10 March 2008

Those Rascals on the Internets

Many people in academia and the old media have tried to dismiss the internet as stupid and unfettered, since they see it as threatening to the monopoly of their line of work. One such example is a Professor who proudly proclaims that information readily available to the masses via Wikipedia constitutes a threat (H/T to LT Nixon's Mom):

The site's "free culture'' of information also lacks professional editors to exercise hierarchical and content judgment, he said. "Free culture is in my view dangerous,'' Keen said. "... It undermines the value of academic labor and ... it's something that ultimately will make academics unemployable.''

Dismissing technology that allows easy access to knowledge seems foolhardy and contrary to the goal of eliminating worldwide ignorance. Necessity is the mother of all inventions, and the reason for the availability of information is because what "they" have been feeding us is so uninteresting and ridiculous. The story of sex hormones in the tap water supply is one such example. I mean really, who gives a flying fuck, unless you're some dumb, hypochondriac housewife in Orange County? And those people are probably already shelling out cash for bottled water anyways.

Communist plot to put sex hormones in our tap water supply

9 comments:

Lindsay aka Corn said...

Personally, I can think of quite a few people who might benefit from mood stabilizers being put in their drinking water.

In fact, there are (extremely rare) times when I just might need them too! ;-)

Tin Ma'am said...

to be honest, wikipedia is a BAD source of information.. but it is a source. A threat? No, it just makes the dumb sound dumber when they believe everything they read because wikipedia sounds like encyclopedia.

LT Nixon said...

Lindsay,

I've been sucking off the tap all my life and it didn't work on me!

Tin Ma'am,

Boo! I didn't realize you were part of the cultural zeitgeist! haha, do you go to one of those fancy schools.

Robert Hamer said...

Wow, so a professor is against free access to information because it no longer makes academics like him the lords of information.

Heil F├╝hrer Keen!

Anonymous said...

I knew there was a reason I hated virtually every professor -- oh, no, wait that was bec. of the grades -- but why is this guy messing with Wikipedia. Can't be much of a professor.
And, I really, really have to agree with Ms. Lindsay, I can think of LOTS of people -- a nice, long list -- who could use something in their water.

And you, sir, may not have had enough water. It'll catch up to you maybe.
K.

Ms.Kiyum said...

I would like valium with my water please. Thanks.

ABWF said...

The sex hormones in the water actually do kind of worry me. I knew someone (an undergrad at the time) who did lab research with fish. It really screwed up their development (especially the reproductive system). I can't help but wonder if this is akin to the idea of a canary in a coal mine.

My concern with Wikipedia isn't so much about making content available to the masses, it's more about the review process postings go through. Inaccurate information can and does make it into Wikipedia (like many other reference sources), but not everyone reads it with a critical eye and/or looks for confirmation from other sources.

Alex said...

I don't understand the Wikipedia hate. It has shown to be comparable to Encyclopedia Britannia:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/4530930.stm

LT Nixon said...

Oh my,

I get tons of information from Wikipedia, but that may be due to me being a cheap bastard. I don't see the problem with it. Thanks all for the comments. Oh yeah, Ms. Kiyum, I think we both need some valium (plus a pack of menthols for myself).