Posted by Jerry Silverman on March 13, 1999 at 16:52:26:
Writing a summary of this Salon is a little like trying to herd cats. Too many threads going this way and that. You'd probably be best served by just sitting back and scrolling through them one at a time.
Here's what you'll find:
1) There is general agreement that the Internet could easily usurp many of the activities of rug conferences - just not the "fun" ones. The rug-touching, people-jostling aspects of a conference will still have to be appreciated in person.
2) There was less agreement about whether the Internet would give rise to a new paradigm for thinking about rugs. The question came down to whether it was possible to have a "paradigm" about a subject whose information was as loosely organized. And if there was no paradigm in the first place, it didn't make much sense to talk about a "new" paradigm.
3) The Internet shows considerable promise for the gathering and exchange of information - and the myriad implications, both positive and not-so-positive, that holds for the future.
4) Would CD-ROMs or Web sites replace books? Not likely, although there are fascinating possibilities that may be realized by the medium as supplements to hardbacks.
5) About the only thing we all agreed on was that the "smell" of rugs would be outside the range of the Internet for the foreseeable future.
I hope you all enjoyed this.
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