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  •                                 NETFUTURE
                Technology and Human Responsibility for the Future
    Issue #21      Copyright 1996 O'Reilly & Associates          June 18, 1996
                Editor:  Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)
                         On the Web: http://netfuture.org
         You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes.
    *** Are LCD displays kinder to the soul? (Bill Meacham)
          CRTs leave me frazzled and flat
    *** The reckless refreshment of writing on a notepad (Erik Ray)
          Will a typewriter be next?
    *** On writing with pencil and paper (Stephen L. Talbott)
          A few little tricks
    *** Computers are used more carelessly than typewriters (Mike Fischbein)
          Some practical advice
    *** Efficiency vs. effectiveness of the Net (Mike Fischbein)
          There's also the problem of error
    *** Automation has undoubtedly boosted productivity (Carl Wittnebert)
          Many jobs are at risk
    *** Metaphors about technology are of little use (Stan Kulikowski)
          Too much data is better than data selected by others
    *** The Net isn't an encyclopedia (Clive Thompson)
          Teachers must learn about the Net by using it themselves
    *** Technology and education: clashing philosophies (Lowell Monke)
          We need to get down to first principles
    *** About this newsletter

    *** Are LCD displays kinder to the soul?
    Response to "Changes" (NF-20)

    From Bill Meacham (73577.2175@CompuServe.COM)

    I have just subscribed to your newsletter and don't know whether you have covered this issue yet, but I have found that there is a marked difference between working with a CRT and working with a flat-panel LCD display such as those found on laptop computers. After a day of working on a computer equipped with a CRT, I am frazzled. I feel "thin" -- that is, I am in touch only with the surface, intellectual part of my mind and not with deeper emotions, subtle feelings or my body (except where it hurts from being contorted). These are symptoms I believe you have been talking about. I get a feeling of being agitated. I used to think this was exciting, but now I realize it is only addictive.

    In contrast, working with a flat-panel display is not at all frazzling. I am calm, in touch with myself, able to access deeper feelings, and not glued to the screen. It is a much more mellow experience. I am able to stop and think instead of frantically pounding out code or words. I can enjoy the fluidity of thought that computing facilitates without the frantic loss of connection.

    I attribute this to two things: The lack of electrons being beamed at me by the CRT's electron gun and the absence of the oscillating magnetic field used by the CRT to aim the electron gun.

    What this tells me is that a major component of what is harmful about computing could be eliminated by using LCD displays instead of CRTs. It's not fast information as such that is the problem but the medium through which it is presented to us.

    I'd be happy to hear your thoughts on this.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Bill --

    Interesting. Most researchers would suggest that what you are claiming is nearly impossible to quantify and test. True, but there are other ways to know things than through the indirection and abstraction of quantification, even though these ways command little respect in most scientific circles. Think of television: after decades there seems to be a gathering consensus based on innumerable quantitative studies that the medium has various harmful effects (although the ambiguities remain large enough to swallow up almost all the studies). But the other way to approach the issues--potentially a much more fully revelatory way--is by learning to observe, directly and rigorously, what transpires between oneself and the television.

    Of course, many have sensed, even without rigorous discipline of observation, the unhappy truth of the matter. It is part of the shame of our society that we could not heed that knowledge, but instead have had to wait for the much less concrete, never definitive, statistical message of "the studies." We have an oddly anti-scientific habit (now aided and abetted by the computer) of preferring statistical and instrument-mediated indirection to direct observation.

    But all that is just an overblown prelude to my saying, "I'm interested, but need convincing." (I myself don't have any significant experience with flat-panel LCD displays.) Does anyone else have any experience to offer one way or the other?


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    *** The reckless refreshment of writing on a notepad
    Response to "Changes" (NF-20)

    From Erik Ray (eray@ora.com)

    Dear Steve,

    Sorry to hear that you are planning to leave ORA soon. It will be a big loss for all of us. As a new guy, I will regret not having had the chance to meet and interact with you.

    Your reply in Netfuture to Kirk McElhearn in which you detail your deterioration of physical and mental faculties sounds eerily familiar to me. In particular, I must comment on your revelation about writing by hand versus by computer tools:

    I'm now doing a good deal of my writing the old-fashioned way, by hand--something I never dreamed I would do--and have been amazed to discover how enjoyable and efficient it can be. And how much better I feel when I'm done.
    I used to think that pens and paper were for bureaucracies and technophobes. My expectation was that I could write much faster and without constraints on a word processor. Eventually, I saw my writing style deteriorate, my imagination wither. It's OK, I told myself; I can go back, polish it and spell-check it later.

