Monthly Archives: October 2016

Assignment #7B Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that gives you the right to access information from the federal government. It is often described as the law that helps keep citizens updated with information about the government and what is going on with the government. It is also described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government.It contains declassified documents, presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimony. Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement.

The FOIA also requires agencies to proactively post online certain categories of information, including frequently requested records. As Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have all recognized, the FOIA is a vital part of our democracy.

The American agency which administers the work in the FOIA is a group referred to as the Archive.The Archive  serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.Archive staff members systematically track U.S. government agencies and federal records repositories for documents that either have never been released before, or that help to shed light on the decision-making process of the U.S. government and provide the historical context underlying those decisions. The Office of Information Policy of the  U.S. Department of Justice also administers the work proposed in the FOIA. The Department of State also has access to department records.

President Obama and the Department of Justice have directed agencies to apply a presumption of openness in responding to FOIA requests. The Department of Justice, in its 2009 FOIA Guidelines, emphasized that the President has called on agencies to work in a spirit of cooperation with FOIA requesters. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice oversees agency compliance with these directives and encourages all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA.

I believe that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does benefit citizens because it allows people to be aware of what’s going on in the government. It keeps citizens updated on what is going on in the world. I also believe that the FOIA does benefit citizens because it removes a lot of mystery behind the scenes and allows us, as citizens, to make the best all-around decision when it comes down to it. People should be informed about everything that is happening around the world. People should be able to make the right decisions and should be able to feel safe.

Assignment #7B

The Freedom of Information Act allows people to access information and records  from federal government agencies unless the information has been subjected to certain disclosures.  Congress passed the Freedom of Information Act and the Office of Information Policy of the  U.S. Department of Justice administers the work proposed in the FOIA.  I think the Freedom of Information Act does benefit citizens because it allows people to put forth claims about certain government agencies.  However, I still feel the government can do what it wants because people are just not as powerful as the government. The government has the ability to determine what they want to do with the FOIA requests.  The Archive website says it can take a month or even years for people to hear back from federal agencies once they’ve put in certain claims.  While I have reservations about the efficiency of the FOIA requests, I do think this act has a place in American society and can be beneficial.

Assignment # 6B

I think Brian Martin’s book is available online as a PDF because he wants people to be aware of how knowledge is restricted by the agendas of corporations and governments.  I think he wants people to sample the book and to get an idea of how research is conducted and by who.  He states, “The work of professional researchers is strongly influenced by funding, disciplines, hierarchy and competition. As a result, it is mainly useful to corporations, governments, professions and researchers themselves,” and to people that have never realized this, it will undoubtedly be of interest.  I think his point of having the first chapter available in an accessible format  is so the everyday person who has some sort of interest in the whereabouts of knowledge can question its credibility and think about why certain research is more available than others and to challenge them to become more engaged in research.

I do believe Martin’s choice to make this chapter of the book available online supports his belief that scholarship should be liberated.  The chapter’s sole focus is to address who does research and how it helps their agendas and ultimately is not as useful to the general public.  He even goes into detail on how more social organizations and activists have less financial support because the government and corporations don’t support them like they do experts in certain fields.  He says that his purpose isn’t to advocate for change, but I think he sees an issue and wants to find a solution.

Assignment #6B

In my opinion, chapter 7, “The politics of research” from Brian Martin’s book, “Information Liberation” is available as a PDF file because the author wished for this information to be as free as most of the information one would need for research.This chapter of Martin’s book is available as a PDF file because he believes knowledge can be accomplished in many different ways.This chapter is also available to read as a PDF on the web because Martin wanted readers to understand that there are different ways of achieving knowledge. He states, “Knowledge isn’t necessarily everlasting, nor is it necessarily of general value. Rather than thinking of knowledge as great truths engraved on tablets in the sky, it’s more useful to think of knowledge as ideas that are generally agreed by specific communities.” He wanted everyone to have access to the PDF file.

Brian Martin book chapter is available to read as PDF on web, because he wants knowledge to be liberated for everyone and not to be limited towards a price. He wants readers to have unlimited ways to seek knowledge, and teach them that there are many ways to find great knowledge in order to help the readers understand more.This chapter of the book can generally be used by anyone reading it in order to recognize how these subgroups can “affect the creation and use of knowledge” by “finding disciplines, hierarchy, and competition”. Furthermore, knowledge in the subgroup culture can tend to be biased, as Martin pointed out in the pharmaceutical world, when it pertains to the funding of research in finding the best drug for a particular ailment.

Martin states the word “Knowledge” suggests certainty, authoritativeness, even usefulness. It is a good thing to be knowledgeable . Yet much knowledge is quite limited, specific, parochial.

