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SIG/CON: The Sessions

The sessions have been recorded in one long file because there is a certain amount of pleasure to be derived from reading through them sequentially. However, if you are looking specifically for a fondly remembered year, I have provided an index.
































I have listed each session as it was described in the conference program (or conference newsletter) and have followed that with (where available) a description of what actually transpired. Speaker affiliations are given as listed, with a few changes for the sake of consistency in format.

October 30, 1975, Boston[page top]

Program Listing

There was no program listing (the session was videotaped and part of the videotape was played at SIG/CON 1984). In the daily conference newsletters, we find:

SIG/CON (Coterminous Operation of neo-Nodes). A new proto-SIG, pulled together too late for inclusion in the printed program, will put on its program session Thursday, October 29, from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Clarendon Room. The program, according to acting SIG/CON Chairperson Hank Epstein, will include:

  • MARCing and parking: A sexist fable. Harold Wooster (National Library of Medicine).
  • A cost analysis of cost analysis. Norman D. Stevens (Molesworth Institute, University of Connecticut).
  • ADELEINE (Phase I): An interactive on-line musical network: A model for the humanities. Ellsworth Mason, presented by C. David Batty (McGill University).
  • Grant awards via linguistic analysis of grant proposals vs costly refereeing techniques and program offices. Frances Spigai (Oregon State System of Higher Education).

and the next day,

Proto-SIG/CON (Concurrently Obsolete Nomenclature). The complete program for the proto-SIG/CON meeting scheduled for Thursday from noon until 1:15 in the Independence Room has been amended as follows:

  • BALLOTS/OCLC cooperation. J. K. Farrentine and L. Stovel.
  • OCLC/BALLOTS cooperation. H. S. Bell and P. V. Bova.
  • ...[other papers as reported earlier]...
  • The Hemingway complex and the Salinger-Mailer syndrome as indicators of the transition from pre- to post-coordinate index languages. C. David Batty.

And finally,

Proto-SIG/CON. The complete program for the proto-SIG/CON (Conservation of Nutmeats) meeting scheduled for Thursday from noon to 1:15 merits your sincere and dedicated attention. This distinctive and unusual session will present you with a picture of the "state of the arts" that you might never hear again, until next year!!

What Actually Happened

The papers listed above were given, minus Grant awards, and plus the subsequently much-heralded Misconceptions about information transfer: Some timely constructive criticism, by Ben-Ami Lipetz.

All of these were published in H. Epstein (Ed.), Proceedings of the first annual SIG/CON meeting, 1975 (Stanford, CA: SIG/CON Press, 1975). Wooster, Stevens, and Mason were also published in the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science, volume 10, number 4, May, 1984, and reproduced in facsimile in the Journal of ASIS, v. 46, no. 0). Batty and Lipetz were included in the research section of the aforementioned journal issue. Most are available in one form or another in the Papers section of this site.

The OCLC/BALLOTS presentation was written on napkins in the Durgin Park restaurant 5 days before the event. In 4 (salacious) voices the presenters discussed the need for new front end equipment to increase response time (one presenter was said to only have a "mini"), the large pair of front ends featured by BALLOTS, the intrusion of the RLG (Really Lovely Guys) network, the submission of a joint expense report to OCLC and BALLOTS (simply, "Schrod in Boston, $247.38"), the overnight experimentation with the OCLC command "Produce" and the BALLOTS command "Enter" (neither action by itself resulting in much), the decision to combine the operations with the new command "Enter and Produce," and the lack of sophistication in OCLC's searching ("based on having the piece in hand"). A decade later it was noted that none of these presenters stayed long with their employers after this session.

October 7, 1976, San Francisco[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Confluence of Overload Norms (CON). "An Assay of the Molesworth Model" Organizer: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Jargon Research Institute, Washington DC) Chairman: Ruth L. Tighe (National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Washington, DC).

Panelists will reflect the concomitant effects which are the outcome of non-normalization saturation.

  • Atonement. David Weisbrod (Yale University, New Haven, CT).
  • Topic to be determined. Hank Epstein (BALLOTS Center, Stanford, CA).
  • Topic to be determined. David Liston (Operations Research, Inc., Bethesda, MD).
  • Users and pushers: The misguided connection. Mary Berger (Ferro Corporation, Independence, OH) and Ramune Kubiliunas (Predicasts, Cleveland, OH).
  • Zen diagramming and other perquisitor ying yangs. Barbara Flood (Medford, NJ).

What Actually Happened

Presiding: Ruth Tighe

  • A comparative analysis of DC 14 and 16, class 132, as a social indicator. C. David Batty.
  • Zen diagramming and other perquisitor yin-yangs. Barbara Flood.
  • NETOPOLY: A high stakes game where networks rise and fall. Eleanor Montague.
  • Developing networks in developing countries. Glyn Evans.
  • The Molesworth model: An application. David Liston.
  • Pushers to users: The misguided connection. Mary Berger & Ramuna Kubillunas.

The presentation by Batty is available online. My notes on Flood's Zen diagramming describe this paper as "wherein the BS Factor of the inputter (librarian) was related to the GS scale." In Liston's presentation, the Molesworth model was claimed to be a by-blow of the Wartzoff Seminar, a group which worked so well in concert that they became known as the Wartzoff Concerto. Berger and Kubillunas, in Pushers to users, discussed the problems of accessing a database of eight items, all in Assyro-Babylonian.

Evans described the Patagonian Library Network, which deserves more attention here. Patagonia is the only land settled by the Welsh. It was explored by David the Explorer in 1584, and later in 1617 by Lord Conway. The Welsh took their world of learning and the arts with them, and soon realized they needed a national library network. The National Commission on Library Utilization and Technology (NCLUTS) was formed. The library community faced special problems with filing, what with Welsh, Spanish, and five indigenous languages. Welsh has more consonantal phonemes than most languages, and each occupies its own filing positions. So, for instance, we have d (pronounced d) and dd (pronounced th as in lathe); f (pronounced v) and ff (pronounced f); and l (pronounced l) and ll (pronounced in a way known only to the Welsh, and usually reproduced as ly, which doesn't convey it at all). So the following filing order is proper: lake, luminosity, Llandudno, Llangollen. However, in Patagonia a problem arose when the subject heading llama was introduced. This ll is not the same ll as the Welsh ll, so it is not appropriate to interfile it, as it is not Welsh. After fooling around with MARC delimiters and indicators, NCLUTS called in a consultant, Dai Batti. His solution was to make the llama the national animal, and therefore Welsh, and therefore interfilable. Dai Batti became known (in the Welsh way) as Dai the Llama, and eventually Dai Llama, and this problem was designated Dai Llama's Dilemma. Another setback occurred when the satellite images from the initial 1548 survey showed the existence of an elaborate magnificent cabling infrastructure for networking, but it turned out to be electrified sheep fencing. However, it seemed to work, so well enough was left alone.

