Archive for Uncategorized

An MC to a degree that you can’t get in college

Or, a librarian? To a degree you can’t get in grad school?

[Have I already mentioned that when I looked at my iTunes, I found that I own 89 tracks from the Beastie Boys? Some of them are dups, but still!]

So, on AUTOCAT (their screaming, not mine), which is a library listserv for catalogers of all stripes, people have been discussing library grad school. Not individual schools or programs, but grad school and MLISing in general. Whether school is worth it/worthless/some other thing.

I hadn’t realized that a lot of the debate was about whether the schools are teaching anything library at all and whether anyone should be getting these degrees in the first place.

I don’t want to argue with anyone else’s experience. All I know is what I’ve got. To wit:

I’ve gotten as far as I can in this field without a degree. If I want to stay in the profession, I will need to get some kind of degree, sooner or later. In terms of timing, right now makes sense. I have the kind of energy necessary for school, and my fiancée and I don’t have children yet. My life is still relatively simple. & cetera.

The bigger point to me, though, is that I actually want to learn more. I want to get some theory behind what I already know. I want to be able to jump in there and innovate some technology and practices. I want to be able to do more. It’s really important to me to learn. And I don’t feel that attached to whether it is “traditional” library stuff, though I want to make sure my background in that is totally solid. (It helps that I already have a background in the traditional; it’s like being classically trained, even if “all” you want to do is MC. *sigh*)

I have a lot (LOT) of cataloging experience, and at the end of my tenure at my last library job, I was doing work that my supervisor had been doing when I started– cataloging the majority of what came into the library and maintaining the integrity of the existing collection. Which is to say I was doing a librarian job without the degree.

Q: If I could advance in my career without the degree, would I still want to get the degree?

A: I have an MFA in Creative Writing. You totally don’t need that degree to write a book or to get a book published or to be a good writer or even a great writer. I wrote before I got the degree, and the program gave me the chance to write, the focus on my writing, and the opportunity for feedback and community and contacts, etc. But the real point to me was to learn what exactly I was doing.

I was writing by intuition and by experience, which are probably the most important things for me to practice as a writer. But, in order to write with intention, it was important for me to learn the frame behind the intuition. What appeals to me in stories that I like to read? What do I like about my own writing? What is missing in it? Even, what procedures and tricks can I use to draw out the kind of writing I want to do?

My cataloging is based on training and experience and intuition (and that elusive thing people usually associate only with art– talent), but I think I could be a better cataloger if I had some more theory.

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Pandorable!

Dear Pandora,

Firstly, just to jump right into it, I love your name! (Wait- Pandora had a jar?!) I totally feel that. Endless streaming (as long as I occasionally poke the radio, so you know I am in the room) of things I wouldn’t have guessed, a lot of things I wouldn’t have grouped together, and a bunch of music I’m like, yeah, I love that song too!

I made my first station to find more stuff like Sufjan Stevens, which apparently involves disco influences, mild rhythmic syncopation (you know it!), minor key tonality (more please!!!), and vocal harmonies (FOR REALS!!!) I ended up learning: a) what I like in music and b) what else I might want to listen to.

Here are some bands/songs I’ve found/rediscovered and what led me there:

  • “Be My Escape” by Relient  k (Fall Out Boy radio)
  • Cartel (Fall Out Boy radio)
  • Boys Like Girls (Fall Out Boy radio)
  • Kanye West (Missy Elliott radio)
  • Juvenile (Missy Elliott radio)
  • “Down with the Sickness” by Disturbed (Linkin Park radio)
  • “Dance Hall Girls” by the Duhks (“The Christians and the Pagans” radio)
  • “Hold Onto It” by Brooke Miller (“The Christians and the Pagans” radio)

And the rest!!!

I am in love with The Music Genome Project! I feel so inspired by your example! To quote:

On January 6, 2000 a group of musicians and music-loving technologists came together with the idea of creating the most comprehensive analysis of music ever. Together we set out to capture the essence of music at the most fundamental level. We ended up assembling literally hundreds of musical attributes or “genes” into a very large Music Genome. Taken together these genes capture the unique and magical musical identity of a song – everything from melody, harmony and rhythm, to instrumentation, orchestration, arrangement, lyrics, and of course the rich world of singing and vocal harmony. It’s not about what a band looks like, or what genre they supposedly belong to, or about who buys their records – it’s about what each individual song sounds like.