    Now, I try to balance my exposure to processing tools with "analog" equivalents. I carry around a notebook (which I refer to as my "analog lap-top") around with me in which I jot down ideas. Merely pausing to compose a sentence instead of banging out the first thing that comes to mind, as you can do with a text editor, has an incredible effect on my mind, opening it up, exercising it. Having a terminal in front of me is a temptation to type without contemplation. The idea of getting a typewriter is tantalizing, one which I would never have considered doing before, but that notion that what you put on paper cannot be erased seems refreshingly reckless.

    It seems strange, but I and others of my generation (and certainly future generations) will regard the absence of a backspace key as an inconceivable hardship, perhaps mentioned in the stories of grandparents to horrify their kin. "I remember when I had to write an entire letter on a piece of paper and all I had to correct my mistakes was a bottle of white goo. (And I had to walk 50 miles to the stationer, uphill both ways)."

      Erik T. Ray                                   phone: (617) 499-7449
      Production Software Specialist                  fax: (617) 661-1116
      O'Reilly & Associates                 http://www.ora.com/staff/eray

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    *** On writing with pencil and paper
    Response to "Changes" (NF-20)

    From Stephen L. Talbott (stevet@netfuture.org)

    My esteemed co-worker, David Flanagan (david@ora.com), author of the wonderfully successful Java in a Nutshell, and also an aspiring homesteader, wrote as follows:


    I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, but am pleased to hear what a sensible course you are taking to address them!

    When you have some time, I'd also really be interested to hear more about "the right tricks" you mention for making writing "by hand" more efficient than with a computer. It is something I'd love to learn. (Perhaps this would be best as a document written in pen and distributed through the xerox-net rather than the internet!)

    Take care of yourself,


    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    David --

    The "right tricks" are, I suspect, mostly a matter of the individual figuring out his own way of working. But, in case it's helpful, here's what I'm doing so far.

    College-lined notepad. Write with pencil; the lead shouldn't be too soft. Make the first draft double-spaced, one side only. Always have a good, artist's eraser at hand, not just a pencil eraser. It allows you to erase fairly large blocks of text with no mess. As much as possible, erase and rewrite as you revise (leaving blank spots where the text is shortened, and overflowing into the blank lines of the double-spacing where the text is lengthened). Where necessary, put in little numbers keyed to insertion text on the back side of the page. Handle the insertion text the same way--for example, write it double-spaced to begin with.

    A key general principle here is to avoid the assumption that the first level of revision can automatically be messy since it's going to be entered into the computer right away. By keeping insertion text neat, by using the back of the page instead of cramming notes into the margins or interlinear spaces, and by adding insert pages as necessary, increasingly complex revisions can be sustained for a very long while. Occasionally, you could even copy over a particularly messy page without loss of efficiency (compared to electronic word processing), if the page needs to be revised extensively anyway.

    Oh, one other thing: write neatly, so you don't feel that you have to struggle just to read the text. Both the writing and reading can become a downright pleasant experience if you take this seriously. My writing has tended to be really terrible, and I've enjoyed paying a little attention to its improvement.

    I've currently got the task of writing a keynote speech I'll be delivering later this month to an Australian Internet conference. I've drafted it (over 20 handwritten pages) and have been revising it. I keep thinking that I really "have" to put it into the computer, but yet the written draft continues to serve me perfectly fine. I now realize that the sense of need for getting the thing online is just a matter of habit. I suppose that, if and when the erasures start putting holes in the paper, it will be time to go online!

    Major reorganizations are a more difficult matter to deal with. But here, too, associating numbers or letters with blocks of text, while consciously working to keep everything neat, goes a long way. And the need for major reorganization may also be taken as an indication that you've tried to draft the paper prematurely, before adequately thinking it through. That's the kind of lesson or moral that the word processor does not so readily administer.


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    *** Computers are used more carelessly than typewriters
    Response to "Changes" (NF-20)

    From Mike Fischbein (mfischbe@fir.fbc.com)


    I'd like to take this opportunity to write you more directly than I have in the past. First, because I've tremendously enjoyed and been stimulated by NETFUTURE, and second, because I may have something constructive for you.

