The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

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The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby davesmith_au » Sun Sep 21, 2008 2:13 am

September 21 ~ Michael Goodspeed

The Internet is both the most useful and destructive communication tool in world history.

This still infantine technology can connect a Sufi in Darfur with a personal trainer in Santa Cruz, CA. We are all linked by mechanical conduits and invisible circuits, a seemingly living matrix whose every fabric was woven by the collective human consciousness. Nothing "lives" in this matrix that a human mind didn't invent. Ergo, it is no overstatement when the World Wide Web consortium describes the WWW as nothing less than "the embodiment of human knowledge." ... [More...]
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Solar » Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:28 am

The fact that there is the very existence of "Internet 2" which is a "...network infrastructure reserved for education and research, which avoides commercial congestion and providing high-speed connectivity." - heartedly underscores the point of this article.

After reading this article I thought my; my, look at how polite they were at defining it :lol:
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby soniaj » Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:10 am

I wonder how this series is going to be made relevant to the Electric Universe. Or is it just social commentary?

My thought is that what we see on the internet is a symptom of the downward spiral of our culture. The loss of courtesy and politeness is evidence of a growing "every man for himself" mentality. The internet is not to blame--we are. Instead of growing more civilized, we have allowed ourselves to begin the fall toward barbarism.

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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Solar » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:46 pm

Welcome to the wild-wild-west. That does seem like a social commentary but those negative aspects have always been in existence Here's what I got out of it:
Without the web, the handful of media conglomerations that have swallowed up all of the major TV, radio, and print outlets, could promulgate misinformation with little or no hope of correction. In the pre-Internet age, proponents of unpopular or "fringe" thought systems were almost exclusively relegated to public access television and short-wave radio. Today, anyone with a web-cam and an opinion can freely broadcast his views around the globe, with a nearly unlimited potential audience

Thus, before the advent of the Internet we were effectively anesthetized to it via a consistent diet of News, Weather , Sports, and a flood of sit-coms. The conglomerates basically ignored such rebellious aberrant behavior and commentary. But along with that went exposure to a good number of other potentially worthwhile ideas such as a possible electromagnetic origin for gravity, for example. WE would've never heard of such a thing, and a great many others, if it weren't for the I-net. Whether via mass media and certainly not via the traditional education system. I think it's relevant to the EU in much the same manner as it is relevant to any other "alternative" theory. Without the I-net a broad exposure to different ideas simply would not have happened. But don't forget to look at both sides of what the I-net venue exposes one to:

The Internet is no exception. Our ugliness, weakness, ignorance and debasement burst forth coincident with our beauty, intelligence, power and grace.


BzzzTT!!! <-------- *random arcs frequently found emanating from EU proponents*
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Plasmatic » Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:19 pm

The stumble into "off the beaten path" aside. I'm confused as to what the asserted cause of this crisis in communication is. Specifically what is the "intrinsic flaw" man is supposed to have in his nature that causes this "coincident" "ugliness", and how is the internet a part of this cause?



Also "contemporary history" compared to when? Has their ever been more people who can read and write in history?
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Michael Goodspeed » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:53 am

Plasmatic wrote: "I'm confused as to what the asserted cause of this crisis in communication is. Specifically what is the 'intrinsic' flaw man is supposed to have in his nature that causes this 'coincident' 'ugliness', and how is the internet a part of this cause?"

1) I'm not sure I understand the question, or rather, I don't know why you're asking it. I've never met a human being who wasn't flawed, and whose flaws didn't occasionally manifest in his or her communications. It's as simple as that. Maybe you choose not to view these flaws as "intrinsic"; many others do. And I never said that the Internet has directly caused anything; but I do believe that the predominance of electronic communications has only increased the atomization of our culture -- I don't see an abundance of meaningful human connections happening in cyberspace. I see people becoming more isolated and lonely in our culture, and many studies confirm this. From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14126192/

"In June, an authoritative study in the American Sociological Review found that the average American had only two close friends in whom they would confide on important matters, down from an average of three in 1985. The number of people who said they had no such confidant soared from 10 percent in 1985 to nearly 25 percent in 2004; an additional 19 percent said they had only one confidant — often their spouse."


Plasmatic wrote: "Also 'contemporary history' compared to when? Has their [sic] ever been more people who can read and write in history?"

