Analysis of “the Sleep of Reason” Essay

The “Sleep of Reason” by Michael Gorman is an article that proposes that the internet is a resource that people use often to obtain false information.

Gorman “has worked in libraries in the United States and Britain. ” (Gorman 422-427) He was also a teacher at many library schools. He believes that researched information needs to be from a credible source in order for you to be absolutely sure that it is plausible. Although this article is focused on the positive outcome of all people, it does not prove that Web 2. 0 is indeed hindering our intellectual progression.Gorman once stated that the “often-anarchic world of the Internet” is saturating our culture with a “tide of credulity and misinformation” (“Michael Gorman vs. Web 2. 0”) “The Sleep of Reason” starts out discussing how many people in the United States believe that “every word in the Bible is both true and the literal word of God”.

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(Gorman 422-427) This idea is referred to as “Bible inerrancy”. He compares the fact that some people believe the bible is all true to how some people might believe anything the read or research on the internet to be complete fact.In Gorman’s eyes, every article should be published by a reputable publisher as well as cited for authentic information. Gorman believes that humans learn in two main ways.

The first is from experienced people that know more about a subject than you do; while the other is from personal contacts, books, or teachers that have an acclaimed status. Web 2. 0 is a threat to old research ways, because the old ways “depended on the authenticity of the connection of sources”, while the new Web 2. 0 way does not. With Web 2. 0 anyone can write an article for the world to read.“Everyone is an expert in a world devoid of expertise.

(Gorman 422-427) It does not matter if the information is correct or not. Unless there are citations from a reputable source, there is no way of actually knowing if the information is completely plausible. In order to achieve the reputable status that books have “over 500 years”, the authors of these web articles must have “verifiable credentials or a demonstration of expertise. ” “Citations and bibliographic references” are one way of showing these credentials. (Gorman 422-427) “Digital Maoism or the collective all wise” is the main effect Web 2. 0 and the new age has created as a means of communicating knowledge around the world.

Gorman states that Digital Maoism is a “direct assault on the tradition of individualism in scholarship. ” The idea that everyone can voice their findings or thoughts without a credible citation, he says, will lead “human development to being stunted. ” (Gorman 422-427) The article shows favor to written texts in the way that they are presented. Books are harder to get out to the world because they must be filtered through a publishing company. This filter allows the information inside the text to most likely be correct.The fact that Gorman was once worked in a library shows his bias towards text references. The quality of wiki sites can be seen from many different perspectives.

” (Collis 15) Due to the fact that Gorman is a follower of the traditional scholarly ways; this article does not view both sides of the argument equally. The new age of computers and Web 2. 0 is not a threat to the learning and progression of the human race. The scholarly process has not yet been perfected yet on the internet, but it is close enough to say that it does have enormous amounts of valid information. The collective mind that is the internet is a great resource for finding and giving information.Not all information is cited, but there is still a good chance that with enough feedback from other people that the information is still correct. The idea that anyone can voice their opinions on the internet is a great way to push human development to new heights.

Wikipedia is one of the websites that Gorman attacked directly in his article. It is based around the idea of “user contributed content”. (Collis 15) Although the site does allow anyone to edit any page on the site, the pages are monitored by moderators that correct mistakes made in page credibility.In truth, everyone can be a moderator on Wikipedia to correct mistakes made as well as make updates to needed articles. The cost for Web 2.

0 “based texts are much cheaper to produce”, because they are virtually stored. (Collis 15) Even though Gorman himself may be a credible source on the use of Web 2. 0 hindering human development to an extent, he is not, because of his background as a library teacher. His background gives him a bias towards the new way of information exchange. His views are strictly opinion, because they do not have any credible information or statistical information to back up his view.

Web 2. 0 is a tool all humans may use to learn, teach, and improve our way of life.Works Cited:Gorman, Michael. “The Sleep of Reason. ” Writing a guide for college and beyond.

/Ed. Lester Faigley. Austin, Texas: Pearson, 2010. Print. “Michael Gorman vs. Web 2.

0. ” Chronical of Higher Education. 53. Internet Publishing and Broadcasting and Web Search Portals, 2007.

Web. Collis, Betty. “Web 2. 0 tools and processes in higher education: quality perspectives.

. ” Educational Media International;. 45.



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