Thursday, April 01, 2004

Question 1: I think Greg brings up a good point in Virtual Webs about our perception of the Internet. It would seem that we are trying to transcend the downfalls of the real world through the virtual world, but unfortunately the virtual world is intrinsically tied to the real world and cannot be expected to be better than what the real world can offer. Is it our goal to try to create a virtual world that isn't tied to the real world with the use of maybe artificial intelligence? (aka No persons scanning things in, creating statistics, maintaining sites, etc) It reminds me of Plato's Allegory of the Cave, in which he believed the real world was just a mere representation of something greater, something abstract (a drawn triangle is never a perfect triangle, a perfect triangle may only exist abstractly for the real world will always have fault). Are we really attempting to transcend the real world, or are we simply extending it? (This can be more narrowly focused on communication efforts or to our overarching goal for the Internet)

Question 2: I find it ironic how connectivity to greater sources that the trained/skilled/intellectual population can access must cross the boundary from real to "virtual" (including telephones, etc) by going through an intermediary Greg labels as the lowest-class employees. I find this ironic because we rely on those lowest-class employees to get us to the thing that makes them the lowest-class. This is also related to the Secrets of Silicon Valley video, where the lowest-status employees that were expendable were the ones creating the material that caused the separation gap in information technology. Does this fact haunt these "lowest-class employees," or do they even care? If they do not care, is that another divide between those who have access and those who do not?

Question 3: Does the Internet truly blur the boundaries of cities? It does have positive and negative effects such as separating the community members from each other and allowing them to find peoples of similar interest in other communities, and it also has positive effects that are represented by the community that formed an online presence to save their community. I personally do not think it blurs the boundaries of cities necessarily, but it redefines what it means to be a city instead of tying it immediately to the idea of community. Spatial in the physical sense I do not see any changes as they are well defined by zip codes and block groups, so I see the boundaries of a city are well defined and that is represented well in its web presence, if it has one (although anyone may participate in its web presence while only citizens may participate in the actual city - voting, etc). And, to an extent, the web has forced cities and communities to define its extent better as web presence almost requires that the community identify itself - this can lead to exclusion... but that is, I think, another matter simply related.

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