Saturday, July 07, 2007

Too Free or Not Too Free? -- Rant Three

The third one.

I also disagree with the statement that Internet and LAN is not put to any effective use in the first year. Again I have a few points on this.

1. Computer familiarity: I have seen first years students who did not even know how the backspace key works (this is NOT an exaggeration, I have seen such a person). Almost every course in every engg. dept. of IITK requires use of computers. Having a comp at room really helps such people become familiar with an important engineering tool. And yes, DC and gaming and Internet also help!! It is all about knowing what the machine is capable of and what the possibilities are.

2. I have seen this trend of defining 'interaction' in a certain way. You are interacting only when you hanging out in the wing or playing fatta with your dept. buddies. Wake up! The Internet is here and it is here to stay. It has redefined interaction forever. People are surprised when I tell them that I keep in touch with my school mates to the extent to having lengthy intellectual discussions with them. It is enabled by the net. I blog. I get a global audience for my writing. Only through the net. I find myself spending a lot of time on wikipedia which has brought knowledge to my fingertips in a way that was never possible before.

This is not to say that the net is not addictive. Far from it. It is addictive. Wikipedia is addictive like hell. But it is here and I have to learn to deal with it, not shun it. And there is nothing special about this addiction. It is like any other. I distinctly remember one my seniors telling us in a GBM that beware of both LAN and phatta. Both can spoil your acads.

The idea being that LAN and Internet are double edged swords. The best solution is not to get rid of them but to learn how to use them.

I personally feel that as a student, what I would really like is to be told what is good and what is bad. If internet is addictive, tell me that. Even after that if I choose to screw up my life then I demand the right to do it. Yes, this may sound a little harsh and paranoid but I do demand the right to decide for myself and screw up my life if I want to. I don't want others to go on dictating what I should or should not do. And this has nothing to do with LAN or anything. This ban is immaterial. It is the ideology of it all that I disagree with.

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