The digital revolution has altered the way people shop and interact. In this unique commentary, Bulkeley suggests that the revolution extends to the way people learn and that the organization of information ought to reflect that transformation. The field of biblical studies is in many ways a conservative endeavor. Scholars work with ancient and venerable things. This commentary, however, suggests that one need not work with them in ancient and venerable ways. With the rise of the internet, the landscape of learning is changing, and Bulkeley helps the reader explore the possibilities of this new terrain. With a vast array of sound files, photos, encyclopedic articles, and traditional commentary on verses, readers of various levels of training and expertise can browse the commentary and construct a rather different experience, based upon the links pursude or ignored. Because the internet permits learning to occur as controlled chaos, the person who searches on the webexercises a vaste amount of autonomy in the selection and utilisation of resources. Bulkeley's commentary puts the reader in a similar position.
I also think i'll end up with a valuable platform for leveraging and disseminating my work over the long run — one that could radically revise conventional notions of shelf life. Cutting Loose, my book about women and divorce (HarperCollins, 1997) is still in print; imagine what sales would look like if it were at the hub of an ongoing social network, and what a rich site that would be?The early adopter in me, however, wonders - just a little - what the point of the print edition will be... especially in the light of all the rave reviews of Amazon's proprietary (lock you in to us as your supplier), pay as you go (even for "converting" your own PDFs), expensive (and not even available) Kindle over at Lifehacker ;)
I certainly perceive that the future will be a more open place, thanks to what is already happening online. I prefer to think, though, that we might achieve this alongside our 'professional thinkers' with academic tenure and, dare I suggest it, the ivory tower perspective. I question the extent to which ideas are currently 'closed', as I am free to examine others' ideas now - I just need to be careful not to pass them off as my own, or to misrepresent them.While I have much sympathy with what he says, I think also that it reflects a priviledged Western point of view. Ideas (in disciplines like education and theology - Nichthus' areas of professional interest currently) are open, because as he says "I am free to examine others' ideas now". What he does not say, but presumably assumes, is that this implies that I can either buy the book or journal in which these particular ideas are circulated, or have access to a library or online database (like EBSCO) from which I can access the material. In a Western academic context this is (more or less*1) true. Where I have been working recently access to these commercial databases is not available, even Colombo Theological Seminary, which has superb facilities and a good library compared to what is possible at KKBBSC. In such places the cost of a subscription even to a minimal Journal database is simply not affordable.
Tim, do you know if there will be any SBL Biblioblogger gathering at the SBL international meeting in July?Oh, yes Stephen, there will, the hereby announced, but as yet undated (since it was your comment that reminded me of the need to get something organised ;) Great, First Ever?, SBL International Bloggerfest. International (and indeed national, of any and all nationalities) bloggers with an interest in academic study of the Bible and/or Theology in any other of its (subsidiary? ;) forms are invited to share a meal and chat. All you will have to do is get yourself to Auckland at the time of the International SBL meeting this July. If anyone has a suitable microphone system we'll also tag on a meeting of the International Society for Theological Podcasting (and related disciplines) and do a podcast... Minor details like exact date, and location (our house, or some suitable eating house in walking distance of the conference...) to follow. But please (and seriously, folks) book the concept, and once it is announced book the date too!
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