The Boston manhunt for the two suspected bombers at that city’s marathon last week was Twitter’s blazing moment in the sun with legions of Twitter folk boasting how much faster they were than the “old media.” Faster, but better?
That’s the question James Gleick puts out there both in his piece in New York magazine’s cover story, “The 21st Century Converges on Boston,” and in what he tells Maureen Dowd in her column in today’s New York Times, “Lost in Space.” Gleick is a former editor and reporter for The Times and an author of several science and technology books including “The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood.”
“The Internet is messy, pointillist, noisy, often wrong,” he tells Dowd, adding, “There’s no perfect trust in cyberspace. There are not only millions of voices, but millions of masks. You don’t know who’s who.” Or who’s delivering the truth or pushing fiction and passing it along as fact.
It’s heartening to read that Gleick still calls himself “an old-media guy, because the information that matters sometimes comes the next day or the next month, when there is time to digest and interpret.”
Many are voicing concerns about the increasing complex challenge of ferreting out accurate information on the
Internet. Yesterday, I heard Maureen Sullivan, President of the American Library Association, speak about the future of libraries.
Previously, Sullivan has noted “the difficulty those we serve have in achieving information and media literacy” in our ever-evolving “socially networked environment.” She echoed the same concern about “discerning fact from conjecture” yesterday.
Today’s libraries are more than just a place to check out books, they provide research tools and agenda-free guidance in Internet searching, aiding seniors and students alike with librarian expertise to set the facts straight.