Montague's Netopoly went on to greater fame, and the taped record of events reveals why. Netopoly is a board game (in draft stages), with the aim of making networking fun. The players are networks. The object is to have a group of networks compete to see how fast, in how many different kinds of libraries, and in how many different geographical areas, they can establish services, and how many support services and industries they can buy up in the interests of vertical integration. The winner is the network that is the most diligent and persevering, has the most ingenuity, and lasts the longest. The game rarely, if ever, ends. All players start at GO (the first square). Each network has a token, but since cooperation only goes so far, a network may change its token without warning at any time. There are several special types of squares:

  • Type of library-special, federal, academic, ARL, etc.;.
  • Geographic area-Pacific Northwest, Southwest, Southeast, New England, MidWest);.
  • Support industries-computer makers, terminal manufacturers, telephone companies;.
  • Random events-a card draw;.
  • Board of Directors (landing on this square forces the calling of a Board of Director's meeting); and.
  • KLUGE.

Networks race around the board trying to establish services, buy support industries, and so on. Players may have legal counsel, and must have national-level advisory committees. Every time a network passes go, it gets $200 from a private foundation-perhaps (and some networks are better at this than others). A network that lands on a library square can exercise an option to establish services, and enter locations into the database. Other networks that land on this square have to pay a marketing fee. If a network acquires contiguous library squares it may set up terminals, and the establishment of six terminals permits the purchase of a minicomputer, and all of this of course increases the market fee. The most interesting are the random events squares.

  • LC has discovered six more diacritics; this means changing all printers and terminals.
  • 100,000 pounds of 3x5 card stock was discovered not to be PERMALIFE; deacidify by the sheet, or send it back and get more.
  • Serials check-in processing has reached 100,000 transactions per day-panic.
  • You have received a Public Works Grant to convert 5 million catalog cards-begin immediately.

Board of Directors events can be equally devastating.

  • It has been decided that you no longer meet the definition of "network"-your membership has been revoked. Reapply.
  • Your network supervisor program is running amok-pull the plug.
  • Your terminal manufacturer has reported a three year backlog-look for another vendor.
  • You have been called a utility again-react with indignation.

Finally, there is KLUGE, where everything is grinding to a halt, and response time is reaching thirty minutes. You may continue to add terminals; but you may not leave KLUGE until you throw two doubles of the dice. Another interesting feature is that a network can call time at any point, and can get together with one or more other networks and trade terminals, minicomputers, deeds, catalog records, and so on. This can be terribly complex, as some libraries and equipment components and catalog records are worth more than others.

September 29, 1977, Chicago[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Contraversion of Obviating Non-Exiguities (CON). "The Pimpernel revisited; or, Yes, Virginia, there really is a Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III"
Organizer: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Institute for Applied Epistemology, Washington, DC)

  • Chairman: David Batty (University of Maryland, College Park).
  • The impact of the mini-computer on alchemy. Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III.
  • The concept of maximum permissible irrelevance in data-base construction. P.C. Llewellyn, III (Project for Direct Retrieval of Information Very Easily Located: DRIVEL, Washington, DC) .
  • p=m/a(f2): Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, III, I, 56. L.C.P. Breath, III (Intelligence Division, Society for Christian Harmony and Intersectarian Ministry: SCHISM, Washington, DC).
  • The Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III, memorial address: Bradford's law of scattering as a tentative explanation of the origin of the universe. P.L. Cadwallader, III (Committee on a Heuristic Approach to the Organization of Science: CHAOS, Washington, DC).
  • Cash bar opens at 9:30.

What Actually Happened

Presiding: C. David Batty

  • Interim research reports from Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III on I) p=m/a(f2), 2) Bradford's law of scattering as a tentative explanation of the origin of the universe, 3) The impact of minicomputers on medieval libraries. Presented by C. David Batty.
  • How to present papers at ASIS conferences and still live a happy life. Tefko Saracevic.
  • Science, science publication, solution to all problems. Charles Meadow.
  • The National Library Network. Bill Matthews.
  • Untitled. David Weisbrod.
  • The hidden human factor costs in human online searching. Mary Berger & Ramuna Kubillunas.
  • Umbrella disappearance, exchange, and loss rate in American academic libraries. Norman Stevens (Molesworth Institute, and Associate Editor for Information Science of the Journal of Irreproducible Results).
  • A new concept in library budgeting techniques. Glyn Evans.

The Puppybreath research has been included in the profile of Dr. Puppybreath. The classic paper by Stevens was published in His Archives of library research from the Molesworth Institute (New York: Haworth Press, 1985, pp. 33-39). The speaker must have been garbed in some unusual manner, as much laughter accompanied his appearance at the podium. With only the audiotape on hand, I can but guess. Weisbrod spoke about the bumbling fronts presented by the nation's secret agencies. Charles Meadow's paper is available online. Matthews paper on The National Library Network was a short report from the Committee to look Into the Possibility of Hiring a Consultant to Write an RFP for a Contractor to Suggest Ways of Establishing Methods for Selecting a Committee on Governance. Unfortunately, the tape stopped here, and we do not have a recording of the momentous telephone call from the esteemed chairman.

November 15, 1978, New York[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Classification of Obnubilated Nomology (CON-as in The Sting). "Druids, Chronospace, and the Law of Subsequent Adjustment"
Organizer: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Information Racketeer, Washington, DC)

  • Chairman: Glyn T. Evans (SUNY Central Administration, Albany, NY).
  • User involvement in information systems/services design and implementation. David A. Britton (G.D. Searle & Co., Skokie, IL).
  • What's in a name? George A. Lindamood (Washington, DC).
  • Application of the Zweischneidigkeitsprinzip to information science. Curtis L. Brown (Institute of Paper Chemistry, Appleton, WI).
  • Axioms. Barbara Evans Markuson (Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority, Indianapolis).
  • Networking as a cross-cultural anodyne. Teresa Strozik & others (SUNY/OCLC Network, Albany, NY).

What Actually Happened

Alas, there is no record.

October 17, 1979, Minneapolis[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Conker Players (CON-as in The Sting). "Acronymization" Organizer and First Conker: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Information Racketeer, Washington, DC)

  • Chairman, Presiding Officer, and Conkerer: Norman D. Stevens (Director, The Molesworth Institute, Storrs, CT).
  • Introduction: Norman D. Stevens.
  • ACRONYM: Association for Concatenated Reduction of Nomenclature Yet Meaningful. David Batty (College of Library and Information Services, University of Maryland, College Park).
  • The WAIS evening report. ASIS Chicago Chapter.
  • The science of acronymization. Robert M. Mason (Metrics, Inc., Atlanta, GA) [Me] RLIN. Nancy J. Me[r]lin (Cos Cob, CT).
  • (P)reactor panel discussion of MOUSER1?. Hank Epstein (Information Transform Industries, Costa Mesa, Calif.), Ward E. Shaw (Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, Denver, Colo.), and Harold Wooster (Lister Hall National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, MD).
  • MOUSER1?: A case study in aronymization. Norman D. Stevens.
  • OHIONET. An acronym in search of a meaning. Ronald E. Diener (OHIONET, Columbus, OH).
  • The cooccurrence of titles and the cooccurrence of cooccurrence of titles in Antiquarian Bookman. Emil H. Levine (Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Dept of Justice, Washington, DC).
  • Cash bar open until 11 p.m.

