The Internet sucks (not)

Richard at Science Library Pad writes about a crazy article (not available online, natch) in a magazine called Maclean’s:

"Maclean’s senior editor and national business columnist Steve Maich wrote a cover story.  Let’s see if you can figure out his opinion. Cover: After all the hype, it’s a trillion-dollar disappointment and a haven for cranks, liars and perverts.  The Internet Sucks." Read on at Richard’s post, link below.

Well, even though some of us may be addicted, the Internet is a boon to creativity and a boost to optimism, as I have found — how effectively it allows people of like mind to share ideas, and how useful it is for enabling projects (Minx and Skint’s , to name but one).  And as I mentioned in Richard’s comments, I am more than happy for my daughters to use the internet freely too — I can see how much it has enriched their lives compared with what was available to me in my own childhood, and how educational it is when used judiciously.

As Richard says: "I am really at a loss to understand this bizarre hatchet-job, particularly its "cover story" status."

Link: Science Library Pad: Maclean’s: the Internet sucks.

Join in the library debate

There’s a heated debate about public libraries over at Books, Inq, starting out with a post by Frank Wilson that links to Tim Coates’ mission statement for UK libraries (you can trace the links via the Books, Inq. post).

Go and have a look, and please comment — Frank has called for non-US readers to comment as most of the ding-dong is from within the US. Minx has done so — good comment, Minx. Susan Balee is the voice of wisdom and reason, as ever.

Under the influence

Well, we’ve had "David Crystal on Language and the Internet" and the spinoff from that,  "I’m Debra and I’m a blogger" plus debate in her comments. You thought that was bad? Now the gloves are off.

"US internet addicts ‘as ill as alcoholics’ ", according to an article in The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine, and picked up by newscientist.com. (The OWL has commented at the link.)

"Previous research suggests that the majority of “internet addicts” are single, college-educated, white males in their 30s, who spend approximately 30 hours a week on non-essential computer use."

So, how much "non-essential" computer use a week do you admit to? For me, it depends on how you can stretch the definition of "non-essential". Food shopping? Working from home? Buying Christmas presents?  But coming clean and adding up all my computer time not at work (where it is pretty much continuous), I’d say a couple of hours in the evenings, so 10 hours,  which means to be an "addict as ill as an alcoholic" I’d have to do 20 hours at weekends, which I don’t — nowhere near. Phew!

Added later: here’s an example of chronic computer dependence: My Day as a Neanderthal by Scott Adams (posted on a neighbour’s computer).

Fancy a nice cuppa?

Susan has a new blog! Head on over to Vox to check out The Lazy Woman’s Tea Party. You can read one of the books I’ve reviewed (see Maxine’s book reviews) or browse one of James’ favourites (James Long’s blog) while you put your feet up, sample the brew and pet Susan’s various dogs and weird-looking but cute little animals of indeterminate species.

Feel free to join our Vox neighbourhood at www.vox.com. I am pretty sure you can just sign up for one of their blogs, but if not and if you want an invitation, drop me a line in the comments and I’ll send you one. Meanwhile I am off for a second cup, and to wonder how Susan made those steaming cups with cute little hearts on top.