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  1.  (7147.1)
    • CommentAuthorPhranky
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
     (7147.2)
    Yes, let's eliminate e-mail. Brilliant.
    • CommentAuthorZombi
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
     (7147.3)
    Bah, it's probably not that easy, Phranky.

    There's quite a bit of interesting technology criticism around.

    You should check out:
    Cult of the Amateur
    The book is slightly retarded and overprotective of certain business, but it does raise some valid points against web 2.0.
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      CommentAuthorSonny
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
     (7147.4)
    I do find it interesting that this idea of "connecting", through e-mail, social networking sites, etc, seems to really isolate some people (not all) from the world around them. A band I like puts it this way:
    Living in a void is easy as breathing these days, but what to do with the emptiness? So much in the culture of modern living has convinced us to cut ourselves off from human contact - that such interaction is unnecessary in the day-to-day transactions of life. It seems our worlds are rather isolated on an individual level. Which is kinda weird when the going trend is ostensibly "connectivity." Connected to what exactly?
  2.  (7147.5)
    To some extent I agree with Mr. Freeman. The only email lists I’m on are low-volume professional lists limited to a small number of people who spent a lot of money for access. I often wait two or three days after reading an unimportant email before answering it; people who want to get in touch with me in a hurry know to just call. And if you send me a text message my cellular provider just blocks it. Some days I just turn the router off and work without internet access.

    I’ve seen a photo of the office where Woody Allen writes. It’s a room with a typewriter in it. David McCullough works the same way. There’s a reason they’re so prolific. And I have no idea how Warren can be so prolific and so wired, but I’m also still not sure he’s human.
    • CommentAuthorPhranky
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
     (7147.6)
    To be honest if I want to get any work done I have to travel somewhere with no [wireless] internet connectivity and where no one is going to bother me, which usually means the library.
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      CommentAuthorSt.Wanger
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2009
     (7147.7)
    To be honest if I want to get any work done I have to travel somewhere with no [wireless] internet connectivity and where no one is going to bother me, which usually means the library.

    I totally know what you mean there.

    And, just to have said it, because it's a bit on topic: I see a danger in nowerdays "restraint of availability" how I would call it. It seems like, even in private life, everybody feels forced to be avaidable by mobile phone or e-mail immediately and everybody expects that from everybody else. I've had a girlfriend once, who would be mad at me because I wouldn't answer neither my phone at home or my mobile, while I went jogging. How come I didn't take my mobile with me, so I'm avaidable ... I think that's a terrible attitude ...
  3.  (7147.8)
    Living in a void is easy as breathing these days, but what to do with the emptiness? So much in the culture of modern living has convinced us to cut ourselves off from human contact - that such interaction is unnecessary in the day-to-day transactions of life. It seems our worlds are rather isolated on an individual level. Which is kinda weird when the going trend is ostensibly "connectivity." Connected to what exactly?


    I don't buy the theory that the internet has made people more isolated. On the whole in societies where it is prevalent it has actually facilitated an increased connection to a wider sphere, from the reclusive bedroom "geek" who can now actually make friends, and put their stuff out there for the world to see (what were they doing before the internet? They still existed), to people who socialise in the accepted way via work and the pub, but can also now hook up with people with similar interests, especially niche ones which most of their meatspace friends might not share...

    I would even go so far as to say the net has lead to an explosion in socialisation, and a complete change in how people in developed countries create and share experiences, largely to our mutual benefit.

