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10/8/1999 Who do you think you are?

Hi! I'm the author here, and I have no credentials to be talking about computers, I do cite things, but most of what I write comes straight out of my head, and no one really listens to me.

So why are you reading this?

The internet provides a very different source of information. When you consider the print medium, once you print something, it stays that way forever. And, before you ever actually get to print, there are supposedly checks & balances to make sure that the information found in the publication is verifiable, logical, correct, and uses correct grammar. Barring problems with school textbooks, self-published 'zines, and publishers that don't care, the print medium that we all know devotes itself to fact.

The internet, however, allows for anyone to say whatever they want, in the same setting as people who really do know what they are talking about, a search for "sexual" on the internet will get you more porn sites than documents regarding sexual dysfunction. This is where I have found my niche. I can say whatever I want in this journal, in my own words, without citing anyone else if I so choose, and presenting it to the world as a fact. Suck does it all the time; the line between opinion and fact becomes blurred almost to nothingness online. A person with rudimentary writing skills and access to an easy free webhosting service can publish whatever they want online without worrying about what the reader may take from it.

Is the internet trivializing the real writers? I don't think so. It isn't impossible to find original works from educated professionals, but it really is hard. Most of the internet today is people trying to make money. It is a noble effort, but it has removed "information" from the information age. Info is not what passes over the WWW anymore; it is stock prices, book orders on, pornography, downloading games, and email from one friend to another. It is all worthwhile stuff to the person on the receiving end of the transfer, but the content is minimal. A search for the name of a specific book or author will often gain you a long list of sites linking to the site where you can purchase said book, but little content regarding the publication. It is becoming more and more difficult to find plain old information on the internet. The closest thing to a research publication on the internet today is a FAQ, which hardly qualifies as a work of literature.

But the real works are out there. The come from sites that end in *.edu, and the live on outmoded gopher servers, and they get included in long lists of links about the same topic, without regard for the actual content. Sorting through these sources and making sure you get a true source, and not some hack like me, can be the most difficult part of the search.

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