Exactly! This is so interesting to me, because for most of my musical life, my tastes were always influenced by my self-identification. I.e., I was into hip-hop when I was twelve, so that is exclusiveishly what I listened to. Then, when I learned about “Alternative” music/culture, I was like, THIS IS COOL AND I WANT TO BE COOL. (Also, the music sounded good to me, natch, but it was about more than the aesthetics of it.) Now, if I were going to claim some kind of musical identity, it would be about being eclectic. Like, as I am loading my computer and analyzing my musical holdings/mix tapes and CDs, I am all, I LIKE EVERYTHING! Which is pretty much true, but also not very informative.

*catches breath* Oh, so what I was going to say is that, Pandora, you are helping me to get it! There are certain things I like in music that keep on coming up. I like vamping, key and tempo and time signature changes, minor keys, harmony, anthemicalness (oh, I can’t remember the word), gravelly-voiced male singers, and unintelligible lyrics (HA!), among other things. This is something I can work with! It goes beyond what I would think of as genre and into something more interesting: what are my tastes, outside of cultural identifications?

I envision a world where traditional genres are irrelevant. Music could just be categorized by its elements. People could sample at will! I think of it as somewhat utopian, but I also want to say that, living in Oakland (California), I am already seeing this happen. I see kids identifying with local culture (yay!) as opposed to an image of what they should like– and the local culture here is totally eclectic and unclassifiable.

And, while I still listen to and cherish local radio, I adore you too, Pandora. Maybe it is because you are a smart algorithm built on Python, maybe it is because I know you have no agenda whatsoever, or maybe it is because you blew my mind when you suggested Dolly Parton on my Dar Williams station. You are on my iPhone and in my heart.

Love love love….

Cataloging Projects for Fun and Service

I am a member of several non-library organizations. (Shocking, I know, that I have a life outside of work!) And I do service in a number of those orgs. This past weekend, I went to a convention for one of them, and I ended up being the literature liaison between the convention and my home meeting. Which meant, basically, that I picked out literature, picked it up, and got the CDs of the speakers and workshops. (I know I’m digressing an awful lot here, but I was excited that there was a podcast from the weekend, and a friend suggested that we let people download the content instead of having to buy physical CDs! Progress!)

On Monday night, I brought the CDs to our meeting, but there was no one there to take them, so I took them home with me. We don’t sell the CDs, but we do loan them out to meeting attendees, and we have to inventory them before we can let people take them. And I got excited, because this means I might be able to inventory them myself! Which would be fun. I already ripped them to my computer, and it was fun to create a standard naming convention for them. Who knows what I could come up with for the inventory sheet? And could I retroactively inventory the CDs we own?

This is probably a moot point because the lit person will undoubtedly be back next week. But it does point to the quite obvious conclusion that even if I never get a job as a cataloger again, everything is in danger of being cataloged by me. (Except for living beings. I draw a line.)

Here are some other ideas for projects, which may or may not be of service to others or self:

  • collections, i.e., the My Little Ponies on my shelf, marbles, record albums (natch), etc.
  • They still exist, people!

    They still exist, people!

  • gardens — what and where — which would also, presumably, involve a map (also fun!) Possibility for innovative, new cataloging techniques!
  • photographs and slides — there is a desperate need for this, in my experience, particularly when scanning old photos. My Da got a slide scanner for Christmas and now faces the task of labeling a mess of documentation. (This one might also call for emotional help, in addition to cataloging.)
  • a random grab-bag of items — for this I am picturing when you are cleaning the house and you’ve put nearly everything away, but then you’ve got a bunch of stuff that you don’t know what to do with. Catalog them and then try to figure out where you’d classify them, i.e., what other items are they most like, where would you most likely look for them. (I have done a lot of organizing work for individuals, and I always have a basket of this stuff. I like to ask the person where they look when they are trying to find the thing and then put it there. If they are like, I didn’t know I had that, I put it in a place that seems sensical. Or I make them toss it! I am a task-master!)

Of course, if you belong to any kind of organization or club or whathaveyou (do you always picture, like, a treehouse when you hear “club?” We meet in a treehouse, but I assume not everyone does), you can always offer to create a database for archives or literature. It seriously makes the business of meetings a lot smoother.

(I Missed!) Ada Lovelace Day

This is gorgeous, and it also makes me sad.

Sad because I didn’t hear of Ada Lovelace until I was in late high school, when we were reading Arcadia (scroll down). And then I heard about her a lot from my awesome tech-y friends in college, because that was the kind of college I went to (which is to say a women’s college.)

