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  1. #1
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    More information help us make good long-term decisions or not

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    Generally for the cycling world, there's way more useful information for everyone on bikes, gear, trends and infrastructure. For cycling comfort, it's been helpful. And the Internet forums reach cyclists who don't have many local cyclists for support.

    But in other areas, all the Internet information, easier access to info., hasn't stopped some terrible things happening in the world.. ie. bombing on Doctors without Borders medical clinic in Syria (what for?)..or to a Canadian to see strange support of D. Trump in the U.S. (Trump's sentiment is in direct contrast to where I live: we have a mayor who is Muslim, East-Indian, Canadian-born and Harvard educated.) Proves that some people will only select information to support what they believe and support their actions.

    We're all prone to this but sometimes I get the powerful feeling all the information in the world, is making some people even more strongly "tribal", more insular. The Internet full of information can be a blessing, but can cause serious challenges in sending out critical info. to all citizens equitably that they need to know on soon to help themselves.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-15-2016 at 10:57 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I think part of the problem with the internet is that just because it's information doesn't mean that all information is good. equal, or even truthful. It horrifies me to see the political stories that go around the internet. I read them and think "that just simply can't be true" while many of the radical persuasion see such stories of justification and support for their point of view. In fact, I think finding support for radical positions on the internet makes radical people feel *not so radical* and maybe even encourages such viewpoints.

    People who want to be truly educated and use knowledge to help themselves found the knowledge they needed well before the internet came along. People who don't want to be educated and rather want to stick with their point of view no matter what haven't changed either.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aromig View Post
    People who want to be truly educated and use knowledge to help themselves found the knowledge they needed well before the internet came along.
    To an extent. But we got our news from weekly newspapers and monthly magazines, and while it kind of forced us to get background, it meant we were constantly behind the news. Maybe if we had a good local bookstore, we could get newspapers from major cities in our own country the day after publication, and from other countries several days or a week late. Some of us got urban newspapers mailed to us, which would take one to three days, and wasn't cheap.

    If we wanted to read scholarship or precedent, it meant traveling long distances to an academic library or law library even to search the catalog. Now, we can at least search abstracts without leaving home or office; some of us have access to full text via Sci-Hub or student/alumni access or firm subscription or other arrangements, or at the very least we know what journals to pull down if we make the trip to an academic library.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-15-2016 at 01:20 PM.
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  4. #4
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    True, Oak. We can get news more immediately if we choose to.

    A lot of the major online newspapers with established history of journalism, do have paywalls that limit what one can read. I haven't paid for any online access to fuller version --yet. Most likely I should use my local library online bar code number and get fuller access to their paid sponsored content for media news.

    Coming from the side of the municipality: one can no longer expect a message about govn't program can be placed through online/paper news, tv or radio and later known by majority of citizens. That is if the city can even afford all those media channels. Nor can one expect people to subscribe to govn't twitter, fb feeds or generic emails, unless one wants to put up with a tsnami of news of which one might find only 15% relevant/useful. The communication channels have become much more diverse to reach everyone, or anyone.

    I agree with Aromig, that glut of Internet news doesn't help people to even analyze the news and know even basics of what to look for in terms of veracity / reliable sources, etc.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  5. #5
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    ? But the Internet also makes it much, much, much easier to check sources. Pre-Internet, searching for credentials and affiliations and prior writings by a particular author, meant that same long trip to an academic library, and a tedious slog through their catalog, which often was WAY more than the situation called for. The ability to quickly check a source's reliability, IMO, is one of the greatest benefits of the internet.


