from Fort McMurray, AB/Nanaimo, BC, Canada

  • Activity

    • Is Google Making Us Stupid?

      10 years ago


      I went to The Pantry for dinner tonight, as is the usual custom for a couple friends and I on band nights. Tonight, it was Josh Agar, Trevor Fisher, and I. Trevor brought along a copy of an essay he was to read for his English class tomorrow. The essay’s title, Is Google Making Us Stupid?, by Nicholas Carr, instantly intrigued me, since I, like many people in today’s society, view Google as an easily-accessible, fast, simple-to-use reference source. And in today’s day and age of “I-know-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now,†who can blame modern society for this trend?

      However, as I read the essay, I really found myself relating to what Carr had to say. He points out that over the past few years, he’s noticed a significant change in the way he thinks, and it’s most noticeable when he reads. It used to be easy for him “immerse himself in a book or lengthy article,†but that doesn’t happen anymore. And I, too, have noticed an increasing difficulty in sitting down and reading a good-sized chunk of text, like an essay, news article, or chapter from a textbook. I find myself skimming the material, taking in the gist of it all. As Carr puts this, “the deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.â€Â

      Carr blames this phenomenon on society’s need for fast answers, fuelled by a tool that we all take for granted these days: The internet. He goes on to point out that, as a writer, “research that once required days in the stacks or periodical rooms of libraries can now be done in minutes.†It’s all at the touch of our fingers, now, and there’s really no way back.

      The article is an excellent read, and somewhat ironically, I found myself trying to skim over it. It is somewhat long, but I knew after I read the first couple paragraphs that I had to read the whole thing thoroughly, for the sake of my literacy.

      It really got me thinking about the state of literacy in today’s society, and it lead me to ask myself: Have we really become a society of skimmers?

      Now I, for one, wish I had the chance to read more than I do; I don’t recall actually reading a novel since the last Harry Potter book came out. And I remember flying through it; I had to get to the end as soon as possible, so if other people tried to spoil the ending in my presence, I would be safe. I read the book in two sittings; I got it the night of the release, and then I stayed up until around five in the morning reading it the first half. That works out to about 300 pages in approximately four hours (there was a bit of a party on release night). I woke up at eleven the next morning and finished the second half in about as much time. Wow, I thought. 607 pages in eight hours. I’m good. But reflecting now, I have to ask myself: Did I really read it?

      No: I skimmed it. I wanted to figure out who died, who lived, and if Harry and his friends managed to win the fight against Voldemort. A book that size, with that much depth, should have taken me twice as long to read, if I really enjoyed it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the book, but I didn’t really take it in.

      Modern culture is all about getting information fast. And while there will always be those people who pace themselves when they read, to take in all of the juicy details, the number of those people is dwindling fast. We really are turning into a society of skimmers, and as much as it makes me sad, there is really nothing we can do about it. Nicholas Carr is absolutely right in blaming this on the internet.

      The internet is a living, growing, constantly expanding global force, and if we’ve learned anything from the internet it’s that anything that starts on it is damn-near impossible to stop. Just look at the invasion of bad grammar that has swept the world in recent years; full and complete sentences don’t exist in internet conversations, and it’s affecting everyday speech. More and more, I see phrases like “BRB,†“LOL,†and “ROFL†working their way into conversations in real life. A disgusting bastardization of the English language? Yes. Is there anything we can do about it? No, not really; it’s just a way people have adapted their vocabulary to conform with the fast-paced society we live in.

      It’s sad. It really is. However, in the twenty-first century, anything that will allow us to cram more into a single day reigns supreme. This makes the internet the King. Gone are the days of tireless research in libraries; all you need to write an essay are Google and Wikipedia. The rest is history, my friend. Libraries are a concept for the textbooks of the not-so-distant future.

      Well, probably not a textbook, per se, but you get my point.

    • Best. Choral. Medley. Ever.

      10 years ago


      Check it here.
      (Sorry, requires RealPlayer)

      Sure, it starts out with an innocent arrangement of Jingle Bells, but then it becomes all Nutcracker-y.

      Made of win.

    • Forum Visibility and Gaming Achievements

      in Forums > Forum Visibility and Gaming Achievements | Follow this topic


      THANK YOU!

      Good God, thank you for giving us the ability to filter forums we never view. I know it's been around for a little while, but thanks, anyway.

      Now: Why don't we have the ability to hide the Gaming Achievements forums? Don't get me wrong, I think that Achievement Hunter is a great resource for gamers, but I'm not really involved in that part of the community. I don't need to see those forums.

      How come we can choose to block out some forums and not others?

      3 replies

    • WLM Connection Problem

      in Forums > WLM Connection Problem | Follow this topic


      Hey, guys. I was wondering if any of you could help me with a problem I've been having with Windows Live Messenger.

      I am able to sign into WLM, but after a few seconds of connectivity, it seems to interrupt my internet connection; I get a "Limited or No Connectivity" message from my computer for a second or two, and then it connects again, and the cycle repeats. I am connecting wirelessly to my own WAN. My brother, who also connects wirlessly, doesn't have the same problem. He's running Windows Vista Home (?) SP1 on a Gateway laptop of some sort.

      I am running Windows XP Home SP3 on a Compaq Presario V2000. 2GB RAM, 2.0 GHz processor. If you have any more questions to ask that might help me solve this, ask away. I posted the issue in my journal, and from there it was determined that this is not a firewall issue.

      I don't believe that this is related to another currently active issue of mine in the Tech Forum regarding "Solution Center" Media. I may be wrong, however.

      Any and all insight is appreciated! Thanks in advance, guys! smiley0.gif

      13 replies

    • BOGMan Cometh!

