Friday, October 12, 2007

Monday reading; differences in opinion.

Sometimes going on the Internet can be like walking into a library that has 1000's of floors, no card catalog and no distinguishing guidance between the "fiction" and "nonfiction" sections. While the Internet has allowed everyone to have access to information that the traditional mass media may have filtered in the past, it also causes problems with determining what is trustworthy. Especially when it comes to travel. I mean who do you trust? Who really KNOWS what the cultural differences are, and who is going on stereotypes and biases? For example, after a week with a friend in Paris, I felt that the hospitality and warmth the people had so graciously offered had bucked the stereotypes that they were rude. My friend, on the other hand, shockingly revealed on the last day that she didn't like the French and that theory was based on her husband's experience without her a year before and the advice he offered before the trip. So you have to take into account that many people are going to go to the tried and true mass media sites. Including me, but I'll compare what I find there to personalised opinions on a number of more personalised, if less factual sometimes, to what the mass media tells me.

Here's a great site I find helpful when traveling in Europe to understand both positive and negative aspects of different cultures. This guy has his own TV show, his own travel books, and most importantly to me - he spends half of every year there:

This site is a resource for people traveling to different cultures, but I don't find it overwhelmingly helpful because they often require payment. It seems more of a site that I might question sheerly because of the cost, and the gatekeeping of the info:

1 comment:

Andria said...

Great analogy about the Internet and library with no card catalog.
And I'm saving that Rick Steves site address for later....thanks!