In virtually every popular treatment I've ever seen, 'contemporary history' refers to recent events generally occurring after WWII (someone else who responded to this article in another forum tried to make an issue out of the same point -- is it really that hard to just Google the words "contemporary history"? Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_history). You ask, "Has their [sic] ever been more people who can read and write in history?" My response is, if you are talking about the sheer percentage of human beings on the planet who have acquired the minimal literacy skills required to function in the world, probably not. Of course, many third world nations whose populaces had previously been deprived of even minimal educational resources have experienced vast improvements in both living conditions and educational opportunities. But certainly in the U.S., I cannot imagine anyone disputing that overall, we are far below where we were 40 or 50 years ago. (Just one mind-numbing study illustrating this: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/education/30sat.html)

And from
http://www.nea.gov/news/news04/ReadingAtRisk.Html


Fewer Than Half of American Adults Now Read Literature

July 8, 2004

Contact:
Garrick Davis
202-682-5570

New York, N.Y. - Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups.

The study also documents an overall decline of 10 percentage points in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing a loss of 20 million potential readers. The rate of decline is increasing and, according to the survey, has nearly tripled in the last decade. The findings were announced today by NEA Chairman Dana Gioia during a news conference at the New York Public Library.


Incidentally, this is my first and last response. Others are of course free to pick up the gambit and take the debate wherever they wish.
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby StefanR » Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:16 am

Ignorance in all it's facets has very interesting effects on human conduct.
Also literacy has a double value, as it not only pertains to being able to read the words of a message, but it also being able to understand the message being transmitted.

Cries about morality have been present all along human history. Also I could think of it as morality being the magnetic field of the current of good conductance. Morality might give a good measure and indication of good conductance, but morality is not good conductance itself and morality is usually standing perpendicular to good conductance. And to measure good conductance one has to stop it's flow and think about it. (just playing around here, but it does make it electromagnetic ;) )

And as to speak with Solar aside from being a Wild-West out there, it is also a jungle at night.
The illusion from which we are seeking to extricate ourselves is not that constituted by the realm of space and time, but that which comes from failing to know that realm from the standpoint of a higher vision. -L.H.
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Solar » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:11 pm

As a system of computer monitors, hard drives, phone lines, switches, and fiber optics the internet is objective. It is a tool that facilitates the expression of ideas and commerce. Exposure to incivility through the internet venue is exposure to a pre-existing condition. The traditional media sources have, and continue, to 'moderate' this exposure but the 'trait' is far from being new and the internet is not the causative factor of said 'trait'.

A plethora of usually 'moderated' voices now have an unmoderated vehicle with which to express themselves to an potential audience. It's almost as if one can find any thought which can occur to a Mind having an outlet through which to finally do so. Not all thoughts, ideas, musings, opinions etc nor the manner of expressing them is going to be of a caliber to suit every taste. One has to do their own 'filtering' with the venue.

Again, imho, this was a most important observation in the article:

The Internet is no exception. Our ugliness, weakness, ignorance and debasement burst forth coincident with our beauty, intelligence, power and grace.

So, as with the rest of life, YOU get to choose. An option you didn't have with traditionally moderated media, and still don't. Case in point: Can anyone tell me when the Discovery Channel, or Learning channel is going to broadcast an Electric Universe special??

It won't happen. The same with many other "alternative" ideas and/or the quality of their expression. I'm really not surprised by the quality, nor lack thereof, with regard to the girth of of communication lexicons and attitudes available for exposure once you relatively set the masses free with something. You will get as full a spectrum as the venue will allow.
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Plasmatic » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:22 pm

HI Michael,

1) I'm not sure I understand the question, or rather, I don't know why you're asking it.


I’m asking simply because I wasn’t sure what your main point was. The title along with the content made me seek to find out if you were presenting an integrated cause relating to these topics. Specifically I honestly thought the answers would explain how this is related to the E.U.

In virtually every popular treatment I've ever seen, 'contemporary history' refers to recent events generally occurring after WWII (someone else who responded to this article in another forum tried to make an issue out of the same point -- is it really that hard to just Google the words "contemporary history"?


Well Michael I asked what you meant by "contemporary history" because I was making sure what it was you intended to convey semantically . I certainly didn’t find it reasonable to assume the you espoused the "popular" position[as truth is not defined by consensus], or Wikipedias take on anything. Aren’t you doing a piece on the horrors of Wikipedia?

