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Nico Weenink <[log in to unmask]>
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Nico Weenink <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 17:34:10 +0100
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I am a student in the field of Computers and humanities, and Literature as
well, so my statements might not be plausible.
Before I make my statements clear I would like to state that I missed some
things in this posting i.e.: what is knowledge and how can we quantify
knowledge to test this in such a topic?

I think that the 'new' users don't know much about how the computer or the
Internet works. That is: they know how to send and recieve e-mail, click on
hyperlinks, but they don't know how it works in code. They know about the
use of the system, but not how it works internally. Most people who access
the Internet are not familiair with the OSI-model, TCP/IP or whatever. They
only know it from the outside, not from the inside. They might have a
reasonable understanding of how to handle it, but might not know the basic
principles. For that I would state: they are outsiders as insiders.

To me the topic Mr. Schoch posted sounds interesting. A lot of children are
fimaliair with
e-mail and hypertext (Internet-hypertext. There are more hypertextsystems
though, see Jakob Nielsen's great work). One of the main things to me in
this topic is: they might be fimilair with the system, but are they caoable
of finding what they need? As Nielsen (and others) found out, most users
feel the need to click away when they see a link. They feel the need because
they otherwise think that they are improductive. What is interesting is: are
they capable of finding the things they need, are they familiair with
information retrieval and the use of search engines. I think they are not.
In fact I am starting to believe most users of the Internet are unawere of
the use of Booleans in search-engines for instance. And I even didn't talk
of who 'invented' the Booleans. Furthermore: what do the users know about
binary digits? Who invented them? and so on. I don't think they know much
about it, so I am starting to believe that the 'elder' users are more
familiar with the basic principles, and the younger users are more familiair
with the use of the system. But I might be wrong.

I hope I made my points clear. I am looking forward to your comments and


Nico Weenink
Student at Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Faculty of Literature
Faculty of Computer and Humanities
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Luci belle, non piangete, presto a voi ritornero.
Qual Farfalla voler a quel lume onde m'ardete.