Link to Index to Weekly Class Versions Manual for using the Dear Habermas Site

Dear Habermas Logo and Link to Site Index A Justice Site

Navigation Manual for
Dear Habermas, the Site

Mirror Sites:
CSUDH - Habermas - UWP
Relevant References:
Site Map

Postmodernism, selon Rene Magritte (of Ceci n'est pas une pipe.)
after Rene Magritte's Ceci n'est pas une pipe.

Well, it's a book; but then, it's not a book.

California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created July 30, 2001
Latest update: August 12, 2001

E-Mail Icon
E-Mail Icon

Finding Stuff When You Want It

Teaching Essay by Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata
Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata: July 2001. "Fair Use" encouraged.
There's nothing worse than finding yourself in a research library, surrounded by books, and unable to find the answer to a single simple question. If we had a research librarian for the site, that would be the best solution, but short of that, we need to spend a little time at the start discovering where to find things on the site.

  • How to get onto the site.

    You should be able to type dear habermas into any search engine you use and find a link to our site. Our simplest URL is From there you can link to any of the mirror sites with one click.

  • Understanding what you're doing when you link.
    Whenever you click your mouse on a link, you are giving an instruction to the computer. Often the instruction is for the computer to go to some address (included in the link) and produce new information on your computer screen. I know it feels just like turning a page, but you have to understand how to get back to where you started from. The safest way is the Back button on your browser. But sometimes that doesn't work. We'll tell you what will work in the next section.

    Mostly you need to remember that when you link on the computer your fingers (and the computer) are doing the walking for you. They are retrieving some other document or information you want. All you need to do to find your way around is remember that you've gone into the stacks to retrieve another journal article, or pulled up an old discussion, and that in the academic world, some of us are wont to ask where you got that information, and to demand that you cite your sources.

    The special empowerment of the computer and the Internet is that today so many sources are available electronically that you can study long distance by merely accessing the works on your computer. In the hectic world of modern traffic and two-career families that means that we can work in the interstitial free moments we can find.

  • Realizing that every time you click the mouse you are doing something.

    Pat, this one's for you. You forget that when you link, the computer does something. If you link to an internal page tag, then what the computer does is jump quickly down the page, so you don't have to scroll through the whole thing. That's what happens with the Table of Contents at the start of Dear Habermas. By linking on the section you want, you can jump right to what's new in that section so far this week.

    Our weekly accumulation of sites and essays gets pretty long, especially now that we're all writing. The internal tags just let you jump around the page more quickly and efficiently.

    External tags jump to different files and pages. This means you have to learn to look at the filename. It's called Location at the top of the Netscape browser. It's called Address on my version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Now, that's what I mean by learning to play. If you don't see Location look for another word that might mean the same thing.

    The address or location to which the browsers refer is the Uniform Resource Locator (I think, or something close to that; experiment!) or URL. Every file has an URL. The way the computer gets from one file to the other is by jumping to the new file's address or location.

    Remember, we said THIS IS NOT A BOOK!. And this is where Pat gets in trouble. She reads too much! She treats her computer like a book. When she wants to recheck something, she just turns back a few pages. But it doesn't work so easily with the computer. The reason it doesn't work is that there are lots of fancy gadgets and software so that advertisers can hold you to their site, so you won't leave. You can see it happen if you watch for it. Sometimes, on some sites, the BACK button on your browser is grayed out. It doesn't work. If you're like me you curse the fools that did that to you, because, of course, you can't remember which was the last site you were on, and you want to go back there.

    You need to develop an awareness of the URL. If you're like me, you will move with lightning speed and not think about the URL until some site traps you. Good guys do this as well as bad guys. I'm sure they can give you cogent reasons why it's OK to try to hold you against your will, but I tend to consider it a tort. Once you're aware of which links are internal and which external, you'll develop a sense of whether you can fly without caution. On the Dear Habermas site, Index links most often go to local files on our own site. Sometimes I mark the links External site, if I'm not in too much of a hurry. But sometimes I don't. If you'll alert me, I'll try to clean that up.

    The Essay Index, for example, will generally link to our own essays. But every now and then, I add an external link. It's the jump to external links that bars your easy return. On my computers, I have the Dear Habermas Site set as home on my browsers. So if someone tries to detain me, I simply click on home and I'm back to safe territory. You might try adding an icon for Dear Habermas to your browser's utility bar. You could bookmark the site, but I think that's lots of strokes.An icon is easier.

    When you are lost, there are a couple of quick fixes.

  • Goal of the Site:

    Understanding structural violence and Earl V. Pullias' solution to it. Read extensively. Memorization sucks.

  • Learn to play. Try things. If it's a far out site with lots of technical thingamabobs, try it in the lab or in my office, so you don't crash your own computer. But try! If something doesn't work, experiment.

    If a link doesn't work, look at the page source code. Maybe it's a blatant typo, and you can get the file name from the page source.

    Try alternate spellings. Experiment! The less afraid you are of the equipment, the more likely you are to find what you're looking for.

  • The Site Map