Archive for the ‘Prep Papers’ Category

Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, said that Americans since the time of the industrial revolution have had issues dealing with how extra (surplus) time is spent. He also mentioned that the creation of the sitcom during World War II has led to an even higher amount of time spent watching meaningless television shows, rather than doing something productive. According to a study done by A.C. Nielsen Co., “The average American watches over 4 hours of tv a day. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube” (“Television & health,2007). I think that there would be a huge increase in knowledge generation if Americans used even a tiny fraction of this time doing something useful like sharing ideas using social media like blogs and Twitter, or just associating with friends, family or colleagues.

If Americans could learn to take time away from their tv consumption, I’m sure that great things could be accomplished. Watching less tv can only be beneficial in a country with an alarming obesity rate and has education as the lowest ranked industry. Taking the time to do something productive is bound to show improvement in these areas because you’re using your brain and actually collaborating with others in the hopes of creating something of importance. Using Web 2.0 for this purpose could generate untold ideas and innovations that might possibly shape future technology and potentially enhance the standard of living.

Course ID: “What did we do with that free time? Well, mostly we panicked and we spent it watching tv” (Shirky). I feel that he was correct in saying that because even today, decades after the invention of television, we still fall back on it for burning up time we don’t know how to spend. What do most people do when they have free time? There are a multitude of options, but television is the one that applies to almost every individual in any situation.

Clay Shirky’s Video, Where Do People Find The Time: Part 1

Part 2


Television & health. (2007). Retrieved from

Prep Paper

Posted: September 19, 2010 in Prep Papers

After looking at the reading by David Warlick,, the part that caught my eye was when he recounted a story about the author of a popular blog and whether it was legitimate information or merely a hoax. It made me think about how easy it would be to manipulate people using the internet because many people in our world today don’t second guess the information that’s presented to them, they accept it and move on. Sites like Wikipedia, great as they are for information gathering, are still susceptible to having people simply log in and change any information on any article they choose.

Kids today generally accept the information they find without question and often times the first place they search is Wikipedia or Google. Most of the time, the information they find is true and relevant, but they should learn to question the answers they come upon; double-check the facts against multiple places. I can’t say that I haven’t also done this, but it seems as though teachers haven’t exactly hammered the point that you can’t trust everything you hear and I believe that it should be talked about more.

“They were seeking and discussing information about the information, rather than accepting the information” (Warlick). This quote was interesting to me because it seems like what the point of a blog is, defined in terms that average people will understand. So, will blogging lead to a better understanding of information presented to us?