    First, carpal tunnel and repetitive stress injury: These are very real problems, but they aren't directly computer related. That is, there's nothing magical about a computer keyboard that causes CTS. However, people were generally much more careful about the physical arrangement of typewriters than they typically are about computers. When I took a typing class in junior high school, the teacher was careful to make sure we knew how important proper posture and keyboard placement was for typing "and if you type a lot with your forearms not close to parallel to the floor, your wrists will hurt and possibly be injured."

    Just about everyone I've heard of with "computer related" carpal tunnel problems had their keyboard on top of the desk, instead of on a typing return or keyboard drawer. I bet O'Reilly has their keyboards at the proper height; I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Mr. McElhearn's keyboard is on top of his desk.

    Similarly, a large majority of PC's are sold with cheap monitors. For game playing, or short stints at the system (i.e., most home use), they are barely acceptable. If you plan on spending more than an hour at a time in front of your machine, the most important peripheral you should get is a high quality monitor. I've been working on high-end workstations for ten years; they come by default with high quality, high resolution monitors. I can't sit in front of most PCs for more than fifteen minutes without my eyeballs itching. Look at your display: the individual "dots" that make up the image are probably fuzzy and blurry, more so than the limits of technology require. It takes extra effort by your visual system to make those furry letters legible, causing the fatigue you mention. O'Reilly wouldn't accept that level of quality from a printer; they shouldn't accept it from their monitors.

    The disadvantage is that high-quality monitors cost considerably more than cheap ones. However, you can make up part of the cost in Visine savings...

    This ties in with my continuing point on technology: hopefully, bad technology (blurry monitors) will be driven out by better technology (sharp, clean displays). This isn't an "upgrade, upgrade, upgrade" issue, as systems should come with good displays.

    I don't have any direct advice on your back and neck pain. I'm sure you've heard the general advice on strengthening the abdominal muscles, etc. The only thing I can add is to check some old typing book -- it might have advice for posture or exercise that is applicable to other keyboard workers.

    Mike Fischbein mfischbe@fir.fbc.com CS First Boston

    Any opinions expressed are mine only, and not necessarily those of any other entity. They may not even be mine.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Thanks, Mike, for the useful advice. Personally, I've kept my keyboard on my lap for some years now (raised somewhat on a platform). I've found that it's critically important to keep my elbows aligned with my trunk; as soon as my arms get extended in front of me even a little bit, the stress on my neck becomes disastrous. Incidentally, O'Reilly puts out a very good book dealing with all aspects of computers and health. It's by Joan Stigliani, a friend of mine, and is called The Computer User's Survival Guide. (Order #030-9, $24.95, orderable at 800-889-8969.)

    Just one little nit: there always seems to be another side to the idea of good technology driving out bad, in which you place some hope. The ergonomics of the modern car are vastly better than those of the Model-T -- and we have therefore chosen to build a society that puts us into those cars for much longer periods of time, over much longer commutes, at higher speeds, in more frenetic traffic.... This seems to be the tale of many technological improvements. That's really the basic idea I tried to elaborate in "The Fundamental Deceit of Technology" in NF-1.


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    *** Efficiency vs. effectiveness of the Net
    Response to "The illusion of online efficiency" (NF-20)

    From Mike Fischbein (mfischbe@fir.fbc.com)

    Speaking as an engineer (and not just a computer engineer), I'd draw a big line here between efficiency and effectiveness. The Net is efficient; it takes whatever the sender desires and transmits it cheaply and quickly; amplifying (multiple destinations) readily, and so forth. This is really uncontestable and in fact, is not disputed in your post. But all of that, to this engineer, completely leaves aside the question of effectiveness.

    Is the Net an effective communications medium? Well, much as any other artifact, sometimes yes and sometimes no.

    Certainly, I find email to be generally effective; it is as clear as a typed physical letter. Further the better efficiency it offers allows faster responses so that correspondence may come close to conversation. Should I wish to ponder a reply, I may do that also.

    Netnews and many mailing lists (especially unmoderated ones) have always suffered from the "signal to noise" problem. They may be efficient in that they require little effort for large results, but they are not necessarily effective. Overcommunication that overwhelms the ability to discern meaning may be very efficient, but it is tremendously ineffective.

    I think we are in close agreement on this topic in everything but a small bit of nomenclature.

