This blog is mostly professional, but may have some personal notes in it as well, as it affects my professional activities.

Its namesake stems from my PhD research into regional identities in the late eighteenth century in what is now southern Bavaria.

I blog about issues related to information literacy, access to library resources, the environment, and the Historical Geography of Rupertsland.

Some sources regarding his life and work.

Fischer, H. (1988) ‘Schön und vortrefflich’: die ‘Charte von Schwaben’: Ein kartengeschichtlich bedeutsames Werk zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts, in: Beiträge zur Landeskunde: Regelmässige Beilage zum Staatsanzeiger für Baden-Württemberg, Juni 1988, 3:1–8.

Fischer, H. (1988) Die ‘Charte von Schwaben’ im Massstab 1:86,400: Erläuterungen, in the series: Reproduktionen alter Karten, Stuttgart.

Fischer, H. (1993) Die ‘Charte von Schwaben’ 1:86,400, Cartographica Helvetica 7 (1993) 1–10.Gradmann, J.J. (1802) Das gelehrte Schwaben: oder Lexicon der jetzt lebenden schwäbischen Schriftsteller, Ravensburg.

Günther, Siegmund (1922) Eine Kartierung Oberschwabens um die Wende des achtzehnten Jahrhunderts, Sitzungsberichte der mathematisch-physikalischen Klasse der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München, Jahrgang 1921 315–330, 317n.

Wolfart, P. (2008) Mapping the Early Modern State: the Work of Ignaz Ambros Amman, 1782–1812, Journal of Historical Geography, 34(1):1-23.

"Ignaz Ambros von Amman" in Wikipedia [short entry but cites Wolfart (2008).]

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Monday, January 31, 2011

Is access to Information structural?

I'm pondering how might access to information (and these days that means primarily suitable telecommunications infrastructure) be related to poverty? To uncover this, a couple of things need to be defined clearly. 1st Poverty -- what is it? what causes it? 2nd what is suitable telecommunication infrastructure, and where does it rank as a symptom or determinant of poverty. Does it weigh in as heavily as clean air, drinking water, suitable shelter? Education.

Can education be provided, in a sustainable manner, without suitable high speed internet access? Is there still room in development models, for keeping the solutions local and sustainable?

My first thoughts about this, was that indeed there was something structural about poverty, and hence about suitable and sustainable infrastructure. At the simplest level, perhaps, but it is just that, too simple. The structure does not exist in a vacuum, it is not superorganic, in the sense that it somehow floats above all the other attributes of any given culture, and to get a deeper understanding of the problems, at a theoretical level, we need to identify who the stakeholders are, and in which context they operate. But this is not a theoretical problem alone and needs some imaginative solutions in the present. So in short, probably not a structural problem, or if it is, let's stop playing the blame game.

Now you can blame the social system
But I still say it was his necktie (From "Necktie" by Michelle Shocked, Texas Campfire Tapes (Cooking Vinyl 1987).

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