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Author Topic: Help me reality check this idea.  (Read 6972 times)
OHebel Wring
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« Reply #50 on: March 19, 2007, 04:11:18 pm »

One might be able to say that, although the internet has eliminated the "need" for books and newpapers in a lot of ways, it has increased our efficiency of communication and access to information.

A friend of mine may be joining us on the "Difference Engine" reading.  He said that he has been trying to get a copy of the book for years (since it wasn't available at his university library) I sent him the PDF and in a minute and a half, he had a "copy" of the book.

I think that there is something intrinsically important to touching the pages of a book, as can be evidenced by the number of reports producing mixed acceptance of e-Books, but the ability to quickly gather information that would normally have taken months is something to be revered.
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“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes. “
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MrFats
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United States United States

Heretic Chronogadgeteer


« Reply #51 on: March 19, 2007, 06:19:32 pm »

I would just like to mention, that some of us young scholars do not look for just a diploma. I understand that one would say "most". But "some" are in an eternal pursuit of knowledge. I, and several of my friends, are just a few of those young people who wish to continue learning. I will admit I do not often go to a library, more so out of time constraints than anything else, as I have gone to such facilities all my life.
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The Grand Duchess
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Patior Sed Supervivo


« Reply #52 on: March 19, 2007, 07:07:27 pm »

One might be able to say that, although the internet has eliminated the "need" for books and newpapers in a lot of ways, it has increased our efficiency of communication and access to information.

A friend of mine may be joining us on the "Difference Engine" reading.  He said that he has been trying to get a copy of the book for years (since it wasn't available at his university library) I sent him the PDF and in a minute and a half, he had a "copy" of the book.

I think that there is something intrinsically important to touching the pages of a book, as can be evidenced by the number of reports producing mixed acceptance of e-Books, but the ability to quickly gather information that would normally have taken months is something to be revered.

in some ways, yes.  In other ways, no.

Most verifiable and scholarly info about eras previous to the present are not online at all. It would be very difficult, for instance, to do research on the 1970s simply by looking online.  Doing reasearch on the 19th century? Not very good, either.  People put up 'fan' sites, but that's not the same as having citations, photographs, maps, and intricate details.  for instance, offline it's easy to find photos of workingclass Victorians.  Online, most people interested in Victoriana want to see 'pretty' things, not annotated and dated photos of Welsh miners or African villages.

Information is not the same as knowledge.  A jumble of facts, with no references, dates, mentions of disagreements between scholars, or other nuances, are useless to a researcher, writer, reenactor, or amateur historian. People intending to create artifacts that actually work along 19th century lines need more than information- they need hard knowledge to an extent that a reader of novels involving scientific romance  or a prop-maker who is creating a raygun out of a toy pistol does not. A fan site of HP Lovecraft is not likely to tell me that he was an anti-Semite, may or may not have been a virgin, had a pathological feal of recent immigrants, and loathed most people of African descent.  Nor is such a site, even if it does contain that information, likely to tell me why, and then provide supporting documentation to prove it, while mentioning where the disagreements are in the field.

what the internet gives ups is something wonderful- quick and easy access to the most basic information.  It does not lend itself as of yet to complexity or verification.

If people want to understand the 19th century insofar as inventions (not only their existence, but how and why they worked and were or weren't extensively used), clothing, attitudes, wars, colonialism, and so on, you'll have to hit a library, and perhaps a specialized library in some cases.  You might even have to learn another language in order to understand what you are reading, or read 10 reference works before reading the one book you need, because the ideas in it require a thorough background knowledge.  Otherwise one might have a cursory knowledge, but certain central idea will remain more than a little obscure.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2007, 07:11:57 pm by The Grand Duchess » Logged

A true alternative subculture is one that not only questions the social status quo but poses viable solutions to some of the perceived underlying problems. Difference from the norm is not the same as superiority to the mainstream unless it can be  argued that the difference is positing a better way.
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