- Study Finds Online Comments Hurt Science Understanding (OnLine)
- Depth of Field and Bokeh (Zeiss) (PDF)
Having obtained a B.S. in Chemistry and then taught Science in Junior High School for a decade before leaving to become a software engineer I can say without a doubt that the complaint lodged by the original poster (OP) is quite odd. He begins first with this description:
Study Finds Online Comments Hurt Science Understanding
Posted by Zoetrope on January 6, 2013 at 1:58pm
Chicagoist Article Cited here.
Zoetrope (gender neutral) then follows up the discussion with a reply later on that reads:
Reply by Zoetrope yesterday
It’s not about just being diligent. “In other words, just the tone of the comments . . . can significantly alter how audiences think about the technology itself.” Why do you think that is?
Some people are not fortunate enough to be born ‘diligent’, or with the skills or resources to become ‘diligent’ later in life. I imagine this is why there are Nazis, high fructose corn syrup, Larry the Cable Guy, stuff like that. “If only they had been more diligent!” Oh, brother! This is why we’re doomed. People are stupid and they are posting their thoughts (“facts”) on articles all over the web, sucking the less ‘diligent’ of us into their web of stupidity and sadness.
God help us
Joe Guzzardo said:
The diligent reader would dig further, vet out the facts from the fiction and come to their own conclusions, unless of course you rely exclusively upon Faux News.
The stunner is the later reply to Manny that reads as follows:
Reply by Zoetrope 5 hours ago
Clint H, nice work. Manny, something I’ve noticed about your posts is they’re all really long. I think that’s part of the reason I’m finding it hard not to tune you out. You’re requesting too much info on too many different subjects within the same post, I’m not sure where the hell to start.
What exactly do you have an issue with from the study? If you can sum it up in one paragraph (preferably less) that’d be awesome. Pretend you’re an editor. Would you want to read 100 posts on the Chainlink daily that are the length of yours? Uh oh, I fear the answer I might get…
I commend your determination to question the things around you, though. Keep it up.
That very last sentence is a bit condescending. I can almost envision a plantation owner who is try to humor one of his slaves by demonstrating a great deal of patience with this lesser individual. A gentle pat on the head of the slave (a man 20 years older than he) and a wan smile over his head in reference to a knowing nod from his fellow plantation owner. The nod says, “We put up with so much from these child-like peoples” but we want to be kind. And then it’s back to a sip of tea and a bite of biscuit.
Zoetrope Is Both Lazy And Arrogant
Of all the disciplines he/she could have written about Science is the one where lengthy and involved reports are legendary. With the exception of perhaps the law you will not find drier reading. Brevity is reserved in the instances where research reports are concerned in the Abstract but the density of these usually is such that copious references are required to say anything worthwhile.
Zoetrope is clearly a product of the online age of learning. Or if older than is suspected has fallen prey to the laziness that is inherent in a culture in which Jerry Springer and Rush Limbaugh as the closest thing that people like himself (or herself) get to information gathering. And if you make a steady diet of reading ChainLink all bets are off that you can even spell.
Now let’s put his/her complaint in some context. Assuming that a lengthy thread reply tops out at 500-800 words that would mean that reading a newspaper on a daily basis would require that Zoetrope stick to the Opinion Page and if that proved too exhausting perhaps wander over to the Entertainment section where most of the information is contained in photos of nubile actresses and male hunks on beaches in the dead of winter.
It certainly would not mean that he/she would be steering their attention to the New York Times. And I dare say that had he/she attempted a Tolstoy novel (War and Peace comes to mind) we could expect to find their rotting corpse lying on the floor of the bathroom (assuming that is where this type of person does the bulk of their reading) enveloped in a foul stench of decay.
Zoetrope let’s leave the condescending attitude to your betters who are more capable of pulling that sort of thing off.
(Note: I have included above a scientific discussion of interest to those of you who are photographers. It is published by Carl Zeiss and written by H. H. Nasse. As with most of the technical and scientific information I have grown up reading it is quite dense in terms of its information and also quite “dry”. But is should give you a sense of how scientific journals read. The Abstract is located at the very front of the document. And as with most scientific work you need to bring your mathematics skills with you.)
And You Wonder Why Comments Hold So Much Weight?
If your level of “diligence” when it comes to reading the words of others is as typical as I believe it to be in the general population it is clear why Comments are the end of a thread or article on the Internet have so much “weight“. Lazy readers (and you certainly seem to be one) do not have the energy to do much beyond reading a single paragraph.
With that in mind it is should not be surprising that they glom onto a single item at the end of an article the reading of which resulted in a near coma experience and decided to accept its contentions. The only antidote to this sort of situation is for folks to get serious about being “diligent” in both their reading and their writing.
Lazy readers like yourself belong either on Graphic Novel sites or perhaps in a Haiku Workshop setting. And then again perhaps your best bet is to start a Twitter gathering where similarly challenged individuals can at least maintain their concentration for a span of 150+ characters.