What Actually Happened

Unfortunately, there is no record, although a paper with the same title as the Levine paper was presented in 1984. It is interesting to note that this is possibly the first appearance of WAIS at a meeting of information scientists. A unique feature of the MOUSER1? paper was that a (p)reactor panel responded to it prior to its presentation. The paper was eventually published as "Multiple acronymization as a creative solution to the effective use of library resources" in Stevens' Archives of library research from the Molesworth Institute (New York: Haworth Press, 1985, pp. 47-53).

October 6, 1980, Anaheim[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Concepts, Observations, and Narratives (CON-as in The Sting). "Proposals and Propositions" Moderator: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Information Racketeer, Washington, DC) Referee: Hank Epstein (Information Transform Industries, Costa Mesa, CA)
This year's meeting will present several ideas for new potential programs for your consideration. Some CONcepts are for single presentations and some are for new series (spinoffs).

  • Invocation. Information science-the oldest profession: An historiographical review perspective of our eternally emerging discipline. Toni Carbo Bearman (INSPEC, Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, England).
  • Modest Proposal. Book color as a retrieval element: A proposal for a MARC format revision. Brett Butler (Information Access Corp., Los Altos, CA).
  • Immodest Proposal. SIG/DEC, a spinoff SIG for practicing DECadence. Patricia H. Earnest (Brodart, Costa Mesa, CA).
  • Part 1. Resource sharing at library conferences: A barter idea. Sue Epstein (Los Angeles County Library). Part 2. ILL. Innovative location logistics. Diane Mayo (Costa Mesa, CA). Part 3. Vendor's song and dance. Presented by The STAR and Sordid Chorus.
  • The Methodillogical [sic] Proposition. How to avoid the birth of a network. Ward Shaw (Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, Denver).
  • Additional agenda Items to be announced.

What Actually Happened

The proceedings were apparently not recorded, although the session was spoken of fondly for many years afterwards. I did receive a tape from the ASIS Archives, but it turned out to be a session on numeric databases, which, while stimulating, was no SIG/CON. The paper by Bearman (wherein "Mae East" entered into the annals of legend) was, as I remember, delivered with the aid of a feather boa, which molted for five days, leaving a trail of feathers around the conference hotel. Three papers (the ones with a more "ribald" research focus) from this session subsequently won SIG/CON awards in several categories.

October 26, 1981, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Creative Ontology (CON-looking for the payoff). "On the Construction and Use of Creative Ontologies: A Concerted Defense Against Solipsism in Information and its Management"

  • Chairman, Organizer, and Deus Ex Machina: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Information Racketeer, Washington, DC).
  • Moderator and Stand-In Pro-Tem: Ward Shaw (Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, Denver).
  • Toward a true science of information: The Zeitgeister/Shyster constant. Douglas Ferguson (Research Libraries Group, Stanford, CA).
  • To be announced. James E. Rush (James E. Rush Associates, Powell, OH).
  • Public-private sector intercourse; or, A funny thing happened on the way to a government handout. Dennis McDonald (King Research, Inc., Washington, DC).
  • The impact of the Reagan budget on Armageddon. C. David Batty (Alpha Omega Group, Silver Spring, MD).
  • The effect of new technology on the library image. Hank Epstein (Information Transform, Innovative Images Division, Costa Mesa, CA).

What Actually Happened

A letter from Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III, was read by Sam Beatty. Debora (Ralf) Shaw gave a paper entitled What's in a name?, replacing the Douglas Ferguson paper above. The remaining papers were presented as listed.

Shaw advanced the thesis that ASIS meeting themes have an impact on the US economy. Each theme was assigned a Scrabble™ weight (ws) based on the point value of the letters, and this value was then correlated with the Dow Jones closing stock average. The findings indicated that the lower the Scrabble™ weight, the higher the closing average. With this in mind, several suggestive, and economy-promoting, meeting themes were proposed (including "The Joy of Information," and "Binding and Gagging Information").

James Rush discussed several budgeting models, including two-based budgeting-the expected cost of each budget item is multiplied by two, and the result will be half the actual cost. McDonald described formal and informal methods of discovering government contracts which are open for bid. Epstein presented a new product to give the modern paperless library the user-friendly appearance of an older, more traditional setting (this paper is avaialble in facsimile in the Papers section).

October 18, 1982, Columbus[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Classification of Noise (CON). "Symposium on Classification of Noise" Chairman and Moderator: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Dean of Women, Invisible College) Contact Person (in the unlikely event of Dean Puppybreath's absence): Debora (Ralf) Shaw (Indiana University, Bloomington)

Con, v.t. To persuade or convince another to accept or believe (almost anything) as by a confidence game. Combining information theory with principles of symmetry implies that the freedom (or declassification) of information would be effectively accomplished by the classification of noise. SIG/CON encourages the exploration of this suggestive proposition, considering both classification and noise from a wide range of perspectives.

  • The Assurance of Noise in an Informed Society. Adaptation of New Irrelevancies to Very Old Norms (Tanis Anivon?). Herbert S. White (Indiana University, Bloomington).
  • SIG/SIG (Silence is Golden). Bonnie Last-Name-To-Be-Announced (A Federal Agency to be Determined, Oak Ridge, TN).
  • Noise: An overarching configurational theory. Charles H. Davis (Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).
  • ("Guidelines for infringing on the copyright") Final report from the Committee on Ignoring Anything in Parenthesis. Katherine Clay (San Mateo Educational Resources Center, Redwood City, CA).
  • S.O.U.N.D.-A thrylotic algorithm for the diagnosis and control of noise. Curtis L. Brown (Aphonal Elinguist, Institute of Paper Chemistry, Appleton, WI).
  • Terminal murmurs, or, The view from inside the screen; A biography of our chairman. C. David Batty (Alpha Omega Group, Inc., Silver Spring, MD).

What Actually Happened

Bonnie Last-Name-To-Be-Announced's last name was announced to be Carroll, and was determined to be with the Department of Energy. Charles Davis' paper was replaced by The manurological model of catalog ecology, presented by Susan Emerson on behalf of a scholar from Kergazia, and Davis presented the Curtis Brown paper. Jean Holbrook substituted for Katherine Clay, and otherwise papers were given as listed.

The paper by Herbert White is available online. Carroll presented the report of the Committee to Establish a SIG on Silence. The Kergazian paper discussed the structural similarities between the input and output of biodigesters and catalogs. Davis' reading of Curtis' paper revealed the latest work on a Systematic Offensive Undesirable Nuisance Delimiter (SOUND), an electronic ultrasonic neuroanalytical software/hardware package for seeking out, analyzing, and neutralizing unwanted sources of noise. The Clay paper presented guidelines and support systems for information scientists in flexible applications of the "new" copyright law, and included a spirited reading of parts of the Copyright Act. The report by Batty formed the basis for much of the content in the site's biography section.

