Re: Jamaica Gleaner News – LETTER OF THE DAY – Biggest threat to book – Letters – Thursday | October 28, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010 3:32 AM
Mr. Pryce I believe that your arguments are moot, since Mr. Samuels was not arguing for the internet because: (1) “dependence” on the Internet by children (and adults alike) begins and ends with completing assignments” and “research” activities. (2) Nor was he arguing that “opportunity to hone real thinking skills” would depend on using the internet alone or even primarily. (3) His article didn’t foretell the end of book reading. And fourthly another Letter in today’s paper from the Director of Jamaica’s Public Libraries is appreciating the spread of Computers and Computer Services in all of Jamaica’s libraries, and seeking to add more services as they can.

She has not suggested that it would end book reading. And although I am sure it has had a drastic impact on libraries all across the world. They seem to have gotten with the unstoppable progress, which is what all will eventually have to do.

Even when one does research on the internet, information is still being extracted from books. And although physical Newspaper reading may have decreased, there’s no indication that the publication and purchasing of books is declining. More people are finding it more convenient to read without a physical book (as the strong and consistent sales of things like Kindle etc. shows). But authors are still writing, and will still be writing as long as humans are alive.

And yes, the internet does provide more opportunities for distraction, but learning to ignore those attractions in order to finish the assigned task would be a part of learning to hone one’s thinking and concentration skills. Eventually on-line learners are forced to pick and choose how to use their time. And as Mr. Samuels eluded to (about honing thinking skills) learn to “form a question in order to sift out the pertinent information hidden within the deluge of web-page results from a search engine; unlike us older heads who had it interpreted for us and presented in bound, linear form to be regurgitated verbatim at exam time”

The fact of the matter is that the internet is now here to stay. It is the new way forward, so its not that Jamaican school children have a choice anymore to not use the internet. The question now is, should the Government make it a priority to put in the infrastructure so that more homes have access, or should the companies already providing services in select areas, make their services more universal now?

Some say that the only two things that are guaranteed in life are Tax and Death. I say they are Change and transformation of life energy to the stage we call Death. Every major change (especially with technology) is understandably attended by lots of fear. So yes the internet is accompanied by the challenges you mentioned, but we’ll get over it, like we got over the advent of Television, Airplanes, Microwaves etc. Eventually we’ll see that in-spite of the many negatives the positives are far more.