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Old 06-11-2008, 12:16 PM   #31
tirsales
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Originally Posted by axel77 View Post
The way a website is build up is usually very different to the way a book is build up. What exactly the implications are is open, but it is IMHO undeniable that there is a difference in the information markup, and it does change something/anything.
That is undeniable. But where would e.g. be the difference between an e-book and a p-book? Or between an scientific article as PDF or as print-out?

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What about working *in* a library *with* the internet?
Hmmm ... could work

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Not yet, when digitalisation and e.g. the iLiad advances it might get less important.
Let me clarify what I meant:
We already have the technology available that would make Libraries - in the form they have today - outdated. There will always be a need for the service libraries provide - e.g. silent rooms, book-renting, catalogisation of information, etc
But the physical representation - that is shelves of p-books - will change.

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If its outdated, why do I need so often to go to the university library to borrow some book?
Because the technology - though available - has yet to be put to whitespread usage.

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But it will IMHO never get "outdated" per se. Its never like that new technologies really completly write over old ones, without them finding any niche to continue existing.
That is correct.

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When Gutenberg developed his printing machine, did handwritting get outdated? Or do we handwrite still today? Of course, it hasn't got the importance it had pre-gutenberg, but I do handwrite ;-)
It has lost its meaning for the publication of books - pre-Gutenberg books got written by hand. Nowadays they dont. Of course, some single examples might still be written by hand - but they are rare
The same will, in my opinion, occur with "shelves and shelves with p-books". There will always be a usage for p-books, and there will always be p-books. In fact I am collecting some series as p-books myself and i will continue to do so. Nevertheless I will be changing to e-books "completely" (collecting not withstanding) as soon as e-readers get more usable.

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Same with the newspaper over the book. TV over radio. Internet over TV. And so on.
The newspaper and the book fill two different markets, the same with TV and radio.
We will see a gradual shifting of the TV onto the internet - iptv, etc. The "normal TV" as we know it nowadays will die out.
But I get your message and in the principal of things I agree.

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I have to confess, back in school years, on book presentations, instead of just giving my views of the book, I did look it up in the library in some lexicon about books, and filtered some of the concluding that obviously couldn't be from me, but presented the others as my work.... However I never, ever would have thinked about transcribing anything word by word, even when copy/paste wasn't even invented yet.
Most pupils I know do in fact copy from the internet - because they are used to it. We saw the internet growing, they just "found it to be there".
Its like somebody sometime said:
What got invented before you were 12 was always there.
What got invented before you were 20 influences your carrier.
What got invented before you were 45 is new and interesting
What got invented afterwards is sent by the devil
There is a grain of truth in that-

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This relies also on the practical thinking, my teacher would have easily differentiated any sentence that came out of my head, by any sentence I transcribed from a book. Maybe thats also an issue, why is the content on the internet the kids copy/paste in a language thats not differentiable to the writing of a kid? :-)
It is differentiable. But perhaps kids have learned to rephrase better?
I have been tutor for some time at a university-class - mostly correcting homeworks and helping student who had problems with the course. I saw a great number of directly copied work there - so perhaps OTOH they havent learned at all

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But indeed, I knew of a story of a little kid, when challenged he cannot copy/paste stuff from the internet, he answered. Why? Its everything free, I can navigate there just as easily.

Yes, they do need to learn, its not free. And its not okay to present any others words as his own.
And that they have to reflect every idea, every text found somewhere - wether it is actually true and correct.

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This is an aspect thats still troublesome on the university now. How often do I have to watch other students presentations, with the usually task to present some paper, selected chapter(s) of a classic book etc., and I ask myself when hearing it. Do they communicate well, what are their thoughts/ideas and what are the authers? Or do those get mixed up in a complete mess. Or worse beside the title slide, I sometimes get the feeling somehow they describe the content as their work, as their opinions, instead of someone elses work/views they studied...
Yes, I know what you mean. I know quite a number of fellow students who would simply accept anything said by a reasonably respected authority as being true - and some who would accept anything found on a reasonably respected page. Or who werent able to differentiate beween their opinion and the opinion of said authority. Wether they havent been able to communicate that differentiation or wether they simply didnt draw that line is unknown to me.

But has this really changed? In earlier times it perhaps was more difficult to broadcast your opinion and perhaps this filtered some off the more obscure publications. But - wether you read the publication in a paper or in the internet, you always have to check and recheck, to reflect about the content, etc.
The internet makes checking easier - we will just have to use this option.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:05 PM   #32
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Again, I think the form the information is taking, not the information itself, is what is altering how we think because it is now given to us in short bursts rather than long dense pages.

