04 February 2008

social/asocial

One of the reviews in the New York Times Book Review yesterday was entitled "Log on. Tune out" (by John Lanchester) and concerned Against the machine: being human in the age of the electronic mob by Lee Siegel. The illustration showed a computer warning box: "Disconnected. The Internet's connectivity has unexpectedly isolated you. Sitting alone in front of your computer encourages exhibitionism and asocial behavior." I don't know why it hadn't occurred to me before that there was some weird contrast between the rise of social computing and the asocialability of the internet. Perhaps because I am mostly socializing with people I know in the real world. Connections. Disconnections. It's not really that different from other correspondence exchanges. Like everything else, the internet speeds it up without necessarily adding oodles of value.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/books/review/Lanchester-t.html?ref=books Somehow I'd missed the whole shebang about Lee Siegel and his incestuous and pseudonymous commenting on his own blog entries. And when I googled to find the citation for the book review, I see that others have written on the book.

Still, I've been enjoying playing Scrabulous on Facebook and actually saw a couple students playing realtime physical Scrabble the other day in the library.

And the NGC4LIB (next generation catalog for libraries) list is having a vigorous discussion on privacy of library patrons in a Facebook world.

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