How intelligent is an intelligent person?

April 4th, 2008

This morning during breakfast I was reading the bullet, and ever since this question has been on my mind. In the article on Profs leaving on p.5, one of the leaving Profs is quoted “It’s annoying and frustrating to think that as a wage earner with an advanced degree, and the intelligence of an intelligent person, there are certain parts of my country that I can’t afford to life in,…”

I asked my hallmates and they raised the questions, how stupid is a stupid person? and how tall is a tall person ?

Somehow I thought the question is related to some of the discussions we had about geniuses. If anyone finds the answer, let me know.

The end of books

April 4th, 2008

Well, maybe I found the title so intriquing or I have no idea why, I put a post it on the article: “The end of books” and I got it confused with the post it for Tuesdays reading, so I was fortunate enough to read this article. (I probably wouldn’t have due to a full schedule)

But I can only recommend this article (#49) to anyone. The whole text is just as challenging as the title.

The most provocative statement is right in the opening paragraph. “Indeed, the very proliferation of books and other print-based media, so prevalent in this forest -harvesting, paper-wasting age, is held to be a sign of its feverish moribundity, the last futile gasp of a once vital form before it finally passes away forever, dead as God.” (Coover)

Coover suggests, that the novel is dying out, and he holds the oppinion that hypertext is superior to traditional printworks. I totally disagree with him. I can not argue against his points that introducing hypertext in his college writing workshops was more challenging and led to better results. Nonetheless I can not agree with him, that hypertext brings the end of books. Nor, that hypertext can not be put on paper.

I remember as a child we loved the crime novels, where we got to decide at the end of each parapraph, where the detectives should continue, if they should make a right turn or a left or interogate the gardener before the maid and so on. In many ways those novels remind me of hypertext. They came in a book though. And with the book you can curl up in an arm chair, you can take it along on the bus or the metro, or you can trade with your neighbor or sibblings.

Of course laptops can be taken along as well, but honestly who takes their laptop with them for a day at the swimmingpool or the beach. You can shake the sand of a book or dry it in the sun, but a laptop is more sensitive than a book. Also it needs power, a batterie only lasts so long.  Of course you can take the laptop to the porch and plug it in with an extension cord, but the screen is really hard to read when it is sunny.

Another important argument is the energy it takes to read on the computer. I simply prefer print-media. And I saw, on Tuesday, that I wasn’t the only one who had printed the immigrant text.

I can see Coopers arguments for using hypertext in class, it sounds great how many people can work easily on the same story, but I continue to disagree with him that hypertext is the beginning of the end of books.