Also the study addresses the subject matter [literature]folks are reading. I don’t think that is what we were talking about.

I could be wrong,but it seems you may have found my questions offensive.Ill assume that since I am unfamiliar with you personally, and the fact that this is the internet I could be missing something . :)
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby runaro » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:18 am

"Look at the state our "culture" is in. The annual test scores, the graduation rates. The crime rates, the addiction rates, the teen pregnancy rates, the obesity and heart attack rates, the depression and suicide rates. And beyond these mind-numbing statistics, look out your window at the street, all those waddling, frowning chunky folks with their Ipods and cellphones."

Why would you expect it any other way when virtually every culture in the world teaches its people not to hold themselves in high esteem, and that their own lasting happiness is of no importance whatever?

Highly recommended in this regard:
The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand

I also recommend:
The Demon-Haunted World, by Carl Sagan
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby Osmosis » Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:50 pm

The gold guy is baaack! :x
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby SleestackVII » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:38 am

With the inception of "internet 2" will come the "death" of the free internet as we know it. The plans are set to allow the hubs, routers, and switches to fall into disrepair and as this happens "internet 1" will become slower and slower. The idea is to "force" thru attrition the end of the "Free" internet (reffering to the freedom of content not pricing.) The new routers, hubs, servers and switches will all be housed in major universities and corporations. You will then be allowed a subdomain on these servers (or not allowed) thus ending any real free speech or content on the internet. I fear the great ideas like EU will be eliminated from internet 2 altogether. (unless EU is accepted as a mainstream theory in the next few years).
All is not lost tho. Many are getting ready for this day and are dusting off thier old 56k modems to set up the likes of the bulliten boards of old. Since this is all established software and tech it shouldn't be much trouble. I am afraid that means back to 56k speeds for all us Thunderbolts Forum Fanatics! I hope the events I have described don't come to fruition but sadly it seems the powers that be don't want us to fully be free on or off the internet. :cry:
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Re: The Internet & the Death of Communications - Pt. 1

Unread postby fukudasan » Fri May 15, 2009 7:26 am

Michael Goodspeed wrote:Plasmatic wrote: "I'm confused as to what the asserted cause of this crisis in communication is. Specifically what is the 'intrinsic' flaw man is supposed to have in his nature that causes this 'coincident' 'ugliness', and how is the internet a part of this cause?"

1) I'm not sure I understand the question, or rather, I don't know why you're asking it. I've never met a human being who wasn't flawed, and whose flaws didn't occasionally manifest in his or her communications. It's as simple as that. Maybe you choose not to view these flaws as "intrinsic"; many others do. And I never said that the Internet has directly caused anything; but I do believe that the predominance of electronic communications has only increased the atomization of our culture -- I don't see an abundance of meaningful human connections happening in cyberspace. I see people becoming more isolated and lonely in our culture, and many studies confirm this. From http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14126192/

"In June, an authoritative study in the American Sociological Review found that the average American had only two close friends in whom they would confide on important matters, down from an average of three in 1985. The number of people who said they had no such confidant soared from 10 percent in 1985 to nearly 25 percent in 2004; an additional 19 percent said they had only one confidant — often their spouse."


Plasmatic wrote: "Also 'contemporary history' compared to when? Has their [sic] ever been more people who can read and write in history?"

In virtually every popular treatment I've ever seen, 'contemporary history' refers to recent events generally occurring after WWII (someone else who responded to this article in another forum tried to make an issue out of the same point -- is it really that hard to just Google the words "contemporary history"? Here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_history). You ask, "Has their [sic] ever been more people who can read and write in history?" My response is, if you are talking about the sheer percentage of human beings on the planet who have acquired the minimal literacy skills required to function in the world, probably not. Of course, many third world nations whose populaces had previously been deprived of even minimal educational resources have experienced vast improvements in both living conditions and educational opportunities. But certainly in the U.S., I cannot imagine anyone disputing that overall, we are far below where we were 40 or 50 years ago. (Just one mind-numbing study illustrating this: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/30/education/30sat.html)

And from
http://www.nea.gov/news/news04/ReadingAtRisk.Html


Fewer Than Half of American Adults Now Read Literature

July 8, 2004

Contact:
Garrick Davis
202-682-5570

New York, N.Y. - Literary reading is in dramatic decline with fewer than half of American adults now reading literature, according to a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) survey released today. Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America reports drops in all groups studied, with the steepest rate of decline - 28 percent - occurring in the youngest age groups.

