THE WELCH COMPANY
440 Davis Court #1602
San Francisco, CA 94111-2496
415 781 5700
S U M M A R Y
DIARY: April 27, 1996 09:44 PM Saturday;
Cliff Stoll spoke on usefulness of Internet, PCs, "Silicon Snake Oil."
.....Gilder writes about a wide ranging innovation that would enable
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Automation, Implementing, 930119
Internet, New World Order
Common Sense, Intuition, Learning
Understanding, Learning, Continual, Wisdom
Correlation to accepted practice and
Silicon Snake Oil - Stoll, Clifford
1408 - ..
1409 - Summary/Objective
141001 - Follow up ref SDS 7 0000, ref SDS 6 0000.
141003 - Cliff Stoll gave a talk to the Commonwealth Club of California in San
141004 - Francisco, primarily on the Internet.
141006 - [See review of Internet/intranets at ref SDS 11 line 77.]
141008 - He is the author of "Silicon Snake Oil."
141010 - [See follow up at ref SDS 9 line 49.]
141012 - He seems to be a professor at UC Berkeley. He seems to be about 50
141013 - years old, and is sometimes hyper in his delivery. His discipline is
141014 - evidently astro-pyysics, but he is also a computer expert. He writes
141015 - code, including applications for the Web.
141017 - He noted that most computer applications can be learned in a few hours
141018 - to a few days. The personality of people who are good at computers is
141019 - structured and compatible with following instructions prepared by
141020 - others; he cited someone in Redmond, WA. Cliff characterized people
141021 - who buy manuals for "Dummies" as less rigid in their thinking, and so
141022 - are creative.
141024 - Cliff offered a quote along the lines of:
141026 - In 20 years the __________ will replace teachers in the classroom,
141027 - enabling students to learn faster and more thoroughly by accessing
141028 - information along a broader range and at their own speed.
141030 - Cliff asked the audience who they belive offered this quote. Many
141031 - said Bill Gates, some the said the Tofflers, a few suggested Al
141032 - Gore.
141034 - Cliff said it was Thomas Edison in the 1920's talking about moving
141035 - pictures.
141036 - ..
141037 - Cliff drew from this history that the Internet is not a good
141038 - learning environment. He said learning is hard work that requires
141039 - doing homework and interaction between teacher and student. Learning
141040 - takes discipline, commitment, responsibility. He described the
141041 - Internet and software programs purchased to teach various topics as
141042 - "edutainment" and "infotainment." It strives to make education
141043 - entertaining to hold a paying customer. Cliff feels this is not a
141044 - good model for successful learning.
141045 - ..
141046 - Cliff further pointed out that the Internet does not help people
141047 - run a busines, nor perform the myriad tasks that occur in daily work,
141048 - for example managing, engineering, medicine, and so on. Cliff noted
141049 - daily work is dynamicly driven by information sent and received moment
141050 - to moment, and on the relationship between new information, and what
141051 - has previously transpired on related matters, going back minutes,
141052 - hours, days, weeks, months and years. He said this requires a way to
141053 - manage context, and the Interent cannot do this. As a result, the
141054 - Internet lacks content that is useful for daily work, because there is
141055 - not a way to economically generate and maintain this dynamic.
141057 - [On 960515 example of failed expectations using Internet at
141058 - Turner Construction, ref SDS 10 3286
141060 - This supports review of George Gilder's book quoting Gates and
141061 - others who maintain Internet lacks content that is useful for
141062 - managing daily work. ref SDS 4 2044
141064 - Intel has hit on a more beneficial and possibly practical use of
141065 - the internet to support business communications, per discussion
141066 - with David Vannier at ref SDS 8 line 188.
141068 - Gilder writes about a wide ranging innovation that would enable
141069 - the interent and a cheap ($500) "teleputer" to replace the current
141070 - PC as the common application of general computing for individuals
141071 - and businesses, ref SDS 4 line 142.
141073 - Cliff recommends that children learn to read and write. He describes
141074 - the concept I call "investing intellectual capital", as delayed
141075 - gratification, deferred reward, which I view as the cornorstone of
141076 - civilication, as embodied in religion.
141078 - I certainly agree with his prescription to write. In some respects
141079 - his view that the Internet cannot support learning seems to conflict
141080 - with Tom Landauer's paper on Plato's Problem that says exposure alone
141081 - to text results in an induced learning experience, ref SDS 5 line 323.
141083 - He recognized the difference between information, knowledge and
141084 - wisdom. He also described a distinction between data and information.
141085 - The distinction is similar to the point I make about the difference
141086 - between information and knowldge.
141088 - Cliff might be interested in SDS as a continual learning aid, for the
141089 - reasons at ref SDS 2 line 96.