[SIGCIS-Members] A response to a SIGCIS Command Line panel session presentation on PLATO (Gerardo Con Diaz)

Meryl Alper m.alper at northeastern.edu
Tue May 23 19:25:03 PDT 2017

I would like to amplify
​ the thorough responses of Mar, Nathan, and Con, and express my own
thoughts on this particular paragraph in the Medium post:

"To judge how people communicated in an online forum in 1974 through an
extremely narrow gender-studies lens of 2017 not to mention a lens that is
accustomed to looking at the world of today where billions of people spend
many of their waking hours online, an online world where norms and customs
about online behavior, including notions of what to expect from others
online, have long been established and etched into unspoken law (but are
still widely ignored), is to mischaracterize how things were in the
historical period under examination, and ends up potentially misleading
present-day people hoping to gain some insight into the history of PLATO."

I encourage the author of the Medium post to invest the time in
understanding "an extremely narrow gender-studies lens of 2017" beyond a
Wikipedia page or single SAGE handbook. Both the breadth and pre-1970s
legacies of gender studies might become more readily apparent.

Meryl Alper

*Meryl Alper*
Assistant Professor
Department of Communication Studies
Northeastern University
Holmes 217
m.alper at northeastern.edu
Author, *Giving Voice: Mobile Communication, Disability, and Inequality* (MIT
Press <https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/giving-voice>, Amazon
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