Thursday, February 26, 2004

John BAKEN replies to Anna, re: Italy "house fellow" comments, etc.

Hey, I hear you! When I took 450 with the infamous Wayne Wiegand, who has since retired from the UW-Madison SLIS department and has gone on to greener pastures in Florida (re: more money), the book Bowling Alone was discussed, especially in relation to U.S. communities that no longer hang out in the front yard having discussions with neighbors, but instead hover around the TV and/or computer screen and never get to know their actual neighbors. I'm ashamed to say I can't remember the author's name (aha--the amazing "techno" computer comes through again--Robert Putnam is the author, answer served up in 1st hit, on Google..), but anyway.. we're losing out in the interpersonal relationships of community because of technology! I suppose we all do it (meaning me too--I did it while living in Japan, though I was out to the "izakaya," or bar/restaurant, on a regular basis, where I did interact with many Japanese people, albeit "intoxicated interactions" much of the time..). But what about that?? It's scary, isn't it??

P.S. As I write this, I'm in a computer lab with perhaps 100 other very interesting looking people in very close proximity to me, and yet none of us has exchanged a single word with one another in over an hour. I'm wondering where the young woman beside me is from. What's with that crazy ring on her left hand, that somehow doesn't seem to impede her keyboarding dexterity, as her fingers nimbly tap out a rhythmic pattern (that somehow has a "social cadence" to it). Must be a friend she's e-mailing (now she's checking the message portion of her cell phone)..

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