California State University Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747 USA
v: (310) 516-3778
f: (310) 516-4268
Innovative or improved ways of doing things; More equitable access to technology or electronic information
Why I support the development of an International Data Network.
by Oliver Seely, California State University Dominguez Hills
The incidents I’m going to relate below are things that would never have happened if the Internet were not available to me. Though bordering on the trivial, and perhaps not the kinds of things that would look good in a proposal, they still represent a lively and certainly not unproductive experimentation with the new world of electronic information transmission.
The list (discussion group) CAUSERIE is a French list out of the Universite de Quebec. My contacts on the list are warm and friendly. My French improves a little each day. I learn a lot of French slang from KaRiNe (sic.) who writes from Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.
At this writing, 160 people subscribe to CAUSERIE. One hundred thirteen are connected from the United States. Seventeen from Canada, eight from France, and one to three members from each of the following countries: Belgium, Sweden, Australia, the U.K., Poland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Denmark and Germany. So when one or another member from Canada or France bemoans the demise of French as a language and culture, I remind my correspondent that there are more than a hundred English speaking Americans connected in order to practice and to improve their French. The membership is an unknown mix of faculty and students. It doesn’t seem to matter who is who or what one’s age is. Democratization in spite of age and position is one of the marvelous things about e-mail, and will continue to be so until e-mail enters the age of full motion video, then we might be back to square one.
My friends on CAUSERIE, men and women (Mes amis, les Causeurs et Causeuses), talk about all kinds of things. The weather in the south of France and on Corsica (when KaRiNe was on vacation there), the new President of the U.S., the weather in Montreal in January, Pauline and her house full of cats, Mireille and how well she plays the role of “guardienne de la liste”, Francois and his beat-up Ford Mustang, the rural slang of Quebec, le joual, and how at once it is a source of pride and embarrassment for les Quebecois.
And here we are, 160 of us from 16 different countries, meeting daily (and whimsically and gaily), practicing our written French at no expense to ourselves other than the time we spend, and at practically no expense to our institutions (most K1 lines are leased at a flat annual rate, I believe, and most institutions at this time are operating at nowhere near 100% capacity).
We talk about our family members, and how we celebrate holidays, and upcoming personal obligations. Compared to my list XCULT-L (see below), it is a very friendly, even loving group. We may poke fun at each other from time to time, but everyone gets along very well.