October 5, 1983, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "End Losers in Perspective (A Hot Topic)" [A typo. It should have been "End Lusers"-Ed.]
Chairman. E. H. Brenner

Speakers, Spirits, Gabbers and Ghosts (an online seance):

  • Ev Brenner (American Petroleum Institute, New York, N.Y.).
  • Harold Stassen (American Running Institute).
  • Paul Addison (Great Lakes Chemical Corporation, W. LaFayette, IN).
  • Tom Dewey (Great Losses Corporation).
  • Sam Beatty (ASIS, Washington, DC).
  • Marilyn Monroe (WHATANASIS).
  • Carlos Cuadra (Cuadra Associates, Inc., Santa Monica, CA).
  • Rodney Dangerfield (Nogata Associates, Inc.).
  • Ron Smith (BIOSIS, Philadelphia, PA).
  • The Mets (METSOSIS).
  • Mary Berger (HERSELF).
  • Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (HISSELF).

What Actually Happened

Owing to unforeseen circumstances, few of the speakers named above appeared. The session opened with a review of 30 years of indexing and classification research by Ev Brenner, including the work of that heroic and unsung figure, Dr. Foole, the inventor of baloonean logic. Going from strength to strength, the next paper gave us Paul Addison and his findings on behavior at ASIS meetings in his presentation What who we are and what we've been doing says about end lusers. This award-winning paper used the innovative Haphazard Information Collection Conventions for Unusual Personal Studies (HICCUPS). This method is initiated by a loosening-up period with the aid of fermented or distilled beverages, followed by a question-and-answer session. Another methodology, Basic Unimaginative Repetitive Probing, came up occasionally but was suppressed whenever possible. In citing previous studies, Addison noted the King Research survey indicating that a high percentage of studies of information professionals are done by information professionals, leading to the remark that in an era of high unemployment we are most fortunate to be in a self-perpetuating profession. The HICCUPS method was used to study the relationship between ASIS dues and wine consumption at ASIS meetings, also known as the booze vs dues relationship. The relationship was determined to be direct, as was well illustrated by the speaker's bar graphs.

Sam Beatty discussed recent ASIS elections. Sigmund Konrad (Carlos Cuadra's piano teacher), provided a moment of light relief with his rendition of Nothing could be finer, in the tradition of Victor Borge. Mary Berger and friend presented a lively emulation of the telephonic relationship between a help desk staff member and an end luser in End luser crisis center phone support. Finally a tape purporting to be of Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (but clearly an imposter) was played, with accompanying photographs of the obscure(d) doctor.

October 24, 1984, Philadelphia[page top]

Despite being the SIG/CON decennial, this marked a low point in program listing. For the first time Dr. Puppybreath is not mentioned in neither the index nor in the actual session description. SIG/CON founding members are distressed. Having the words "cash bar" appear at the end of session descriptions several years earlier was bad enough.

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "A Decadence of SIG/Concessions: Ten Years of Succession, or Is It Secession?"

  • Moderator: Fifi Talmi (Minneapolis Talent, Inc.).
  • Lowlights from SIG/CON. Hank Epstein (Puppybreath, Inc.).
  • This s a no-conflict session. Don President (King, Inc.).
  • Co-occurrence and co-occurrence of co-occurrence of titles in "Antiquarian, Bookman Bookman" as an indicator of the world brain. E. Garpfield (Institute for Sociobiblionics Information (ISI)).
  • Other speakers to be committed.

What Actually Happened

Papers (and video and audiotapes of SIG/CON I and II lowlights) were presented as listed. Recorded lowlights included Ben-Ami Lipetz' Misconceptions about information transfer: Some timely constructive criticism and Eleanor Montague's NETOPOLY: A high stakes game where networks rise and fall (both discussed earlier). King's presentation highlighted the ins and outs of working with ASIS officers and electoral candidates. Emil Garpfield described some typical expected title pairings in circulation of monographs in libraries, and Bea Kenney and committee led the audience in a decennial celebratory rousing ASIS cheer, with the assistance of several international attendees.

October 22, 1985, Las Vegas[page top]

Program Listing

SIG Session "Off Track Better"
Cash bar opens at 8:00 p.m. Program begins at 8:30 p.m. [Perhaps not a good idea-Ed.]
The 11th conspectus of congruent, conscripted, consecutive congresses, connected in consecution, or otherwise conjugated, consumedly.
Founder: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Information Racketeer, formerly of Washington, DC, now of Reno, NJ)

  • Convening the conveying. Joe Ann Clifton.
  • Conical classifications. C. David Batty (Welsh Wawe, Silver Spring, MD).
  • Confessions of the consummate consultant. Elizabeth Fake (Don't Make Waves, Laurel, MD).
  • The confines of conceptualism. Buster Spiwak (Big Wave, CA).
  • The CONVERTICON. Continuous Concurrent Conversation Converter Concept. Ben-Ami Lipetz (Albania State University, NY) and Hank Epstein (Transform Tidalwaves, Farout, WI).
  • The contrition of copyright. Barbara Polansky (Chemicals for Society, Downtown, DC).
  • My concernment with chemistry (or, What's Dunn Is Dunn). Ronald CAS (Somewhere, OH).
  • CON conkers. For the academy, Hank Epstein (Veteran).
  • The consuetude for continuity. Samuel B. Beatty.
  • Concert (time permitting): Contradicting contraltos, Coinciding concertinas.
  • Conclusion.

What Actually Happened

Elizabeth Fake sought Dr. Puppybreath's sage advice on her chosen career as information consultant. Presentations by Polansky and CAS were given as listed, the latter being a discussion of the process of selection for a new Director of Chemical Abstracts Services (potential applicants included Reverend Falwell and Woody Hayes). Called from the floor, Stan Elman (ABD) described his experiences with Dr. Puppybreath as thesis advisor. Epstein presented the CONker awards detailed earlier in this issue, and the entire session was interspersed with reports from Sam Beatty on Dr. Puppybreath's progress around the gaming tables of Las Vegas.

September 30, 1986, Chicago[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON "Structured vs. Free-text Conputer Searching, or, The Odd Couple" Are you confused by the controlled constraints of structured concepts? Or are you confounded by the consequences of considering convulsive free-text contexts? Our conference will consist of the concise conformers contrasted with contaminated contributors. Let the conflict continue!

  • Stuart Allenbreath (Napoco, Amerville, FL).
  • CONstantine Onasis Nikolacretsostefanopoulous (MDRI, Queen City, OH).
  • Disparately conputer seeking and soliloquizing pseudofree textual and titularless colonicity using cognitive knowledge misrepresentation, cocitation phrenology, and wishlist programming. Edwood "Leff" T. Cremmins (APECO, Inc., Bathasda, MD).
  • Saltonian theory (?) vs. thesaurian travesty: A baloonean algebra update. Ev Brenner, UF Everett Brenner (API, Manhattan, NY).
  • Odd couplings-toward the design of an eCONomic conputer for free text searching. Ward Shaw (Freeloader, CO).
  • In search of lost structure: Rememberance of things past. Margaret Jennings (Mitre Corp., Bedford, MA).
  • There is no accounting for full text: Implementating inflated integers. Samuel B. Beatty (PATH, Toll Road, MD).
  • Christopher Robin and Cutter. David Batty, CDB Enterprises, Inc., Silver Spring, MD.

