Communication and Information Technology | Eksamenssæt eng b 2. maj 2009

The texts in Section A focus on new communication and information technology and how we use it. Write a paper (700-1000 words) in which you answer the following questions. Answer the questions separately.

Give an outline of the use of information and communication technology as it is presented in texts 1 and 2.
What is Stuart Jeffries' attitude to mobile phones and e-mail in text 3, and how does he express it? Illustrate your answer with examples from the text.
On the basis of the review of Mark Bauerlein's book The Dumbest Generation (text 4), discuss some appropriate ways of using the Internet.

- Matt Richtel, "Don't Want to Talk About It? Order a Missed Call", an article from The New York Times website, 2008.
- Andrew ICeen, "Sex, Ties and the Internet", an excerpt from his book The Cult of the Amateur. How Today’s Internet is Killing Our Culture and Assaulting Our Economy, 2007.
- Stuart Jeffries, "Technophobia - the sign of a born leader?", a comment from The Guardian website, 2008.
- Lee Drutman, "Review of Mark Bauerlein's book The Dumbest Generation", a review from Los Angeles Times website, 2008.

In the texts, we get to hear about different views on new communication and information technology, and how we use it. The first text is about, how different media and application programs today can be used as impersonal communicative options. The second text is about the consequences by exploiting the internet to lie about criminal actions, adultery etc.
The first text, “Don’t Want to Talk About It? Order a Missed Call”, is an article made by Matt Richtel, published on The New York Times’ website, 2008. The article is a biased statement where different persons show us their attitude towards technologies nowadays. Slydial is an instrument, which allows people, like Alexis Gorman, to dial the voice mail directly so they can avoid having unwanted conversations, for an example if they want to break up with someone as it is in her case.

Stuart Jeffries has a negative attitude towards the escalating use of technology including computers and mobiles. His first attack goes on computers. In order to illuminate the reader with, that it may be wrong to use these, he has used a mix of an expert argument and generalization argument, in which he explains that some of the most successful people are not using computers: “Hedge-Fund billionaire Carl Icahn, who has this week been given three seats on the board of internet company Yahoo, does not, it has been revealed, have a computer. Email, Icahn suggests, is a distraction.” (p. 6, vv. 1-3)


According to Lee Drutman, Mark Bauerlein contends in his book, that, not only is the internet not used for achieving knowledge, it is actually making us dumber. To begin with, I think it is remarkable that he does not use a single statistic. If Bauerlein wants to seem reliable it would be an advantage to verify his main assertion.

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