Help 'Save the Infosphere' (from EDTECH-fwd)

Dan Davison Davison at UH.EDU
Wed Jun 12 09:46:35 EST 1991

This is a repost from BIONEWS that will be of interest to


Date: Mon, 10 Jun 91 00:26:48 EDT
From: Sue Anderson <aq941 at cleveland.Freenet.EDU>
Subject: Help "Save the Infosphere" ??
Sender: EDTECH - Educational Technology <EDTECH at OHSTVMA.BITNET>

  This summer and fall, the National Public Telecomputing Network
(NPTN), a nonprofit public computer network headquartered in
Cleveland, Ohio, will be working on it's first annual "Infosphere
Report" -- a research project which will attempt to assess the
nation's health with regard to information age issues.  We are
defining the infosphere as:  the technical and organizational
environment in which the general public can access computer-mediated
communication and information resources.

   The central idea is to conduct an on-going study similar to those
conducted in areas such as economics, population growth and the
environment, with reports appearing every year.  The data will be
cumulative, comparative, and prescriptive.  That is, it is expected
that over-time a portrait will emerge which will describe this
nation's progress as it enters an information age.  It will show
where we are doing well, where we are doing poorly, and where more
emphasis is needed.

    One of the trickiest parts of doing a study like this is trying
to figure out what the critical variables are when measuring
something like the "infosphere."  If you are measuring the health of
the environment, you can measure the presence of various chemicals in
the air, water, or soil.  But how do you measure the health of our
informational environment?

   We have some ideas about what information should be included.  We
might, for example, be interested in finding out how many homes,
schools, and libraries have computers and modems; how many libraries
allow modem and/or internet access to their computerized card
catalogues; and how many government agencies allow modem and/or
internet access to their informational resources.

   We want more ideas.  So we are actively soliciting the computer
networks and telecomputing community to be a part of this effort.  If
you have any thoughts on how the infosphere might best be assessed--
what kind of variables we should be looking at--we'd appreciate your
input.  All suggestion are valued.  Suggestions which also tell us
where we might go to actually FIND that information are cherished!
Please send your suggestions to:

   Sue Anderson, M.Ed., NPTN - Infosphere Project
   aq941 at
   Tom Grundner, Ed.D., NPTN - President
   aa001 at

   Please also feel free to re-post this message where ever you
think appropriate.

dr. dan davison/dept. of biochemical and biophysical sciences/univ. of
Houston/4800 Calhoun/Houston,TX 77204-5934/davison at at UHOU
Disclaimer: As always, I speak only for myself, and, usually, only to

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