Mis-information, whether deliberate or merely mistaken, is certainly not new. Some of the pamphlet writers in the 18th century could give any commenter* a run for their money in the rant-and-flame department.

(*I'm thinking of the ones on the gadget blogs, not the gentlefolk here. )
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:23 PM   #33
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First, I'm not convinced that much of the current change is attributable to Google or even the internet in general. Correlation does not equal causation, but I have yet to see a well-designed study that could even attempt to establish a firm correlation between internet use and style of reading or thinking. So all this is just speculation and hot air.

Beyond that, I understand that some cultures, when first exposed to reading and writing, frowned on its use over traditional methods of oral memorization, on the grounds that writing is easily lost, whereas something memorized stays with a person. (I'm thinking of some early Celtic tribes, here, but I believe the Cherokee voiced similar objections.) Just imagine having to memorize everything, rather than being able to look something up in a book! Or having to find an expert, in person, to learn something new from, rather than being able to go to a library.

Yes, I think we need to work to help students understand that copying does not count as reflective writing or original analysis, and explain why these are important skills to have. That was true in the days of printed encyclopedias and Cliff Notes, and it's true now. But I'm a lot more interested in knowing whether we're now able to find answers and solve problems as well or better than before, than in "how" we do that.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:21 PM   #34
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tirsales, I truely share your view that e-readers might be a good substitute (+ extension!) of the p-book. I'm even enthusiastic for it. But I also agree we are not there yet, so p-books are not outdated yet. (And unless an e-reader gets to be actually cheaper than a single p-book, it will never be a true substitute for holidays to leave it back on the beach while going swimming..)

nekokami, also agree. I don't remember exactly. Which greek philosopher was famous for his worries about (hand)writing destroying culture? Sokrates, Platon or Aristoteles? I guess it was one of these first-suspects
---
Oh btw, I believe that some "inclusive hypertext technology" might be much of help to get the authorship issue, in peoples mind.

Current HTML allows you to *link* to other pages, but it does not allow you to include content of other sites into yours, and make this even visible. This would be to be used instead of copy/paste. I know iframe can do it to some limited extend, but it is actually that, limited. However it comes with the problems that to my experience non-acedmic people don't want to be "cited". They want they content on their website, in their presentation and nowhere else. Its something you actually get implicitly teached on an academic lifepath. Being cited is a honor and not theft. Obvious for us, not-so-obvious for "normally socialized" people.

So for me its definitely not Googles fault, its the fault of how current HTML/HTTP/Web works.

Last edited by axel77; 06-11-2008 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 06-13-2008, 02:13 AM   #35
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I do find myself reading less literature and more technical documentation but I account this to the requirements in my professional life. I have not lost the ability to digest long texts although I spend a majority of the day skimming through text to find the pieces of information I require. If I have the time I also still prefer a printed version of what I am reading for pleasure or to keep my mind busy.

Although a bit offtopic I did notice since a while that my ability to properly handwrite has severly degraded since uni. I'm often getting stuck with letters like "m" and "k" and the results look just ridiculous so I stopped handwriting almost altogether. On the other hand I type blindly on 3 keyboard layouts and I don' know many people who can match my typing speed.
I guess it all comes down to which patterns or behaviours we utilize and how frequently we exercise them. I think if you only skim read and totaly forget about books/long texts altogether for an extendet time you will be out of practise and it will be tough to concentrate on a meaty piece.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:33 PM   #36
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If I have the time I also still prefer a printed version of what I am reading for pleasure or to keep my mind busy.

Although a bit offtopic I did notice since a while that my ability to properly handwrite has severly degraded since uni. I'm often getting stuck with letters like "m" and "k" and the results look just ridiculous so I stopped handwriting almost altogether. On the other hand I type blindly on 3 keyboard layouts and I don' know many people who can match my typing speed.
I agree totally. My handwriting is a catastrophy, but my typing speed is excellent. I wonder which one is more stressing for your hands ...
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:44 PM   #37
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Susan Jacoby, in her recent "The Age of American Unreason", repeats a point made by others that reading on a computer screen (and listening to music in short segments on an ipod) is conducive to doing things in short periods. I have "felt" this personally, but I know of no research to back it up. Just imagine reading a George Eliot or Thomas Hardy novel on a computer screen: would you do it? I wouldn't.
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