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Old 04-09-2010, 08:09 AM   #1
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Default Interesting Article

Just Reading Through This Interesting article which was Published in Newsweek in 1995

Quote:
By Clifford Stoll | NEWSWEEK
From the magazine issue dated Feb 27, 1995




After two decades online, I’m perplexed. It’s not that I haven’t had a gas of a good time on the Internet. I’ve met great people and even caught a hacker or two. But today, I’m uneasy about this most trendy and oversold community. Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities. Commerce and business will shift from offices and malls to networks and modems. And the freedom of digital networks will make government more democratic.


Baloney. Do our computer pundits lack all common sense? The truth in no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.


Consider today’s online world. The Usenet, a worldwide bulletin board, allows anyone to post messages across the nation. Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard. The cacophany more closely resembles citizens band radio, complete with handles, harrasment, and anonymous threats. When most everyone shouts, few listen. How about electronic publishing? Try reading a book on disc. At best, it’s an unpleasant chore: the myopic glow of a clunky computer replaces the friendly pages of a book. And you can’t tote that laptop to the beach. Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure.
What the Internet hucksters won’t tell you is tht the Internet is one big ocean of unedited data, without any pretense of completeness. Lacking editors, reviewers or critics, the Internet has become a wasteland of unfiltered data. You don’t know what to ignore and what’s worth reading. Logged onto the World Wide Web, I hunt for the date of the Battle of Trafalgar. Hundreds of files show up, and it takes 15 minutes to unravel them–one’s a biography written by an eighth grader, the second is a computer game that doesn’t work and the third is an image of a London monument. None answers my question, and my search is periodically interrupted by messages like, “Too many connectios, try again later.”
Won’t the Internet be useful in governing? Internet addicts clamor for government reports. But when Andy Spano ran for county executive in Westchester County, N.Y., he put every press release and position paper onto a bulletin board. In that affluent county, with plenty of computer companies, how many voters logged in? Fewer than 30. Not a good omen.


Point and click:
Then there are those pushing computers into schools. We’re told that multimedia will make schoolwork easy and fun. Students will happily learn from animated characters while taught by expertly tailored software.Who needs teachers when you’ve got computer-aided education? Bah. These expensive toys are difficult to use in classrooms and require extensive teacher training. Sure, kids love videogames–but think of your own experience: can you recall even one educational filmstrip of decades past? I’ll bet you remember the two or three great teachers who made a difference in your life.


Then there’s cyberbusiness. We’re promised instant catalog shopping–just point and click for great deals. We’ll order airline tickets over the network, make restaurant reservations and negotiate sales contracts. Stores will become obselete. So how come my local mall does more business in an afternoon than the entire Internet handles in a month? Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet–which there isn’t–the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.
What’s missing from this electronic wonderland? Human contact. Discount the fawning techno-burble about virtual communities. Computers and networks isolate us from one another. A network chat line is a limp substitute for meeting friends over coffee. No interactive multimedia display comes close to the excitement of a live concert. And who’d prefer cybersex to the real thing? While the Internet beckons brightly, seductively flashing an icon of knowledge-as-power, this nonplace lures us to surrender our time on earth. A poor substitute it is, this virtual reality where frustration is legion and where–in the holy names of Education and Progress–important aspects of human interactions are relentlessly devalued.
STOLL is the author of “Silicon Snake Oil–Second Thoughts on the Information Highway” to be published by Doubleday in April.

Source



I Think it funny how things he said that wouldn't happen,have happend! For Example;

Quote:
Visionaries see a future of telecommuting workers, interactive libraries and multimedia classrooms. They speak of electronic town meetings and virtual communities.
Employee's can log into there work pc's from home,and work from home! Modern Day Classrooms are filled with Technology such as TV's,Computers and Projectors. As far as virtual communities go,facebook is just one of the many.

How the world once was....
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Interesting Article

I think for a lot of that article though, it's as relevant today as it was when the day it was written!

on line chat is a limp excuse for real human contact.
government use the internet for spin more than open politics.
town meeting don't happen on line.
you can get books on computers, but it's only since the invention of liquid paper devices like the kindle that it's actually taken the eye strain out of reading a book on a computer, (and even that's not exactly ubiquitous)
on the internet everyone does shout and very few people listen,
and the information that you find can often have a less than professional feel to it.
the internet hasn't replaced newspapers.

and regarding the film he's exactly right, how many people think, I remember an old education film, (in anything other than that was funny, but really shit), compared to how many remember a truly inspirational teacher?

computers are everywhere in schools, but only because computers form a part of the world now that cannot be ignored.


but yes, he was way out thinking that computers wouldn't get everywhere, or that we wouldn't turn to on-line shopping rather than physical shopping.
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Old 06-18-2010, 02:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Interesting Article

I agree with the article post, but to a certain extent. Yes the internet can't solve political problems, the government, or be a substitute for human contact. I mean heck when text messaging came out on cell phones my dad went nuts and refused to text anyone or let anyone text him. He said it was a shitty way to contact someone and it takes longer to write a text message than it does to pick up the phone and talk to some one. Also, it was rude and not personal at all.
But, when software or the internet is used in a manner that doesn't replace the relationship, but assist it, then its ok. People need to realize the importance of the customer relationship in a business setting and how important that personal touch is. And no days they have programs and software that can help with those relationships that are internet based, but don't replace the relationship.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Interesting Article

As root said, in a lot of areas he's spot on, and in a lot of ways he was thinking ahead of his time. For those that don't / can't remember, the mid 90's was the time when everyone could see computers overtaking every area of everyone's life. The general concencus from many was that teachers would be replaced with animated on screen characters, newspapers and books would all be defunct replaced by electronic equivalents, literally every part of everyone's life would be ruled by some form of electronic medium, with physical paper and real human contact all but eliminated.

The other thing to remember though is that the internet architecture at the time was shoddy, riddled with security holes, unreliable and slow. Broadband speeds weren't even a dream, 56k dial up was just appearing as the fastest internet available to home users and most websites had little more than a 50% uptime rate.

Apply the above context to the situation and it becomes far, far clearer to see where he's coming from. If broadband hadn't emerged I honestly think he'd be even closer to the mark (though obviously he is way out on some areas.) I for one wouldn't be using the internet for shopping or social networking NEARLY as much if I had the architecture of the 90's.

Regardless though, the guy makes some excellent points on what computers will never replace. Good teachers, relationships and the like are something that just won't (and downright shouldn't) be replaced with virtual equivalents. At the end of the day a PC is a tool to help you accomplish various tasks more quickly and efficiently, not to replace your life!
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Interesting Article

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
I think for a lot of that article though, it's as relevant today as it was when the day it was written!

on line chat is a limp excuse for real human contact.
government use the internet for spin more than open politics.
town meeting don't happen on line.
you can get books on computers, but it's only since the invention of liquid paper devices like the kindle that it's actually taken the eye strain out of reading a book on a computer, (and even that's not exactly ubiquitous)
on the internet everyone does shout and very few people listen,
and the information that you find can often have a less than professional feel to it.
the internet hasn't replaced newspapers.

and regarding the film he's exactly right, how many people think, I remember an old education film, (in anything other than that was funny, but really shit), compared to how many remember a truly inspirational teacher?

computers are everywhere in schools, but only because computers form a part of the world now that cannot be ignored.


but yes, he was way out thinking that computers wouldn't get everywhere, or that we wouldn't turn to on-line shopping rather than physical shopping.
Good points there root, I can't see the internet permenantly replacing anything for a while yet
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