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Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier

  1. Feb 3, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am watching this now and it looks pretty interesting. One thing that caught my attention was a segment about a Japanese school that teaches internet etiquette to young children.


    Watch online:

    There is a bit of irony in my making this post while watching the program.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 3, 2010 #2
    I watched that program, last night, and I enjoyed very much. I appreciated the irony because at the same time I was on Twitter asking my virtual friends to watch that program, while at the same time I asked them whether they watched the 3 hour long "Lost" TV show.

    Douglas Rushkoff said, "... Internet has changed from this thing that you do, to the way that you are."

    What about those MIT students checking their emails, making updates on their Facebooks, or other social media while attending lectures?

    I don't do it while taking classes, I go online after class, but many of my classmates do it.

    In that documentary, it said how it is affecting negatively our writing and reading skills ... that we have become averse to reading a 200-page or more book ... and, ultimately, it is affecting our analytical abilities.

    These technologies are changing our societies: It says that these technologies allow us to find other people to connect, while it isolates us in the real world.

    I would like to know what Neuroscientists have to say about being an online user and brain plasticity.
  4. Feb 11, 2010 #3
    On the other hand, many people all over the world who don't have the opertunity to attend MIT in person can go to their website (and those of other educational institutions) to watch lectures and use other online course materials.

    Maybe how to concentrate, and techniques for avoiding distraction, could be taught along with netiquette.

    I've been reading more loads more books since I had access to the internet: fiction as well as textbooks. I get to hear about more books, there are so many books available online (text and audio, Project Gutenberg, Archive.org, Google Books: old books scanned in full, new books you can at least read samples of). The internet also makes it possible to get hold of more books cheaply through book-swap sites.

    On the benefits of internet use to mental health in the elderly:

    Often negative stories about popular internet trends appear in the traditional press. Sometimes the basis for these stories is very dodgy!

    I'm hoping (ever the optimist...) that as people get used to seeing tags on Wikipedia like "weasel words" and "who?" next to unsourced claims, they'll be less impressed to when traditional media tell them "scientists say..." and "it's widely believed..." etc. Unfortunately, search engines--as they exist at the moment--tend to get overrrun by copies of a quirky news item, e.g. some obscure but intriguing piece of scientific research, if a lot of people are interested in it, which can make it very hard to sift through them for real information, especially if the writers have helpfully forgotten to include names of the researchers, the title of the paper and where published, grr. But maybe more sophisticated search engines in the future will be better able to home in on the good stuff.

    The internet, of course, is part of the "real world".
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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