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tv   Book Discussion on Always On  CSPAN  December 29, 2013 1:00pm-1:41pm EST

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>> looked at the united ates 60 ars the american public believed that it was a symbol shooter. >> we at least know that he was shot. we know there was not topsy, and the best occasion. we don't need it now. >> it is surrounded in mystery and speculation. in the case of pakistan in the history of that. one of the amazing stories of the 19 bit new one, the
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succeeded founder of pakistan was a man by the name of leopold holly khan. it was assassinated and he was given a speech of 100,000 of. he was shot and killed in the same place by supposedly allowing gunmen. that individual shot him several times. he subdued by the crowd and his gun taken away. a police inspector came in and shot him six times. so you would never know who was behind. élan wolfman that was doing that. today the speculation about who
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is behind this murder 56 years before. it is now an honor of the prime minister. it was to the military hospital that receives them and tries to revive unsuccessfully. it so happens that are two years later, the film is a doctor there is these benazir bhutto and also successfully tries to revive. a lot of coincidences in the story. >> well, what that coincidence, we are going to wrap the. thank you for joining me today.
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the night thank you very much. >> next on booktv, a few interviews from our college series. american university professor, naomi baron said not to talk about her book, "always on," which looks at how noble technologies are influencing the way we write, read, speak and listen. this interview was conducted at american university in d.c.
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post a american university professor, naomi baron, is technology changing how we communicate? >> guest: yes and no. there's this assumption that the technologies of computers and now mobile phones are changing the way we write to each other because we use abbreviations and acronyms and emoticons. we are not using all that many. and i'll tell you what they mean by that in a second. our social relationships are changing incredibly and i'm going to suggest or personal,
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individual psyches are changing as well. >> let's go through those. >> you bet. let's start with how we read. it's pretty clear is when you're reading things on the screen, you don't do it. whether it the laptop, either reader, tablet computer, mobile phone. you don't throw quite the same way as he do when you're reading in fact, that the subject of the next book. but what we know already is that you tend to skim. or worse, you tend to use the fine function. said the professor set up a key to write an essay. you look at the little snippet of what has been written and you ignore the rest of the content. what we know from the work of the cognitive ecologists is when you read a regular webpage, what you do instead is what you
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describe is the best pattern. the first line of text you probably read most of. by the time you get to the bottom, forget about putting anything in the lower right-hand corner. other people is that it's not exactly the pattern, but it's scattered. >> were to die term comes from clerks >> think of how an made. and you've got a shorter line. so we know that the kind of reading that we tend to do on a screen, when it's a continuous tax, is different from what we do when we surf the web. when you read the same kind of device, you tend to read whether he the biology textbook, we tend to read it but the things we
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skim through and the power used by university college to describe how we actually read. how do we write? because we are not reading a lot of continuous tax, we are writing shorter and shorter and. look at the publishers today. but they will tell you is we don't want the 90,000, 100,000 word books. we want the shortest. a lot of publishers come out with what they call things like stanford short. okay, this is something like 30,000, 40,000 words. stephen king is coming up short in. it does for our notions of what it means to read and therefore the notions of what it means to write because our readers are reading a lot at us. then there's other kinds of changes that can be done. it takes something like spelling.
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remember spellcheck? doesn't do well in homonyms. we change our notion of whether we care about telling her not. people used to elegies actually study the punctuation define interesting patterns. i did a study of his messaging. people don't care about just randomly as punctuation. no, they don't. if you want to ask questions, use the? if you want to make a statement company put in the period. if your two sentences, but the period after the first sentence, but not after the last because it began. there's patterns for use. they're just not what we're taught in grammar school. >> computer programs are also automatically putting in. now. i got to do with space twice. >> guest: it's not automatic. one of the things that's happening is we are changing notions of what it means to be an author.