The availability of this book chapter online exemplifies his idea that scholarship should be liberated. If it were not available for free online it would defeat his purpose of defending that knowledge and research should be free and not just accessible to people with proper funding.I believe that the availability of this chapter online exemplifies Martin’s idea that scholarship should be liberated. Having the chapter available for readers online without a price goes hand in hand with his belief that knowledge is free and very powerful in the world.Martin would want more “participatory and egalitarian” access to fair, unbiased knowledge to the ordinary person. We should be able to receive any information without paying a price. We should be able to gain knowledge in different ways. We should have access to different types of information and also have access to scholarly data.

Assignment #7B Reading Response Blog

Assignment #7B Reading Response Blog
The Freedom of Information Act or FOIA is an act that provides people the right to request access to federal agency records of information except for those records that are Protected from disclosure by special law enforcement record exclusions. The American agency that administers the work proposed in the Freedom of information act is the department of homeland security which is a department of the United States federal government that’s responsible for public safety in America. In my opinion I believe the FOIA act benefits citizens because it allows Americans to be aware of what’s going on in the government and build trust between citizens and the government, by the disclosure and transparency of these records it helps Americans such as myself feel safe within my country.

Assignment 5B

When Weinberger mentions “the infrastructure of knowledge” he means the coming together of how knowledge is produced. He mentions an attribution of various believers of knowledge and their ideas. For example he mentions one infrastructure of knowledge is to use a data-information-knowledge-wisdom hierarchy pyramid, or (DIKW). As one way to obtain knowledge, Weinberger says “process the data and you get information…information is to data what wine is to vineyard…” (Weinberger, p. 2). Basically data is needed to construct information. According to Weinberger “you’ve refined the data to produce information, and refined the information to generate something of greater value” (Weinberger, p. 2). Infrastructure of knowledge is a process of retrieving data, finding useful information through that data, and then reducing until you have a know-how understanding. Ackoff, proposed this idea of having a know-how for knowledge, “while information is structured data, knowledge “is actionable information” (Weinberger, p. 3). Coming together as a process, knowledge is the part which illustrates an understanding of information.

However, usually this type of infrastructure from data-information-knowledge-wisdom, is not used today. This is apparent since we have an overload or abundant amount of information compared to back then. For example, “Rather than knowing-by-reducing to what fits in a library or a scientific journal, we are now knowing-by-including every draft of every data in vast, loosely connected webs” (Weinberger, p. 5). This means we are not doing an efficient process of elimination when finding information. Since there is an enormous network of any type of data, this data could be hard to configure. When finding useful information leading to valuable knowledge, we could get tripped up by having too much data that is irrelevant. Instead of using this large network such as google, we could examine small scales. What I mean by this, is we could use the process of reducing to have a structured plan when finding research. As researchers if we understood infrastructure, it would force us to choose valuable knowledge over data. We would recognize the difference between these two easily while finding research.

Assignment 7B

The Freedom of Information Act is an act that serves as an advocate for the archive. It contains declassified documents, presidential paper collections, congressional records, and court testimony. It partners with the archive to “Track United States government agencies and federal records repositories for documents that either have been released before, or that help to shed light on the decision making process of the united states government and provide the historical context underlying those decisions. This benefits citizens because it keeps citizens up-to-date on what’s going on in the world. It informing about things they wouldn’t here in the newspapers or on the TV news. It was stated that “The archive’s mission of guaranteeing the public’s right to know extends to other countries outside the United States.”

Assignment 6B

Martin’s book being available on the web is him trying to prove to you that you can gain knowledge from anywhere. In order to receive knowledge about something you have to first research it. Martin states “Research is the process of testing existing knowledge and developing new knowledge.” Martin discusses in his book the politics of research. When it comes to politics and the government its always about money. In his book he talks about knowledge being overpowered by people in higher ranking, meaning people with more money.

After reading his chapter I see that he demonstrates that scholarship should be liberated. He stated something very interesting ” The belief in “academic Freedom” for scholars to pursue teaching and research provides a convenient way for universities to appear to serve the general interest while still catering for those with more power and money.” We should be able to gain any knowledge/receive any information we need freely.

Assignment 5B

David Weinberger discusses the term “the infrastructure of knowledge” in his book, Too Big to Know. With this term he says that when it comes to finding and gaining knowledge we must first sift through a ton of data that could possibly be meaningless to us at that particular time. There is an order when conducting research, which starts with figuring out what one is trying to gain by conducting research, beginning said research, refining that search, filtering out data or information we do not need, especially in this day and age where we can get too much information, before finding what we wanted to know. There is a difference between information and knowledge.

With so much information being at our fingertips, it would be easy to get or find irrelevant information. As well as, not being able to find accurate information on the subject we may be researching. By understanding how this infrastructure of knowledge works, we can be able to crucial information faster and more efficiently while making sure that whatever we find will be useful to us and our projects. We can put this information to better use and garner more knowledge from it.