People tend to focus on the womanness of Ada Lovelace or her lineage (only non-bastard child of scary poet, Lord Byron!), which are all fine and good. (Actually, I am inclined to think that the womanness is more interesting/relevant than the father issue. Esp. since Babbage got all credit in the invention of computing, whereas, Lovelace mostly fell by the wayside as the first programmer.)

(God, this is totally off-topic, but Babbage was delightfully insane:

Babbage once contacted the poet Alfred Tennyson in response to his poem “The Vision of Sin”. Babbage wrote, “In your otherwise beautiful poem, one verse reads,

Every moment dies a man,
Every moment one is born.

… If this were true, the population of the world would be at a standstill. In truth, the rate of birth is slightly in excess of that of death. I would suggest [that the next version of your poem should read]:

Every moment dies a man,
Every moment 1 1/16 is born.

Strictly speaking, the actual figure is so long I cannot get it into a line, but I believe the figure 1 1/16 will be sufficiently accurate for poetry.

(Swade, Doron (2000). The Difference Engine. New York: Viking. p. 77, via Wikipedia)

(Wait, I am still not over that. Genius!)

Okay, though, see how Babbage steals Lovelace’s limelight? I’m going to guess that that is, in part, because the lives of women in the nineteenth century were lived much more in the private sphere than those of men.

But, I don’t think it is fair to think of her as only an inspiration to geeky women. I love the punch cards. I love the thought of people punching the cards by hand. But I most especially love the mind that got it first. And the first person who ever did it. “Enough theory! Time for some action!” /picks up needles/

Ada got it

Ada got it

(Of course, I know the military gave her props, naming their first standard programming language after her. Now that I think about it, the sad part might be that non-techies might not know why she is significant at all. Perhaps that is why I had no idea who she was, when I was avoiding computers as a teenager.)

Google Labs Delights Me Yet Again

[Apologies for my lack of online presence hier. My computer screen is on its way out, and my fiancĂ©e’s computer was stolen from our home while she took a bath!!!!!!!! So, no compupter. I swear, it is bad enough to be robbed and to be afraid for the safety of one’s home but then to not even be able to USE THE INTERNET is like the poison cherry on the top of the, um, bad-tasting flavored sundae. /end ill-worded simile]

So, on the 20th, Google’s blog reported two new tools in development, Similar Images and Google News Timeline.

Similar Images works thus: you type in the words that you think will get you an image you are looking for, say, Rihanna, and it pops up a screen with a variety of Rihanna pictures. (If you click that link, you’ll get the idea. All my examples, by the way, are coming from Google Labs.) If you are trying to find an image that is like, say, the third result on the list, you click “Similar images” and it takes you to a screen of you know, similar images. It looks like it might be infinitely recursive, because you can click “Similar images” on those images as well. I guess that that would be an excellent refining tool, which would, maybe, one day, get you to the exact picture you had in mind.

Bonus: you can now limit your search by image size, content (i.e., news source or clip art or whathaveyou), and color! Look what Google did at my behest!

A pink medium picture of Rihannas face! Google=magic!

A pink medium picture of Rihanna's face! Google=magic!

(Oh, if you go to the page where I got that photo, the website will pop-up and under all over the place and children’s disembodied voices will tell you about paper towels and you will FUH-reak out and frantically close tabs until you figure out where the sound is coming from. Warning!)

I am even more excited about the wonderful Google News Timeline. One of my biggest complaints about regular old internet search engines (I am so sorry I called you that, Google! You are the best!) is that it is nearly impossible to get freakin’ time-stamped material. Like, if I don’t care when it happened, I can find out anything I like about murders in Oakland. If it happened down the street from me yesterday, no info.

GNT (may I call it that?) is brilliant because now I can actually narrow the search to a specific time and to specific sources. So, awesomely, I can search for “Gay marriage Iowa” in April 2009 and get this:

I could’ve found a video on that without GNT, but! When I go through the regular channels, “Gay marriage Iowa April 2009” video search does not bring up that Associated Press video on the first page of search results.

I predict that this will be monumental for news-seekers but also for traditional news sources. This is a great place for newspapers, in fact, to use the internet instead of lamenting its success.

[I was just telling my fiancé about GNT. She used to work for Google, as a temp, and, apparently, one of the things she did was test the timeline. Quoth she: “It didn’t work very well” when they first gave it to people to test. Which makes sense. And also, how awesome is that! She is all, history in the making, man. (Warning: noisy.)]

