May 10th, 2008

EC Has All The Answers!

Sad Commentary On The World

Dianna got back into crochet, recently. Frankly, I'm impressed, the stuff looks amazing, I'm even having her finally make me a 13-and-a-half foot scarf, à la Tom Baker.

Anyway, she was just poking around online, looking at crochet sites for ideas, and ran across one that gave her pause. It has a lot of user-submitted content and forums associated with it. One post in particular had a comment form someone that raved about a design, but mentioned that she was new to crochet and did not understand all the symbols and abbreviations in the diagrams, and asked for someone to explain them.

Dianna's curious look drew my attention. "I've not done this for YEARS," she said, "and all I had to do was read about 10 pages of one book for it all to come back to me. I don't get what's that hard here." My response was to remind her that she'd read a book, something apparently becoming an alien thing. Used to be, when you didn't understand a subject, you went top the bookstore or library and found a reference. You read the book, you did the research, you were enlightened. Now, the first go-to source is online, and we are all aware (or at least, should be aware) that the info may or may not be accurate. However, in the newest generations, raised to believe they have 300 friends because their MySpace page says they do, even that seems to be too much work. When they don't understand something, they just want you to tell them what they need. The idea of reading a book doesn't seem to occur to them.

Funny, but we appear to have used advanced technology to actually go back to an earlier form of information dissemination. Used to be, info was passed down orally, then writing was developed. Still, most people could not read or write, so oral traditions were the norm. As literacy increased and printing became easier, cheaper, and more accessible, this changed more and more. When it became taken for granted, it was no longer so respected to be able to read, and things slowed down and reversed. Now, we are at a place where less than half of all Americans actually read even single book last year. We're back to demanding an oral passing of information...but now, it's done in the face of choice.

Dianna's comment to the poster? "Read a how-to book." I'm sure that'll go over great.
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