"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

LinkedIn Improved With its More Interactive Graphic Interface but Needs Better Inter-Page Linkage Connectivity

We are a bit late on this but refer to Kia Kokalitcheva (@imkialikethecar at Twitter- "i'm kia like the car") at Fortune Magazine 
in Is LinkedIn's Mobile App Redesign Too Little, Too Late?

We have not used LinkedIn much in past months and were thus surprised today to find that LinkedIn has a new -- and to our way of thinking -- much better interactive graphic interface that now shares some of the more popular intuitive aspects of other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

LinkedIn still needs to improve the PC desktop version (we are not fans of blindered mobile interfaces) for better inter-page connectivity so that the user is not having to guess where to find the various pages. Simple is best. Just put links to everything in the left column, where there is room. User mobility on a website is important.

We use ClassicShell for Windows because we do not have time to click through all the useless time-wasters in the Windows 10 interface. Time is money. Make things QUICK, EASILY ACCESSIBLE and INTUITIVELY RIGHT.

Put yourself in the place of the USER and what the USER wants to do: e.g. update his or her profile, post material to a given page, post a job offer, look for a job offer, look for new connections, look for an existing connection, etc.

All of that and more -- i.e. what the USER wants -- should be just one click away, no more. A social media presence should not be a hunt and peck exercise.

Drop down menus for accessing essential features if they are placed at the edges of pages is counter-productive timewise and location-wise. Calculate "mouse miles" and reduce them. Why should the user get carpal tunnel syndrome because of bad interface design?

Librarian Carla Hayden Nominated by President Obama as New Head of the Library of Congress

Who runs the world? Well, in the background, it is obviously the librarians!

Carla Hayden was just nominated by President Obama to be the nation's top librarian as the head of the Library of Congress.

See the article at NPR by Elizabeth Blair in Obama Nominates Carla Hayden To Lead Library Of Congress.

Hayden would be the first woman and first black to hold the position.

We intentionally avoid the term "African-American" used in many sources for the same reason that we do not speak of "European-Americans".

Everybody in America came from somewhere else, even the so-called "Native-Americans", the now so-called "First Peoples" in North America, who came via Siberia.

There is also the presence of haplogroup X both in North America and Europe, which could be an even older "Caucasian" migration from what we today call Europe ("Old Caucasian"-Americans?). See Brown et al., mtDNA Haplogroup X: An Ancient Link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?, The American Journal of Human Genetics (AJHG), Volume 63, Issue 6, December 1998, Pages 1852–1861.

Even the use  simply of the label "American" to apply only to the United States has been rightfully challenged by some living elsewhere in North America, Central America or South America.

Using such labels of presumed or even present origin is simply misleading.

In fact, such imprecise labels of origin can be regarded as hidden forms of racial profiling. We think there are at best the people of the United States, a unified nation, ideally regardless of race, gender, origin or personal creed. In trying to force equality, one is often unconsciously emphasizing inequality.

Alva Noë writes at NPR in DNA, Genealogy And The Search For Who We Are:
"And then, there's this tidbit, courtesy of Mark G. Thomas and his friends at University College London: It can be demonstrated that 5,000 years ago everybody alive was either the common ancestor of everyone alive today, or the common ancestor of no one. Thomas captures the startling upshot of this fact: "At this point in history we all share exactly the same set of ancestors.""

May the most competent person for the job -- in our modern world -- win.

Ask your local librarian for resources on this and related issues!

High Price of Academic Journals and Cutbacks by Libraries Leads to Copyright Infringing Open Access Alternatives

ACI reports on a new problem facing academic research, namely, that Expensive Journals Drive Academics To Break Copyright Law. As written there:
"A new pirate website called Sci-Hub [in Russia] allows free access to academic journals behind paywalls. Heather Joseph, an advocate for legal open access, explains the situation to Linda Wertheimer..."
Registration is required at ACI to access the above explanation.

