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Happy Bithday Internet!

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Initial post: 15 Mar 2014 19:05:39 GMT
Spin says:
The invention of the internet is as much a force on human culture as the invention of the printing press... But has it actually aided human knowledge? Is the net not now a means of self-indulgence rather than communication and information?

Posted on 15 Mar 2014 20:59:28 GMT
gille liath says:
Good job nobody has typed 'Google' into Google yet...

Posted on 15 Mar 2014 22:54:46 GMT
Ghostgrey51 says:
I think it might have made knowledge more accessible to ordinary folk.
Of course there is the thorny question of what qualifies as knowledge.
Am I being just a crusty old codger to suggest Yahoo's OMG page does not, absolutely not qualify!

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Mar 2014 23:20:46 GMT
[Deleted by Amazon on 3 Jan 2015 12:00:11 GMT]

Posted on 16 Mar 2014 13:09:23 GMT
Spin says:
But if the communication and acquisition of information is restricted to web-sites the physical, involved experience of learning is lost. Not only is experience of the reality of things lost but the art and necessity of face-to-face contact is lost as well. On the web pone logs onto sites that support ones religious, political, scientific and social views; one will rarely log onto sites offering opposition or disagreement to ones views. Thus we end up with a polarised society in terms of the information they receive. An argument can only be understood by direct human contact; the site supporting your views does not interrupt or question you as you read. And discussion sites offer the reader the chance to ignore others views and physically remove them from the screen...The availability of information on the web, and the potential for education, is made redundant because of the freedom allowed for self-indulgence.

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 11:21:06 GMT
Dan Fante says:
It was the World Wide Web rather than the Internet that was 25 years old last week.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 11:44:12 GMT
Garscadden says:
I don't agree. I tend to visit websites espousing ideas i disagree with. Having ones opinion confirmed is pretty boring. The WWW is a damn good tool for this, because whilst I would never visit an ultra right wing meetings, or catholic educaiotn centres, I can get some idea of what these are about.

Obviously, as with everything else, including face to face contact, a healthy dose of suspicion goes a long way. (I.e. the loudest don't necesarily map to the common or accepted view, people misrepresent themselves and others etc)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 13:40:29 GMT
Spin says:
GarsL But it is the effect of the inter-web on individual and social life that concerns me. For instance, 1 in four couples now meet online. Love is sought over the internet. The availability of porn and deviant activities alters the moral character of the individual and society. Misinformation and propaganda can be easily transmitted to the masses. The government, businesses and criminals can spy on your surfing activities. Lastly, there will come a time when physical institutions will not be needed; everything one needs, from information to foodstuffs to sex, can be found online. People will soon work from home, as well. This will result in folk only occasionally leaving the privacy of their home.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 16:11:28 GMT
Ghostgrey51 says:
Hi Spin.
In truth and seriousness that's a good basis for an SF/Satire novel. (One-third way to Fahrenheit 451?)
(I seem to recall back in the wayback an item in one of the broadsheets quite enthusiastically suggesting that computers would allow many of us to work from home)

Best regards

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 17:26:16 GMT
Spin says:
Ghost: all we need is a robot that can do the labour of humans; then we will all genuinely be stuck indoors living our lives through the inter-web. Even kids will be taught at home via web cams and educational sites. =) All seriousness aside, though, our reliance on the net has altered are reasoning and rationality. The immediacy of information, without real effort, and the ability to remain anonymous and thus express whatever one wishes on the net, has resulted in a change in our thinking. We are starting to think in terms of the logic and presentation of websites, rather than on formal logic and argument. Our minds are starting to adopt the manner in which the web operates and presents itself, just as it once adopted the manner in which printed book and newspaper information was presented.

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 18:26:05 GMT
Spin says:
With the development of Language, conscious thought became focused on the "being" of named things. With the printed word, conscious thought became linear and symbolic (in the sense of being based on symbols). With the net, conscious thought and the speech resulting from it is becoming brief, immediate and lacking in depth. Even our written symbols representing our thought is affected (EG; OMHO. LOL, OMG, etc ). Orwell was right; "New-speak"...