Three Sciency Books and Why

The Minds I

The Mind's I

The Mind’s I edited by Douglas Hofstadter and Daniel C. Dennett

Awesome book on consciousness and cognition. I totally loved this book right before I came into recovery (though I am certain I love it now, too.) Basically, a series of essays/stories/one play about the nature of consciousness. Do we have souls? What is a soul? That sort of thing.

The part that fascinated me so much about this book at the time was the question of artificial intelligence. If “soul” is a byproduct of a biological processes dependent upon an “observer,” what would happen if we could replicate that experience in a non-biological entity? What would that be? Could we actually do it?

The last page answers all the questions the book, not to mention millennia of philosophical ponderings, bring up, so if you do want a glimpse into the Ultimate Truth, be sure to skip to that last page. (I may be misremembering that.)

Arcadia

Arcadia

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard (you could also watch this one)

I read and then watched this one when I was in high school, and oh, how I cried at the end! (Spoiler alert!) (Though I admit that I cry at the end of nearly every episode of Friends, so make of that what you will.) I hadn’t put together before now that this play may have influenced my decision to study the Eighteenth Century (by which I mean the Long Eighteenth Century) in college and grad school! Lookie there! Learning all the time!

The play moves between the early 1800s (LONG!) and the present day. I won’t burden you with plot details that I don’t remember at all, but I will say that the play brilliantly rhapsodizes on, then enacts Chaos Theory in a way that might move one to tears. The heroine (okay, fine, this is pretty much a four-person play with no one protagonist) is this awesome thirteen-year-old girl, who basically breaks down the Second Law of Thermodynamics during her study sessions with her tutor. Like you do.

Quicksilver

Quicksilver

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

There is so damn much going on in this book, which is the first in The Baroque Cycle, I don’t even know where to start. Long Eighteenth Century, again, but this time at the front end of it. A lot about the beginnings of commerce and the figurings-out of science stuff that laymen now take for granted. I think that I will recommend the second book even more highly. (Next blog post: The Confusion’s library classification chapter. Not making this up.)

Why: I am still kind of trying to figure this stuff out. The first one is about the mind and how it works– important as I’m trying to get to a place of creating intuitive grouping/sorting systems. Arcadia is about how the mind works but it is also a great metaphor for internet, right? You can’t unstir what’s been stirred in. (Nor should you, say I.) Libraries are pretty much about fighting entropy. Is there some other relationship to have with it that would be more enriching? Quicksilver is a history of everything. I am especially tripping on the part about the creation of money, which is a big theme in my life right now. So much of the Enlightenment was about categorizing and classifying. This is where the encyclopedia, as we now use it, was invented. So, there are these awesome scenes of the Royal Society trying to put together a language that will only consist of truth! Amazing! Also awesome: codes, which makes me want to go encode something…

You can’t go back…

you can never go back.

I’ve been thinking about my last post, and I am seriously asking myself what I did before the internet existed. And I realize that what I did was live a completely different life.

I am actually in that gap between Gen X and Gen Y, and basically, I get to decide where I want to land. So, I was in high school when people started to use e-mail, and it wasn’t until I was well into college that I started to use the internet for some of the things I do now: to find out what happened on TV last week when I wasn’t looking; to download music; to chat with people; to take quizzes that end up pissing me off; and to watch videos.

I don’t know when I made the transition into using the internet as my primary reference tool (by, in descending order of frequency, typing a question into Google; checking Wikipedia; IMing someone; or using an online database) and my primary mode of communication. It was a slow progression, aided by my purchase of a laptop in 2006. Like I said yesterday, I didn’t really do any of these things before the internet. If I didn’t know something, I either called my sister, looked in the encyclopedia (which has the same number of errors, at least in nature articles, on average, per entry as Wikipedia), or said, eff it, who cares.

Now, though, I don’t want to wait, I don’t want to say eff it; I want to know where my high school biology teacher is, I want to know whether Sufjan Stevens ever says anything in interviews about his sexuality, and I want to know whether what I felt was really an earthquake and if so, where it was. My brain is now attuned to this, and I really can’t go backwards here, nor do I want to.

So, are you?

So, are you?

So, here’s where libraries come in: libraries, as research institutions, are operating from an old model. This model says that librarians are the keepers of the knowledge, and yes, that they can show patrons how to do their own research, but that there are certain places where reliable knowledge can be got, and few valid sources. Which, I get. There are things that are “empirically true,” and there are reliable sources.

BUT! This is like the spider/starfish thing. Telling people that the spider has all the knowledge is presumptuous at best. I am looking for instant gratification, in terms of information. And I know that print media or even up-to-the-minute databases aren’t going to give me quotes from Alf.

