14.0259 new & improving on the Internet

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Date: 09/21/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 259.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
       [1]   From:    Sheldon Richmond <srichmon@officecommunity.com>     (13)
             Subject: philosophy web site
       [2]   From:    Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-        (24)
             Subject: About SCNewsline newsletter
       [3]   From:    Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-        (36)
             Subject: [Invitation]Artificial Intelligence in Education
       [4]   From:    Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-       (144)
             Subject: [Coverage]The Association of Internet Researchers'
                     inaugural conference sounds interesting & important
             Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:16:28 +0100
             From: Sheldon Richmond <srichmon@officecommunity.com>
             Subject: philosophy web site
    I wish to improve a philosophy web site, in development, meant to
    facilitate philosophy discussion in a general audience regardless of
    academic background.
    I request criticism as well as suggestions for must have philosophy
    links or other links.
    Please respond to me at:
    or reply to this address if simpler.
    The url for the philosophy web site is:
    Created by Zkey.com - http://www.zkey.com
    Awarded PCMagazine's Editors' Choice
             Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:17:26 +0100
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
             Subject: About SCNewsline newsletter
    dear humanist members and researchers,
    Hello --I would like to tell you the details of an important
    "SCIENTIFIC COMPUTING NEWSLINE" --is the fortnightly electronic
    newsletter of scientific computing, brought to you by the publishers
    of Scientific Computing World. Written for scientists who rely on
    computers, SCNewsline provides the latest research, technology and
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    To SUBSCRIBE to SCNewsline, go to
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    Visit the Scientific Computing Website at
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    To See:
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    Fill out our online form, and if you qualify we'll send you the next
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    For more details --please contact the Editor of "SCNewsline newsletter",
    Dr. Tom Wilkie, at (tom@campublishers.com)
    Thank you..and enjoy the research and technology news!
    Sincerely yours
    Arun Tripathi
             Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:18:18 +0100
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
             Subject: [Invitation]Artificial Intelligence in Education Listserv
    Greetings researchers,
    The list owner of: "Artificial Intelligence in Education" has invited you
    to join their mailing list at ListBot. To subscribe, write to
    (ared-subscribe@listbot.com) *** After subcription to the lists, please
    send all your postings to the address at <ared@listbot.com>
    The list owner has included the following welcome message:
    This is a welcome message..from Arun Tripathi, List owner of
    this lists..He is inviting all of you to join the ARED lists. The ARED is
    an abbreviation of ARtificial intElligence in eDucation. The purpose of
    the ARED Lists is to discuss the aspects and the use of artificial
    intelligence techniques in the field of learning, technology and education
    to help schools, the teachers to enhance learning.
    "As the field of artificial intelligence matures, our ability to
    constructs intelligent artifacts increases, as does the need for
    implemented systems to experimentally validate AI research in education
    and learning."
    I would like to invite all of you to indulge some kind of useful
    conversations regarding the below segments.
    Intelligent Tutoring Systems combine Artificial Intelligence(AI)
    techniques and computer-based tutoring systems. In today's state of the
    art ITSs (Bos & Plassche, 1994: Corbet & Anderson, 1992), information
    about a particular student, namely student models, already plays a
    significant role in the systems's understanding of a particular student's
    progress and problems.
    How ITSs are going to effect the student's progress and his problems?
    The list is also open for useful and intelligent discussions
    related to the field of Instructional Technology.
    Your list owner Arun Tripathi is always open for other criteria regarding
    this lists.
    Visit this list's home page at: http://ared.listbot.com
    Thanking you,
    Kind Regards
    Arun Tripathi
    PS: For any kind of problems, please mail me at
             Date: Thu, 21 Sep 2000 09:19:21 +0100
             From: Arun-Kumar Tripathi <tripathi@statistik.uni-dortmund.de>
             Subject: [Coverage]The Association of Internet Researchers' 
    inaugural conference sounds interesting & important
    dear scholars, researchers, & thinkers,
    [Hi, I thought --this might interest you --recently at the AOIR
    conference --the Association of Internet Researchers discussed "Online
    Research Ethics Lacking" --any meaningful guidelines for online research
    is missing. Most AOIR researchers looked differently at Internet --for
    details see On the Net --at Association of Internet
    Researcher site <http://aoir.org> Thank you.-Arun]
    Researchers Looking at Internet
    ET September 17, 2000
    By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer
    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - As the Internet rapidly promotes new communities and
    new ways to communicate, researchers still are trying to catch up and
    figure out its costs and benefits.
    The Association of Internet Researchers' inaugural conference ended
    Sunday with more questions than answers about the Net's impact on social
    interactions and relationships.
    Does the Internet foster greater face-to-face contact offline, or does it
    tend to make people more reclusive? Are face-to-face interactions even the
    ideal means of contact for everyone, including the shy teen-ager who
    thrives online?
         "We know very little," said Manuel Castells, sociology professor at
    University of California-Berkeley.
         "We are transforming our world at the fullest speed - blindly," he
    said. "It could create a backlash from many people saying that for them,
    the Internet is worsening their lives."
         While Internet studies are only beginning, time is running out
    because technology changes rapidly, warned Stephen Jones, president of the
         The researchers' group, with more than 400 members, was formed to
    bring together sociologists, educators, technologists and other
    specialists who study the Internet.
