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Thread: Usefulness...?

  1. #1
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    Usefulness...?

    I am a firm believer that the internet is... well a great place to get "stupid".

    Many people who use the internet do not type properly, they have poor spelling (someone posted the babby.swif a while ago, which is rather common of internet users), and use far too many abbreviations (lolz, pwned, wtf, and the likes).

    I would say that the internet really makes people... ignorant lazy boobs... for the most part.

    But, I am not arguing, just gathering opinions...

    So, my question(s) is (are) this (these).

    Do any of you REALLY feel that you are making a difference on the internet?

    Many of the topics posted on here (well... some... more than myspace) are intelligent and important.

    But, how many of you really do something about the issue? Do any of you write your congressmen or senator? It seems that today's generation is so wrapped up in blogging, forums, etc, that they forget to take the issue to where it really matters...

    I am a firm believer that "arguing on the internet is like running in the special Olympics... Even if you win, you are still retarded".

    How does this, or any debate forum for that matter, contribute positively to the social, and political order?

    I am sure someone has a good answer as to what good comes of sites like this, and others. Amuse me people, I have a week and a half left of school and I am running out of reading material...
    Witty puns...

  2. #2
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    The internet makes people ignorant. I disagree. The internet makes people who want to be ignorant ignorant. If one wants to learn, what better source is there than the internet?
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. "
    -Gandhi

  3. #3
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by gobraves View Post
    The internet makes people ignorant. I disagree. The internet makes people who want to be ignorant ignorant. If one wants to learn, what better source is there than the internet?
    Books. I find there is more knowledge in books than on the internet.

    Wikipedia is a poor excuse for "knowledge".

    The knowledge you will find in a book is far more extensive than any knowledge the internet will ever have.

    I never said it made everyone ignorant, but it makes a majority ignorant. This website is certainly not typical of the "average internetian"
    Witty puns...

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    Books. I find there is more knowledge in books than on the internet.

    Wikipedia is a poor excuse for "knowledge".

    The knowledge you will find in a book is far more extensive than any knowledge the internet will ever have.

    I never said it made everyone ignorant, but it makes a majority ignorant. This website is certainly not typical of the "average internetian"
    Books are a hassle, and not always available. The internet is an efficient and available source. I've never had trouble finding information on the internet, and I've always been able to find it quickly. Also, please provide support for your claim that "the knowledge in books is far more extensive than the knowledge in the internet". Finally, the internet does not make anybody ignorant. People choose to misuse the internet, that is not the internets fault, it is the people's.
    "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. "
    -Gandhi

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    [quoteBooks are a hassle, and not always available. The internet is an efficient and available source. I've never had trouble finding information on the internet, and I've always been able to find it quickly. Also, please provide support for your claim that "the knowledge in books is far more extensive than the knowledge in the internet". Finally, the internet does not make anybody ignorant. People choose to misuse the internet, that is not the internets fault, it is the people's.[/QUOTE]

    Number one. You will never find all the information on the internet that you can in a book. For example, I can talk circles around someone using the internet on... lets say guerrilla warfare for example. I read many books on it, and these books provide more sources, and so do those books. The internet rarely provides the source of its information. Granted, you can access some books online, but... these are books.

    Most of the internet will always (when it does site something) site a book. You will rarely see a book use the internet (a website) for its main source.

    Finally...

    The internet makes people dumb in the same way alcohol gets you drunk.

    I never said it is the cause of stupidity. Certainly not. But it makes it much easier for you to sink into stupidity.
    Witty puns...

  6. #6
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Debating on the Internet has benefits even if ultimately no one adopts your views and it doesn't affect anything in real life. My reasons for participating in online debate are 1) Entertainment (I like debating), 2) Finetuning my positions on various controversial issues, and 3) Honing my argumentative skills, which will come in handy since I'm intending to read law.

    So, really, the main benefit of internet discussions is my personal edification. I could care less about whether my discussions affect the current social or political order.

