I am not entirely deprived of the Internet; this is just a severe diet, with strict rationing. True, technologies are the greatest things in the world, but they have way too monstrous side effects — and ones rarely seen ahead of time. And since spending time in the silence of my library, with little informational pollution, I can feel harmony with my genes; I feel I am growing again.
In an Internet-connected world, it is almost impossible to keep track of how systems actually function. Your telephone conversation may be delivered over analog lines one day and by the Internet the next. Your airplane route may be chosen by a computer or a human being, or (most likely) some combination of both. Don't bother asking, because any answer you get is likely to be wrong.He illustrates this discussing Internet Time Protocol the system that allows software to know what time/date it is now, so saving humans from needing to enter the time and date on bootup. The system depends on multiple networked devices, and few if any programmers understand it, we all use it. We are interconnecting not only when we are aware of it, but also and particularly when we are not.
Soon, no human will know the answer. More and more decisions are made by the emergent interaction of multiple communicating systems, and these component systems themselves are constantly adapting, changing the way they work. This is the real impact of the Internet: by allowing adaptive complex systems to interoperate, the Internet has changed the way we make decisions. More and more, it is not individual humans who decide, but an entangled, adaptive network of humans and machines.
D is for DoubtYes! Now, can we encourage students to begin to understand this?
A certain unreliability of technical and material information on the Internet brings us to the notion of doubt. I feel that doubt has become more pervasive. The artist Carsten Höller has invented the Laboratory of Doubt, which is opposed to mere representation. As he has told me, 'Doubt and perplexity ... are unsightly states of mind we'd rather keep under lock and key because we associate them with uneasiness, with a failure of values'. Höller's credo is not to do; not to intervene. To exist is to do and not to do is a way of doing. 'Doubt is alive; it paralyzes certainty.' (Carsten Höller)
It is our misfortune to live through the largest increase in expressive capability in the history of the human race, a misfortune because surplus always breaks more things than scarcity. Scarcity means valuable things become more valuable, a conceptually easy change to integrate. Surplus, on the other hand, means previously valuable things stop being valuable, which freaks people out.This is the lesson Big Music is beginning to learn, the moving image industry has begun to face, that is freaking the publishers, but will change higher education beyond belief (one day, soon?). [See my Back to the Future: Virtual Theologising as Recapitulation especially the first section "Return of the Rabbi" 115-121.]
Timing is so critical. I suspect it's a good thing that Google waited as long as it did to make this a line in the sand. The Chineese people are more likely to notice, now.This is a really interesting comment, and even more striking are the thoughts it provokes. For Bill is likely spot on. If enough people in China have become Google-dependent, especially families of people with influence, then this new hard line of Google's could be effective.
We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China.A moderately large step for a corporation, a giant leap for humanity!
WebCite®, a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, is an on-demand archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites, or other kinds of Internet-accessible digital objects), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a "404 File Not Found" error when clicking on a cited URL. Try it! Archive a URL here. It's free and takes only 30 seconds.This needs to be better known, so please pass it on... HT to Suzanne McCarthy
When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news.Yes, famous newspapers published a fake (and rather "purple") quote in their obituaries for Michael Jarre, while Wikipedia (the public encyclopedia) tested the quote, found it wanting and removed it.
His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked.
