"If you like surfing the web, it is probably because you believe people are basically good."
That's the Economist
interpreting the results of a recent study
by IBM researchers of how cultural characteristics apparently affect people's readiness to adopt new communications technologies.
Information gods amongst mortals
is the first in a series of three blog entries (so far, anyway) by Brad Wardell
on the topic of the growing knowledge gap between the net-savvy and the non-wired.
I found the link in a newsletter from WinCustomize
today. They plugged all three:
- Information gods amongst mortals
Information Gods respond
Gods Srike Back
He explores the theory that those who are net savvy are quickly leaping ahead of the non-wired among us: "You know the situation. Someone has told you something you want to know more about and within a few minutes you have gotten yourself up to speed on it. You did it through the use of the Internet. A combination of search engines and helpful websites have educated you on that topic."
"In the end, we will need to give up any lingering fantasies of a color-blind Web and focus on building a space where we recognize, discuss and celebrate racial and cultural diversity. To achieve that goal, all of us -- white folks and people of color -- will have to shed the defensiveness that surrounds the topic of race." So says Henry Jenkins in a Technology Review article on Cyberspace and Race
. On the Internet, nobody knows you're oppressed?
Make World event
in October, Germany - about borderless digital culture, no doubt curated long before The Current Situation, but I'm sure will be rendered far more relevant as a result.
Digital Divide or Dividend?
Is the Internet killing unique local cultures or strengthening them?
"This stuff is still great."
Paul Ford reminds us, as ever, why we're here, and thinks smart about the downturn: "We thought that Metcalfe's law on networks and Moore's law on processor power would change everything. But people don't change every 18 months; cultures don't start moving faster than processors. People don't increase their value with the increase in value."
John Seely Brown interviewed by Wired.
The former head of Xerox Parc. There were two really insightful quotes I came across in this article;
Lurk is the cognitive apprenticeship term for legitimate peripheral participation. The culture of the Internet allows you to link, lurk, and learn. Once you lurk you can pick up the genre of that community, and you can move from the periphery to the center safely asking a question.
Sort of like Metafilter =) And...
Bob Metcalfe has it all wrong: The power of a network isn't the square of the number of people - it's the number of communities it supports. If you look at n people, there are potentially 2**n communities.
I've actually wondered about Metcalfe's law. This n^2 has always seemed metaphorical to me, but it seems a lot of people mention it as if it were a literal relationship. What is the "value" of a network anyway? Anyone know of research on this?
(Recognize yourself? I did...)
Do we all need to get out more?
Although they're putting the "too much time with computers, not enough social interaction" spin on this study's findings, there are actually some good results of it. Heavy internet users spend less time in traffic (because they look up traffic
before going anywhere?), less time in malls (shopping online instead, duh), and less time watching TV (this is the best news of all, I barely watch it anymore because it's mostly inane garbage, whereas on the internet, I can find interesting things
). As for the less face time with friends and family, I have a growing number of friends online that I consider to be as close as any Real Life friend could be.
An interesting article over at Slashdot on the 9 continents of the Internet
. I've always had a sense that there were these different "circles" that people ran in, but I never could quite pin them down. Of course, I'm not sure that they can be pinned down precisely to 9, but I can appreciate the attempt.