The study also documents an overall decline of 10 percentage points in literary readers from 1982 to 2002, representing a loss of 20 million potential readers. The rate of decline is increasing and, according to the survey, has nearly tripled in the last decade. The findings were announced today by NEA Chairman Dana Gioia during a news conference at the New York Public Library.


Incidentally, this is my first and last response. Others are of course free to pick up the gambit and take the debate wherever they wish.


Michael, I personally do not think that it is a bad thing for people to have fewer friends. Here in Korea, where I have been living for almost six years now, most people count "good" or "true" friends on the fingers of one hand. Why is this a bad thing? Has the West become so narcissistic that its people desire as many people as possible to listen to their foibles and complaints?

One thing that has really bugged me about Facebook since I joined the other month is how I acquire potential "friends" as a result of contacts made by others. I don't know these people and there seems little point in trying to be "friends" with them as I will almost certainly never actually meet them. As if to illustrate this, in his book, "Learning to Think Korean", L. Robert Kohls gives us this entertaining story:

"Mr. Pak Yoon Goo, your Rotary friend, often makes reference to his experiences as a student in the united States years ago. He is puzzled by some of the things he experienced or observed and seems to defy you to justify them.

"One recent comment was particularly confusing. "The thing that surprised me most about America is that Americans have no friends," he said, in a somewhat adversarial tone.

"What do you mean?" I countered. "I've just finished addressing nearly three hundred Christmas cards to send out to the friends you accuse me of not having." I watned the tone of my reply to let him know I had not taken his accusation lying down.

"There you go," he said, with only slightly less antagonism than I had shown. "You Americans think that the hundreds of people you send Christmas cards to are your friends and that a card once a year is enough attention to give to a friend."

"That last comment really hurt, but before I could reply, he let go with another. "We Koreans say that Americans are peculiar people because they treat their friends like strangers and strangers like friends. It must be true," he said, "because we Koreans often say that very thing." I let this go and simply asked him what he meant by his statement about friends and strangers.

He went on to say, "In Korea, no one has lots of friends.Everyone has only one or two or, at most, three friends. You can't afford to have more than one or two because you have to give so much to each true friend."

"What do you mean?" I said. "What do you give your friends?"

"What do you think Mr. Pak replied?"

I agree with Mr. Pak. The people I would consider as being worthy of confidence are few, and as a person who doesn't like people in his face all the time, this seems a good idea. Similarly I make no attempt to contact people through the likes of Facebook unless they specifically ask me to do so; I would consider anything else at best an invasion of other peoples' privacy, and at worst an expression of my own narcissism or attention-seeking. But I am not that kind of person. Similarly, I deplore such behaviour in others.

The whole post-Enlightenment culture of the West has been precisely about the uniqueness of the individual, particularly the creator; the likes of William Wordworth wrote reams about it and we do not think less of them for this. I myself love and crave for solitude and the avoidance of what I consider the unnecessary distractions of living in human society - wherever I happen to find myself. A person who can handle solitude is a person who does not need the opinions of others to validate his or her ideas, lifestyle etc.

Think of it like this: if you think that the EU idea is better than the current cosmological dogma, would you go to the heart of the dogma - those who hold positions which depend upon it and therefore cannot tolerate alternatives, because these represent a threat to career and livelihood - or try instead to find others who were more open to your ideas and found them intriguing and thought-provoking? You might find that the latter were few in number but you could hold reasonable, if not entertaining and stimulating, discussions with them, whereas the former, perceiving a potential threat to career, reputation and livelihood, might immediately raise straw man arguments and resort quickly to ad hominem attacks - because the evidence did not support them or their dogma. These people represent the 'orthodoxy' and would use whatever means - including mass media - to score points against you, misrepresent your ideas and paint you as some kind of kook.

I put it to you that maintaining a small circle of friends with whom you largely agree is more productive and stimulating than opening yourself up to a wider audience and potential (but unjustified) ridicule. ^_^

Andrew (still teaching English in Korea after all these years). :)
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