation for the 1992 Earth Summit. in appreciation of the remarkable transformations taking place in the nature, magnitude and accessibility of information habitats in an era of microcomputers and information and communications technology and the recognition of information and information systems as rapidly evolving new life forms.

Information Habitat has pioneered the systematic use of information and communications technology in support of broad-based access to and exchange of information, plans and ideas throughout the preparation for the major series of UN Conferences from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to the 1996 Habitat II Conference, and in the follow-up to the resulting global agreement - especially through the UN Commission for Sustainable Development.

Currrent focus is on the development of an open source, common content interactive platform for the NGO Committee on Education of the CONGO - Conference Of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations - incorporating a supportive environment for Wiki spaces, blogs, podcasting, vblogs, etc. , with a focus on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the International Decade for a Culture of Peace. An initial component of the site incorporates an extensive hyperlinked collection - the first of its kind - of several hundred United Nations documents relating to sustainability, a culture of peace, water, human rights, etc. at http://www.un-documents.net

My life's work up to that time had prepared me for the profession of information ecologist. I had been headed for a promising academic career as a mathematical sociologist with degrees in mathematics and economics at Cambridge and social science research & methodology at Johns Hopkins. However I withdrew from academia in 1972 in the context of participation in the Vietnam Peace movement and concern as to the dominance of academia by a military-industrial complex.

I learned much about information ecology in more than thirteen years at the Baltimore City Jail - as librarian for eight and a half years, and the remaining five years an an administrative analyst - and in the course of thirty years of experience with advocacy & activist organizations that focused on peace, health, community development and interfaith dialogue at local, national and international levels.

The ecological dimensions of my training in information ecology have grown out of a love for the natural environment and my experiences as an organic gardener - with a passion for composting that I had learned as a child - combined with an appreciation of holistic processes. Through the recent discovery of and involvement in La Perla Gardens- beginning with an Independence Day Worm Feast, I have been able to reconnect to the earth in ways that have brought me great joy.

Since May, 1989, my attention had been focused on the preparations for the 1992 Earth Summit / UNCED, and on the vital role that information technology could play in support of broad-based participation of NGOs in the conference, and I had developed an outline proposal for an information, public participation and communications system [2] that had led to the 1990 Earth Day launch of a "Global Environmental Network" by the UNCED Secretariat, whle as a Co-Chair of the Religious Outreach Committee for the 1990 Earth Day in Baltimore, organized a sunrise interfaith dedication of a fifth verse of the U.S. National Anthem at Fort McHenry, Birthplace of the Star-Spangled Banner - [3]

Increasingly a focus has been towards gathering, compiling and organizing eographical information, including maps and satellite images. This has included a 1996 focus on the Mesopotamian Marshlands: Between the Rivers - A Cradle of Civilization in support of the New Eden Project [4] - and the observation of Mesopotamian Summer, with the purpose of engaging in dialogue and appreciative inquiry - inter alia making use of a Wiki platform - into the feasiblity of a holistic approach to restoring and regenerating the decimated Marshes, and of the development of an open source wireless Internet Protocol platform for a new knowledge-based civilization. I had begun working on several wikibooks related to the restoration of the Marshes and information ecology. however, much of what I had published has been deleted - although it could be easily regenerated. In the wake of the massve October 2005 Kashmir Earthquake the gathering and organizing of information, maps and satellite images expanded to addressing the needs and opportunities for open source platforms combined with handheld wireless devices in facilitating coordination of logistics and relief efforts. An immediate down-to-earth focus is on preparation for an interactive online learning environment, featuring a biodiversity resources map of La Perla Gardens intended to sere as a prototype for use by community gardens, parks, etc anywhere.

Although I have no recognized academic affiliation, I have begun to use the title of Professor of Information Ecology - using the dictionary definition of "professor" as one who professes [5] - marking a new phase that will focus on teaching information ecology. Since 1996, I had been using the title Information Ecologist; during these eight years, my focus had been on development of the theory and practice of Information Ecology and believe it is now time for me to begin the task of teaching about information ecology.

Education[edit]

  • Whitgift School, Croydon, Surrey, UK. Croydon County Council Scholarship - 1956-1962
  • Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, UK. Open Exhibition in Mathematics - 1963-1966
  • Cambridge University, B.A. Honours in Mathematics and Political Economy, 1966
  • The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 1967-1972
  • Graduate Fellow in Social Relations
  • M.A. in Social Relations, 1972 - completed all requirements for Ph.D. except for thesis
  • Community College of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD. Continuing Education courses in Systems Analysis and Human Anatomy

Research[edit]

  • Quantitative Analysis of the French Revolution, Institute of Human Sciences, Boston College. Project Director: Gilbert Shapiro, funded by the National Science Foundation. Research Assistant. 1966.07 - 1967.06.
  • more coming soon.

Publishing[edit]

While I have published many brief articles on the web [6] as well as via many electronic mailing lists, most of my work in the area of print publication has been in nn editorial capacity, with a focus on the document's organizational coherence and from a concern with developing inclusive consensus-based documents.