    And then there's the tremendous explosion in the Net we've seen over the last two years or so.

    The Net, for example, is often seen as an unlimited pool of expertise, to which anyone can submit a question and receive immediate answer from exactly the right, knowledgeable person.
    In addition to the notable points you make, there's one big one you haven't mentioned: How do you know the answer is coming from a benign knowledgeable person? The answer could be
     + right
     + wrong, but harmless
     + wrong, harmful but an error on the sender's part
     + wrong, harmful intentionally on the sender's part
    I find the third alternative particularly problematic.
    The Internet is, in certain limited respects, a remarkably efficient instrument for business communication and coordination. That is a good reason to detach ourselves from it and take a second, more cautious look before dumping all our human affairs into cyberspace.

    Here is one question we might ask: Does the Net encourage us to substitute empty pursuits -- pursuits which happen to lend themselves to efficiency -- for meaningful ones?

    And here is a personal strike on myself. A touch, a touch.

    This is one of the things I'm wondering (mid-life crisis time, perhaps) about myself. I used to work for NASA, helping provide computer resources for people to design better aircraft. I grew tired of wrestling with the government's bureaucracy and went to work for Sun.... Eventually, I ended up working for a financial firm. It pays well, but leaves me wondering about meaningful work. NASA was somewhat the opposite: the pay was low, but much of the work was more satisfying.

    I guess I'll have to continue searching for the happy medium.

    But a one-sided emphasis on speed and efficiency always indicates a loss of attention to the important matters at hand. The violin music begins to count less than the number of exercises we have raced through. "Getting there fast" becomes more important than the "there" we are getting to.
    Or, as Ken Thompson said apropos of a discussion of various floating-point calculations, "Well, if you're willing to settle for the wrong answer, it can be provided very quickly." I believe that statement is true of many things in the sphere of human endeavor.

    Hope you feel better, and that you continue to enjoy NETFUTURE.


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    *** Automation has undoubtedly boosted productivity
    Response to "High-tech and productivity" (NF-19)

    From Carl Wittnebert (cewit@wco.com)

    There is no question that automation has vastly boosted productivity in industry. Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, said recently that "human skills are subject to obsolescence at a rate perhaps unprecedented in American history." His explanation: "the fallout from rapidly changing technology."

    One study of a large bank's custodial operations found that officers handle two to three times as many accounts as they did in the early 1980's. And the process may be only starting. George David, the CEO of United Technologies, believes that 18 million jobs are "at risk."

    To suggest that corporate downsizing is a result of failed investment in information technology is patently absurd--a red herring that obscures the important issues. Such as: are poorly educated people being driven into drug addiction by the lack of good-paying semi- skilled jobs?

    Landauer's letter quoted in NF #19 cites downsizings at IBM, AT&T, NYNEX, Hughes, Kodak, and BellSouth... Three former monopolies, a defense contractor, and two firms that had become overly complacent and bureaucratic because of their domination of the market. This hardly constitutes evidence of the ineffectiveness of computers. Rather, I think, it is an attempt to subvert the debate over their proper use.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Carl --

    I hold no brief for Landauer's position (although I would like to hear more of his side of the story), but the whole business does seem extraordinarily slippery. If, as you say, a study found that a large bank's officers "handle two to three times as many accounts as they did in the early 1980s," everything that matters still seems hidden between two incommensurables: on the one hand, a number, and, on the other hand, the actual nature of the services described by those numbers. I tend not to trust the numbers thrown up on either side of the debate--because by themselves they are arbitrary and meaningless. After all, hideously destructive products and services can be produced in admirably "productive" facilities.

    Somehow, in order to assess these things, we have to figure out how to bring the incommensurables into as meaningful a relationship as possible--not an easy task, I'm sure. Moreover, all the tools of automation subtly invite our attention ever more one-sidedly to the purely quantitative side of things.

    This is not to disagree with you, but just to add a thought. I suppose I should be a little more concrete. Here's an example I've used a lot, which is worth citing again because it's directly related to the banking reference. The quotation is from the "FAQ on Technology and Human Responsibility":

    If you fall into a financial crisis and apply for a loan, not even a personal interview is any longer necessary. It is a "transaction," captured by transaction processing software and based solely upon standard, online data. Everything that once followed from the qualities of a personal encounter--everything that could make for an exceptional case--has now disappeared from the picture. The applicant is wholly sketched when the data of his past have been subjected to automatic logic. Any hopeful glimmer, filtering toward the sympathetic eye of a supportive fellow human from a future only now struggling toward birth, is lost in the darkness between bits of data.

