13.0226 children, the Internet, ourselves

Humanist Discussion Group (humanist@kcl.ac.uk)
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 21:57:16 +0100 (BST)

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 13, No. 226.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 1999 21:49:20 +0000
From: Willée <willee@uni-bonn.de>
Subject: Re: 13.0214 children, the Internet, ourselves

re: contribution of david reed

the opinion of d. reed that reading a text from a printed book is not at
all different to reading it from a monitor is to be doubted, or better
said: must be doubted. david obviously has a quite uncritical belief in
technical progress as always being good and useful, forgetting in the
case of reading texts the use of computers as a medium was a step
backwards compared with the development of the techniques of reading
printed or written material in history.
it was a great revolution, when the romans began to replace writing
texts on parchment rolls by writing them in volumina (bond books), where
the navigation within the texts could be improved a lot. scrolling
upwards or downwards was no longer necessary, one could aim more or less
directly to the page or section of pages, where one wanted to read, one
could go through the pages, stopping here, stopping there, going back
directly to the place, where one was reading before, and so on.
and now, in the golden (gilden?) age of computers we have to scroll
again, all instruments for a proper navigation being mere crutches.
moreover the quality of reproduction of text on screens is far worse
than it normaly is on paper, even recycled one.
in printed material the contrast is better, the density of pxels is far
higher, there is no flickering (even if the latter might be no longer a
problem in future).
the reading prosition as for books is better adjustable than as for
computers (there ARE lots of problems occuring when working in front of
a pc, an unknown fact for readers of books), and - last not least -
making notes in a text one is reading is more or less impossible on the
only if one admits the differences and disadvantages of reading from a
screen compared with reading printed material one can discuss the
advantages or disadvantages - and the consequences for our thinking and
intellectual behaviour - which will occur when using a pc for reading.
disabled people are no argument at all for the not-disabled rest of the
world, as for those there are other conditions to be considered.
otherwise one could suggest no longer to walk but to use these wonderful
electrical wheel chairs, as they are so useful for people who cannot
walk any longer.

to close like willard: any comments?




_________________________________________ | Dr. Gerd Willée | Institut für Kommunikationsforschung und Phonetik | Universität Bonn | Poppelsdorfer Allee 47 | | D-53115 Bonn Tel.: +49 228 73 56 20 | Fax: +49 228 73 56 39 | internet: willee@uni-bonn.de |________________________________________

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