14.0448 characteristics of the Web

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: 10/30/00

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 14, No. 448.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
             Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 06:59:04 +0000
             From: mhayward <mhayward@grove.iup.edu>
             Subject: RE: 14.0437 WWW characteristics compiled
    Some years back I wrote a note to myself on why the WWW won't
    function as well as many people figured it would.  I actually said, as
    the WWW was "intended" to operate, but I am not sure intention has much to
    do with things.  My way of thinking was that quanta of information don't
    do very much for us (as individuals or as members of a discipline). What
    counts is how that information is put together, the basic paradigms that
    underlie our ways of looking at the world.  Maybe I am missing something:
    is there evidence that the amount of information available on the Web
    has led to a paradigm shift (in a Kuhnsian sense) in any major discipline?
    I don't think it has in my own (literary studies), where the information on
    the Web has given scholars certain advantages in availability of texts,
    ease of research, and so on, but has not jumped us into new ways of
    thinking about literature.
    But you've got to remember--this is from a guy who, when a friend of his
    daughter said about 8 years ago he'd like to have a service where people
    could put their resumes on line and employers could list jobs, replied
    Oh, I doubt if that will work.  The Internet is really only for educational
    uses . . . (I hope he had the sense not to listen to me.)
    Malcolm Hayward
    Malcolm Hayward
    Department of English
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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