What is the Times doing printing stuff like this? In a column headed 'Let's face it, the web is actually rubbish' Kevin Maher writes (£):
In fact, it's less than rubbish. If it was rubbish, there might actually be something there. Instead, and in the words of Gertrude Stein, there is no there, there. For the greatest trick that the so-called Information Age has ever pulled, and continues to pull, is to make you believe that there is genuine information available in the first place.
Well there isn't. And you know it. Because deep down inside, when you're sitting in front of your beloved screen, and it's close to midnight, and you're watching a YouTube mash-up of the "Fenton Fenton" clip mixed with a scene from Jurassic Park, there is a tiny voice coming directly from the place where your soul used to be, and it's saying that something, somewhere has gone terribly wrong.
... Google is making our brains stupid because the mode of learning that the internet facilitates lacks depth and rigour, and is destined to produce nothing less than a new generation of surface-skimming morons... the internet material itself, the very ideas that we are skimming, are mostly puerile crap and bloviating nonsense.
... I've registered for a reading pass at the British Library, because, ultimately, I place my faith in published books, in the rigours of study, and in people who know exactly what they're talking about.
OK, so I get freedom of speech, and I get diversity of opinion; I'm seriously in favour of both. But, on the other hand, aren't there some standards, standards to protect against the propagation of plain ignorance and misinformation? You can take your pick from the above.
First, contrary to what Maher says, there is a ton, no, a universe, of information on the internet, including from the newspaper that prints his sad dismissal of it. Why, you can find whole books there, and scholarly journal articles. Second, if Maher finds that he's watching garbage at midnight, he has only himself to blame. He could turn off. Third, there is not just a single mode of learning involved in use of the internet. It depends how it's used - in what combinations. Fourth, the phrase 'puerile crap' is easily applicable to what he himself writes; this lacks depth, balance and the sense to qualify, amongst other signs of mature reflection. Fifth, Maher has placed his faith in published books - well, huzzah! No one who uses the internet had ever thought of them, or thought to continue reading them even once having cottoned on to the world of the web. Sixth, Kevin is going to the library, as he can and should; and as others also do who sometimes go online. Hell, there are libraries that allow readers to access some of their holdings online. Seventh, a person can do more than one thing. Eighth, people who don't know what they're talking about can be found everywhere - on the internet to be sure, and sometimes in books.
One of the great world-changing inventions of the last few decades and a wonderful resource; and this feeble rant is what Maher chooses to give out about it.