We need to hear competing voices of information from the world around us, use our time in the digital world wisely, and learn to shut that world down when it becomes more important to get up in the morning and answer emails than it does to get up and read the Bible and pray. We may also learn much from church history, where we observe fellow believers in other times and cultures learning the shape of faithfulness. We begin to detect how easily the "world" may squeeze us into its mold. We soon learn that adequate response is more than mere mental resolve, mere disciplined observance of the principle "garbage in, garbage out" (after all, we are what we think), though it is not less than that. The gospel is the power of God issuing in salvation. Empowered by the Holy Spirit and living in the shadow of the cross and resurrection, we find ourselves wanting to be conformed to the Lord Jesus, wanting to be as holy and as wise as pardoned sinners can be this side of the consummation.Do read the whole editorial (HTML or PDF), and since Themelios does not have a comment feature (how I wish the church, and especially Evangelical Christians, would recognise that openness and discussion are healthy and not persist in old authoritarian modes of discourse) you are welcome to post any short responses
You never know when or where someone will come across your stream, where or when they will break into the narrative. In a novel, once your (sic.) hooked, other things can develop; character, plot, metaphor; that elusive moment of truth. Even when providing these aspects in social media space, each content packet needs a hook that allows someone stumbling upon it immediate access. Nothing, from a tweet to a e-book, should be floated without a hook.Much of the rest I'll want to reflect on and mull over, but for now I must not forget:
Scale the content down to the snippet, but not the quality of the content.But, you my gentle readers, what are your tips and insights into connumication in this brave new world? Do drop us a mention of your favourite recognitions or insights...
You are so correct about the separation being a very difficult part of this evacuation process. At work, I find that we have a great deal to pray about with our customers searching for family members and pets, who have been separated from each other. At one point, our interstate 59 coming from New Orleans was so backed up that a trip which normally takes 4-6 hours, took one customer 14 hours, with gas stations along the way out of gas, several people including this customer found themselves walking the evacuation route for the last 20 or more miles. Nothing on the news about this though, so all I know is to keep praying for all those who are far from home.So, more to pray about, but some thanfulness and joy mixed with the "pleases", isn't the Internet wonderful. How else could an Old Testament teacher in New Zealand be able to brush against the lives of people far away at a time of crisis? BTW Smith the Bulldog is indeed quite a show-stealing act ;)
Something which might cheer you: I took mp3 copies of your Wodehouse project with me to work, during the rain squals (they usuallky lasted about 20 mins) I played tracks from them for the travelers standing around. Many loved the book and asked about it, one woman in particular stayed while I cooked a pizza for her family and listened to 2 tracks. It turned out she had heard of LibriVox and planned to download Three Men and a Maid when she gets back into her New Orleans area home. I can't seem to say this very well, but I'm trying to say that for at least 2 carrivans of people, your reading gave resspite, comfort and the first real laughter I'd heard all day as our friend Smith the bulldog stole the show that fateful night that auntie returned.
This year, Google discontinued a lot of services: Browser Sync, Hello, Send to SMS and Send to Phone extension.So, how safe are free services? The provider can drop or change them at any time. Don't rely on them! Use a free online file conversion tool, if you need to convert a few files in a hurry, but not if you convert files regularly. Use a free video sharing tool, to share video freely (Blip.tv seems the best at hosting, but YouTube draws more of an audience) but if reliability matters to you, do make sure you have a backup plan!
The Morph Concept by Nokia shows what role nanotechnology can play in facilitating the use of communication devices in everyday life. These gadgets are flexible, they can discern harmful substances in the environment, and they can even be worn as fashion accessories, as this video makes plain.The post contained a link to a You Tube video, which is "no longer available" the post on Britannica has also been pulled over the weekend.
New Study Released By The Center For The Digital Future and AARP Shows Internet Users 50+ Are Rapidly Closing the Digital Divide with Booming Online ActivityThink about it people, round these parts "the Internet" became popular from the early nineties. The early nineties is now ten to fifteen years ago. People who are now just 50+ were then just 35-40+ is anyone really surprised that they actually use the Internet? I'm now 60+ and I've been publishing content and using "social networking" sites and email groups (a surviving pre-Web 2.0 social networking technology) since the early to mid nineties... Back then I did not feel particularly old to be involved, the surprise would be if few people in the 50-70 age bracket were making significant Internet use.
