Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oh, well...okay: or,
the neo-Luddite Web 2.0 librarian

Most of the folks I work with probably know that I only half jokingly call myself a neo-Luddite.

I think computers and the 'Net are marvelous tools. However, since they are used by human beings, most of what goes on is a combination of two things:

  • our utter fascination with the newest, most improved whatever
  • our utter hubris, which imagines that what we do with stuff is always actually a good idea.
At its worst, this means that e-technology can be abusive and even dangerous—especially if the people who implement new technologies or applications don't do genuine research at the ground level first, in order to make absolutely certain

  • what the impact will be on the people whose lives and work are affected, and
  • whether those people are able and willing to migrate into the new environment.
Even when the changes are essential to an organization, that research should still be done first.

At a more personal level, my neo-Luddism simply has to do with the fact that I don't need or use a lot of the new e-technology (MP3 players, games, laptops, iPods, downloadable media, etc.). I have nothing against these new toys. I just don't use them.

Unfortunately, I'm in a profession in which I have to be "professionally nice" to people who do want to have and use these things...whether or not they understand the first thing about computers and the 'Net.


So, anyway.... I'm glad we're doing JPL Learning 2.0.

I'm also lazy and resistant. The most difficult bits will be the bits I'm not interested in knowing how to use (see above). The easiest bits will be those I've already been doing—like blogging—and those I want to teach others.

We shall see....

No comments: