SITE: Guide to philosophy on the Internet
DATE OF VISIT: Nov 20/00
DESCRIPTION: This is a philosophy site that offers numerous links and has a search engine to look specifically for references to philosophy. On this site, you can get on mailing lists, talk to philosophers, read articles, discuss topics.
EVALUATION: This is a very informational site, and offers many attractive options. I found this site to be pertinent to our course.
Review by Shanna Madison, University College of the Cariboo
Here is my article review
An interview with Umberto Eco by Patrick Coppock
Reviewed by Shanna Madison
This article is a comprehensive outlook on the philosophy of the Internet. It is a conversation held by Patrick Coppock who interviews a man named Umberto Eco. They discuss a variety of topics on Internet philosophy. First, the article brings up the enormity of information that is presented to us in the Cyber forum. It hints that with all the information and sources available there might just be too much to properly catalogue and digest. This brings up the question of the quality of the information that is available on the Internet. If anyone that has the ability and knowledge to put the information out there does, than what regulates the quality, reliability and pertinence of that information. Therefore, these people have the unique experience of regulating what others read about. They in essence can write about whatsoever they desire.
This article goes on to discuss the difference that technology has on older people than on youth, and that technology sets an incredible pace that can be hard to match. Eco believes that youth have an easier time keeping up and changing along with it. Then the article brings up the value of 'community' on the Internet, and whether being in one can affect real life. In the same respect can the right community also be a way to communicate freely? And when one can communicate freely, where does censorship come in? At what point do we say no more? Umberto Eco is quoted as saying "The Internet is the greatest possibility of abolishing any or every Big Brother" ( Coppock para 7 ). He also said "But in a second step open up the possibility for some Big Brothers to occupy the main lines and the main networks" ( Coppock para 7 ). This offers up some interesting debate topics.
As society becomes more ingrained with technology, the boundaries of humanity are broached. We make artificial intelligence and virtual worlds that defy the senses. This information is important for scientific experiments and research. Coppock and Eco discuss multi-user domains, and the fantasy aspects of the Internet. They debate on how society does not have a center anymore, it lacks substance. The article goes on to mention a host of other topics and is a fascinating read.
1. Coppock, Patrick - An Interview With Umberto Eco- Last Date Visited: Nov 22, 2000
And here is my MUD review:
The Mud environment is one where fantasy takes the upper hand. People are reduced to words and the world is text-based. This is the perfect space for those who enjoy a little adventure. It lets you rescue the damsel in distress, and slay the enemy. What more could a person who enjoys life want? I think that this is a healthy environment for those who choose to spend their time there. Mudding involves interaction with not only a computer, but other players as well. It is a great place to meet people and also have fun. I know people who have been on Mud and find they are a part of a community. These players actually connect with one another. I did not have a chance to enjoy any of these aspects as I stayed up really late one night to finish the assignment. I turned off my COM link so that I could concentrate on finishing my quest. That was probably a mistake, but little did I know that these players help each other and that I could have had help if I had only asked. I got so lost because I found it very hard to navigate on a text-based environment and I now think that one must have a good, or at least partial, spatial ability, which I think that I am sorely lacking.
I felt I was so rushed to try and do this quest that I did not succeed within the time limit, although I was told that some people got up to level three in one hour. Needless to say, this experience was less than rosy for me and I have no desire to go back. Well, maybe if I fancy an adventure I might, but I do think that this is an experience that everyone should try at least once. One of the things I found interesting about Mudding was the way the administrators of the game dealt with cheaters. Now I personally know of a few persons who were accused of this because they helped someone. Now, these people were considered newbies, just like myself. I wondered how anyone got help at all on this program after that and it was really discouraging. I think that the definition for cheating was a little extreme in some cases. During this portion of the course, I was also surprised to learn that someone was taking advantage of others online by verbally abusing them. This surprised me because it happened to be one of the heated discussions we were having in class. It disturbed me, because it was someone from our class, and that meant that I was in the same room with a wacko. It was a bit unnerving. Anyway, this was an interesting assignment and I only wish that we had had more time to complete it, no thanks to the person who wrecked that for the rest of us.