What Actually Happened

Unfortunately, the record of this session was unobtainable. This is (probably) a great loss, as the papers included an update on the latest work on baloonean logic.

October 5, 1987, Boston[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "Concern Over Neologisms"
Co-chairs: C. David Batty (CDB Enterprises, Inc.), and Margaret Jennings (The MITRE Corp.)

There was no further information, but the daily conference newsletter (Program changes, 1987, p. 2) reports:

Organizers: C. David Batty (President, Institute of Applied Epistemology) and Margaret Jennings (Arbitrix Elegantarium, The MITRE Corp.)


  • Technocathexis: A lecture by Dr. Miriam. Miriam A. Drake (Georgia Institute of Technology).
  • Project to define the critical aspects of problem definition and the key elements of reporting the results of such definitions: Nevertheless. . . . Marcia Bates (UCLA GSLIS).
  • The "least-threat" mechanism in title selection: A study of word distributions in high precall titles. Candy Schwartz (Simmons College GSLIS).
  • To be announced. Elizabeth B. Eddison (Inmagic, Inc.) .

What Actually Happened

The session went on as stated, with the addition of a report on recent research activities of Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, presented as always by David Batty, and presented elsewhere in the site. Dr. Miriam's paper, a study of ASIS members, shared her findings that the membership engaged in a great deal of technoglottolalia, but very little biblioerotica. In general, ASIS appears to suffer from technoflagellation. Marcia Bates presentation was a classic statement of the problem, and is available online, as is the paper by Schwartz. Eddison's discussion of support systems and user services was curiously deleted from the audiotape after the first few minutes.

October 25, 1988, Atlanta[page top]

Program Listing

Chair: Miriam A. Drake (Georgia Institute of Technology)

What Actually Happened

The audiotape reveals that Debora (Ralf) Shaw presided, and presented a report from the SIG Cabinet meeting, held earlier in the week. A move was afoot to sponsor a Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III Award, for those members of ASIS who have given so much to the Society that there should be less of them visible. M.E.L. Jacob discussed methods for the creation of neophytes-an important product in information science. Shaw presented the findings from her research project Yet another JASIS evaluation, supported by John Wiley & Sons, and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. The general conclusion was that readers of the Journal need a 5th grade education. This should have (but did not) prompt a call for enhanced continuing education programming by ASIS.

Ev Brenner (substituting for Vic Rosenberg) regretfully announced that baloonean logic had not proven to have, as he put it, "staying power", and would be abandoned as a research direction. He described instead his investigations into hypertext, which he characterized as "a lot of hyper and not much text." This being an election year, George Bush came to mind, and through association, Vannevar Bush, which is where, after all, hypertext began.

October 31, 1989, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/Co-oblique Operative Non-normalization (CON). "14 Years of Non-normalization. the State of the Con"
Moderator: Llewellyn C. Puppybreath, III (Molesworth Institute)
A distinctive panel of experts will look back to the first SIG session (1975) and attempt once again to "reflect the con-comitant effects which are the outcome of non-normalized saturation" in the "coterminous operation of new-nodes."

  • Author retrieval awareness: Effects on intelligent retrieval. Carolyn S. Schwartz (Simmons College).
  • Remaining panel members to be determined (if not dogged).

What Actually Happened

Unfortunately there was no taped record of the proceedings. However, as Program Chair for the session, I did have a script which listed the following papers:

  • Presiding: David Batty.
  • Foundations of Co-oblique Operative Non-normalization: The state of the CON. David Batty.
  • Author retrieval awareness: Effects on intelligent retrieval. Yvette Souffle du Petit Chien (Graduate School of Library, Information, Communication and Records Studies, University of St. Pierre et Miquelon), presented by Candy Schwartz.
  • Fuzzy thinking on fuzzy operators for fuzzy information retrieval. Ilse Hündschensatem (Director of Information Services, SETS-The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Stupidity [a group dedicated to finding them before they find us]), presented by Debora Shaw.
  • Untitled. Magnolia Respiraçion de un Perrito (Information Manager, SPARSE-The Society for Protection of Research Seeking Entities), presented by Marge Hlava.

Three overheads were found for the paper by Schwartz, and have been made available online). In addition, two Rewards of Demerit were presented (as reported in the Awards section).

November 6, 1990, Toronto[page top]

Program Listing

"International Perspectives on the World's Oldest Profession: Information Science"

  • Co-Chair: Marcia Bates.
  • Moderator: "Mae East" Berman.
  • Keynote: Llewellyn C. Schwartz-Puppybreath.

What Actually Happened

The first audiotape received from ASIS Headquarters had the final five minutes of Prof. Dr. Kriemhilde Himmelfahrt's memorable presentation (further research was presented the following year), and was otherwise completely blank. The good Professor Doktor bore a surprising resemblance to Pam Richards, but this superficial similarity was dispelled as soon as she began to speak. I do remember that several Mrs. Puppybreaths presented themselves, and almost came to blows. Schwartz gave a reading of the origins of information, loosely based on Genesis (someone out there has a tape of this, and I want it). Michel Menou presented a brilliant paper on "An alcoholrithm for the automatic translation of fresh date bases in the european singles market", the text of which surfaced a decade and a half later (and is now available online).

October 29, 1991, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "The Primal Information Urge: Primitive Information Behavior in the Anglo-Saxon West"

  • Prof. Dr. Kriemhilde Himmelfahrt (Institute of Information Consciousness and Unconsciousness, Berlin, Direktor).
  • Don King (King Research).
  • José-Marie Griffiths (University of Tennessee).
  • Barbara Kwasnik (Syracuse University).
  • Tefko Saracevic (Rutgers University).
  • Deborah [sic] Shaw (Indiana University).

An in-depth report of a Felloween of the Humboldt Foundation working on the discrepancies between German and American information behavior, including the concept of gender (a concept now lacking in German, although research indicates it once was present). One hypothesis to be considered is that elements of American information behavior are primitive vestiges beyond which Germans have progressed.

What Actually Happened

Prof. Dr. Himmelfahrt characterized the panel as a distinguished group of speakers with obscure ethnicities, some from countries that had not yet even been named. She went briefly into her recent activities as visiting fellow of a distinguished academic institution that declined to be named. The gist of this research is outlined in the session description above, but she forwarded the hypothesis that her native country had exhausted its ability to differentiate gender several hundred years earlier due to excessive declension of nouns. Dr. Himmelfahrt pointed to the indications of gender behavior underlying information behavior, including terms like congruence ("lying on), relevance ("hitting on"), intertextuality ("feeling between"), seeking, finding, and fulfilment.