    In other words, the human being as a unique and incalculable individual begins to disappear between the cracks of automated logic.

    How do you quantify this sort of changing relationship between people? Yet, in a sense, almost everything that counts is to be found here, once we allow ourselves to ask, "Productivity toward what end?".

    Incidentally, it's interesting to ask who is likely to act more responsibly toward the money obtained: the person approved by software, or the person who is the recipient of a gesture of personal trust? I guarantee you that the answer to that sort of a question is not figured into any productivity figures, and yet it might have a bearing.

    Just some wild and not very coherent musings.


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    *** Metaphors about technology are of little use
    Response to "Computers at school: the web and the plow" (NF-19)

    From Stan Kulikowski (stankuli@uwf.cc.uwf.edu)

    lowell monke,

    > But what promoters never talk about is what is not inherently
    > encouraged by the computer, and is, therefore, less valued in using it
    > than those cited above.  Here is a short list:
    >  *   The pursuit of truth.
    >  *   The comprehension of great ideas.
    >  *   The generation of new ideas.
    >  *   The discovery of meaning.
    >  *   The use of good judgment.
    >  *   The exercise of emotional maturity.
    >  *   The development of wisdom.
    > These are precisely the qualities that I believe should be the
    > fundamental goals of education -- and the computer itself does nothing
    > to enhance them.

    i guess i feel that this is the crux of your article in _netfuture_ #19 (16 may 1996). other than immersing yourself in the luddites like postman and roszak, maybe you can explain how these properties are not existent in high-tech human communications but are fostered by low-tech socializations. perhaps if you define these terms, 'meaning' 'judgement' and so on, we can find them. for that matter, run 'education' up the flagpole and see who salutes. everybody is in favor of more and better of it, but no one seems to recognize a common operational definition. the usual attempt is to convert it into terms even more vague than the object defined. it is a sign that politicians like to shout 'education' and 'democracy' because these very terms are nearly meaningless except that everyone likes them and wants more of them.

    working with computer technology i have learned to distinguish between that which is merely data from that which is information. the latter builds new knowledge and the former does not. knowledge is the certain part of belief, and that is strengthened by data from the multitudes. (only faith is sustained by the silence of those without it.) sure, we are only begining to develop the tools and techniques to sift through data in such volumes as we have now, and these may eventually bring down government by politics in the same way government by faith was reduced. so? do you advocate a return to the auto-de-fey because it was such a sensory experience for the participants?

    few if any people are good at predicting the social or ecological effects of a technology. you seem to accept computers in a metaphor of tractors and automobiles and so point to roadkill and air pollution with regret. these things do not stop us from wiggling our toes in the mud and climbing the branches of trees. data technology also has an obvious magnification property like microscopes and telescopes. if you use that metaphor, we might mourn the extinction of small pox or the discovery of the hubble constant. it seems better to have too much data than only that carefully selected by others.

    in sum, i do not think that metaphorical reasoning about technology is any better than idle speculation or introspection for that matter. i can find most of those elements you claim are unenhanced by these machines. well... i admit that a yahoo search for 'wisdom' only turns up some lame transactional analysis. but then, 'wisdom' is a difficult term for me to define myself, so i wonder if it is an archaic term, like the 18th century use of 'character' which was replaced by 'personality' in the 19th century.

    when do we worry about television time which is being lost to the textual activities of networking?


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    *** The Net isn't an encyclopedia
    Response to "Computers at school: the web and the plow" (NF-19)

    From Clive Thompson (cthomp@interlog.com)

    I was intrigued by Lowell Monke's thoughts on the difficulty of integrating computers and the Net into education. It reminded me of a number of conversations I've had with primary-school teachers who are confronting the same thorny issue.

    At the risk of generalizing, their concerns all boiled down to the same issue: they wanted to know how to use the Net as a resource to aid education. They wanted to know where the "good sites" were with useful stuff for learning. They wanted to be able to point to a handful of essential archives, to which they would direct their students for contained, short, intense interactions with the Net. In essence, they wanted to use the Net in the same way they'd use an encyclopedia, a database, or maybe an educational CD-ROM.