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these new computer technologies, with your cell phone or ipod or laptop to make us write a great deal more than we used to. we also have a greater sense of we can be informal and a greater sense that people don't really care if they make mistakes. we no longer judge us also forget punctuation or spelling wrong where make a grammatical mistake because the assumption is he read it once and it's gone. we don't feel that this is durable, tangible, long-lasting text that someone will look at and say wait a sec economy made a mistake. >> host: professor baron, the book is "always on." what about the what every generation. what is that? >> guest: it is a term i came up with because i've been teaching in universities for a
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good long time and i had to listen to his chin not so much now, but a few years back keep saying when you ask a question, whatever. it doesn't matter what the answer is. or two people try to figure out where you want to go for lunch. one would say i don't care, whatever. that is the kind of attitude i see developing in an awful lot our writing. namely, we don't think it matters how we write. i need to cough. i'm sorry. so what do i mean by it doesn't matter? if you don't believe somebody's going to read what you write again, and then if you make steaks it's okay. but it gets a little tastier than that. they used to be argued that there were standard of grammar. you can talk about the grammar, spelling as well in that who you were, how you are perceived by other people depended upon
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whether you use grammar correctly. so i left to tell us when i first started teaching an evening at social in the day what do you do. they've fared better watch my grammar. they don't say that to me anymore. i say that school and so forth because we have a sense that there was some language don't matter so much. so if you want to say everyone raise -- what is the word that goes at hand? his hand, her hand come a day? as a linguist, i was raised to believe that there are these rules of language. noam chomsky cut is thinking about how to talk about what people know and linguistic competence. so i knew that everybody who's a
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native speaker in a language has a level of confidence, knows the difference between what's grammatical and what's not grammatical. this is what we worked with for many decades. he died to think people would be consistent and care whether it's everybody raised their hand or everybody raised his or her hand. but when you actually talk with people, they say whatever. are you so hung up on this? it doesn't matter. but then you say okay for the record, which was correct? i say i don't know. so the whole model we've had of what counts as knowledge, whether it's a standard language or dialect, doesn't matter. what is your way of speaking in finding people don't care as much? part of it is because language has become far more informal.
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we write the way we speak rather than having a different register, writing has to be correct it and speech. we're much more writing the way we speak and speak increasingly informally and it doesn't matter to us anymore. the new technologies for communicating, the instant messages and chats and blogs are great avenues for not caring because you think nobody is going to come look at this again anyways. >> are festered baron coming to attach a value judgment to the changing way we read and write? is it good, bad? >> could have been a good linguist can i say of course i don't attach it to value judgment. language changes. here is where i think we need to think twice. if you don't have a love of the language, and appreciation for the possibility, and
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appreciation for its new wants, it is what can i do that's different than the way anyone else has said it? then you're losing out as a writer of the language. one of the problems is we are writing though much a term i like to use this funding scriptorium. do we add it what we write to ask any professional writer? how many drafts did you go through? seven or 12 or whatever as opposed to you -- thanks not come even important names and feel it doesn't matter. then there is a question of what it means to be a good reader. if you are reading "moby dick" on your mobile phone, your reading may be when you wait for the metro to come because you might get a signal when you go inside the car. you are reading when you're bored and are afraid someone might speak with you. but there is looking for
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facebook updates are reading "the new york times" are rather is reading a novel, a lot of that is done to avoid speaking with other people. we have data to show and sometimes pretend to speak. americans do it more than anybody else. so if people have the notion that reading is this one-act dignity rather than sitting to think about it and you're by yourself. i don't care if you imitate a book on the underlying it, try picture electronically or hard copy. they're not wanting libraries. they're not going back to the day once read. but they bought it and say come you know what, i really should go back to that. i see it on my shelf, staring at me. if you've got it in your kindle, you may have 100 books. you thumb through and say what haven't i read. our whole relationship with love reading and what it could be a
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word is changing because devices make it less easy for us to happen upon things we want to read and for us to reflect on what we actually have read. >> professor come you touched on this, but it's been always on gene gene are human interaction? >> guest: unfortunately, you bet you. okay, i tell the story in the book that to me is very emblematic of what the problems are. this story is about the amish. the amish in this case in pennsylvania, lancaster pennsylvania. an interview with don with an honest gentleman about the fact that the amish do not let telephones in their houses. these days because the amish do a lot of business they may have a place by the icehouse we keep the mobile phone, but it's not allowed in the house. why not? is the gentleman who was
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interviewed said because if we have the foam tape precedent over a face-to-face relationship , what kind of people do we become that we care more about some pain not here with us in the person is. but we see over and over again, the cities we do you say you and i are walking down the street chatting in your phone rings. you take the call knowing you have a tax. we know the other person, however much they might like you feels left out. we know these kinds of devices have a lot of social problems attached to them. what is that we can do with these devices and whether it's on a computer, doing im rna mobile phone or face the. you can block people. and instant messaging, if i don't want you to see the away messages sent putting up, the
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student who didn't want his mom to see the slightly racy away messages his attainment, the blocker. was he say, with the dead? now, he wanted to blocker. you can do control the volume. you can see what your level of communication is of people. in face-to-face relationships, if are walking on the street and there you are. i don't want to see you. you might come over and say, hey naomi, hello. i have to learn socially to deal with it. with a new technologies, we are able to block people in various ways. i worry about the kinds of social impact that has upon us. i also worry about the fact we feel we must speak to people. my students were in order to have a back to somebody immediately, maybe they'll be shunned for the social circle.
