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The Virtual Revolution

dgdclynx
Grafter
Posts: 187
Registered: 05-04-2007

The Virtual Revolution

I thought I would put in a link to this BBC2 TV series cos last night's interested me. What it was on about was that with the plasticity of the brain children's brains exposed to lots of the Internet were being rewired from linear thinking to associative thinking, whatever exactly that means. Hyperlinking perhaps? Are maths theorems linear.. they may well be.
It was also implied that book culture is on its way out among the young.
iPlayer access to the programme is here...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/virtualrevolution/
as is a Test which, at 67 and not having done proper work for donkey's years was well beyond me  so I quit. It is still waiting for me to try to finish. You have to register with the BBC to try it.
8 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: The Virtual Revolution

i was a bit put out by the constant 'oh woe' in the piece.  the internet is here and we can either enjoy it to its full measure, or seek to ruin each other's pleasure.
associative thinking is non-linear.  when you think of a person, you think of things that connect the two of you that could be unlinked chronologically, such as when your grandad first bought you an ice cream and something served to fix the event in your mind and, years later he had a beer in the pub with you when you turned 18.  those events are associations to your grandad, but they say nothing about grandad.
linear associations would pay attention to attributes of grandad, his physiognomy, skills, likes and dislkes.
you can skip any test you don't fancy.  you may think you can't do them, but i bet you can.  just let your mind not care what the outcome is.  then you can enjoy it.
N/A

Re: The Virtual Revolution

I was surprised by the university lecturer who said that young people were dismayed when they first attended and were told that they would have to read a book.
Why is it so difficult to read a book yet they can read web pages?
I can fully understand what they were getting at when referring to people jumping about from one page to another. I do the same myself and don't take much in really.
At my age I definitely empathise with the thinking that we are undergoing information overload. Probably young people have the capacity to cope with it all though.
Bit concerned about the addicted children in Korea, though one wonders if they are overstating the case.
An interesting an thought-provoking programme and it will be fascinating to see how the Internet-age children develop.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: The Virtual Revolution

korea is a problem of parental persuasion.  if they don't want their kids on all the time, go out and do things with them.
the brother and sister looked well sorted out to me.  he amused me when asked what it must have been like before the internet - boring.  what did they have? - books?  he was spot on.
anyone not born in the internet age grew up with tomes ranging from comfortable to hold (7cm x 1cm paperbacks provided not too thick) to needs a lecturn.
since the internet, i have developed similar 'butterfly' habits of surfing, etc.  i have a number of destops available and place apps according to how i use them.  my browsers have tabs open to websites i consult regularly and spares for wandering about, or following links.  i will flit from email to surf to wiki to patience to watch a short video.  these days i'm given to pausing long films in order to do something else and i relish being able to do what i like as i like.
if you'd paid your ticket for the cinema, you wanted value for money and would watch the whole programme twice through.  as you couldn't pause the action, having to go to the lavatory was an unwelcome imposition.  i remember how useful the commercial television channels were in that they had ad-breaks to be used for the making of tea, with not to much loss of watchable material.
now i can pause whenever i feel like it.
i've never programmed (or owned) a vcr on the grounds that only the ten-year-olds could figure them out.  i now get tuition on mobile phones from toddlers, almost.
the generations after the war had to listen to all the criticism of television and how it will undermine blah, blah, blah.  to my mind, that episode of virtual revolution was more of the same old same old.  of course we can't possibly predict what will happen, but i'm sufficiently relaxed that it will turn out all right to just let it get on with itself.
it's a wonderful, liberating invention that will enable us to do amazing and useful things not yet dreamed of in our philosophy.  bring it on.
N/A

Re: The Virtual Revolution

Quote
but i'm sufficiently relaxed that it will turn out all right to just let it get on with itself.

