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"Losing Perspective" - John C. Dvorak


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"Losing Perspective" - John C. Dvorak
Topic: Society 12:17 pm EDT, May 27, 2008

These days everyone is so enthusiastic about the evolution of the Web, with its free content, interesting blogs, citizen journalism, and the rest of it. Not me. The big problem, as I see it, is the decline in general perspective, which is due to the decline in the popularity of newspapers and magazines.

It all started with the idea of the custom newspaper. I've always been against it. It's been trotted about as a supposed good idea since the birth of the Internet. "You only get what news you want to get" was the sales pitch. But how do you really know what news you want when the story has not been written? Most people who want custom news tend to want news only about their hobby or interests. Should a plague sweep through their city, they probably wouldn't know about it until they were dying from it.

Meanwhile, the public continues to read about what they already know. And they hang out only with like-minded people. There are huge cadres of people who are practically duplicates of each other. They all think alike, dress alike, and go to the same group-approved places.

So the audience goes to the Net to get information—most of it without perspective, and, thus, the days of a wide public perspective of the world are almost gone. I blame these three factors: the Internet; newspapers, for not acting responsibly and instead cheapening their product; and educational institutions. Schools do not teach kids how to use the Net responsibly. Kids need to be shown how to make it a useful resource rather than a source of disinformation and gossip.

"Losing Perspective" - John C. Dvorak

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