[Library Media] The Second Age of Reason

georgeweight at integrity.com georgeweight at integrity.com
Tue Sep 30 22:02:48 MDT 2014


My response may not have much to do with the ease of information access
referred to in the quote, but fits one aspect of the "loss of serendipity"
that technology has brought about.
Since I retired, I've done a lot of substitute teaching. That gives me a
lot of exposure to many students in different schools. Once in awhile,
I'll ask the question: "Do you think there is any danger in us losing face
to face communication because of cell phones, social media, texting, and
the like?" Responses are surprising: students will often respond "Yes,
there is real danger. But I for one still prefer face-to-face talking with
my friends."
Anyone see any parallel to the popularity of the published paper book as
it holds its own to e-books? When I'm filling in for a librarian, hard
copy is the preference with many students. This in spite of the fact that
e-books can now be read page-by-page, turning as you go rather than
scrolling like the earlier ones.
Students still show up early in the morning to check out a book, and I
can't leave as soon as I can in some other classes because there's a line
after school wanting a book.
I'll read books the e-way if they're public domain, free, and easily
accessible--but I still pull one off the shelves when a prep period comes
around and I can relax in a soft chair.

> The September 8-15 issue of Time Magazine has in it an article, "The
> Answers Issue," a section of which is titled* The Second Age of Reason:
> Information Overload Will Improve Our Lives*. It describes our current age
> as not the Information Age, but the Age of Answers or the Second Age of
> Reason.
>
> Do you agree with the following quote? I have long been a proponent of
> finding the best information by whatever method or source necessary.
> Serendipity is a search no one takes the time to do anymore, though.
> Browsing? Fat chance! Take the first item on the results hit list and move
> on is more likely.
>
> *"If there's a cost to the age of answers, it's probably our loss of
> serendipity. We've honed our daily news feeds to send us stuff that
> already
> interests us, so we're less likely to stumble upon a quirky story on page
> B-13. We gravitate toward online cocoons of like-minded people who don't
> challenge our assumptions. Optimizing isn't always optimal. *
>
> *"But for the most part, answers are good to know. You just have to ask
> the
> right questions." *
>
> An argument for our Utah Library Media Core Standards if I've ever heard
> one...
>
> Fawn
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