    The internet driven democratisation of access to culture and media has not driven down standards or led to an explosion in amateurism either, there were always terrible fanzines and badly recorded C60s, it's just easier to get them now, and easier (and cheaper) to produce and obtain the good stuff.
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      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeNov 7th 2009
     (7147.9)
    Email just isn't much on the radar of the under-18 set. Between IM, Facebook and the various text/SMS functions on their phones, none of my kid's peers tend to use email. She's forgotten the password several times and never missed it. Email to her is a thing grownups use to push slow information down at her.
  4.  (7147.10)
    And I have no idea how Warren can be so prolific and so wired

    Digital connectivity is asynchronous. Phone calls are not. A long phone call will knock me right out of my train of thought. I can bring up Gmail (or Whitechapel) whenever I feel like. Everyone knows not to phone me unless it's urgent, and most will email to check if it's convenient before phoning.
  5.  (7147.11)
    I don't buy the theory that the internet has made people more isolated.


    I read something recently that suggested that while more connectivity has occurred, people are losing their ability to function with each other on a personal real-world level. That is, they lose the training required by real world interaction to know how to read others, and to keep our brains quick and flexible.

    Anyway, I stopped getting cell phones a few years ago and I haven't missed owning one.
  6.  (7147.12)
    More isolated? Total BS.

    I can safely say I have had more offline interaction since I started making friends on the internet than previously. Admittedly previously I was like fourteen, but I was a fourteen year old hermit. Over the past six years or so I've learned things about people beyond my insular childhood, I've learned how many different viewpoints there are and to give people more slack, I've learned to recognise and deal with a troll (because we have those in real life, too), and not least of all I've met up offline with several people I met on livejournal who I now consider friends. I've learned that there exist adults who are smarter than me, and people I should just listen to no matter what I think about what they're saying because they've done things whereas I've just thought vaguely about them.

    Er cutting the rant short there because I feel like I'm derailing a not-entirely-related discussion. Something else I have painstakingly learned from The Internet that has come in handy IRL let me tell you. Sonny even said "not all." Maybe if somewhere in all the junk floating through our feeds and lists there was some sort of checklist for not Doing It Wrong on that count.

    I could probably benefit from having less email to go through, yes. For instance my inbox currently reads (332) for unread. Now I have had a few ridiculously busy months but if I hadn't signed up for so many gosh darn newsletters and mailing lists and things I'm sure the count would be lower and therefore less intimidating - as it is I feel like I need to schedule an entire free day to go through it.

    There's a lot to be said for optimising your contact avenues one way or another.
    •  
      CommentAuthorFinagle
    • CommentTimeDec 19th 2009 edited
     (7147.13)
    Here's an interesting followup article that highlights the point I made above regarding my kid's (non)-use of email.

    The fact that spam has dominated the email landscape for so long is helping to drive some interesting user behaviors, however. We’re starting to see reports that some users (mostly young) are giving up email entirely in favor of social media. While I think many email users will have problems doing this, it makes a certain amount of sense..”

    On the email list (irony) where I read this discussion, a user brought up an interesting idea - email is essentially an "allow all, blacklist only" form of communication. Designed in the early dawn of the 'net, it really is only capable of accepting mail from Just Anyone to be effective. Most other forms of social networking tend instead to lead users to develop a "deny all, whitelist only" form of communication, both in response to the spam issue and in general as a means of maintaining privacy and just a grip on the wave of information:
    From a communications perspective, what Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn offer is a simple host based white list functionality. As you confirm “friends” or follow someone on Twitter, all you’re doing is building a list of sources from which you’ve agreed to consume status updates, Tweets, etc.

    So rather than looking as "social networking" as "my friends," a more interesting way to look at it might simply be "my whitelist." Now in general the issue is that you can only whitelist other people using the same medium (Twitter users, Facebook users, etc), so if somebody doesnt' belong to *that* particular social network, you can't whitelist them. This is currently how we use snail mail, but with the advent of CallerID, not the telephone anymore - I never answer unsolicited calls or blocked numbers, but I can still receive communication from people who aren't on my carrier or who I haven't whitelisted *in advance*, because I can relatively trust their identity as represented by the CallerID.

    Now this isn't a new idea in email - challenge/response and greylisting mechanisms exist - but historically, people have not been willing to indulge in them. I think we may be near the tipping point now.