Contrarian Clifford Stoll speaks out:
On computer literacy:
"I don't think our society suffers from a fear of technology. If anything, our problems are rooted in a love affair with gizmos."
"Sure, kids love computers. I met an eighth grader who told me he'd spent his summer vacation logged onto the Internet for seven hours a day. Every day of the summer. A thirteen-year-old girl looked at me with a fresh face and asked, 'How can I meet boys if I'm not on-line?'"
On computers in the classroom:
"Whenever I point out the dubious value of computers in schools, I hear, 'Look, computers are everywhere, so we have to bring them into the classroom.' Well, automobiles are everywhere, too. They play a damned important part in our society, and it's hard to get a job if you can't drive. In fact, cars count for more of our economy than do computers. But we don't teach automotive literacy."
"So how long does it take to learn word processing? A day? Maybe three? Of course, using a computer requires learning to type. Oops, I mean acquiring keyboarding proficiency. Still, this is hardly rocket science."
On computers, the Internet and the information age:
"For years, we've been bludgeoned with the cliché 'information is power.' But information isn't power. After all, who's got the most information in your neighborhood? Librarians. And they're famous for having no power at all. And who has the most power in your community? Politicians. And they're notorious for being ill-informed."
On computers and aesthetics:
"Why are computers so ugly? How come I can buy a red shirt, an orange umbrella, a yellow bowling ball, a green radio, and a blue car, but computers are all beige boxes? It's as if Henry Ford ran the computer business: you can have any color you wish, as long as it's off-white putty."
Dalla seconda/terza di copertina
etonation of the hype surrounding computers in our lives, by the bestselling author of The Cuckoo's Egg and Silicon Snake Oil.
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In a book that should spark debate across the country, Clifford Stoll, one of the pioneers of the Internet and a renowned gadfly of the computer industry, takes an insightful, provocative--and entertaining--look at how computers have encroached on our lives. High Tech Heretic punctures the exaggerated benefits of everything from foisting computers on preschoolers to "free" software to computer "help desks" that help no one at all. Why, Stoll asks, is there a relentless drumbeat for "computer literacy" by educators and the high-tech industry when the computer's most common uses are for word processing and games? Is diverting scarce education resources from teachers and equipment in favor of computers in the classroom the best use of school money? Are supermarket checkout clerks computer literate b