Saturday, 1 September 2007

Learco Chindamo

Shetlanders are a fairly liberal bunch in my experience (liberal with both peerie and muckle Ls), but the anonymity of Internet forum opinion spoutery seems to bring out a bloodthirsty side in some Shetlink members. During recent discussions on criminality and the punishment of baddies, I was surprised to see how many Shetlinkers support the death penalty and espouse draconian views on the meting out of 'justice' to wrong do-ers. But the slant some Shetlinkers took on a recent national news story got me to thinkin'….

The media furore surrounding the release and subsequent attempted deportation of Learco Chindamo (teenage killer of headmaster Philip Lawrence in 1995) reminded me of certain aspects of the Home Office's attempt to deport Sakchai Makao.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Sociological and ethical impact of Cyber Communities

Introduction 

It is frequently claimed that ‘cyber’ community participation leads to a decline in ‘real’ community participation and that the growth of the Internet as a communications medium has directly resulted in a deterioration of traditional social cohesion within geographically bonded groups of people.

Before evaluation of the statement can begin, it is necessary to define what exactly is meant by the terms “cyber”, “real” and “community”. The Cambridge guide to English Usage describes the term “cyber” as a “1990s prefix / combining form for anything associated with computers and digital communications.... Cyber has proved extremely popular as a means of verbalizing the various responses to the computer age” (Peters, P., 2004, pp136). The term is derived from “cybernetics”, the science of communications and automated control systems in machines and living things.

“Real” is nebulous concept, as it is dependant on the context of its use. In this case it is used in juxtaposition to “cyber”, indicating that it means an absence of electronic or computer aided communication.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

On the Internet in my Underpants

When my flatmate came in from work to find me still sitting in my underpants after an all day Internet binge, I had an epiphany. Maybe I spend too much time online?

I started to use the Internet regularly about 3 years ago, mainly to check emails and do a bit of ‘surfing’, but recently I noticed that the only activities I engage in which don’t appear to require Internet access involves bodily functions and nipping out for milk.