Hat tip to "ACI Focus Posts: Select Posts from the ACI Team" at http://aci.info/.

Judge Richard Posner Suggested by Law Prof Michael J. Broyde as Nominee for SCOTUS Seat Now Vacant by Passage of Justice Scalia

Law Professor Michael J. Broyde suggests Judge Richard Posner as the right nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by the passage of Justice Scalia. We agree.

See CNN at Here's who should replace Antonin Scalia.

Hat tip to CaryGEE.

GOP Has Greatly Mismanaged the Scalia Supreme Court Vacancy

Robert Schlesinger at US News in The GOP Is Blowing the Scalia Supreme Court Vacancy has it right in writing:
"They bungled the politics of this, possibly quite badly."
Read the whole thing.

What if Obama Nominated Conservative Judge Richard Posner, Most Cited Judge of Our Era, to the U.S. Supreme Court?

The battle lines have been drawn.
Obama has said that he will abide by his Constitutional duty and will send a nomination to Congress for Constitutionally required Congressional "advise and consent" to fill the position vacated by the passing of Justice Scalia.
All 11 of the Republican Party members of the Judiciary Committee have grouped together in a joint extreme right-wing refusal to do their job. They not only reject doing their Constitutional duty to vote on the nomination, but say that they will ignore the nominee, period. The US News headline reads: Senate GOP: ‘No Hearings, No Vote’ on Supreme Court Nominee. We call that very bad manners, among other things, quite apart from neglect of the call of duty.

Such a decision by those GOP Senate members also flies fully against the majority wishes of the American people. As noted in that same article:
"A Pew Research Center survey found 56 percent in favor of holding a hearing, compared to 38 percent who said the nomination should be the responsibility of the next president. And 62 percent of respondents in a Fox News poll said current leaders should “take action to fill the vacancy now,” compared to 34 percent who felt the president “shouldn’t get to nominate someone for a lifetime appointment … this late in his term.”"
In our opinion, this would be a nice time for President Obama to nominate the conservative but juridically completely unassailable Judge Richard Posner, the most cited American legal scholar and jurist of our era, a President Reagan appointment to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, who has been passed over in previous Supreme Court nominations, and who in recent years has said that:
"I've become less conservative since the Republican Party started becoming goofy."
For that quotation read Nina Totenberg at NPR in Federal Judge Richard Posner: The GOP Has Made Me Less Conservative.

Sadly, the above fabulously imaginable scenario of a Posner nomination is very unlikely to happen because, as headlined by Debra Cassens Weiss at the ABA Journal, Posner has "absolutely no desire" to join SCOTUS (acronym for "Supreme Court of the United States").

Posner has previously been quoted as saying:
"“First, I’m too old,” Posner said. “I’m 74 [that was in 2013] and they don’t appoint people my age.... ”I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of it as basically … it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court. It’s very political."
Under the present "political" circumstances, however, Posner might just be the right man to put in the limelight as a Supreme Court Justice nominee, which might help greatly by the ensuing public discussion to bring people in America back to a saner view of the basic requirements of their political system as inscribed in the Constitution. We imagine that Posner would make legal mincemeat out of the present Senate Judiciary Committee position.

The people of America need to learn that Supreme Court Justices should not be political puppets of special interests in Congress. Rather, their job is to uphold the Constitution of the United States, politics notwithstanding.

Of course, if President Obama were to nominate someone who is quite clearly a "political" left-leaning nomination, then he will only add flames to the fire. Plus, what potential candidate would want to be put into that conflagration. Hence, Obama would be well-advised to nominate someone whose conservatism is unquestioned. Posner would be just the man.

With Posner as the nominee, the Judiciary Committee would be hard pressed to stick to their "no hearings, no vote" position. They could not be THAT stupid -- but we have been wrong before, and this seems to be a very "goofy" group of Senators.

Ultimately, maybe this "Group of 11" would just sail off into the sunset, having lost face completely. America would not be the worse off for it.