The Good and the Bad

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Kilian 2

"Long, linear-text documents really belong on paper, however, a website acts as an archive for making them available for downloading" 17

"Clicking on an internal link will take readers directly to the section of interest"-17

Yes, Yes, yes. You all probably experience the same frustration as I do when you come across a webpage that's a long column.-many of these are old and abandoned, but still come up in a search engine when you are doing research. reading from a digital screen is different from reading paper text (not content wise). The LCD puts a terrible strain on your eyes after a while (especially now for me: I had an allergic reaction to my contact lens solution).

Don't get me wrong: I just spent my last blog praising computers and the internet for making our lives easier. Despite my frustration, I couldn't function properly without one. But one thing I dislike about electronic texts is the innability to highlight important sections and make notes. I cannot simply read a text-the highlighter and notebook are always at my side (only during school assignments-I would never dare desecrate my Deathly Hallows book). My Anthology of Drama has so many notations next to important lines-in a code probably only disernable to me. I still have to read electronic text the old-fashioned way.

The problem I see with the internal link system and the text search engine associated with Adobe is this: the reader might be missing some valuable material. The link may lead you to a useful section, but there could be much more information that you are missing because you aren't reading the whole document

This past spring, my copy of The Guttenberg Galaxy was stolen from a computer lab when I stepped out for a minute. But I found a substitute-I joined Questia for the free 2 day trial, copied and pasted the entire book (page for page) into a word document, and then deleted my subscription before I had to pay anything. I was able to search the seemingly endless document for the section I had been reading pre-theft. But this convienience tool could be used to cheat. If a professor assigns an electronic text to read and blog about, students could just skip to whatever section and not read the whole paper. Granted, the same can be done with paper text, but it takes longer. Instant information at our fingertips can be used for good, and can be used by lazy people who just want to get the minimum part of the assignment done.

 

 

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