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John
    Books. I find there is more knowledge in books than on the internet.

    Wikipedia is a poor excuse for "knowledge".

    The knowledge you will find in a book is far more extensive than any knowledge the internet will ever have.
    It is far easier to search for the information you need on the Internet. Books, you have to either buy or borrow. Anyone with an Internet connection can surf the Internet.

    Also, it is untrue that books are necessarily better sources of knowledge than the Internet. There are some websites out there that contain comprehensive and in-depth discussions that rival those in books. For example, the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.

    Furthermore, the Internet is the leading source of news and opinion. You would be hard-pressed to find comments and opinions on current affairs in book form, or even newspaper form (now that most major newspapers have online portals with even more news than their physical newspapers). I have increased my knowledge greatly just by reading serious blogs and op-ed pieces online. I challenge you to find more information on, say, the current Presidential race in books than on the Internet.
    Trendem

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    Do any of you REALLY feel that you are making a difference on the internet?
    Not at the moment. Sometimes, when my ego is feeling particularly shiny, I do feel that anyone graced with the awesome privelege of reading my written word has been changed in ways both significant and numerous.

    But the internet for me can generally boil down to two basic ideas: Practice and Propaganda. It's a great place to practice defending my own views, or attacking other views. It's also a great place to spread my views without any real restrictions.

    Take for instance, I'm still a big believer in the idea that our dependence on Oil, and the basic foundation for our civilisation is ultimately going to culminate in a global collapse. Certainly places are going to fall to crap sooner than others, but ultimately, it's all gonna come apart at the seams one day.

    I've tried spreading that view in person to others. In about five-six years, I've managed to sway about three people to my side. With the internet, I can shove that view up in the faces of infinitely more people, across different geographical regions. Effectively spreading my own propaganda without the cost of a postage stamp. It's great. And with it, I have a written record of well defended my beliefs are. I can go back and look at what needs work, what doesn't, etc. And I can make the arguments stronger over time.

    Plus, it's a great place to gather random seemingly useless information. For instance, Cudzoo, a vine-like plant not native to the US grows wild damn near everywhere down south. You can make chips, salads, etc. out of it. That's a food source that A: Grows incredibly fast, and B: Is incredibly plentiful. You can (and I have) look up ways to recycle the run-off from your laundry and use that same water to water a garden, which cuts on utility costs AND helps cut on grocery costs.

    With glass bottles you can create a self sustained ventilation system that keeps your house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The list goes on and those things even help reinforce my main belief that our government(s) and general way of life are way too destructive.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  8. #8
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    It is far easier to search for the information you need on the Internet. Books, you have to either buy or borrow. Anyone with an Internet connection can surf the Internet.

    Also, it is untrue that books are necessarily better sources of knowledge than the Internet. There are some websites out there that contain comprehensive and in-depth discussions that rival those in books. For example, the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.

    Furthermore, the Internet is the leading source of news and opinion. You would be hard-pressed to find comments and opinions on current affairs in book form, or even newspaper form (now that most major newspapers have online portals with even more news than their physical newspapers). I have increased my knowledge greatly just by reading serious blogs and op-ed pieces online. I challenge you to find more information on, say, the current Presidential race in books than on the Internet.
    I would argue that your source of the SEP is in fact a book. It is just an internet book, not a text book. It is an encyclopedia, which is basically a database (except Wikipedia...) of information. The only difference between a hard copy and a digital copy is the "ease" of use.

    However, I still find that the "ease of use" makes people "stupid" or at the very least lazy.
    Witty puns...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    I would argue that your source of the SEP is in fact a book. It is just an internet book, not a text book. It is an encyclopedia, which is basically a database (except Wikipedia...) of information. The only difference between a hard copy and a digital copy is the "ease" of use.
    Umm, by what standards would you call something a "book"? SEP was started as a website. It is not a book uploaded onto a website. It has no physical counterpart. If you are going to call any comprehensive, informative web page a "book", then of course you are going to win by unfair definition.

