Friday, February 3, 2012

The Internet? Bah!

OMG this is the funniest article....and a little scary too.  A fellow librarian ran across this article from Newsweek magazine dated 1995 entitled, The Internet, Bah! The writer is talking about the rise of the Internet, but he doesn't think it will become as big as people seem to think. I love this line:  "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."

Well, let's see.....Egypt's revolution, Libya's revolution, pretty much every revolution in the Middle East the past few years has been sparked by Twitter and Facebook.  I would love to find a telecommunting job so I could travel with my husband.  Virtual communities exist everywhere--my favorite is Ravelry, a great site for knitters and crocheters world-wide.  Our classrooms at my school are about as multimedia as they can be--projectors, computers, netbooks, doc cameras, clickers, MOBI boards--just to name some things off the top of my head.

Another great line: "Your word gets out, leapfrogging editors and publishers. Every voice can be heard cheaply and instantly. The result? Every voice is heard."  Yes, every voice is heard.  If not, I couldn't write this blog.  Even if no one reads it right now, my words are going to be here for ........ever basically.  And if I ever get my novel finished, I might join the thousands who are bypassing editors to self publish.

Here is one place though the author got it right.  "What the Internet hucksters won't tell you is that 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."  No kidding--and it's only getting worse.   We don't take time to train our children to become critical thinkers of what they read on the web. And as information grows exponentially on the web, the "wasteland of unfiltered data" is getting bigger and bigger--the bad outweighing the good.

But the funniest/ scariest part of this article--it is from 1995.  That's not even 20 years ago.  Can you even imagine where we will be 20 years from right now?  I'm not sure I can.

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