Dr. Shaw described the American Society Against Information Science. Her principal documentary evidence was their Annual Review Against Information Science (ARAISE), which included chapters on voodoo ergonomics; artificial virtual reality vs virtual unreality vs actual virtual reality; the organization of information (including the modest proposal that all hierarchies should be listed alphabetically), and information dissemination (in which they discussed ASCII, and query the existence of keys for other parts of the body).

Tefko Saracevic described his candidacy and election to the position of ASIS President, and discussed the process of giving papers at ASIS meetings. He also recalled his first day in the United States, in Grand Central Station in 1959 (the group with which he was emigrating had been given each $5 and a ticket to Cleveland, which perhaps explains much about the subsequent progress of information science in the United States). His first information science encounter in North America came when he was sent to find food in Grand Central Station, New York. With limited English, he encountered the cheapest item on the menu-hot dog-and after a semantic analysis, was astute enough not to take the phrase at face value.

Professor Dr. Anna Lytics (related to Barbara Kwasnik), Kladdist, presented Primitive information behavior: Laying bare the genesis through kladdistics. Dr. Lytics demonstrated the use of kladdograms to examine vestigial information behavior. Attention, however, was diverted from her presentation, as an unaccountable rise in room temperature resulted in the removal by Dr. Lytics of most of her garments. Slowly.

Finally Dr. Himmelfahrt returned to the podium to share her findings on the relationship between information behavior, gender behavior, and humorous information. Her distinguished colleague, Dr. Zwischenprüfung, has formulated a law to the effect that "the density of gender information in a given society grows in inverse ratio to the distinctness of the society's secondary sex characteristics." Unlike gender information, which used to exist in Dr. Himmelsfahrt's country, but has not been seen in years (although there have been a few sightings with reunification and the incursion of recent immigrants), humor information has never existed. It appears to be correlated with gender behavior, and through extensive research, Dr. Himmelfahrt has formulated a law of humor information: The volume of laughter in a given society grows in direct relation to the prevalence of sexual dysfunction. This was received with great solemnity.

October 27, 1992, Pittsburgh[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON, "Commendatory Observations of Non- Conforming Technological Utilization of Pennsylvania Institutions at Transparent Tangential Usefulness"

  • Bashing budgets. Buzzs Norbert.
  • Platform vaporware. N.S. Butler.
  • Internet update #1023. Lynch Clifford.
  • Are Wales mammals? C. David Beatty.
  • Wrap-ups. Samuel B. Batty.

What Actually Happened

This was another unfortunate lapse in audiotaping procedures. Fragmentary notes from the session reveal that C. David Beatty and Samuel B. Batty unravelled themselves into their familiar personae. Batty gave an account of the family history of our founder and the Puppybreath connection from Gallic times with information science and technology, including some of its arcane, Druidic, aspects. Most of this may be found in the introductory matter in this issue. Beatty modified the Celtic atmosphere by appearing in full Scots Gaelic regalia, prompting several members to wonder once again what it is that Scotsmen have under their kilts.

October 27, 1993, Columbus[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "ASIS 3000: Downshifting the Information Science Paradigm"

  • Vannevar Bush: What's the deal? L.C. Puppybreath and D. Puppybreath.
  • Information science nomenclature: A critical survey. Ralf Shaw.
  • Problematic aspects of ASIS corporate culture: Results of a prioritized matrix analysis. Merri Beth Lavagnino & Tom Kinney.
  • ASIS publications of note: An evaluative survey. Michael Lynch.
  • Early binary separation: Implications for information retrieval. Joseph Janes.
  • Information futures. Marjorie M.K. Hlava.

What Actually Happened

It is especially unfortunate that the taped record of this session does not appear to exist, as these were some of the most erudite papers to be presented at a SIG/CON in recent memory. Fortunately, Hlava's presentation on information futures has been captured for posterity and is available online. She discussed her unusual activities in the commodity markets of Eastern Europe (where issues of indexing and abstracting services can be traded for frozen juice concentrate and car parts). Janes' oft-cited classic looked at the differences in relevance judgments between identical twins separated at birth. This session might also have marked the first SIG/CON appearance of Opera Man.

October 19, 1994, Alexandria[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON "Puppybreath Aid: The Economics of Information Science, or, What Price Glory?"

  • Moderator: Karla Petersen (Loyola University).
  • Probabilistic and evolutionary aspects of online bibliographic retrieval: An exploratory investigation. Joseph Janes (University of Michigan).
  • In search of L.C. Puppybreath. Thomas Kinney (Writer/Consultant).
  • Bytes and bites: An economic analysis and functional comparison of the Macintosh Quadra 650 and the K9-ST. Julie Hurd (University of Illinois at Chicago).
  • TREK and TREK II: What we have learned, or, Unnatural language searching and the NII. Candy Schwartz (Graduate School of Library, Communication, and Information Services, Studies, and Science, Unseen University).

What Actually Happened

As mentioned in the introductory remarks, SIG/CON was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the SIG-of-the-Year Award Jury. All those who had chaired and spoken at sessions were honored, and a birthday cake was delivered by Opera Man. Moderator Karla Petersen introduced a somber note as she told the audience of late-breaking events in the competition for the coveted Information Science Gold Medal, and its lucrative endorsement contracts. It was said (no doubt erroneously) that Dr. Puppybreath had gone so far as to hire Tom Kinney to do to his competitor, Professor Debora (Ralf) Shaw, what had been done to Nancy Kerrigan. The doctor had last been seen leaving his home in his Bronco, and was reported to be remaining elusive owing to his lack of funds for legal aid. The SIG/CON session, therefore, was interrupted throughout the evening with Puppybreath Aid pledge breaks, and the audience was encouraged to call the bank of operators: Helen Manning, Jim Cretsos, Samantha Hastings, and Buzzy Basch (or, as pledgemaster Sam Beatty put it, "Give Mr. Basch a buzz."). Available for donations were INSPEC mugs, Tefko-coated kitchenware ("nothing sticks to these"), conference bags from Maxwell Communications (with an unfortunate nautical theme), and copies of Information Enquirer Today.

Tom Kinney claimed that he had fallen victim to Dr. Puppybreath's personal magnetism and charisma, and that he had taken custody of (i.e., stolen from the doctor's home) his Invisible College Yearbook, among other things. He had, fortunately, not been able to find the famous feather boa or the collection of colons taken from key papers in information science.

Julie Hurd gave a very useful paper (available online) on how to make purchasing decisions when faced with a plethora of products designed to serve a wide variety of information processing functions. Making a sound purchase requires a full understanding of capabilities and limitations of the systems under consideration. In comparing the Macintosh Quadra 650 and the K9-ST, she looked at various points, starting with cost (the 650 costs $2600, and the K9-ST $400, in both cases bot including printer). The 650 uses OS System 7, the K9-ST uses an operating system common to all K9s, and is unexcelled. Both have a GUI interface, but more so the K9. Voice recognition is primitive for the 650, and highly sensitive for the K9-ST. With respect to the Internet, the 650 runs fetch, the K9 runs a version of fetch in a different domain. Both run gopher, but the K9 can fetch gophers. In comparing AI features, using psychotherapeutic expert systems as an example, the K-9 is far more therapeutic than the 650.