June 19, 2008
Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine, also has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.”Reading online is different from reading print, think Jakob Nielsen's studies back in the 90s which showed that online readers scan. Then bring it up to date and apply it to "academic" readers as well as the metaphorical "ordinary user":
As part of the five-year research program, the scholars examined computer logs documenting the behavior of visitors to two popular research sites, one operated by the British Library and one by a U.K. educational consortium, that provide access to journal articles, e-books, and other sources of written information. They found that people using the sites exhibited “a form of skimming activity,” hopping from one source to another and rarely returning to any source they’d already visited. They typically read no more than one or two pages of an article or book before they would “bounce” out to another site. Sometimes they’d save a long article, but there’s no evidence that they ever went back and actually read it.Factor in the fact that today we live online much more than we did then, and the result is obvious: "the Internet" is changing the way we think. Reducing our capacity to process lengthy complex writing. In short, making us stupid!
It is clear that users are not reading online in the traditional sense; indeed there are signs that new forms of “reading” are emerging as users “power browse” horizontally through titles, contents pages and abstracts going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.Carr's argument presupposes that "reading in the traditional sense" is both traditional and good. Yet for the purposes of the "readers" assessed by the study, academics researching prior literature on a topic, reading has perhaps never been the long drawn out sequential process Carr inagines. I have been trying to teach students "How to avoid reading books" for decades. Why? Because scanning not reading works, for researching prior literature scanning beats reading! As MarkG commented "
The idea that our minds should operate as high-speed data-processing machines is not only built into the workings of the Internet, it is the network’s reigning business model as well. The faster we surf across the Web—the more links we click and pages we view—the more opportunities Google and other companies gain to collect information about us and to feed us advertisements. Most of the proprietors of the commercial Internet have a financial stake in collecting the crumbs of data we leave behind as we flit from link to link—the more crumbs, the better. The last thing these companies want is to encourage leisurely reading or slow, concentrated thought. It’s in their economic interest to drive us to distraction.In other words: reading differently is worse because we lose the capacity for sustained attention. This is like Socrates argument in Plato's Phaedrus that the new technology of alphabetic writing (to which ironically we owe our "memory" of Socrates) "will produce forgetfulness in those who have learned it. They will not need to exercise their memories, being able to rely on what is written."
This is much fuller and richer than the simple binary choice we plan to give to authors of the HBC_ volumes. We just offer the choice of "explanation" or "justification" and links to HBD_ articles or Bible references. But then our goals are much more focused... Her "descriptive" sounds like our "explanation" but I don't find in her list anything that corresponds to our "justification" yet intuitively I suspect that we are not the only ones wanting to link to material that gives in more details the reasons that justify a particular ideas expressed.
- Denotative: The link goes to a node that provides either the site or text itself (such as a link to Google) or a definition or clarification of the linked word or phrase. This is a common type of link in encyclopedias, newspapers, etc.
- Connotative: The link between the origin text and destination text implies something that is not explicitly stated--the originating node gives a new context to the destination node that can suggest some other meanings are lurking under the surface.
- Similar or repetitive: The link goes to a similar node or a continuation of the same theme as the originating text.
- Opposition or contradiction: The link goes to a node that contradicts or opposes the originating text.
- Descriptive: The link goes to a further description or explanation of the linked word or originating text.
- Advertisements: The link goes to a site that sells that particular item. While this is a common type of link in commercial websites (as many sites receive their funding from these links by counting hits and click throughs), this has been used in electronic literature. The link from Deena Larsen's Disappearing Rain: "How many credit cards are in it?" goes to a credit card site. (These outside links are thus commented on within the story and subvert these commercial endeavors into playing a role in tracking down Anna, a missing character from the novel).
- Political: The piece hopes to provoke a reaction in the reader and provides a link to follow up on that reaction. For example, Jennifer Ley's War Games shows the horrors of land mines and connects to Adopt a Minefield.
Britannica will help them with research and publishing tools and by allowing them to easily use text and non-text material from Encyclopaedia Britannica in their work. We will publish the final products on our site for the benefit of all readers, with all due attribution and credit to the people who created them. The authors will have the option of collaborating with others on their work, but each author will retainIs this Britannica "getting" the commercial potential of Web 2.0, and like Google and YouTube planning to profit from it, or is it more?
control of his or her own work.