    As far as newspaper paywalls - different papers have different arrangements, but most of the ones I read most often simply limit you (via cookie) to a certain number of articles per month, per device. (And I confess to deleting the cookies if I really want to read something when I'm past my limit ... with at least two papers, we do have a paid subscription in the household, but I log in anonymously and delete the cookie at the end of the session anyway - they can have my subscription fee OR my personal data, but not both tyvm.) Many times, those same publications allow unlimited access when you're clicking through on a link from somewhere else. It's more in the world of commerce news where certain articles are free and others are paid access only, as in the WSJ or FT. But again, same thing as with the academic and professional journals - you can get the headlines right away, just as you can the research abstracts, and then if you want to know more without paying for it, you make the trip to the library, but you know ahead of time what you're going there for.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 02-15-2016 at 02:47 PM.
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  6. #6
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    I guess, Oak. A lot of people are not like us....research oriented. Nor figure out the credentials of authors. Nor understand how to pick out properly statistical data from a graph.

    Lots of people prefer handholding about others who are more well-educated/familiar with govn't bureaucracies to get help.

    I was unimpressed when our municipality touted that we had an innovative website for citizens because it was purely search engine driven by google. Are you kiddin.? It used language of our depts. that outsiders wouldn't at all understand. 2 years later, the municipality created hard coded pages with simple links to core services: Tax, Building Permits, Recreational Centres, etc. It's a very non-graphics website, simply too bureauractic for ordinary citizens.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-15-2016 at 03:26 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  7. #7
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    I remember walking into the U Mass library, when my older son had to return a (printed) book he had to take out for a very esoteric subject, when I drove out to visit one day. He looked at me and said, "You actually had to go to the library to do research, right?" I laughed. Taking out a book was a very unusual experience for him, even 10 years ago. When I explained what I had to do when I was briefly in a doctoral program, in the early 80s, it seemed mind boggling, even to me. I spent at least 30.00 a week on photocopying and had a special desk, behind the stacks, due to my status as a doctoral student. And, that was just for the required reading, let alone research. I also remember having to check out a microfiche reader to read ERIC documents at home. The thing gave me such a headache from reading, it literally made me sick, so I ended up having to stay at the library and read them. So, when I went back to get my counseling degree, it was much easier. I did everything from home, except read a couple of things professors had on reserve. So, I would agree with Oak that academic stuff is way better with the Internet. The other stuff, not so much. I am happy reading my one local paper, which is very good. I occasionally click on a NYT article and some months I get up up to the 10 article limit. But, I am not going to pay. I don't have time to read the Times. I also occasionally read something from a source in AZ, but those are very specific things, and I certainly do not agree with anything from the AZ Republic.
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  8. #8
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    Interesting topic! It makes me think of a couple of family members who I dearly love. I am shocked, however, when I see some of the FB posts they make where they are "sharing" some REALLY....well.... right-wing reactionary things. They are otherwise intelligent and loving people but some of the most bizarre things come from them, especially in presidential election years. I can, perhaps, see how someone can confuse socialism with communism if you've never researched it/read political history/20th century history/etc - but to REALLY believe that hordes of illegal Muslims are coming in over the Canadian border to infiltrate the country. How certain laws might affect the LGBT community (or, to personalize it, family members like ME for example)? There seems a total disconnect.

    I am not saying these things to make fun of my family. There are good reasons why I don't live around them...but what I am saying is I've run across a lot of people like that over the years. There doesn't seem to be a...critical filter, for lack of a better way to put it. Without that filter, it becomes very difficult to make good use of ANY amount of information properly - how can one separate the wheat from the chaff?

    On THAT depressing philosophical note, it's time to hit the hay

  9. #9
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    Even though I'm part of the first generation that even went to university/college. That said, it doesn't prevent one from believing illogical things. I just wince the belief that the Internet has helped us solve problems. Maybe some, but others surface...cyberbullying, etc. or are magnified in other ways.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  10. #10
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    I agree Shootingstar, I was just thinking about the tendency of some to believe everything they read on the Internet. Then again, that tendency existed long before the electronic age, as long as it was in a book, article, etc. I wasn't trying to highjack the thread, it just seems I've run across so much of this recently.

  11. #11
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    Yeah, I just have a hard time concluding that the decline of critical thinking is the result of the unprecedented availability of information to assist in critical thinking. Correlation, causation, etc ...

