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Category: information

The Internet – A Basic Human Right?

I was reading an interesting article from the BBC entitled “The myth of free wi-fi”.  I am a tech savvy guy with more computers and iStuff floating around my house than it is possible to use.  To be honest I’m surprised my fridge isn’t wi-fi enabled – perhaps that is my next step.  My thoughts on social media and faith are well documented.  I believe that the internet a shift in the way information flows that is as significant as the invention of the printing press.  So reading an article on open source public wi-fi was right up my street.  However, what caught my attention was this quote from Sam Churchill:

“But it’s a basic requirement these days, just like water and power in a civilised society, that helps people communicate and keep informed.”

We live in a world of serious inequality.  I struggle to reconcile this quote with the picture above.  Having wi-fi in public spaces is a ‘basic requirement’?  If there is one thing that the article has inspired me to do it is “donate some money to water aid“.

We Publish

I’ve just bought a ticket for We Publish, an event in Leeds.  You can buy tickets here for a mere £5 which gets you the whole day conference and lunch too!  Bargain!  Old Broadcasting House is a really good venue too!!  Win, win and win!!

 WePublish is a new type of event that provides an arena for anyone who creates content, publishes or supports digital publishing.

…Whether you are a self-taught blogger or diarist through to a trained, experienced journalist and all the many alternatives between, this event will than an open and sharing look at subjects such as:

How is ‘digital’ changing the way we publish?
Where are ideas got from?
Moderation
Staying on the right side of the law
Getting the right system in place
Beyond the written word – photography, audio, video and other opportunities
Beyond blogging – what else can I do with my content and ideas?
Building and managing audiences
What do mobile phones, iPads and other new platforms means for me?
Getting real – using third party printing solutions
Using social media to best effect
and much much more…

A wide variety of people will see benefit from this event, but it will be of especial interest to:

Bloggers
Journalists (and journalism students)
Publishers (and those involved in publishing)
Technical support specialists (those who facilitate digital publishing)
Third sector and public sector web writers

So you should expect my blog to get a whole lot better from the 22nd =D

Information Overload

Kester Brewin has posted an interesting blog about ‘The Problem with Digital Culture [1]: Too Much, Too Fast’.  This is an issue I have been pondering over the last few weeks.  The internet has revolutionised the way in which we process information as it comes flying at us in faster ways with increasing clickability.  As I type this blog I have already included a link to another that links to some more in a never-ending cascade of information.

Imagine a conveyor-belt of various items coming towards you, some important, some not so. It’s going at a pace which allows you to take each object, think about it and then classify it, categorise it in your own taxonomy, and store it. It’s not the fastest process, but things do get put away tidily.

Now speed up the belt. Why? Because it means you get more stuff. LOTS more stuff. So much stuff is now coming at you that you just don’t have the time to think about it or categorise it. You just throw it over your shoulder into your store and hope it comes in useful one day when you’ve got more time and aren’t so anxious about missing something really important which might be coming down the line.

The increased availability of information and the free flow of information isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The internet connects ideas together and provides the joined up thinking.  The TED talk I blogged earlier in the week shows the amazing possibilities of the free flow of information.  I know that I wouldn’t be as good a guitarist, photographer, theologian…. cook…. without these principles.

Like many train journeys, life seems to pass at increasing speed whilst we sit in the carriage trying to catch a glimpse of something we have passed.  It seems that we often give ourselves whiplash as we spin to look for the moments we have missed.  This also has an impact upon our creativity.  Jonny Baker blogged this video this morning.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb0ssmoXG1I&feature=player_embedded]

The means to networking our creativity are pushing us to greater achievements than ever before as we are inspired by those people who live the other side of the world.  However, those networks create information onslaught which may actually be blocking our creativity by preventing our contemplation? 

On Sunday Dr Ruth led a meditation based on a CBT technique she uses at work.  We took five minutes to contemplate a raisin using all of our different senses.  I had no idea that raisins made noise!  I wonder what else I would notice if I took time out to contemplate it. 

And so I head out for lunch with Dr Ruth, perhaps a coffee and then a birthday bash this evening with friends.