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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  September 1997, Week 2

COMMUNET September 1997, Week 2

Subject:

Re: CN Demographic Information?

From:

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Community and Civic Network discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 12 Sep 1997 12:14:50 -0400

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (97 lines)

On Fri, 12 Sep 1997, David McMurtrey wrote:


> They each have their own agenda and reasons for being on the Internet.
> For some, their connection to the Internet has literally saved their
> lives.  For others it has meant new jobs, new friends, keeping in touch
> with their family, friends, and professional associates.  For some it is
> a gigantic soap-box.  For most it is an incredible reference resource and
> a great place for self-expression.

  Self-expression is an important part of human need, and it has also
  become an attribute of the disease of libertarian existence that
  renders the Internet impotent.  No man or woman is an island.  Self
  expression with integration is the destruction of the individual
  and of community and society.

>
> On the Internet they all share one thing in common, they are free to be
> who they want to be, say what they want to say, and do what they want to
> do (as long as its legal).  The resources of the Internet are now so vast
> that almost anyone can get the attention that they need, no matter what
> their specific intrests are.  The key word is _attention_ ... I spend
> most of my day paying attention to users and helping them to empower
> themselves through this medium.  I and others are constantly revising
> TFN to meet the needs/desires of our users.

  It is precisely the misguided over emphasis on self and disregard for
  the larger whole that is the only way to achieve true individuality,
  which dooms your perception of the role of electronic communications.

>
> While I now work with youth mostly online, I have been in our local
> schools as a parent and an educational technologist.  The students in
> our schools bear no resemblence to what you describe.  We don't have kids
> firebombing anyone or threatening others with lethal weapons.  If we did,
> I would be very concerned and trying to figure out what to do about it.

  That is because you live in a dream world.  The students I have
  describe are the population of American students described by
  this nation's most renown scholars.  You are not concerned about
  the larger picture because it would pierce your psychology of
  denial.

>
> >  Your snikering dismissal of my attempt to discuss these realities
> >  is the tragic mindset of denial, until death.
> >
> I was not snikering Vigdor.  I was merely frustrated at attempting to find
> some common ground where we could meet and communicate.  I'm very serious
> about what I do and it is very hard to deal with someone who dismisses my
> reality as unimportant because it doesn't conform to a set of statistics.
> Everything seems to be black or white to you, no grey seems to be allowed.

  Alright, lets talk about the grey and the black and white too.
  A viable strategy for the new media must address the whole.

  I readily accept that there is much in American life that is
  the essence of ordered liberty, but far too much and the greater
  part that is so dreadful as to be mind boggling.  My job is not
  to disregard what is going well, but to overcome what is not
  going well and to shake out of complacency the privileged groups
  which are blind to these larger realities.

  If my perspective underscores the American disease, too much to
  your liking, your perspective on a libertarian existence is
  morally corrupt, and systemically dysfunctional.  I am willing
  to meet you half way and sing praises for the success of
  America, are you willing to integrate into your perspective the
  vital need for thinking and acting beyond the narrow self?

  Can we not start that better integration through a sound
  collaborative effort that seeks to make the most of this
  potentially wondrous, new medium?


>
> >  I am searching for the way to social peace
> >  and happiness, while you are following the
> >  marketplace gang, Mr. McMurtrey, right down
> >  the old well traveled black hole.
>
> You may speak for yourself but you cannot speak for me.  I too am
> searching for peace and happiness.  I am not following any marketplace
> gang.  I live and work in a warehouse and long ago gave up the pursuit of
> material things.  I am a parent and a grandparent and I want to leave the
> world a better place for them.  My happiness is derived by helping others
> to empower themselves.  This gives me much satisfaction and I see light at
> the end of the tunnel, not a black hole.

  Maybe there is a glimmer of hope for us all in your vision,
  David, if a larger integration is within your potential.
  Is this adjustment possible?

Vigdor Schreibman - FINS <[log in to unmask]>
[Browse the new Fins Information Age Library,
now located at URL: http://sunsite.utk.edu/FINS/]

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