You can preview the new site, which is still in beta testing, at http://www.britannica.com/bps/home. A portion of the people who visit Britannica Online today are being routed to this site and are using it now; soon it will replace our current site at www.britannica.com entirely, and the new features we have described above will be introduced in the weeks and months ahead.I can't wait to see how this attempt to marry the best of the new with the best of the old works out, in the years and decades, rather than weeks and months ahead! One thing is for sure, at last the "old" is gone, buried and dead... I still wonder what the new will look like, and wonder at what it has already given us.
We believe that to provide lively and intelligent coverage of complex subjects requires experts and knowledgeable editors who can make astute judgments that cut through the on a topic.This reads to me dangerously like the tyranny of "experts" that every successful totalitarian regime in the 20th century ensured.Give me the "cacophony of competing and often
This collection of sources supplements a bibliography published by Baker under the auspices of the Institute for Biblical Research: D. Brent Sandy and Daniel M. O’Hare, Prophecy and Apocalyptic: An Annotated Bibliography (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007).
In the process of compiling sources, hundreds were entered into our data base (many of which were annotated), but in the end they could not be included in the final selection for the printed edition of the bibliography. Hence, those sources are here made available.
One advantage of thisWhich is not so great... because what it means is that I can easily search the supplementary material, but the material in the print book must be inconveniently searched by hand. In other words the bibliography would have been better published online or at least electronically in the first place! BUT some criterion other than the advantage to the user caused it to be published in print, and now in order that the print book may sell the online more convenient and usable version cannot contain the full dataset.
digital version of the bibliography is that you may search for specific
words pertinent to your research.
print journalism is going through a wrenching transformation, and its future is in doubt. Over the past two decades, newspaper readership in the United States has plummeted. After peaking in 1984, at 63 million copies, the daily circulation of American papers fell steadily at a rate of about 1 percent a year until 2004 when it hit 55 million. Since then, the pace of the decline has accelerated. Circulation fell by more than 2 percent in 2005 and by about 3 percent in 2006.A print newspaper is a "bundle" of services but:
When a newspaper moves online, the bundle falls apart. Readers don’t flip through a mix of stories, advertisements, and other bits of content. They go directly to a particular story that interests them, often ignoring everything else.This, it is sometimes argued, is promoting an "unbundling" of traditional newspaper services, with some becoming free on the Internet, and other more specialised services being paid for, yet users do not want to pay online, and:
few newspapers, other than specialized ones like the Wall Street Journal, are able to charge anything for their content online, the success of a story as a product is judged by the advertising revenues it generates. Advertisers no longer have to pay to appear in a bundle.Neither the first article, nor Clay Shirky's followup, which argues that What Newspapers and Journalism Need Now: Experimentation, Not Nostalgia, really offers a clear prediction of the future of investigative journalism, though Clay seems to see blogging filling this role [?] ;).
If you take as a given that academic publishing must change to meet the new realities of the Internet economy (i do), which parts will become essentially free goods, and which parts will continue to require a high level of professional competence. Even more importantly, assuming some of these services can’t be easily replaced, what are the new economic models that will provide the required compensation for them?My answers really haven't changed much over recent years. I still see the "content" of tertiary education (textbooks and lectures typically in the current system) becoming free, or at least dirt cheap. See "Gatekeepers, Open Courseware and the future of the University". That others have joined MIT since 2004 just reinforces this view. Nichthus will ask: How will such content be financed? Basically I suspect long term through either advertising or cheap prices and high volume (a sort of iTunes University ;-)
Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parceque je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte." Pascal, Lettres provinciales, 16, Dec.14,1656.It is a cliche among preachers too that 'less is more', to speak shorter takes more preparation but is usually more effective. There is a virtue in brevity.
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