There's More to Life…

“Today, I’m one of the world’s leading anthropologists, an accomplished archaeologist, and an award-winning novelist. And, at 41, I’m only now becoming aware of the globetrotting rut I’ve been in my entire life. Looking back on everything I’ve seen and done, I can’t help but ask, ‘Is that all there is?’” more satire from The Onion. —There’s More to Life…

The Gist Generation

“We are the Gist Generation. We have acquired a taste for hit-and-run, cut-and-paste knowledge. We expect a home page or e-mail correspondence to give us the gist and only the gist—time is money and you’re a click away from an iconographic trash can, so get to the point.” Jeff Barbian

"Majestic" Invades Your World

This computer game tries something new. “If a character tells you he’ll call you tomorrow, he’s not kidding. You’ll have to wait a day to get his information. Faxes may arrive without warning, and instant messages may pop up onscreen when you least expect them — maybe even while you’re at work.” —“Majestic” Invades Your World

Don't forward that e-mail just yet!

“Lambert received the e-mail in December, a piece of scrap in the vast electronic junkyard that is the World Wide Web. Regrettably, she says now, she removed the letter’s forwarding markers and unintentionally put her name at the bottom, making it appear that she was the author.” Washington Post —Don’t forward that e-mail just yet!

Jakob Nielsen

learns something from my freshman comp students. On March 13, 2000, I e-mailed web guru Jakob Nielsen to tell him that six of my freshmen spent 8-30 minutes on his site without finding a plain-text “search” link on the home page. A week or so later, I noticed that Nielsen changed his page, making the search feature much more visible.  (See: before and after search option improvement.)  About a year later, Nielsen reported that the change had increased use of his search box by 91%. —Jakob Nielsen

A Society Without Literature

“[A] society without literature, or a society in which literature has been relegated–like some hidden vice–to the margins of social and personal life, and transformed into something like a sectarian cult, is a society condemned to become spiritually barbaric, and even to jeopardize its freedom.” Mario Vargas Llosa