atw: Re: Should we give the users what they want?

  • From: "Anthony Self" <ASelf@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <austechwriter@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 11 Mar 2009 17:15:20 +1100

Hi Stuart

In my article, I mentioned that a 1998 study by Cetron found that children 
encountered as much in a single year as their grandparents did in a liftetime. 
If you want to find out more about the methodolgy that Cetron used, then you 
need to dig up the study and read it.

Maybe you were just skimming the article?

And one final thought... you went to the help for the Wiki you've been using 
because the Commoncraft video didn't answer your questions, but how was the 
help for the Wiki written? I have yet to see a Wiki whose Help system is not 
written collaboratively in a Wiki.


>>> Stuart Burnfield <slb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 11/03/09 3:43 PM >>>
On information and skimming: 

Tony's article uncritically quotes statements about the increasing amount of 

"children encounter as much information in a single year as their grandparents 
did in an entire lifetime" 
"The amount of unique new information generated this year will be more than the 
previous 5000 years" 

How is this measured? By volume? If so, that amusing Youtube clip from the 
Batman TV series that my brother sent me probably contains more 'new' 
information than The Feynman Lectures on Physics. Even better, if next year a 
couple of other people post copies of the same Batman scene to Youtube, and 
noone posts another copy of the Feynmann book, would that mean there's now 
triple the amount of new information? 

"Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. 
I skim it." (says Dr Bruce Freidman) 

Could that be because experience has taught Bruce that the typical blog post is 
95% blather and 5% useful information? If blogs were a good medium for 
communicating technical information perhaps they would be read more and skimmed 

BTW I enjoyed and admired that Commoncraft video, but it doesn't answer a 
single one of the many questions I've had about using wikis in the last few 
months. I went to the help. 


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