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John
    However, I still find that the "ease of use" makes people "stupid" or at the very least lazy.
    Why so? Do you reject cars as being useless because they make it too easy for people to go from place to place, and make us "lazy"? Do you reject calculators because they make it too easy to do arithmetic, and make us "stupid"?

  10. #10
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Umm, by what standards would you call something a "book"? SEP was started as a website. It is not a book uploaded onto a website. It has no physical counterpart. If you are going to call any comprehensive, informative web page a "book", then of course you are going to win by unfair definition.
    Not any. But it is basically a database, at least from what I have read. Much like... well an encyclopedia.

    If encyclopedia Britannica went "online" I would still consider it a book. However, I do suppose I am going into a very gray area.

    Why so? Do you reject cars as being useless because they make it too easy for people to go from place to place, and make us "lazy"? Do you reject calculators because they make it too easy to do arithmetic, and make us "stupid"?
    Yes, cars make people lazy. Yes, it makes people a bit "stupid".

    I never said it was a bad thing, totally at least. If I did, then I would like to rephrase that.

    Driving a car everywhere, when you could easily walk is lazy. However, it is useful to have a car to travel to other states.

    Having a calculator (I cannot believe I put a Q in there. Thank God for spell check on Firefox) to do basic math that could easily be done in your head does make you "stupid", even for the more complex stuff. Not only do you not understand why a certain equation does what it does, you never have to understand it.

    However, it can speed the process along.

    Knowledge, as in real knowledge, not just the easy access of a knowledge database is important.

    You can Google till the cows come home, you can use the internet as a source, be my guest. It will not make you any more intelligent. Nor will reading a book. The difference is it takes a more "intelligent" "dedicated" person to read a book cover to cover. Any boob can search the internet. You must have some level of intellect (admittedly not a lot) to read a book.

    I suppose, when you get right down to it. Its not so much that the internet itself makes people stupid. It is that it makes it easier for you to become stupid. It is "too easy", you do not even have to think. You can Google your position and post it, and whamo you got a source. With a book, you actually have to read and understand what the author is trying to say. When you Google "Tet Offensive as a failure" (since I am writing a long essay on that)... well you do not need to think. But when you pick up a book about the Tet Offensive, you may not have a good idea on what the author is trying to say, other than he is talking about the Tet Offensive. You have to read and understand what he is saying.

    The internet makes it "too easy". I could have just posted that, but hey... you're all lazy enough, figured I would make you read .

    *There is humor in the above statement. If you cannot find it, well that is not my problem.*
    Witty puns...

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem View Post
    Do you reject calculators because they make it too easy to do arithmetic, and make us "stupid"?
    I tend to think that's true. It's tough for me to find percentages of numbers now because I'm so used to doing it on a computer that, for whatever reason, when I sit down with a sheet of paper, it just doesn't work out right.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Hyde View Post
    I tend to think that's true. It's tough for me to find percentages of numbers now because I'm so used to doing it on a computer that, for whatever reason, when I sit down with a sheet of paper, it just doesn't work out right.
    That is basically what I am trying to get at. It doesn't make you totally stupid, it has just made it easier for you to slip into mediocrity, or God forbid stupidity.
    Witty puns...

  13. #13
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    Not any. But it is basically a database, at least from what I have read. Much like... well an encyclopedia.
    So a database MUST be a book? An encyclopedia MUST be a book? Hellooo, the very term "database" is computer terminology!

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    You can Google till the cows come home, you can use the internet as a source, be my guest. It will not make you any more intelligent. Nor will reading a book. The difference is it takes a more "intelligent" "dedicated" person to read a book cover to cover. Any boob can search the internet. You must have some level of intellect (admittedly not a lot) to read a book.
    I'm not getting it. Just because something is on the Internet, doesn't mean it is shallow or easily comprehensible. Likewise, just because something is in book form, doesn't mean it is more academic or intellectual.

    The difference is WHAT you read on the Internet or in books that counts. Surely you wouldn't think that someone who reads the SEP, New York Times and the Overcoming Bias blog online is stupider and less dedicated than someone who reads romance novels and comic books.

    Quote Originally Posted by DevilPup John View Post
    I suppose, when you get right down to it. Its not so much that the internet itself makes people stupid. It is that it makes it easier for you to become stupid. It is "too easy", you do not even have to think. You can Google your position and post it, and whamo you got a source. With a book, you actually have to read and understand what the author is trying to say. When you Google "Tet Offensive as a failure" (since I am writing a long essay on that)... well you do not need to think. But when you pick up a book about the Tet Offensive, you may not have a good idea on what the author is trying to say, other than he is talking about the Tet Offensive. You have to read and understand what he is saying.
    Again, the Internet only makes it easier to find information that you want. You still need intelligence and dedication to sieve through and make sense of all the various fragmented and not always reliable sources online.
    Trendem

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    So a database MUST be a book? An encyclopedia MUST be a book? Hellooo, the very term "database" is computer terminology!
    A database is simply a place where data is stored for later access. Techincally a library can be a database. Laugh at the idea all you like, mockery has never bothered me..


    I'm not getting it. Just because something is on the Internet, doesn't mean it is shallow or easily comprehensible. Likewise, just because something is in book form, doesn't mean it is more academic or intellectual.
    This is somewhat true. But you just stated how easy it was to access things on the internet
    It is far easier to search for the information you need on the Internet. Books, you have to either buy or borrow. Anyone with an Internet connection can surf the Internet.
    It takes more to read and understand what an author is saying in a book. It takes more "knowhow" to find a book with useful information.

    It is incredibly easy to find information on the web.

    The difference is WHAT you read on the Internet or in books that counts. Surely you wouldn't think that someone who reads the SEP, New York Times and the Overcoming Bias blog online is stupider and less dedicated than someone who reads romance novels and comic books.
    Of course not, but they are two different things. One is academic in nature, the other is leisure.

    If someone is doing more reading online than on a book, I would give more credit to the person reading the book. Unless of course the book they have is totally illogical.

    The New York times is actually backed up by "written" text. Written text is more intellectual than electronic, at least in my opinion.

    Again, the Internet only makes it easier to find information that you want. You still need intelligence and dedication to sieve through and make sense of all the various fragmented and not always reliable sources online.
    of course this is true of anything, even books. But it is much easier to find sources you "like" on the internet. With a book, you actually have to dedicate some time to reading to figure out what the author is trying to get across.

    The easy access of anything makes anyone a bit "more stupid" and a bit more lazy. That does not mean they cannot overcome this? Some people use calculators for a time saver, but can still do the math in their head. Some people may drive to work 5 miles away, but can still run and maintain a high fitness level.

    Likewise, someone may use the internet for speeds sake, but also does a great deal of "textual" (for lack of a better term) studies.

    Someone who can back up the speed of the internet with actual intellectual study in "hard copy" is more intelligent, in my opinion at least, than someone who uses online sources.

    Internet sources are simply too easy.
    Witty puns...

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    I will also let folks know that by using the internet you can find many, many books (for free) online. Save money and don't go to BN

    Check out google books.
    I'd rather be screwed than stewed

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by dogssup View Post
    I will also let folks know that by using the internet you can find many, many books (for free) online. Save money and don't go to BN

    Check out google books.
    Of course you can. But these are books, and they are not the entire book.

    Most of it, but not the entire. It is a fantastic way to read some out of print books.
    Witty puns...

  17. #17
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    DevilPup, I think your main problem with the Internet is not that its content is necessarily inferior to books - as I've pointed out, there is good content on the Internet, and there is frivolous content in book form. Your tactic of calling all academic content on the Internet "books" is absurd.