At my time of life I'm relaxed about it too as how these children grow up probably won't concern me.
However, I was struck by what Baroness Susan Greenfield said about Internet usage and children, in particular that
she hadn't met any parents who disagreed with her.
Spending hours on the Internet, particularly in gaming is subjecting yourself to a world in which there are no consequences.
This can't be good as cause and effect is how we learn.
Also, English grammar and spelling is said to be poorer now - could it be because children are reading books less?
At least the printed word is edited and grammatically correct whereas material found on the Internet often isn't.
198kHz
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 3,217
Thanks: 253
Fixes: 7
Registered: 30-07-2008

Re: The Virtual Revolution

I'd go along with all that, poppy. Even offline, children today are shielded in so many ways from 'real life' and its consequences. One wonders where all this is leading...
Incidentally, has anyone else tried the test referenced in the OP? Apparently I'm a Web Hedgehog.  Undecided
Not young enough to know everything
alanf
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,931
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 1
Registered: 17-10-2007

Re: The Virtual Revolution

Ironic that the series warned about the gathering of personal information yet to take the test  required a BBC login + additional identifying information. One of the principles is that data should only be collected for a reason and no more data than necessary should be collected. What was the purpose of identifying the person taking the test?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: The Virtual Revolution

the collection of information canard is another fear uncertainty and doubt dispenser par excellence.  throughout our lives pre-internet we were recorded on paper, which is limited to the number of people having access to same.  how much did we worry about all the various institutions having access to our personal information?  our gp and maybe local hospital had our medical records; our educational institutions our learning record and so on.
all that's happened with the internet is that the information is more readily accessible to more people, but by how much does that affect our daily lives?  what impacts more effectively is when the information is erroneous and that can be a real headache.  for the most part it is irrelevant.
what is relevant is keeping safe those bits of information, such as passwords and logins to places that give access to my money.  because i don't want some jerk taking money from my bank account, i don't bank online.  whatever i don't want floating about the interwebz, i don't put on my computer.
as to your point, alan, about the purpose of collecting information - because they can.
David_W
Rising Star
Posts: 2,293
Thanks: 29
Registered: 19-07-2007

Re: The Virtual Revolution

Quote from: poppy
Also, English grammar and spelling is said to be poorer now - could it be because children are reading books less?
At least the printed word is edited and grammatically correct whereas material found on the Internet often isn't.

You could easily blame games like World of Warcraft and for the explosion in texting.  It's very hard to be grammatically correct with only 160 characters available to you at one time (although most mobiles allow you to send multiple SMS's which bypass the 160 limit) and with games like WoW you're also limited in available space for what you would like to say, generally one line at a time and probably less than 160 characters.
This then crosses over to other aspects, my niece will use SMS talk when using a messenger service which doesn't have the space limitations, you can type as much as you wish, but kids will still resort to text speak (although I tell her off constantly for it).  As a species we learn by doing, by repeating tasks we learn how the task is done, so the kids are learning how to type with their own version of short-hand, so whilst us older folks (goodness, I'm only 33!) would say "see you later" younger folk (arghh I'm past it) would type "C U l8r" and such, that is their accepted norm, it's their learned behaviour.
We also get stuck with the quality of books which are popular with kids.  Harry Potter is an exception (I've never read a Harry Potter book) in the fact it introduced a large book with hundreds of pages to kids, which is a brilliant thing.  But among girls in particular the "Twilight" series is very popular, having read the Twilight series though, it made me cringe because it's badly written rubbish, the author is no Terry Pratchett/Charles Dickens, heck, she's not even on par with the person that wrote "Spot goes to the zoo" but teenage girls love the series and as it is so popular, they are being introduced to bad writing.
When I was a kid, I used to love reading and especially enjoyed short stories from Aesop, and some person called Anon who was a prolific writer at the time (I was young so thought Anon was an actual person).  So people our age and older would have been brought up on some classic authors, Dhal, Asimov, Clarke, Dickens, but maybe it is a testament to society that the most popular story today is about a guy who's pretending to be a teenager so he can get with an under-age girl and this in turn puts the girl into quite a lot of danger, something kids on the internet should be very aware of!