Technical writers, myself included, tend to tout the benefits and overlook the costs associated with the Internet. In retrospect, regular columns point out the strengths and weaknesses of various aspects of the Internet, but the main emphasis is on the weaknesses, not the strengths.
This is not to say that the Internet’s quick and easy connection can be abused by scammers, N’eerDoWells, and Nogoodniks, so it’s not without its negative effects. In today’s column, I’ll try to balance both perspectives with the example of using the Internet to coordinate family meetings.
My wife and I celebrated Thanksgiving in Iowa with our son and daughter, one of our grandchildren, and his “significant other” at the home of our other grandchildren and their families, including our first great-grandchild. I expected to meet The problem here was getting my son from Albany to Plattsburgh so I could fly with him to Iowa. He was the only bus that left Albany and arrived in Plattsburgh at a reasonable time.
Using the Internet as a search tool, I looked up bus and train timetables and found that while trains are slightly more comfortable, buses are cheaper and have more reasonable arrival and departure times. I was. Although the train will be slightly more comfortable. But then I searched for airlines and found that he could fly from Albany to Chicago and meet us at the terminal around the same time we flew from Burlington. We arranged a flight to Chicago so we could meet in O’Hare and fly to Iowa together. It worked without too much trouble.
Our Christmas plans included taking our son, daughter and granddaughter to Plattsburgh. This created a problem bringing our granddaughter from Europe to Plattsburgh, offering free food and lodging in exchange for horses, pigs and cows. ) In addition, we wanted to coordinate our arrival in Burlington as close as possible to avoid her double crossing of the lake.
Looking back at all my travel arrangements, I have to admit that if I didn’t have the internet, I would still be making phone calls. However, the Internet usually provides “too much information” (aka TMI), which hinders the search process. Much more information can be gathered in a short amount of time, but it takes time to inspect and separate the wheat from the chaff to really solve the problem at hand.
Most of us have always viewed most technology as a double-edged sword. We should learn from a young child who asked her mother, “Where did I come from?” After she explains the whole process in detail, mom asks, “Why did you want to know?”
“Well,” the child replies. TMI.
I’ve found that the most important computer skill a person can acquire is knowing how to formulate questions for the most productive results. This also applies to other creatures, especially humans. I’ve been working with computer technology for over 60 years of him and it’s still hard to get it right on the first try. One of my early bosses had a plaque in his office summarizing this. Do the job right the first time and get it done. ”
Another useful skill is identifying the bias (left or right leaning) of the article itself after retrieving the information from the computer. No opinion is unbiased, but a good source of information on US politics is www.allsides.com/media-bias/ratings.
Another question that arises is whether the article in question leans towards criticism or praise as a whole. An amusing article in the Times of London notes that criticism usually trumps praise when it comes to influencing the behavior of recipients. (www.theguardian.com/science/brain-flapping/2014/may/09/you-suck-why-criticism-is-more-powerful-than-praise) pointed out to be strong. I don’t know why, but I think the “evolutionary theory” presented in the article is the most convincing.
“As many people have noticed, criticism tends to be more powerful and stick in your mind much longer than praise given in the same way (within reason, shouting “I love you”). An arena full of people in the middle of nowhere has less impact than someone arguing (if you’re holding a cue).The efficacy of criticism comes in many forms. The approach above….This is not to say that it is not necessary.Criticism, if done thoughtfully, is a very effective tool to help people improve.Also, in some situations, criticism There is also research to suggest that both admiration and admiration can be equally harmful.It doesn’t make sense logically.However, “it doesn’t make sense logically” may be a slogan of the human brain. not. It should be etched into a brass plaque and nailed to the temporal lobe.
The greater potency of criticism is not just learned responses. Research shows that our brains actually have neurological biases that give more weight to negative stimuli, such as criticism. That’s a very deep prejudice. We evolved to respond quickly and powerfully to negative stimuli and have dedicated brain regions like the amygdala. The amygdala encodes the emotional component of our experiences (such as fear) so that we can stay strong and learn from it quickly.
When living in the wild, “negative stimulus” can often mean “death”. So the sooner you learn from it, the better your chances of survival. Therefore, evolution favors humans who are obsessed with negativity. Our brains may be much more sophisticated today, but criticism is still a negative stimulus and cannot easily switch off millions of years of evolution. ”
I would add that you should be told to “look on the bright side”. This means that default responses tend to automatically choose criticism. I feel blue.
I can’t leave this article without acknowledging my wife’s contributions as a critic, fact-checker, and proofreader.
— Dr. Stewart A. Denenberg is Professor Emeritus of Computer Science at Plattsburgh State University and recently retired after 30 years. Prior to that, he worked as a technical writer, programmer, and consultant for the United States Navy and private companies. Please send comments and suggestions to his blog at www.tec-soc.blogspot.com. It has additional text and links. He can also be reached at email@example.com.