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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

 

And another thing

I hate computers. There, I said it. I said it ages ago, back in freshman or sophomore year of college, and my mom told me to stop being a Luddite. In "Literature of Community" (see yesterday's post) we had to create a Web site as a final project, even though half of us didn't know HTML. "Learn," my professor said. I can see he was trying to empower English students with some saleable skills. He was big on technology, this guy - we used a listserv to supplement class discussion, and even met each other in the college MOO (MOO stands for "MUD, object oriented" - and if that didn't just clear it right up for you, another clue: MUD stands for multi-user dimension... it's basically a virtual environment). While I saw that some students seemed more able to express themselves virtually than in person, it worked the other way, too - a lot of people hid behind their virtual personas, spewing vitriol they could never muster face-to-face.

This all led me to my belief that instead of continuing to find NEWER! FASTER! BETTER! ways to communicate with each other, we should focus on learning to *actually* communicate. So many of the world's problems come down to a fundamental human inability to listen and understand, and express and be understood. Or, as Robert Frost put it:

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.




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