      11 years ago


      This year's first meeting of the Keyano College Students' Association General Council was tonight. A number of interesting topics were on the agenda, including last year's financial reports and the KCSA Logo*, but there was one that had a certain degree of personal significance to it.

      I am now (unofficially**) the Student Representative on the Keyano College Board of Governors. smiley0.gif

      I won't let you down.

      I promise.

      (*Yes, I actually find this stuff interesting. Shut up.)
      (**Board appointments such of this have to be approved by the Honorable Doug Horner, Alberta's Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. This generally takes a few weeks; chances are high that I won't be official by the first meeting of the Board on September 30th. Kinda lame, but whatever.)

    • This Generation's "Dr. Strangelove"

      11 years ago


      Oh, man. The gang and I went and saw Burn After Reading last night. What a laugh-fest; it was absolutely hilarious. Easily the most effective satire I've seen since Dr. Strangelove.

      The quote that stays with me:
      Chad (Brad Pitt): I'm calling to let you know that your shit... is secure.

      Highly recommended; go see this film.

      On a slightly sadder note, we lost a dear friend of ours this morning. Joshua Agar's Super Nintendo has finally bitten the dust. I was playing a water level in Super Mario World, and I was getting quite a bit of lag going on. I passed it off as normal, because there was a lot of sprites on the screen at the time. Anyway, near the end, all of the sound just kinda faded out; it was extra weird because the video was still working. Anyway, I finished the level without sound (which is harder than it seems) thinking that the problem was just a glitch and it would fix itself. When the screen faded out after totaling my points, the map screen didn't fade in; we were left with just a black screen. We didn't really make a big deal out of it yet, because we had just saved one level before (Blue Switch Palace). We turned off the console, checked the connections, and did the blow-in-the-cartridge thing. No dice. Tried a different game cartridge. Still no luck. Our last hope was that it had just overheated somehow and would be fine in an hour. It still didn't work. I guess it just... died.

      It's kind of a sad occasion; we're going to have a burial for it next weekend, if the snow isn't falling yet. I know it's only the middle of September, but you never really know, here.

      I will now pause for a moment of silence and reflection.


      Anyway, yeah. We're probably going to go on eBay to find a new one. Unless any of you happen to have an old SNES they'd like to sell/get rid of, or know how to fix this one. Leave a comment and let me know.

      Well, that's pretty much it for me.


    • The Facebook Factor

      11 years ago




      Some people seem to think that this changes on Facebook. Guess what:

      The internet is not serious business.
      Facebook is on the internet.
      Therefore: Facebook is not serious business.

      I tend to write stuff in my notes and journals that is joking, sarcastic, or hyperbolic. Take my previous entry, for example. I posted that on all three of my regular community sites: Facebook, Red vs Blue, and Nexopia. On Red vs Blue and Nexopia, based on comments and moderation, it seems that it was taken as it should have been. On Facebook, however, people got enraged.

      Why? What is the difference? Why does Facebook constitute seriousness while jokes can be taken on all other websites?

    • Mix 103.7: A Boycott

      11 years ago


      When I logged in to Facebook on the evening of Thursday, September 11th, I discovered this message in my inbox from Nolan Haukness of Mix 103.7:

      Hey everyone,

      Make sure you are listening tomorrow morning just after 8:00am for a HUGE concert announcement!

      One of the biggest hitmakers of 2008 is coming to Fort McMurray!

      I got really excited; I love it when big acts come here, because it perpetuates more and more acts.

      So, I tuned into Mix 103.7 at 8 on Friday morning, listened to the news broadcast, and then Tubthumping by Chumbawumba came on. The first thing I thought was "Wow, if this is any indication of who they're bringing up here for this big concert announcement, then I'm totally excited."

      I had no idea the disappointment that would come:

      "Get your apple-bottom jeans ready for: Flo Rida."

      I could not believe the huge letdown they had bestowed upon me. I was looking forward to having a musician with talent come up here, especially after the amazing show that Collective Soul and Theory of a Deadman put on in the summer.

      Scratch that, actually: I was looking forward to seeing an actual musician come up here.

      So, I've decided to boycott Mix 103.7. I respect the station for playing the wide variety of music that they do, but the disappointment from the concert announcement is too much to bear. And if you're as let down as I am, you should stop listening to them, as well.

    • Matchbox Twenty

      in Forums > Matchbox Twenty | Follow this topic


      I have a lot of respect for Matchbox Twenty and the guys in it. They're all fantastic singers, and Rob Thomas has one of those voices I can only dream of having.

      Plus, I have respect for any band that uses a piano for a rhythm part as opposed to playing a repetitive line.

      My fondness for Matchbox Twenty is relatively new; I saw a concert of theirs on PBS's Soundstage the other day, and it was great; I really liked how they are able to take their hit songs and do them differently. 3 AM and Real World from that concert come to mind. At the same time, they can really nail their album versions if that's what they're going for; Bright Lights is my favourite song by them, and they rocked it on Soundstage. Those videos linked are parts of the same concert that I found on YouTube. Most of the show is on there; definitely check it out.

      Personally, I'm thinking on doing Bright Lights at my college's performing arts extravaganza in the Spring. Man, I love that song...

      Anyway, what do you guys think of Matchbox Twenty?

      4 replies

    • Windows Live Messenger Problem

      11 years ago


      Hey, guys. I was wondering if any of you could help me with a problem I've been having with Windows Live Messenger.

      I am able to sign into WLM, but after a few seconds of connectivity, it seems to interrupt my internet connection; I get a "Limited or No Connectivity" message from my computer for a second or two, and then it connects again, and the cycle repeats.

      I am running Windows XP Home SP3 on a Compaq Presario V2000. 2GB RAM, 2.0 GHz processor. If you have any more questions to ask that might help me solve this, ask away. If we can't figure it out here, I'll bring it to the tech forum.

      Thanks in advance, guys!

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