Two of the lists I'm on that are fantastic for philosophy are GOVDOCS and GAYLIBN, though the droughts between deep thinking oases seem pronounced sometimes. I stick around for moments like these.

Right now on the latter, there's an awesome back and forth on NACO, Authorities, RDA, OPAC display and all sorts of other heavy duty cataloguing junk.

The initial uber relevant list question was something like "Hey, what do we do with trans people's authority records?"

Seemingly innocuous. Seemingly simple. Just change the blasted authorities to keep pace with a given subject's identity. Folks are meant to do this if the subject of an authority record phones and complains about their record, but hey, it'd be silly to think that people put this into effect or are just chomping at the bit to go do something that time might not allow them to do.

I, of course, had to pour gasoline on the fire. (Ghandi would be displeased.)

Why limit changes to the gay community? Isn't this switching of names a larger issue? Ought it not be seen as such given how many females go through a name change? (I used the P word!) Shouldn't folks be able to just edit their own record so that identity can mutate on a self initiated basis?

Open source rears its head in this, to me. The developers I know are willing to implement change as quickly as a Library requests it if they can pay and often as fast if they can't. Yet there's this festering sore of folks either not knowing enough about information retrieval to work things through with their vendor OR a perception that the current state of computer science can't handle a neat feature. Sometimes the latter is so, but man is it frustrating for me to see stuff stay the same crappy way when tech can accommodate Patron and Librarian alike.

And then someone chimed in with elements in RDA, and how a subelement was to be gender. So of course, a lot of folks on this list are circling like hawks to ensure that it's transfriendly and intersexed friendly, as well they ought to.

This all coming at a time when I'm reading Middlesex.

Funny how things work at cross quarters. >:)