The ground-breaking paper by Joseph Janes is available online.

Candy Schwartz gave a presentation on "Circumventing the Internet". The basic problems of information seeking in the environment of the Internet are: too many items, too much redundancy, and little subject accessibility. Dr. Schwartz described a recent research project to reduce the data set by collecting information on all TCP/IP transactions over a two week period. Users attempting to transfer items were asked Why?, and transfer was not effected until an answer was rendered. Two weeks later, item recipients were asked a follow-up question: Was it good for you? WHY and WASIT text information was coded, and UR (ultimate relevance) values were calculated for each item. All items were then clustered, centroids were extrapolated, and a home page was developed for each centroid, linking items in the cluster. A panel of cultural icons assisted in adjusting the clusters until the items were deemed to be the best representation of Western knowledge in its current form. The final collection of items were then presented in a semantic graph whose axes could be analyzed as sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. Dr. Schwartz suggested that once the national net data set has been reduced (by identifying those items which cluster with the representative centroids), further proliferation of items could be avoided by eliminating the creators. Copies of the overheads may be obtained from the author.

October 10, 1995, Chicago[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "Converging Universes://Forging Users into Relevant Submissions"

This session addresses new roles for users as the universes of relevancy and user needs converge. The panelists will explore new technologies that can dramatically alter the traditional patterns of information flow. Will this convergence yield positive impact? Don't miss this critical vision of past and future, looking toward designing positive submission rather than inevitable manipulations of the user.

  • Think Perfect: The word processor for the 21st century. Paul Addision (Logically Ensnared University, Lafayette, Indiana).
  • Case study: Automatic manipulation of a user to increase relevancy. Llewellyn C. Puppybreath (Relevance Universe, Parallel, World).
  • ASIS DATA dating: Relevant partnerships in the information field. Suzie Matchewup (Museum of Mating, Detroit Michigan).
  • Collision as a measure of manipulation. James MeJoe (Universal Imoversoty, Ann Arbor, Michigan).
  • Funding options for relevanonymous. Tefko Saracevic (Rutgers University).
  • A Gypsy interface for relevance criteria. Linda Schamber (University of North Texas).
  • Moderator: Mark Needleman (University of California).

What Actually Happened


October 22, 1996, Baltimore[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. URL:http://global/complex:info.chaos.control.leather.not

From a corrupt sector of cyberspace a message was found in a file capsule from L. Puppybreath exhorting his colleagues to focus their papers on the conference theme. In compliance with these wishes, SIG/CON sought and received funding from the Council on Linguistic and Organizational Distortion (CLOD) to provide presentations of state-of-the-art research. Real-world applications and website development was supported by the Division on Unified Management Behavior (DUMB). The results of intensive investigation and application (the DUMBCLOD Report) will address the conference theme on complexity, information, chaos and control all within a global context. A special website has been created to illustrate the conference theme with particular attention to complexity.

  • Pattie Fletcher (University of Maryland-Baltimore).
  • Joseph Janes (University of Michigan).
  • Donald Kraft (Louisiana State University).
  • David Lankes (Information Institute, Syracuse).
  • Raymond von Dran (Syracuse University).

What Actually Happened

The only evidence of activity at this session is the paper by Dr. Chaos (a.k.a.) Donald Kraft (available online) which is a study of the use of JASIS by its readers, most of whom appear to desire a foldout and more gratuitous content (if such is possible). The presentation included a modest citation study, a questionnire for determining suitability for JASIS editorship, and sample letters to authors.

November 2, 1997, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. "SIG CON Looks Back: The Era of Digital Libraries, 1995-2010: Perspectives on Technology, Publishing, Research and Education

So much has happened in the last 15 years: the Internet, the Web, the rise of digital libraries, new technologies, new ways of publishing, and of course the advent of more and more virtual education. It seems only fitting that our panel of experts considers how the world has changed since those simple days of the mid-90s. (Remember when we actually thought Wired was cool? Ha!) Join us for a lively and provocative session.

  • Schwartz (Simmons College)
  • Schamber (University of North Texas)
  • Hastings (University of North Texas)
  • Moderator: Janes (University of Michigan)

What Actually Happened

The only record of that session is the paper by Schwartz, which was a review of digital library research from 1995-2010, and is available online. No doubt Professors Schamber and Hastings gave illuminating presentations, as is their wont(s?), and Professor Janes was certainly a contributor as well as a moderator.

October 27, 1998, Pittsburgh[page top]

Program Listing


First-time attendees should be sure not to miss the only evening technical session: SIG/CON. Most of the cutting-edge research in information science originated with SIG/CON, including the theory of titular colonicity, baloonean logic, and the historical Battle of Concordance and Lexicon. The importance of SIG/CON is underscored by the presence of a cash bar at the session, providing an opportunity to attain the high state of consciousness necessary to achieve full understanding of the theoretical content.

  • Cecilia Preston (Preston Lynch Associates).
  • Ray R. Larson (University of California at Berkeley).
  • Stuart A. Sutton (Syracuse University).

What Actually Happened

The two vestiges of this night are PowerPoint presentations. The properties of the first show a date of creation of the night before (not unsurprising, as SIG/CON scholars are always up to date to the last possible second). In this paper (available online), Julia Blixrud gave an enlightening overview of "Digital Counting", described as measures to ensure that "I have a lot of stuff, or at least enough stuff, or perhaps more stuff than everyone else". The second presentation, presented by Larson on behalf of L.C. Puppybreath (and also available online), on "Defining Digital Libraries" (where the "digit" in digital is of crucial importance to our understanding of the term).

November 2, 1999, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. User Modeling: One Mind, One Interface

Quick Summary: In the last several years, interest in the user has increased. The focus in particular has been on identifying the unique characteristics, motives, actions and beliefs that users bring to their interaction with information systems. But why do we care? What do users know anyway?

  • Critical analysis of stochastic homeostasis: A multifaceted model for the corporate user study. Zsolt Sliberer (Institute for Scientific Information).
  • Ghosts in the machine: How user studies gum up the works. Stephen Downie (University of North Texas).
  • Achieving generalizability through assimilation. David Lankes (Syracuse University).
  • Extending the reference paradigm: Per adua ad astra. Joseph Janes (University of Washington).
  • Who is the user? Identifying the elusive centroid for requirements analysis. Mark Rorvig (University of North Texas).
  • Beliefs, organization, responses & goals: a model for the next generation of user studies. Llewellyn C. Puppybreath.
  • Moderator: Abby Goodrum (Drexel University).

What Actually Happened

I was sent a document labelled "Froehlich1999". It turned out to be an excellent research paper on "A.nalysis of S.ocially I.ntelligent S.tructures: Titular Dottedness and ASIS.D.O.T.S.", now available online.