    Despite their efforts, many expressed frustration about how little is known.
         "There's a lot of rhetoric and a fair amount of pseudo research,"
    said Gary Burnett, a professor of information studies at Florida State
    University. "If we don't take measures to understand the subtleties
    of the world we live in, there's the possibility for significant
    negative consequences."
         Studies at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University have
    suggested that the Internet promotes reclusion or depression.
         But other studies, including those presented at the conference, found
    that Internet users communicate more often - online and offline - than
    people who are unconnected.
         Many researchers agreed that the Internet does foster communities
    around shared interests. Cancer survivors, gun owners and fans of
    television shows can all meet online even if they are hundreds of miles
         "It's changing the mode through which communities emerge," said
    Andrew Wood, a professor in communications studies at San Jose State
    University in California. "It's hard to say whether that's good or bad,
    but it's certainly going to be different."
    Burnett identified one potential downside of virtual communities:
    Internet users may develop a large-scale view incompatible with the small,
    rural settings they live in.
    Dave Jacobson, an anthropologist at Brandeis University in Waltham,
    Mass., found no evidence that people relate to one another any differently
    on the Net. But then again, he said, individuals can enter or leave a
    virtual community more easily than they can move from a town they dislike.
         And some researchers emphasized the difficulties of blaming or
    crediting the Internet for societal changes. After all, said University of
    Toronto sociologist Barry Wellman, neighborhood-based communities began
    declining long ago.
         "Many of the things we ascribe to computerization had been happening
    before," Wellman said.
    LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Don't get too comfortable with your online
    support group. A researcher may be lurking, recording your
    outpourings in the name of science.
    In fact, a researcher posing as a member of the support group may be
    posting comments simply to observe the reaction from participants.
    As more researchers turn to the Internet for behavioral studies,
    there is growing concern about the potential harm to online users
    unaware that they have become research subjects when they discuss
    diseases, marital problems and sexual identity crises.
    Online research ethics -- specifically, the lack of any meaningful
    guidelines -- was one of the chief topics of discussion this week at
    the inaugural meeting of the Association of Internet Researchers.
    ``We're waiting for a major lawsuit,'' said Sarina Chen, professor of
    communications at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.
    ``Many people consider downloading data from the Internet `content
    analysis.' That's very naive.''
    She ought to know: She said she almost lost her job when participants
    in a support group for eating disorders complained to her superiors
    about the tone of some postings that one of her students had made as
    part of a class assignment.
    Failing to get consent before monitoring Internet chat rooms and
    other discussion forums amounts to an invasion of privacy and can
    make participants more guarded in their dealings with one another,
    Chen said.
    In more extreme cases, other researchers warned, a posting inserted
    by a researcher can shift the nature of discussion and prompt
    participants to take action they otherwise would not.
    Barbara Lackritz, a leukemia survivor from St. Louis who runs more
    than two dozen cancer support groups, said researchers have been
    dropping in with increased frequency.
    ``It's very frustrating,'' she said in a telephone interview. ``We
    have all kinds of researchers, from kids who are in high school to
    master's degree candidates who want to do a thesis.''
    Researchers who want to monitor her discussion groups often get
    permission first from group moderators, she said. But too often, she
    said, researchers don't ask, and ``think we're a slab of people
    waiting to do research for them.''
    She said one support-group participant who hadn't told his friends,
    family and neighbors about his cancer started getting phone calls all
    of a sudden from people saying, ``I'm sorry.'' He then learned that a
    researcher had posted his full name and diagnosis on a Web site.
    Now that participant uses a pseudonym.
    ``He was furious,'' Lackritz said. ``In the long run, it hurt him
    financially and in his relationships with family.''
    Federal law and university review boards generally prohibit
    experiments on humans without consent, though some observations in
    public settings are acceptable.
    But where do you draw the line between public and private on the
    Internet? Many discussion groups are open to the public, but
    participants generally assume that fellow members join because they
    have similar interests or concerns.
    That makes such forums less like a public square and more like
    someone's living room, said Amy Bruckman, a professor of computing at
    Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.
    Other researchers, however, believe they can monitor those
    discussions as long as they do not identify subjects in research
    ``It's more important how data is analyzed and disseminated than how
    it is gathered,'' said Joseph Walther, professor of communications,
    psychology and information technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic
    Institute in Troy, N.Y.
    Storm King, a Springfield, Mass., psychologist and spokesman for the
    International Society for Mental Health Online, said seeking consent
    can actually cause participants to clam up, making observations of
    natural settings more difficult.
    The Association of Internet Researchers will probably decide Sunday
    to form a task force to draft guidelines by next year's meeting, said
    Stephen Jones, the group's president.
    David Snowball, professor of speech communication at Augustana
    College in Rock Island, Ill., said he was surprised when students
    proposed to eavesdrop on a support group and create fake traumas for
    the group to consider.
    He was even more surprised when he learned the students got the idea
    from other faculty members, who believed the practice was OK because
    participants would probably never know.
    ``The online world is still new and opens up all sorts of ways of
    doing research,'' said Charles Ess, a professor in cultural studies
    at Drury University in Springfield, Mo. ``It's much easier to lurk in
    a chat room undetected than it is to stand in a room and take notes.''
    On the Net: http://aoir.org

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