    My own take on it is that it's the dismantling of public education, which is being done for precisely that purpose. But that's another discussion for another venue ...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    OH, I agree that the internet has really made research and finding information easier. I guess my point was that the original post was also talking about why, with so much information easily available at our fingertips, people aren't using it to educate themselves and I was making the point that why/how people want education is probably more important than the AVAILABILITY of information to educate people. Catrin just made my point in a better way than I did :-)

    Speaking of weird internet stuff, I had a friend post (tongue in cheek thank goodness) a story about how Leonard Nimoy, who faked his death so he could become the head of the Illuminati, arranged for Scalia's death so that Obama would get to appoint a liberal justice to change the Court and to ensure that the US will stay liberal to allow the UN to continue to take over our country. I guess my point was that if I read these things I think they're funny but I sure do see old high school classmates post stuff like that with complete sincerity.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    My own take on it is that it's the dismantling of public education, which is being done for precisely that purpose. But that's another discussion for another venue ...
    This.

    Additionally, the incredible rise in cell phone usage among school-age kids has got to play a role. According to some articles I've read, attention spans are very short now between texting, tweeting, etc.
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  14. #14
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    And, remember, that dismantling does not come from teachers. It comes from the same people who might believe the Leonard Nimoy faked his death story, when they become low level town/city politicians, or parents who push their own agenda on school boards. People like to believe they know what is good for kids to learn, because, gee, they went to school .
    I went to public schools that emphasized it was more important to learn how to get information and read than memorize things. That is, until I moved to the great state of Florida. My education essentially ended in grade 10, except for maybe math. Thankfully, my kids had the same type of education, at least in middle and high school. And, I taught in a school like that, too. A very diverse school, I may add, that made a commitment to this type of learning.
    I may have stopped teaching, but I still get crazy over this. After seeing hundreds of young teens develop a love of reading and writing, and become thinkers, I can't stop.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    And, remember, that dismantling does not come from teachers. It comes from the same people who might believe the Leonard Nimoy faked his death story, when they become low level town/city politicians, or parents who push their own agenda on school boards. People like to believe they know what is good for kids to learn, because, gee, they went to school .
    I went to public schools that emphasized it was more important to learn how to get information and read than memorize things. That is, until I moved to the great state of Florida. My education essentially ended in grade 10, except for maybe math. Thankfully, my kids had the same type of education, at least in middle and high school. And, I taught in a school like that, too. A very diverse school, I may add, that made a commitment to this type of learning.
    I may have stopped teaching, but I still get crazy over this. After seeing hundreds of young teens develop a love of reading and writing, and become thinkers, I can't stop.
    Some of us are more than willing to hear from caring adults who have long experience in cultivating bright/curious minds to think, analyze and read deeply. Not just tweet mindlessly.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...een-time-kids/ Interesting article, but I've read in several other sources, that very young children should be strictly limited on use of iPads, computers when under age of 5. In fact, no exposure and reading with child, word games and above all, daily interaction with caring,responsive significant adults in everyday dialogue and discussion helps develop a multitude of skills simultaneously. A very young child cannot learn to read and write by themselves, they need live adult interaction and reinforcement in addition to the tool itself (book, computer, game, tv, etc.).

    I admit that I'm very surprised to see occasionally, toddlers fiddling with iPhones that a parent has given. The kid can barely walk!

    I am not a parent, just career wise a librarian and also by formal training. I have never been a children's librarian. Only a librarian for adult clients in professional work environments and govn't. Unlike whatever stereotypes exist ...a lot of them either deal with resources in all formats, teach people on licensed content databases or they work and teach solely in e-resources.

    Yet, I do get questions from parents occasionally how they help encourage their child to read outside of school. This is for situations where the child doesn't want to read/dislikes reading.

    There has been lots since the free Internet and the love of googling, about among adult learners, the loss of analytical thinking for some people unless an adult has been taught earlier, about critical thinking and information selection, through a series of research exercises/projects. It goes as far as judges hopefully not citing Wikipedia (well, who wrote that wikipedia entry??) in their court written judgements, issues of jurors doing Google research, etc.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 02-16-2016 at 06:58 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

 

 

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