    But that is exactly the problem, because the on-line world is obviously nothing like an encyclopedia (or if it is, it's the most ill-organized and badly-written encyclopedia on earth). What these teachers hadn't grasped is that the Net is more experience than database. It's still useful chiefly as a way for students to interact with others on a one-to-one or interest-associated basis.

    To wit: after several years of Net development -- after the creation of increasingly high-end interactive technologies such as CUSEEMEE, Java and the like -- you still can't beat a well-moderated listserv for creating quality, intelligent discussions and knowledge-sharing (even wisdom-sharing) on-line. But a listserv, as readers of Netfuture will know, is an ongoing, experiential process. You don't just read a single posting and walk away satisfied; you interact with it for months, or even years at a time. You get to know the regular posters: their areas of interest, their expertise, their bias, and their sense of humour (or lack thereof!)

    I don't mean to suggest that this is in any way a simple "answer" to the labrythine issue of how to integrate computing into traditional, print-oriented education. But I think a valuable first step for any teacher is to realize that, at this point anyway, the Net at its best still resembles a healthy exchange of letters more than a selection of databases.

    This has obvious problems, of course. Experiential education is notoriously difficult to program -- just look at the ongoing nightmare of whole-language learning. That's possibly why my (largely unwired) teacher friends go ballistic when I suggest that the only way they'll really internalize the value of the Net is to experience it themselves for about 12 months. It seems way too unstructured to them.

    But this approach also has many positive sides. First of all, it suggests that the idea is not to spend a lot of time on-line -- merely that one ought to be regularly using the Net for communications. Secondly, by emphasizing the utility of e-mail, it takes into account the economic disparities that exist in Net usage -- because, thanks to freenets, e-mail is rapidly becoming ubiquitous.

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    *** Technology and education: clashing philosophies

    From Lowell Monke (lm7846s@acad.drake.edu)

    [I invited Lowell Monke to submit a brief response to the previous two messages. SLT]

    I think the two responses to my essay that you selected pretty well illustrate the sort of double conversation in which I find myself constantly engaged. The one by Clive Thompson is the more practical. We need conversations of this type to help us converge upon a more enlightened use of technology in education. It is also a happier conversation because there are certain assumptions that we seem to share that allow us to get on with the business of how solve the problems.

    On the other hand, Stan Kulikowski's response is much more frustrating to deal with. Yet I think his is the more crucial conversation with which we must be engaged. In reading his comments I found myself objecting to almost every point (as he may have in reading my essay). That's a pretty good indication that we are confronting each other with fundamentally different philosophies of life. It is this competition of world views that is getting played out in the educational arena (and elsewhere) that I think we need to focus much more of our conscious attention on -- it is certainly the underlying motivation behind "The Computer and the Plow". To Mr. Kulikowski, the values I stress are too ambiguous, too hard to find (and presumably, measure) to serve as educational goals. To me, the demand to build education around terms that can be precisely defined such as "data" and "information" reduce learning to a cold, mechanical process. To him, the certainty of knowledge based on information is all that keeps us from the arbitrary rule of irrationality. To me, the rationalization of the learning place, like the rationalization of the workplace, dehumanizes the activities that take place there.

    I'm certainly not smart enough to find all the answers, or even see the path to them clearly. But I think one important thing to do is help people recognize that the issues swirling around the use of computer technology in education drag us clear back to first principles: what does it mean to be educated? What does it take to grow from child to adult? What does it mean to be a human being? Even at the end of Clive Thompson's essay these issues begin poking their heads through the practical concerns. And as soon as that happens the conversation becomes a very difficult one, as he points out. If at that point we back off from those fundamental debates and limit our discussions to how to use these machines for learning, while allowing all of the underlying technological assumptions to churn away out of view, I think we will just end up talking past each other forever, while the deep running currents of a technological ideology sweeps us all along.

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    *** About this newsletter

    Copyright 1996 by The Nature Institute. You may redistribute this newsletter for noncommercial purposes. You may also redistribute individual articles in their entirety, provided the NetFuture url and this paragraph are attached.

    NetFuture is supported by freely given reader contributions, and could not survive without them. For details and special offers, see http://netfuture.org/support.html .

    Current and past issues of NetFuture are available on the Web:


    To subscribe or unsubscribe to NetFuture:

    Steve Talbott :: NetFuture #21 :: June 18, 1996

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