Searching for blog posts tagged with 'internet'

Welcome to Sussex from IT Services

Sep

26

Welcome to Sussex from IT Services

If you are a new student living on campus remember you can connect to the Internet from your bedroom using your own laptop. 

You will find a leaflet giving you instructions on how to do this in your bedroom, and the information is also online at

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/its/roaming/resnet/

If you need any help then from Saturday, Sept 27th, you will be able to book online to attend a ResNet/Wireless workshop, see the IT Services web pages

www.sussex.ac.uk/its

We also provide free, to you, virus protection software on the ITS Welcome CD which you will be given at your IT@Sussex Induction session. See your department's academic timetable for the time of your session.

We look forward to seeing you then.

Caroline House, Acting Director IT Services

Sussex services coming back.

Sep

29

communication, technology, and DIY

Oct

12

One of the things I love most about studying early modern literature is how relevant it seems to modern life. My readings lately have been about the print revolution and how it completely changed the face of human existence. That's not an exaggeration, either. Can you imagine a world without printed media? I certainly can't. It's one of the things that Elizabeth Eisenstein says makes it difficult for us to really understand just how much the advent of the printing press changed the world.

I think there are quite a lot of parallels between Gutenberg's invention and the rise of the internet. It's not a perfect comparison by any means, but the similarities are there. Opening up communication to a whole new group of people, the loosening of one particular authority's grip on information, and the addition, for good or ill, of a whole new range of human experience. People slag off the internet-- hell, I slag off the internet-- but I really feel that it has a lot in common with the printing press in that it's a new form of communication that has quickly become ubiquitous. How many young people now can remember life before the internet? I was around then, and I can barely remember it. I definitely recall doing research the hard way, with actual books and paper library catalogues, instead of with the internet. A world of information is at my fingertips. I wonder if this is how some early modern scholar felt, walking around the churchyard of St. Paul's.

The problem we encounter in a culture where everyone gets to speak up is determining which voices are worth listening to. If Authority no longer dictates who gets a say, it falls to us to be our own Authority. And sometimes we're pretty crap at that. Critical thinking skills don't really come naturally to human beings, much as we like to preen about being The Rational Mammal or some such nonsense. When it comes to it, we're pretty much just jumped-up monkeys with bigger, sharper sticks.

I'm going to have to look into this idea and investigate whether anyone else has drawn these parallels between the growth of printing and the growth of the internet. I think there might be a dissertation there. Or at least a term paper.

The Importance of Speaking Offensively

Nov

18

Tabitha's last blog post, they're cutting WHAT?, was an impassioned call to action and thoughtful critique of the current choices of the university administration. Below it was a comment that read:
 
Tabitha. You make some valid arguments, but I would suggest that you remove the swearing from your article. Its serves only to disengage the reader from your, otherwise, well considered viewpoint.

Bullshit.

Speaking offensively is a very important thing to do.

As I recently read in Zittrain's The Future of the Internet, one danger of the internet—with its profusion of more publically accessible information about and by people—is a dampening of courageous, experimental, and contraversial speech, for fear of causing offense, or having it held against you later. This has to be fought. Zittrain mentions some technical possibilities, but the primary and best way of doing so is by standing up to it, and speaking boldly despite it. Sure, you will offend some people, and sure, you'll say some things you later wish you hadn't said. Some may find your choice of language difficult to take, but offensive language is powerful and important, and replacing it makes a real difference to the tone of what you say, moderating it in a way which substansively changes what is said.

I'm not saying that you shouldn't think carefully about what you're writing or speaking, and their possible consequences, both for you or for others. But it's really vital not to let these fears temper or silence your speaking out about things which are important to you.

The alternative, as Zittrain well points out, is that we all speak like politicians, that our dialogue becomes like one giant press conference. Places where daring, important, powerful and revolutionary ideas are rare indeed.