Crap Detection 101, written by Howard Rheingold, is a thorough and exhaustive piece on several strategies employed by Rheingold himself to filter out some of the misinformation that is spread all across the internet. Rheingold is an accomplished writer, journalist, and a fairly prominent figure in the rise of internet journalism and virtual communities as a whole.
Born in Phoenix (Reed), he was no doubt heavily influenced by his artist mother and salesman father. From a young age he expressed a desire to leave the southwest, stating “Phoenix was arid, both intellectually and geographically” (Reed). This yearning to leave led him to Reed College in Portland, Oregon, a well-renowned liberal arts university. There, his interest in the unusual and bizarre was made apparent when, on his first day, “the eager freshman immediately consumed a vast quantity of morning glory seeds, found himself too high to attend orientation, and spent 24 hours in his room painting” (Reed). After Reed, he moved to San Francisco, and attempted to make a living as a writer, writing three “dirty” books and two self-admitted terrible sci-fi novels. It was there that he discovered his first true calling: at the Institute for Noetic Sciences, a research center devoted to the study of the mystical and intuitive experience. At the Institute, Rheingold was given access to one of the first personal computers, the Xerox PARC. It was then that he launched his career as an advocate for personal computing, with a best-selling book in 1993: The Virtual Community: Home-steading on the Electronic Frontier. From there, Rheingold’s career took off. He wrote several more books on the topic of virtual community, a term he is credited with inventing (Rheingold). He enjoyed stints as the editor of HotWired (commercial news website), and continues to write books, with his latest being released in 2012.
Rheingold has been writing at the intersection of the web and interactivity between users for some time now, and while some of his ideas are rather eccentric, you’d expect nothing less from the author who ate too many morning glory seeds. Some of his chief ideals include what he discussed in our reading, and the fact that he has written entire books on what he covered with us in only four pages marks his authority on the subject. He has a unique ability to see patterns and correlations with web users that other authors have been unable to identify, allowing Rheingold to synthesize brand new ideas about how the Web is changing personal interactions.
"Reed Magazine: What It Is, Is Up To Us (1/3)." Reed Magazine: What It Is, Is Up To Us (1/3). N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.
Rheingold, Howard. "Howard Rheingold." Howard Rheingold. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2013.