  • Policy and Procedures Manual: Baltimore City Jail. [7]. Baltimore, Maryland, 1984. (Editor and principal writer)
  • The Alternative Press Index [8]. The Alternative Press Center, Baltimore Maryland. Designed the datataperfect database and WordPerfect Syles and Macros that were used to gnerate the body of the Alternative Press Index.
  • Queries on Unity with Nature [9]. Friends Committee on Unity with Nature. Baltimore, Maryland, 1989. Republished in the United Nations Environment Programms's 1989 Environmental Sabbath
  • Report Card on Baltimore Elementary Schools [10]. Citizens Planning and Housing Association, Baltimore, Maryland, 1990. Compiled and presented the quantitative information in the Report.
  • Network '92. Centre for Our Common Future, Geneva, Switzerland, 1991.04 - 1992.06. Distributed an eletronic edition of Network '92, the monthly newsletter with news and reports of preparations for the Earth Summit. Th electronic version was generally distributed - and received - approximaely one month before the print edition arrived.
  • ... more to come
  • Da Zi Bao: An Interactive Process [11]. Environment Liaison Centre International, '92 Global Forum and International Synergy Institute. Paris, France; Washington, DC; Tucson, AZ, Sidney, Australia; New York, NY; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 1991-12 - 1992.06
  • The NGO Alternative Treaties and the NGO Treaty Process [12] International NGO Forum, Ottawa, Canada, 1994. Editing and format; Three earlier editions of the Alternative Treaties published, from 1992.09
  • Agenda 21 & the Rio Agreements [13]. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. French & Spanish versions published as zipped files; first html publication of Agenda 21; also distributed inexpensive diskette copies - including draft versions and background documents throughout the preparatory process.
  • The Habitat Agenda [14], 2nd United Nations Conference on Human Settlements. Istanbul, Turkey, June 14, 1996. Published on World Wide Web and via email list and diskette - in Engish, French & Spanish.
  • Toward Earth Summit II [15]: NGO Recommendations for Actions and Commitments at Earth Summit II. New York, NY, 1997.
  • Petition for an Emergency UN Resolution on Iraq [16]. Unitiing for Peace Coalition, New York, NY 2003.05.01
  • UN Documents - Gathering a Body of Global Agreements [17], NGO Committee on Education, Conference of NonGovermental Organizations in Consultative Relations with the United Nations, New York, NY 2006.

Wikibooks in Development[edit]

Note: development of the wikibooks listed below is temporarily in abeyance, pending access to a wiki space that supports the database approach to the development of wikibooks that was a key contributing factor in the deletion of most of the materials in the initial drafts of tese wikibooks.
  • Information Ecology [[18]] - the elements of information ecology, an evolving holistic life science for a knowledge-based universe that acknowledes in formation and information systems s evolving life forms, with vital significance for the continuity of intelligent life on Earth. Status: Extensive database-generated outline, some preliminary sections elaborated, and link to Information Habitat's information ecology achives.
  • Information Habitat: Where Information Lives [19] a case study of the use of information and communications technology in support of broad-based NGO participation and access to and exchange of information by NGOs in the series of UN Global Conferences of the 1990s and the home of Information Ecology and the Light Cubes / Virtual Light and Colour Cubes.
  • Mesopotamian Marshlands [20] - a holistic, watershed-based approach to the restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands, home of the cradle of civilization, and the lungs and digestive system of the Mesopotamian watershed, incorporating a wireless, Internet Protocol-based platform for the marshes, and for a knowledge-based platform for an Iraqi society. Initiated on Memorial Day, 2004.06.01.
  • Alice in Cyberwonderland [21]. Preliminary draft of a modern-day update of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Cyberwonderland. The new version, in which Alice follows the White Rabbit through the screen of her new notebook computer, has also been writen under a pseudonym - John Doe. Like Rev. Charles Dodosn - Lewis Carroll's alter ego - is a mathematician - educated at Cambridge, instad of Dodoson's Oxford, and loves reading to, and playing with, young children.
  • Morphometrics [22] Measurement of changes in shape of living organisms, with particular attention to measuring and analyzing past and future changes with espect to the Mesopotamian Marshes, the Shatt-al Arab / Arvand Rud watershed, information ecosystems and the field of morphometrics itself. Status. Initial opening page and outline, with some external links.
  • DataPerfect [23] - coming soon - on open source curriculum in DataPerfect, a brilliant and exceptionally versatile DOS relational database companion of the classic WordPerfect for DOS. Status
  • Light Cubes: Elements of Light and Colour [24] - coming soon - an open source curriculum in the Elements of Light and Colour and the transformative eye-opening properties of the Virtual Light and Colour Cubes - virtual cubes, with dimensions of red, green and blue, in which the colour at any point is equal to the sum of its red, green and blue coordiates, as expressed in the HTML expression #rrggbb.

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