Which is why I see the role of reference librarian shifting toward something more like information-evaluation librarian. (Note to self: come up with pithier name for job.) People have a clearer idea how to search for information on their own, and how to contribute their own information to the collective wisdom of the internet, but many people don’t have the skills to differentiate between reliable and unreliable sources and information (which is why Snopes (make sure you’ve got pop-up blocker enabled) is awesome and necessary). I envision library and information science professionals as instructors but also as creators of new search engines, new ways to index, and how about something so new I can’t even imagine what it is! Give us some new code that will blow our minds entirely!

(I just want to acknowledge that I am coming from a really privileged position, what with having a computer, and internet access and, hey, even basic literacy, not to mention computer literacy. So, as a result, I get to have another code to use to figure things out. And I think it should be available to everyone who wants it.)

Here’s What I Used the Internet for Today

Watched music videos
Chatted with fiancee, while she was at work
Found two jobs to apply to on craigslist
Glanced at blogs by each member of Fall Out Boy
Picked out a bunch of clothes on clearance at Hot Topic, that I may or may not purchase and have delivered to my home
Learned about Mango Languages, available to all Alameda County residents!!
Listened to streaming radio on Pandora (warning: audio), which deserves (and shall get) its own post
Read e-mails from my drum teacher and watched attached instructional videos summarizing what we did at yesterday’s lesson
Watched the first 30 seconds of disturbing Burger King ad, featuring Spongebob Squarepants (warning: audio, disturbing imagery, the Burger King)
Found out who played Lestat in Queen of the Damned and furthermore, when said film came out (2002)

What the hell did people do before this? (I’m guessing they didn’t care enough to go to the video store to find out Stuart Townsend’s name.)

Starfishes and Fall Out Boy

One of my favorite books in the entire world is The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman. Briefly, the book talks about the difference between the organizations with top-down leadership, i.e., hierarchies dependent upon certain roles and leaders (spiders), versus equal-responsibility organizations, which derive their power from the group as a whole, not any specific group member or “leader” (starfishes!) Spiders, when you cut off their heads, die. (Please, though, people, just take them outside; they mean you no harm!) Starfishes, though, if you cut off their legs, regenerate new ones– and the old legs regenerate as new starfish!!!!!!! I love starfishes, and I love starfish organizations. Examples of starfishes they give include: Burning Man; 12-Step groups; Craigslist; Wikipedia; and filesharing software.

Filesharing. Yeah.

I buy my music, even if I am buying digital copies. I do this for two reasons: 1) it is in integrity with my belief system; 2) sound quality guaranteed. (Though, I guess, if you didn’t pay anything for it, what harm is there in searching around for a better– free– copy?) However, I do stream video and music from time-to-time. The difference to me is the difference between stealing a CD (okay, look, your advertising worked RIAA– on one person!) and listening to the radio. In one case, I own the product. In the other, I am listening to/watching it, but it belongs to someone else. I recognize that the way ppl make money off of radio and television is with commercials, and I am not watching commercials, and therefore, no one profits. (OR DO THEY?! More anon.)

Filesharing, though. I did it in the early days, before you could actually legally purchase music online. It was awesome!!! You could get nearly any song you could think of, instantly(ish), and you didn’t have to go out and buy a CD, and you could get things that weren’t even available on CD, etc. And, yeah, you could get new music (i.e., stuff you could find in the store, very easily) through filesharing. Just like now.

The book makes the point that when the courts cut off Napster, it didn’t “solve” the problem at all, because filesharing is starfishy. It isn’t about Napster. I know I didn’t care if I had a brand-name ripped copy of “It’s My Life” by Talk Talk; I just wanted the song. It is about people wanting the music and having the technology to get it. I don’t think most people are invested in the record company getting money– I know I am not. I care about the artists getting compensated fairly for their work, but I think that most of the major ones are doing just fine. I don’t know how other people feel about that. The real issue is this: the way people want to get their music is more important in the end than how the record companies want them to get it.

The recording industry model is still based around the idea that you have to go into the store and buy a thing, even if the store is online and the thing is an mp3 (or 4). The model that people, especially of my generation and beyond, want to follow is: free music, instantly delivered. And they can get this, from the starfish of filesharing. And cutting off individual sites isn’t going to stem the tide of pirated music.

