July 29, 2010
On Sheets of Paper
Recently I watched a few minutes of On Golden Pond (1981) on television. I was struck by Katharine Hepburn’s character, Ethel Thayer, reading to her cinematic spouse (played by Henry Fonda) a handwritten letter of several pages. The letter is from their daughter (played by Jane Fonda). Hepburn reads portions of the letter aloud, with animated interest and commentary. But it was the pages of handwritten script that really caught my attention. A letter—and a handwritten one! How quaint! And for many of us, what a lost world.Continue reading "On Sheets of Paper"
July 1, 2010
I ♥ Wikipedia
People sometimes ask me what I think of Wikipedia. I love Wikipedia. I use it all the time. And sometimes I’m amazed at what I find. But in my opinion, the Wiki model works best when a topic enjoys a widely distributed knowledge base and a large pool of people with time on their hands to contribute. But as one climbs the ladder of specialization, the knowledge becomes less widely distributed, and those who do have the knowledge are too busy pursuing it to care about contributing to Wikipedia. So as a general rule, the higher one climbs up the pyramid of specialized knowledge, the lower the quality of wiki articles.Continue reading "I ♥ Wikipedia"