The mixed blessings of direct access

"Many years ago," campus CIO Pete Siegel writes in his latest blog, "a colleague suggested to me that far more important than any other attribute of the Internet and the Web was the notion of disintermediation, removing the filters and overseers that shape and organize information and services for us, thus allowing us to share and receive information and services with anyone we wanted.

"This 'sleeping giant ' would in fact completely change our lives, he suggested. As I think about it, my colleague was right."

But this big change presents a problem, writes Siegel, the vice provost of UC Davis Information and Educational Technology--"disintermediation has also become an engine for removing individuals in the middle who can help us do things efficiently."

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