    Your main problem seems to be "ease of use". But why exactly is it desirable to have information be hard to find? If that were the case, then I'd argue that books written in code and buried underground in ancient tombs filled with deadly traps are better than books in libraries neatly sorted by the Dewey Decimal System. After all, the latter is "too easy", and hence makes you "stupid" and "lazy", right?

    I submit that there is nothing inherently wrong - and in fact it is a good thing - for information to be easily accessible. People who deride things for being "too easy" are just bitter that certain skills that used to give them an advantage over other people are now obsolete or less helpful now.
    Trendem

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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trendem
    I submit that there is nothing inherently wrong - and in fact it is a good thing - for information to be easily accessible. People who deride things for being "too easy" are just bitter that certain skills that used to give them an advantage over other people are now obsolete or less helpful now.
    I agree, but in many cases books are the easier method. I prefer reading a novel and turning pages to scrolling down a lightbulb-bright computer screen.
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  19. #19
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Your main problem seems to be "ease of use". But why exactly is it desirable to have information be hard to find? If that were the case, then I'd argue that books written in code and buried underground in ancient tombs filled with deadly traps are better than books in libraries neatly sorted by the Dewey Decimal System. After all, the latter is "too easy", and hence makes you "stupid" and "lazy", right?
    That is close enough to correct. However, the problem with making it so easily accessible is that it does indeed make people lazy.

    Look at your average "Joe" on the internet, and tell me... how would you judge his intellect?

    Look at someone who studies a particular topic in written form. Lets say me with types of warfare. I tend to favor books (mostly because I enjoy collecting them ) because I find them to be more useful.

    For example, let us say I already had an idea of what I thought "traditional" warfare was. Lets say a presupposition of Clausewitz. I could go on the internet and search for that position. However, if I pick up a book, and have to sift through it... well I am more likely to find something different.

    The ease of access means you do not have to sift through what you like and what you do not like; not good information versus bad information. You do not have to read anything contrary to what you believe.

    This can be done with books as well, but it is a great deal harder to get the idea of a book from its title (unless it has a subtitle).

    I am by no means saying people should be limited in being able to access knowledge easily. I am saying that making it so easy means they can simply continue believing nonsense, rather than be force to sift through differing opinions.

    I submit that there is nothing inherently wrong - and in fact it is a good thing - for information to be easily accessible. People who deride things for being "too easy" are just bitter that certain skills that used to give them an advantage over other people are now obsolete or less helpful now.
    I disagree. I am very bitter, but it is not because I can no longer hold my intelligence over someones head. As a matter of fact I do that on a regular basis. I do not need a "complicated system" to mock those I find inferior. People out there are still inferior to me in many ways.

    The reasons why I am bitter are totally unrelated to this topic.

    The ease of access is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it goes too far, it is, in a way. The internet itself is not "evil", but it allows people to slip into laziness.

    Why learn to operate a clutch when you can drive an automatic? Why learn to search out knowledge on paper when its on the internet? Why bother trying to learn something new when I can simply find something that agrees with me?

    Google makes it very easy to maintain your position. Having to read a book to means you may have to learn something new. Something you did not know, or did not want to know before.
    Witty puns...

  20. #20
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    Re: Usefulness...?

    Why bother trying to learn something new when I can simply find something that agrees with me?
    wow thats kind of like this site
    The internet itself is not "evil", but it allows people to slip into laziness.
    youre lucky, my parents think the internet is bad, they call computers and T.V's idiot boxes
    Look at someone who studies a particular topic in written form. Lets say me with types of warfare. I tend to favor books (mostly because I enjoy collecting them ) because I find them to be more useful.

    For example, let us say I already had an idea of what I thought "traditional" warfare was. Lets say a presupposition of Clausewitz. I could go on the internet and search for that position. However, if I pick up a book, and have to sift through it... well I am more likely to find something different.

    The ease of access means you do not have to sift through what you like and what you do not like; not good information versus bad information. You do not have to read anything contrary to what you believe.
    but what if you find something that used to be a book, but then was transfered into a website?

 

 
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