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 19:11:41 GMT
Spin says:
There are folk who venture outside but whose attention is focussed on their cell-phone. Their lives are dominated by the net and if they cannot get a wi-fi signal they are lost...I was on the town last week and as I was walking up the street, two guys were walking towards me. One was focused on texting, or tweeting, whatever, the other had blue-tooth (Or some such device) . The guy with yje earphone saw me and turned a bit to go around me. But the guy texting did not see what was happening. And the guy with earphones did not know there was a person striding alongside him. So when the guy with the earphones moved out the way he banged into the guy texting. =) I could not help but laugh. You should have seen the look of annoyance on both their faces =) Their eyes said it all; "What the hell do you think you're doing?" =) The funny thing is that, seeing these two guys engrossed in technology, I was going to step out of THEIR way =)

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 19:26:11 GMT
Ghostgrey51 says:
Hi Spin

Broadly I would say you are making cogent points here as salutary warnings.

At various stages Humanity finds a new way to make communication and/or to ease its labours.

The question is do we make the best and constructive use of those advancements or do we 'mess' about with them? (Just before computers became common to everyone I read an article in a broadsheet concerning 'The Dictatorship of The Phone'- ie a phone call took precedence over a letter-ah in the way-back-when)

At one recent stage in my career is officedom it was not uncommon to tell the age of a person with their back to you without considering fashions, hair styles etc. If the computers went down the younger ones looked about or sat stunned; the older ones reached for pens and paper and held brief (albeit profanity peppered) informal discussions 'how to get around this'.

Of course these days the computer systems are so very all pervasive even that is near impossible.

As always it's a question of balance and a sense of proportion (With a tacit acknowledgement in the latter to Hitch Hiker's Guide to The Galaxy!)


In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 19:34:35 GMT
Spin says:
Ghost; People, like all animals, tend to move forward in a straight line. They only deviate from a straight path if presented with an obstacle. All streets and stores are designed to cater for this fact. Human traffic is as complicated to control as vehicle traffic. But if only a few humans are not paying attention to the flow of human traffic they can cause a snarl-up. =) And this can used as a metaphor for human thought as well. =)

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 20:07:06 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Mar 2014 20:07:37 GMT
byekitty says:
Walking in Circles

When you blindfold someone and set them walking, they always walk in circles, even when they think they're going straight. Despite a century of study, nobody knows why. Modern study of the phenomenon began in 1916 when the American zoologist Asa Schaeffer observed that an amoeba placed on a cylindrical surface always moved in a spiral path around the cylinder. To further study spiral movement, Schaeffer blindfolded a right-handed friend and instructed him to walk a straight line across a country field. Schaeffer plotted his friend's track, which moved in a clockwise spiral form until the man happened to stumble on a tree stump. In the 1920s walkers, swimmers and even drivers were blindfolded and asked to `go straight'. None could.

from QI

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 20:11:43 GMT
Last edited by the author on 17 Mar 2014 20:51:00 GMT
Spin says:
bye; and since when do shoppers, sportsmen and vehicle operators go about their business blind-folded? =) Vision, the capacity to identify the point towards which ones body is moving, is essential to survival.. I am sure folk cannot cut the food on their dinner plate blind-folded either...

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 20:36:18 GMT
byekitty says:
Spin says:

"With the net, conscious thought and the speech resulting from it is becoming brief, immediate and lacking in depth."

in your case especially

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 20:36:50 GMT
byekitty says:
I am sorry I just could not resist :)

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 20:41:04 GMT
Spin says:
Bye; Au contraire. Insulting a person does not refute their argument. Your post proves my point about net-users lacking depth. Grow up and think about it.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Mar 2014 20:42:18 GMT
Spin says:
bye; You could resist, but chose not to.

Posted on 17 Mar 2014 20:52:27 GMT
Spin says:
QI, You-tube, Twitter and Wikipedia; the source of the nations information and education. God help us...

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 10:44:00 GMT
Bearman says:
Don't mock QI you blasphemer!

Posted on 19 Mar 2014 19:20:51 GMT
Spin says:
An new phone "App" has been unveiled; It uses location and network data to tell you where folk you know are located so that you can avoid them. But one more "anti-social" app and evidence of my point that a society relying on the net is self-indulgent and anti-social.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 19:51:55 GMT
byekitty says:
Just a thought but could it be you that people are avoiding?

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Mar 2014 19:54:09 GMT
Spin says:
Bye; No. As your post to me illustrates. =)
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This discussion

Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  25
Initial post:  15 Mar 2014
Latest post:  19 Mar 2014

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