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you don't get to go to dinner because you didn't answer fast enough. many of them still driven like hamsters on wheels that they must be on. but they'll tell you they don't want to be. this is not good for us. >> host: that's how it affects our psyche. we want to be always on or we don't want to always be on, but we feel compelled? >> guest: we feel conflicted. part of the problem is we recognize that always being available to others or always been able to do something to distract yourself is not necessarily a good thing. quick little story. it is given a lecture yesterday with a group of students were taking a course on digital citizenship. these are all heavily wired kinds of graduates. most of them had a computer in front of them, a laptop when i pet. i was talking about article written in the "atlantic
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monthly" called its facebook making us lonely. so then i got them into little groups and have them ask questions of one another. one of the questions i posed was if you were teaching a class today, mind you if you are teaching a class today, would you want your students to be able to use these technologies in class? and they said no. even the ones who at computers in front of them. i said okay, why a? because we are so distracted. we are not paying attention to what's happening and we feel we always have to have something filling our minds. so they go on and surf and check our status update and read all text messages even though we don't care about and because were not able to focus on one thing at a time and that's not good for us. even though they were the ones who are doing it. >> host: what is your role when it comes to electronic devices in class?
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>> guest: i have made them enemies of my colleagues here at american university because i have a policy. no tele- technology. no computers, i don't care what the tablet is. no mobile phone. so students sometimes say to me, but you weren't sure how to spell this word. i'm not the worlds greatest speller. they're people who have been installed i.e. i may not get it right. and i could look it up. i don't care. if i get to hear the the publication wrong and i said 1963 and a section 1964, all corrected next class. what i want to do is have a conversation. i want to have shared minds thinking together. i belong to an organization called the association of internet researchers. you think we do these kinds of things. we also work on mobile phone
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issues. there's a conversation that went out to say what you do in your class? it's amazing the number of people who do research on these to say no. i say to my students come and the reason you can't use these as i know too much about them and i know how your mind to it tauran. put them away and let's talk. >> host: naomi baron come with the new technologies, is there any past historical trends that are similar to today's technology? >> you start with one question. are we using these technologies to distract us, to say about us from loneliness? to fill the time, to kill time. one of the most common reasons people use their mobile phones is to kill time because they don't want to have anything else going in their minds. so studies were done back in the
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1950s on talk radio. it relates to what's happening with boss actually. one of the questions was who listens to talk radio? if you do psychological profiles, it's people who are lonely. they're looking for communication, but not so close they actually have to participate themselves. so we know that these kinds of devices can be used for those functions. another simple example on this notion of loneliness or being alone. this study was done at stanford university students on eight to 12-year-old girls, looking at how to use social networking. and what he found if the people who did the most amount of social networking and the most amount of multitasking, were
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together you've got your phone i've got my phone number so that together but not really tended to have the lowest self-esteem, tended to have the lowest self-confidence. and only -- this is an interesting piece he added to this study. if you are at eight to 12-year-old girl who would look in the eyes of people you're talking wet with preteens and teenagers. that would compensate for the social networking a day. he didn't end up having most self-esteem and self-worth. what you know is technology can attract people who may already not have the greatest self-esteem, already be lonely. it's nothing different. it didn't take knowledge he has a way of distracting. but probably with the same consequences. >> host: were basically the
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first generation raised entirely with computers and cell phones. are you finding it different in competency in your students? are they more informed, less informed? >> guest: okay, there's someone who works at google by the name of dan russell. he is a concept he calls in pharmacy. what he believes is education needs to be geared. an awful lot of people in lower and higher argued the same thing. we are going to teach people how to find stuff and if you're dan russell at google. they took off the electricity away. we often have no electricity. i ask my students, if your devices don't work, what do you know? the answer is they don't tell
