Archive for July, 2008

Online, R U Really Reading?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Literacy Debate – Online, R U Really Reading? – Series –

But what do they think I just did with that article? I read it online!


Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid | AlterNet

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Don’t Drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid | AlterNet

Typical knee-jerk anti-nuke article but comments actually worth reading

Attention Returns to Distraction

Monday, July 21st, 2008

A couple of weeks ago I posted briefly on (one of the many responses to) Nicholas Carr’s article in the current Atlantic Monthly.

Now I am reading another article on the topic. Bryan Appleyard in the Sunday Times refers to various recent books and articles about why the “Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks”. One of his referents is Carr’s article and he refers also to a book by Mark Bauerlein with a similar thesis, but his main emphasis is more on the problems of distraction identified by David Meyer and Maggie Jackson rather than the habits of mind.

There are actually two main concerns being expressed. (more…)

Cultural Identity

Monday, July 14th, 2008

This article by Keenan Malik (from Butterflies and Wheels via ALDaily) challenges some of the attitudes attributed to cultural preservationists and comes close to, without quite making explicit, the essentially organic nature of cultures and their interactions. What he misses I think is the question of whether and how to mitigate the adverse effects on individuals of transfer between cultural contexts (either involuntary or voluntary) and of the phenomena of cultural blending and, yes, decay. Also relevant but ignored is the fact that one individual may be a member of several distinct cultures.

Perhaps I would have written a book on this if my attention span had not been depleted by exposure to the internet.