November 14, 2000, Chicago[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. The Politics of Information in a Presidential Election Year, Considered in a Startlingly New, Content-Free Content.

  • Elie See Pea. Transgender information flow examined, with appreciation, in the Ms. Shannon Weaver model.
  • The Honorable J. Venturini. Hard body carry sensation with collision detection on a flat mat.
  • Alfonse Gored, or G.W. Bushwacked, pending availability and outcomes of research endeavors. Mis-analysis of sociologically sound sign-posts in the political polling process: What I learned?
  • Featuring: Abby Goodrum, Joe Janes, Mike Lynch, Charlie Meadow, L. C. Puppybreath, Shelly Warwick & Ellen Sleeter, Hostess.

What Actually Happened

Apart from the research papers, which were unfortunately unrecorded, Lynch gave a multimedia rendition of musings about the change in name of our august Society, and this has been preserved online.

November 6, 2001, Washington[page top]

Program Listing

SIG/CON. Research: It's NOT Funny

This session will unflinchingly address the alarming trend of researchers' pandering to audiences who feel they deserve to be "entertained". You will learn about how audiences incited by academic demagogues think they are entitled to be presented with research they can "understand", and why the problem is with the audience, not with the research.

  • SIG CON retrospective. Ralf Shaw (Indiana University).
  • Blowing his own horn or something: An original composition. Steve Hardin (Indiana University).
  • LCPML: A markup language for SIG/CON sessions. Candy Schwartz (Unseen University).
  • Steve Hardin, again.
  • I'll whip up my usual. Joe Janes (University of Washington).
  • More on Balloon and balloonean. Ev Brenner (Consultant).
  • Topic TBD. H.A.H. (ISyracuse High).
  • Moderator: Ev Brenner (Consultant & Raconteur).

What Actually Happened

Shaw opened the session with a sweeping yet succinct overview of 20 years' worth of research methodology as applied in the content of SIG/CON (available online). Schwartz discussed developments in the LCP Metadata Initiative, including governance, the reference description, a detailed look at the elements and qualifiers, and the XML DTD and schema. The presentation is available online. Also available online is the discussion of "New frontiers in auto-translation", by H.A.H (Helen Szigeti, Abby Goodrum, and Helen Atkins). (Unwittingly) following earlier SIG/CON work on criteria for choosing JASIS articles from a table of contents, Szigeti, Goodrum, and Atkins described development and testing of a set of algorithms for parsing "pseudo-scholarly info-babble", as well as for reverse-translating a simple memo into a scholarly publication. Hardin, Janes, and Brenner were undoubtedly as insightful as ever, but remain unrecorded.

November 19, 2002, Philadelphia[page top]

Program Listing

Just in Time Research, SIG CON

Recalling the spirit of the very first SIG/CON session (i.e., "pulled together too late for inclusion in the printed program" Ref. 1), this year's theme is "Just-in-Time Research." The session will open with a review of just-in-time research, especially as it applies to information science and technology, and with the latest references added as the session unfolds (in real time). Submissions for this session will be judged based on their relevance to the theme, of course, but special preference will be given to those who submit a plan showing that they will be gathering their data during the 2002 Meeting itself.

What Actually Happened

Your recorder was not present (except in the form of a cardboard cutout, who apparently had a thoroughly enjoyable if somewhat debauched evening), but did receive a motley collection of powerpoint files and e-mail messages which serve as proceedings. These records indicate that H.A.H. [see above] moderated the session, and gave the first presentation -- a review of the just-in-time (JIT) literature (available online). Dr. "r" Shaw examined the influence of first words on article selection (see the slides and read the words), and Terrell and Gegory offered the University of Sigmund Freud (USF)-sponsored survey of trends in salary surveys in a presention entitled "Genderlessness" (available online). Leo and Predictor's examination of query prediction was then followed by the H.A.H. group's consideration of new frontiers in citation counting (the latter paper is online). The record lists a final presentation, a mysterious "bonus paper" on JIT research results, which must be the study (available online) of alternative models of Web searching by Janes. At some point in the proceedings, a musical rendition of Taxonomies Are Marching On" was foisted on participants by Hlava, Hardin, and Davis.

October 21, 2003, Long Beach[page top]

Program Listing

Knowledge Mismanagement: Playful Approaches to Information Science

As we ponder how to humanize information technology and transform our bits of ideas, it is incumbent on ASIST to assess the state of our discipline. Emerging topics, such as new distractions for information science and new rhetorical flourishes in theory, call for careful review and analysis. A blue ribbon panel of information scientists will report the results of their research or whatever they like.

What Actually Happened

The papers from this session include the startlingly relevant "Sexual information science: Towards more dynamic relevance measures", by Amanda Spink (available online); the slightly more obscure "Information [science] in the post-aquarian age", by Ralf Shaw (available online); and the University of Sigmund Freud struck again with "Knowledge mis-management", presented by Tom Terrell (and available online).

November 16, 2004, Providence[page top]

Program Listing

SIG CON: Managing and Enhancing Information: Middle-of-the-Road Islands of Information Provenance

No further description. In this and subsequent years, the description unfortunately defaults to "Come see the lighter side of ASIS&T! Don't miss this opportunity to see ASIS&T members have fun with information science through parody and satire." SIG/CON is supposed to be treated like any other serious session, with a proper title and a description, and without an overt statement that it might be other than that. Shame on the program chairs for not supplying descriptions (if not speakers).

The esteemed permanent chairman graced ASIST with his first poster, which was duly displayed in several poster session. A copy was shared with your recorder, and is available online.

What Actually Happened

The program chair suggested it was worth noting that the session was held next door to the largest gathering of show rabbits in the history of the sport, with over 14,000 rabbits. The University of Sigmund Freud, establishing a SIG/CON record for consecutive presentations from one institution, brought us "The provenance in Providence," (available online with many pictures of our small furry friends). The ever-dependable Joe Janes presented "Information behavior: Not what you think," opening with a 13 slide review of his institutional affiliation history, followed with a survey of what information does when we are not seeking it (available online). Joan Lussky reviewed models of moving doctoral students forward with "Hollywoodian models of Ph.D. program design: Performance improvement of academia's Lowlifes" (available online). Ted Morris siezed the opportunity to suggest attention be paid to "Neglected islands of analysis: Visualizing stopwords in ASIST conference papers" (available online).

November 1, 2005, Charlotte[page top]

Program Listing

SIG CON (no specific title)

No further description.

What Actually Happened

Continuing his research from the past year (and using the same opening 13 slides, now almost 50% of the presentation), Joe Janes presented "Users: Dead, alive, or otherwise" (available online). Ted Morris also continued research from 2004 in his "An atypical history of data visualization" (available online). It is very encouraging to note that SIG/CON is responsible for these sustained research efforts which will cumulatively move us all forward.

November 7, 2006, [page top]

Program Listing

SIG CON (no specific title)

No further description.

What Actually Happened

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