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me. not much. i need to find things. we have studies done in which she said, if you ask people to do a google search. they're better at remembering how they followed the search path and they are at remembering the content. it redefines what it means to know. it's not just because technology. it's the people of education say we think we should learn how to use these are likely to be part of the 21st century generation. it's our fault as much of the technology he saw. we are raising a generation of people to believe what matters is if you can find it. not what you know, not who you
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are. that worries me. >> host: by serbia wikipedia? >> guest: wikipedia. there's people who have been fed over my dead out of you can use wikipedia. wikipedia -- a good analysis of the growth of encyclopedias and why they came to be in the first place. this explosion of knowledge in the 16th and 17 century. the commercial encyclopedias and they really wanted the common man to be able to read and could not afford that book. thank you. jimmy wells had a terrific idea. wikipedia has been very, very hopeful. i use it. why do i use it?
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when i put in a search term, thanks to collaboration, wikipedia is the first hit. it needs to be. nowadays. i look at it first hit gives me ideas and says this is what i have to do research on. the question is of any kind of research, do you stop fair? to use a done deal? or do you say have learned some rain, but now i need to go learn it in depth. the problem is that lack of in-depth learning and the lack of motivation. the lack of saying i could actually read a book. so many libraries to get rid of the book and say what you need to do is treated as an e-book for some kind of a file. the problem with that is we lose the contemplation. we lose the hands on the plane out five books and saying this was his face.
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his son says something very different. what do i know about the authors? this is what we used to train students to do. the technology is not hot enough that kind of teaching, which is to her students -- are meant in our society's detriment. >> host: naomi baron, who was studying linguistics today? >> guest: who was studying linguistics? this is a broad question. is a linguist, what i will tell you is that term is defined differently depending upon which individually or talk with, which institution, which country. we have studies of grammar. in linguistics, the biggest topic today is endangered languages. homonym languages are there? express finish. something like that. how many languages are dying at a day, meaning they are no
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longer living speakers of the language? the bunch. depends if you speak. people are projecting 50 years from now. maybe there'll be 1000 because for all kinds of social and political and economic, speaking a language very few people speak doesn't seem worth it. children are now learning of languages from parent. if you go to linguistics, where are their lot the sessions on what do we do what about the big issue. another big issue is is very lingua franca, by which i mean back in the middle ages. is there one language that pretty much we share amongst ourselves quite it is sad that used to be lat. and in the 18th century, it was french. and then it became english
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understanding of the united states in the 20 century after world war i and world war ii. should the birds are american style you how they should speak? or should people their languages as they wish themselves because postilion accent is very different. should we let people under autonomy's with the way this be? it's another big issue because they get into social right of speakers. are you going to tell me because i speak of verse in english that not real enough? i'm going to have to do at a particular way. the sold movement source whatever. the movement towards cultural diversity has been one which says i'm not going to judge her
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accent. we don't judge them as much as we used to. we're much more international society. so how that plays out in terms of grammar rules, standards, that is going to be one of the interesting things. >> host: how has the containing as message of being always on changed us? >> it has led to a lot of frustration in security that he talked about a little earlier. it is also in some ways i miss nomar. take the phrase instant messaging. that suggests are going to respond immediately. the so-called increments to medication. if you run eight or 12 im chat. i know people don't instant messaging alias a much as they used to. but if you do is fix the reader return at time, of course you're not doing it at the same time. you do one and then another and
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another. you said the recent spelling and grammar is so bad is because her instantaneously sending this stuff out. a lot of people added their ims. you get groups together and say i got this e-mail from a guy ask. this is not going to respond. what do you think? so we don't actually take this instant as they call that we have to respond immediately unless we're in a particular social group. social groups that had recently expressed it in responding to insecurity. so if i send an e-mail and want an answer right away, to somebody and i don't get a response right away, i may be unhappy, but the person has a right.
