Great ImprovementsMay 11th, 2006 by Laura Moncur in News
The St. Petersburg Times ran an article by William McKeen in which McKeen proposed that the Internet is endangering the joy of serendipity.
Anyone who has read this weblog or looked up a quotation on the Internet knows that his viewpoint is nearsighted. Our collection of quotations is more unique, up-to-date and accessible than any book of quotations could ever be. He obviously hasn’t spent hours surfing the web, finding unique and interesting things all the time. He was immediately blasted by the Internet Illuminati.
Steven Johnson responds to the endangered joy of serendipity piece, I just linked to, arguing that the web is a much better serendipity engine than the library (kottke.org)
Until we teach everyone the joy of serendipitous discovery on the Internet, there will still be people out there who think the newspaper, library and radio is better than what you can find on the Internet. People like McKeen won’t be able to know this until we teach them. The Internet is a huge bundle of beautiful randomness, but McKeen isn’t able to see it because he hasn’t had the “great change in the fundamental constitution of his modes of thought.”
It’s time we teach him and the rest of the people out there who still fear the Internet.
May 12th, 2006 at 7:05 pm
The internet is a wonderful thing, because in the end, it is more than a tool. A tool is an object designed for one purpose, the internet is a living thing, capable of incredible randomness. Anyone who has ever searched a forum, or gone on an imageboard, would be able to see just how many great things you run into.
I personally stumbled on to this website on accident, I was merely looking for the author of one quote, and instead I found a great collection of wisdom and insightfulness.
What impresses me the most about the whole idea of the internet being something less than a new frontier, is that there are still people unwilling to accept it. I still find it amazing that there are people who refuse the thought of this melting pot of cultures and minds to be anything less than some geek hang out. It is always surprising to see just how many people are still afraid of the joys of technology and modernaztion.
So all we can do is try to help people with what we know I guess. I tend to try and help people whenever I am asked a question, I usally say they can find it online, or if I answer the question and they want to know how, I tell them to url they should visit. But there is still much work to be done, good luck all!
May 13th, 2006 at 12:53 pm
The one big problem that I see with the Internet is that there’s no control over the quality of the information that you can find. Sure, you can find information on any topic in the universe on the Internet. The only problem this, how do you know that this information is correct? Anyone can say anything they want on the Internet without the need to show credentials. As a result, the Internet contains as much nonsense and lies, as it has useful information. The Internet can be a wonderful place, but it creates as many problems as it solves.
May 15th, 2006 at 8:39 pm
“The only problem this, how do you know that this information is correct?”
How do you know that the information you read in books is correct? It was written by a man, perhaps a wise man, but a man none the less.
Documents as proof you say? Were these documents placed there by god?
You never know if what you are reading is true or not, doesn’t matter where you get your sources. You can talk to someone who was there, and still get something wrong.
It is the balance however, the balance of the universe. For while there are lies printed in blood, there are also facts written in sand. Everything has a balance.