Off the keyboard of RE
Published on the Doomstead Diner on May 15, 2015
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Surfing around my favorite Collapse Blogs of Economic Undertow & Our Finite World over the last year, in the commentary more than a few Bibliophiles have suggested that we need a Library of the Information we Doomers feel is important to have as we move down the Collapse Highway to Hell TM.
Seeing as my goal is to make the Doomstead Diner a One-Stop-Shop Convenience Store for Kollapsniks, I set myself the task of noodling out how to do this, allow all Kollapsniks to input to the database and then have it up online in a usable form for finding Information. I also wanted to make it fairly resilient and portable, as these things go. More on that later.
Now, if I was a brilliant Code Jockey who could write code, I could do a custom job of this, but sadly I am not. So I had to look for Plug-Ins other Code Jockeys have written for the WordPress platform and get them working on the Doomstead Diner. After a few false starts, this has more or less now been accomplished, and the Dommstead Diner Atavachron Library of Collapse TM is now up and functional on the Diner. Not too much Data stored in there yet, but hopefully before I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM we will collect up a decent pile of references.
There are many ways these days to store metadata that are way beyond the old Dewey Decimal Card Catalogs I used in my HS and College years, not to mention search engines like Google that allow you to surf the entire net looking for information. The problem with this is Information Overload. There is so much of it that the neophyte Kollapsnik doesn't know where to begin! What's a good resource, and what is garbage? So to have a decent Collapse Library that is worthwhile, it has to be curated and selections made that are worthwhile. Who is going to make those selections? YOU, the Expert Kollapsnik make them! My job is just to take your submissions and get them up on the Diner. I dropped on a few to begin with as a test of the system, but I got enough here on my plate that I'm not gonna spend hours dropping on new records when everybody else can do that.
So, what is the FORM of the Atavachron, how is it organized?
The most basic form of a Database is .csv, or Comma Separated Values. It can be opened by any computer from any era, even a TRS-80 from Radio Shack can open a .csv file. You can also print out a .csv file and keep it on paper, though you can't search and sort it like you can with a computer. The Atavachron is a .csv file. In .txt form it looks like this
Header Line: "#","Date Submitted","Type","Author (Last, First)","Title","Dewey Decimal Topic","Sub-Topic","URL"
Each Record Line after it follows this same pattern.
Example Record: "1","13/05/2015","Website","Reverse Engineer","Doomstead Diner","000-General","Economics","http://doomsteaddiner.net"
Each field is separated by a COMMA, and each new Record is started with a CARRIAGE RETURN (aka "Enter")
Very simple, very resilient. 🙂
How do I USE the Atavachron?
The first way is the Table that is up on the Catalog page of the Diner Library. It looks like this:
[table]"#","Date Submitted","Type","Author (Last, First)","Title","Dewey Decimal Topic","Sub-Topic","URL"
"10","14/05/2015","Book","Illich, Ivan","Deschooling Society","300- Social Sciences","Economics","http://www.preservenet.com/theory/Illich/Deschooling/intro.html"
"9","14/05/2015","Book","Illich, Ivan","Energy and Equity","300- Social Sciences","Energy","https://goo.gl/CgzFHP"
"8","14/05/2015","Book","Butler, Smedley","War is a Racket","900- Geography & History","Geopolitics","http://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf"
"7","14/05/2015","Book","Quigley, Carroll","Tragedy & Hope: A History of the World in Our Time","900- Geography & History","Geopolitics","http://www.carrollquigley.net/pdf/Tragedy_and_Hope.pdf"
"6","14/05/2015","Website","Lewis, Tom","Daily Impact","000-General","Economics","http://www.dailyimpact.net/"
"5","14/05/2015","Website","McPherson, Guy","Nature Bats Last","500- Natural Sciences & Mathematics","Environment","http://guymcpherson.com/"
"4","14/05/2015","Website","Tverberg, Gail","Our Finite World","600- Applied Science & Engineering","Energy","http://ourfiniteworld.com/"
"2","14/05/2015","Website","Ludlum, Steve","Economic Undertow","300- Social Sciences","Economics","http://www.economic-undertow.com/"
"1","13/05/2015","Website","Reverse Engineer","Doomstead Diner","000-General","Economics","http://doomsteaddiner.net"
If you MOUSE OVER the table headers, you'll see little UP/DOWN Pointers. They let you sort the Table by that Field, Alphabetically or Numerically, Up or Down. Once you do your sort, you just scroll down to find what you are looking for.
This is not however the best way to do it. It's better to Copy the Table and Paste it into Excel or Open Office, then you can make your own .csv file and use it with any Database program ever cojured up by a Code Jockey.
The URLs in the Table are mostly not Hot Links at this point. To use them, you need to Copy/Paste them into your Browser. Not too difficult.
How do I Submit Records to the Atavachron?
If you are just dropping in the occasional Record, the easiest way is to use the Form on the SUBMISSIONS PAGE. It looks like this:
There are Drop Down Menus for the basic categories, then you just keyboard in the Author (Last, First), the Title and the URL (Uniform Resource Locator, the Net address). I may add some new categories over time.
You do have to be careful dropping in URLs, because long ones that come from Search Engines mess up the Table Formatting. Making SHORTCODES for these links before you drop them into the Database works a lot better.
If you have resources and links you wish to submit, it's better to just make your own Table in Excel or Open Office that looks like this:
|#||Date Submitted||Type||Author (Last, First)||Title||Dewey Decimal Topic||Sub-Topic||URL|
Then just email me the file as an attachment, or you can paste the Text file into the Contact Form on the Diner if you don't have my email addy.
Advantage/Disadvantage to this is that you can drop whatever Topics/Subtopics you like in, however I suggest sticking to the ones I have listed in the Drop Down Menus to keep your contributions more searchable.
I look forward to getting some submissions here and growing this Library Catalog before I Buy My Ticket to the Great Beyond TM, so drop a few on here! 🙂