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if i send an im to someone in the person doesn't respond right away, it doesn't matter what type lga use. a person has a right. corporate turning to understand. more and more people are beginning to understand, it is a problem to always be on. so you take the work of somebody like nicholas carr read the article and the book. you take people at gordon powers who who wrote this powerful book called hamlets but very briefly to have to find time or you're not doing this. you won't have the right kind of social interactions. you take people like mary ann wolf. towards the end of her but she starts worrying, to repeat the same way? to be always have to be reading that's where it's been heading down in your free time. what kind of people have we become? you have a lot of dismisses not saying there's going to be no
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e-mail on fridays because i want you to get productive work done. it's better for your soul and for our bottom line. you take maggie jackson's book on distracting. more and more people are starting to recognize in the way they did 10 years ago. this may not be good for us. where this will go, i don't know. to me, at least it to beginning. >> host: which devices do you own? and you ever turn them on? >> guest: do i ever turn them on is the question. i have a laptop, and i pat. my husband has a couple of the readers a bar once in a while. i have no sense of place where i am. i don't want to be 150 page book before hundred pages because that's what they are on the kindle. and i have a mobile phone. we used to joke in my family,
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why did i bother having a mobile phone because it was always turned off. and that was in the list. the only reason i turn it on is the iphone takes so long to warm up. i only use it when they need it. people say to you studied this stuff? don't you know, don't you care? is that it's because i studied this stuff. i safety relays how long humans kind has lived without having these devices? is there some emergency, i'll wait. probably okay. my husband has its own. so come find me. i don't need to live that way. i have a much better blood pressure because of it. >> host: naomi baron, are you seeing changes in your statements in the way they communicate with you in the classroom, looking you in the
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eye, talking with you, talking with each other? >> guest: here is the first change i see. they started up almost 10 years ago. faculty members are supposed to have office hours, right? a lot of office hours. the joke we used to tell one another as we feel like the lonely maytag repair man. you have to be a certain history or. the repairman never have. students stopped coming to office hours. they can e-mail you 24/7, depending how you do things. they don't have to show it. they do however now expect to get an answer immediately. if i get an e-mail from someone at 2:00 in the mornings i am not clear about this assignment, if i wait until monday to respond, with student evaluations,, does not race on to students.
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so one of the big changes if they don't physically show what. a second big changes there is an expectation structure that's different and it's not just at is in response. the third is a total lack of understanding that if you talk with someone face to face. at the same issue of teaching courses online. the things that happen in that exchange between pete all that wouldn't happen if i'm typing or if i am only sharing your voice. we have synchronous online course. it's a different dynamic. that i think is the new dynamic in the fact is the crack is to the judgment of students. i don't have the chance to come up with the idea that they would have are looking at the glimpse of the eye or the disappointments are looking at something else going on but has nothing to do with what you're talking about the stopping you from doing your assignment.
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i can't do that unless i'm with you. so those are the changes i see. >> host: finally, in europe "always on," u.s., spurs noncognitive change associate with language tools really can be laid at the feet of the technologies themselves? >> guest: i do. but service spelling punctuation because a nice simple example of what i believe is the case, mice did in southern laos in terms of knowing the rules of punctuation. i haven't a clue what to do with it; or: and, sieges serta sprinkle like pepperoni caesar salad. it's not their fault. no one taught them. our pedagogy changed. a lot of them say we rely on spellcheck. i skipped the vote through
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kindergarten through high school. did anyone focus on spelling? no. the faculty think i need to focus on other things. i shouldn't be dopers nikki about some of these kinds of things. it's not the students follow. if we change our expect patience of our goals than education, instead of reflecting, instead of being by yourself and think income and set up reading for a long period of time with no distractors, it's not the technology. so one of my major concerns is how much we should take the blame. another issue is why isn't this happening in society? is not the technology that's doing it. it's a social change, for better or worse. so take, for example,


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