All of this, by the way, is what I learned from the book, paraphrased by me. Including this bit: that means that the recording companies, if they want to be compensated, need to figure out a way to either exploit the model (and I don’t mean by subscription services or charging meager amounts or selling advertising space), or, they need to find a new way to make money. Like the LiveNation model, wherein all of the artist’s revenue is moving through the same source, so that it doesn’t matter if no one pays for the music, because they are paying for the concert (and the surcharges!) and the tee-shirt and the concert booklet and the oh, man, I can’t think of a fifth thing. Something else! And what ends up happening is that the free downloads lead to more people listening to the music, more exposure, more access for more people.

Oh, hey, everyone, I went to see Fall Out Boy last night! For the second time in six months! I didn’t pay for the first album of theirs that I owned. Actually, I did pay. I think I paid $0.03 per song, on a Russian pirated music website (that was not how they sold themselves, by the way.) Live 105 played “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” one day as I was driving to visit my best friend (now fiancee!) I was like, “This is crazy! I would like to hear more of this ‘Fall Out Boy.'” So instead of taking a chance on buying their album full-price, I downloaded it from Russians. (In Soviet Russia, music downloads you!) I liked it. I actually need to re-purchase From Under the Cork Tree (warning: audio), because I want a better copy of it.

Here’s how much money I have since spent on Fall Out Boy:
three concert tickets: $120 (and I missed the damn concert because I went to Chicago that weekend!); $20.00; $52.45
one album, full price: $9.99 (my friend, Karla, bought me another that cost the same amount
one tee-shirt: $25.00
$227.44

Now, I am not saying I wouldn’t have discovered them and loved them had I not gotten their first album for mere cents, because we do not live in that alternate universe. What I am saying is, that I might not have spent $9.99 originally, but I did end up personally spending hundreds of dollars, so far, on them.

See? It’s all about evolving!

My review of FOB’s Believers Never Die II Tour, San Jose Edition
… continue reading this entry.

Profit of Doooooom?

The New York Times recommends digital archiving as a career path

I got linked to this a couple of ways, and mayhaps it is old news by now, but I am still interested in it. There’s a lot of cool stuff in here to unpack: the role of librarians; the need for archiving (or do we need to archive?! Discuss); the way library staff tend to fall into jobs (like me! I catalog!); why we are preserving things; the panic about physical vs. digital (I extrapolated this one).

But I wanted this in paper!

I asked for paper, not plastic.

For me, though, this brings up a bigger question I have been asking myself: for-profit versus “non-profit,” the definition of which I am expanding to include academic and public libraries. (That wasn’t a question!) There is a marked difference in salary between the two: $70,000-100,000 in the commercial world versus “do[ing] well to make $70,000” at a public facility (per the article). I am aiming for the higher salary.

I don’t know why other people go into the information management field. I took my first library job because I liked libraries, that was where my friends were working on campus, and I had wanted to be a librarian or a teacher of some kind. I stayed at an academic library, because that was where I found a job, I was loyal, and I wanted to support the students at a women’s college. I’ve recently been looking at public libraries, as a place to be of service to a greater community.

But. I have been thinking a lot lately about whether I need my job/career to fulfill my need to be of service to the world. Could my career be my career? Could it be a means to an end?

I think part of my confusion/problem here is that I have been harboring the belief that making a profit, providing a service at cost, or even just earning a lot of money, personally, is somehow the exact opposite of providing a service. It is like, taking away services! Depriving children of the opportunity to read! Grabbing money from the hands of the elderly! Another crazy statement! Is it possible that profit-making could be neutral or even “good”?

Am I taking this babys candy?

Am I taking this baby's candy?

I guess the question here is my motivation. And of course I have many motivations, in my career life: making money; serving people (not specifying here what population I want to serve); using my talents to their best purpose; working in a way that brings me joy; following my interests and passions; being engaged with life on life’s terms. I think I keep getting stuck on the serving people part, and I don’t know what the resolution will be, there, but I think I need to grapple with this a bit.

A few thoughts:
– This resistance to earning is rooted, for me, in my socialization: the alleged glamor of poverty; poor modeling by parents; being socialized “female.”
– I want to check out corporate archiving operations and see what they are doing there
– I’d like to focus on skill sets rather than outcomes; what would I be bringing to a job, regardless of where I worked? What would I like to bring?
– Any job I take is not the end of the line; obviously I am going to continue to grow and my career will take the shape that it will. I like the point about “falling into” a career path.
– Also, I’d really like to take the opportunity to be “self-centered” about my career. It is all well and good to think of others, but my primary responsibility is to myself. (see: Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist site)