My first attempt at the Man-Computer Symbiosis nugget described the growth and importance of the computer language. I am amazed at how complex computers have become on the inside, but they are easily usable on the outside. Here I am sitting on a train back to NOVA and I am able to use the wifi to write my assignment, not giving it a second thought. Thirty some years ago, this concept would be an impossible thought. I feel as if we take the convenience for granted.
“The basic dissimilarity between human languages and computer languages may be the most serious obstacle to true symbiosis. It is reassuring, however, to note what great strides have already been made, through interpretive programs and particularly through assembly or compiling programs such as FORTRAN, to adapt computers to human language forms. The “Information Processing Language” of Shaw, Newell, Simon, and Ellis  represents another line of rapprochement. And, in ALGOL and related systems, men are proving their flexibility by adopting standard formulas of representation and expression that are readily translatable into machine language.
For the purposes of real-time cooperation between men and computers, it will be necessary, however, to make use of an additional and rather different principle of communication and control. The idea may be highlighted by comparing instructions ordinarily addressed to intelligent human beings with instructions ordinarily used with computers. The latter specify precisely the individual steps to take and the sequence in which to take them. The former present or imply something about incentive or motivation, and they supply a criterion by which the human executor of the instructions will know when he has accomplished his task. In short: instructions directed to computers specify courses; instructions-directed to human beings specify goals.”
I realize that we are supposed to pick only a nugget, but I feel as if these two paragraphs are really interconnected. They really resonate with me, the world is changing so quickly, especially in the technological sense. We are in the middle of a technological revolution, and personally I am struggling to keep up. I remember as a child using my imagination to have fun and now I can’t go two seconds without checking my phone.
The importance and complexity of technology is increasing. Getting my first iPod nano in middle school was the greatest thing in the world, and I felt unbelievably cool as I was able to use it with ease. Now as an 18 year old I have an iPhone 5, and even this user friendly phone is still confusing to me. There are still settings on my phone that I don’t understand and have to ask my friends about. The computer language is so important and there are now even computer interpreters who can translate to to technologically challenged people, such as my self. I cannot even count the amount of times my boyfriend, an information systems major, has had to fix my computer or explain how a driver works and I am still confused.
On one hand, the computer language is a barrier between technologically challenged people and those who speak the language. But it is also uniting, countries with previously no huge output to the world as a whole has found there place in the technological world.
In a 20 year difference Dubai has exploded into a technology haven. More so than Dubai, Japan and the United States have also become experts in the language of technology. These countries have the ability to communicate, despite having different cultures, they have the common language of technology.
I entered into this class with some reservations, I had tried to take UNIV 200 once before on campus but had to withdraw due to some scheduling issues. I also have to state that English courses are almost never my favorite class to take. I generally find the way they are constructed to be boring to me, I don’t consider myself to be a highly creative writer which tends to be my downfall in a lot of assignments. I was really surprised just in these two days of class, how much I enjoyed the assignments. The associative trails, was really amusing to me. I have never taken the time to actually track my thought process, its interesting to see what my mind jumps to. As for my inquiry project, I’m not positive what I want to do. If the topic is open to any subject I was really interested in learning about the fine line between cults and legitimate religious organizations. I’m not sure if we have a specific concept to stick to with this project. Although if we do I will figure out a different topic and pursue my interests on my own.
Started: Post Secret.com 8:50ish
End: PBS, Jonestown 9:45
I was a little unsure about this project because I have never experienced an assignment as unique as this. I didn’t know where to start in the great big ocean that is the internet. I started trying to find ideas on Facebook and doing my usual internet routine. I still had no luck, so I decided to take a peek at what the other students had started on; I saw one student had started on Humans of New York which led me to one of my favorite sites Post Secret. As I was scrolling through I discovered a secret about a Mormon who enjoyed dirty dancing and I went from there.
The Mormon secret was quite comical to me; because it was much unexpected I decided to look into Mormonism in general. I learned about the Mormon ideals and strict rules which led me to excommunication rules. I then learned about famous Mormons, most specifically Warren Jeffs. He was a Mormon who committed multiple rapes and formed a cult under the pretense that it was Mormon. This got me interested in other cults, which led me to the discovery Jim Jones a man who caused hundreds of people to commit suicide with his extremely interesting personality.
As I previously stated, I was intrigued yet confused about this assignment as it was something I’ve never encountered. I was skeptical of course, but this assignment led me to the realization that the internet is a vast place with almost limitless possibilities. I was able to go from a simple website where people confess secrets anonymously to learning about a cult leader from the 1970s. Not only is the internet an extraordinary creation, this assignment led me to realize how the mind works. I loved being able to see what my mind associated with what and being able to look up what I was genuinely interested in from every page.
“Machines with interchangeable parts can now be constructed with great economy of effort. In spite of much complexity, they perform reliably. Witness the humble typewriter, or the movie camera, or the automobile. Electrical contacts have ceased to stick when thoroughly understood. Note the automatic telephone exchange, which has hundreds of thousands of such contacts, and yet is reliable. A spider web of metal, sealed in a thin glass container, a wire heated to brilliant glow, in short, the thermionic tube of radio sets, is made by the hundred million, tossed about in packages, plugged into sockets—and it works! Its gossamer parts, the precise location and alignment involved in its construction, would have occupied a master craftsman of the guild for months; now it is built for thirty cents. The world has arrived at an age of cheap complex devices of great reliability; and something is bound to come of it”
I really like this passage’s description of technology. It breaks down computer in a very logical yet somehow artistic description of computers and technology. It made me actually think about how fragile computers and other technology are. For example if one little piece of a computer is out of place the computer will cease to exist, everything is very precise and computer creators and like logical artists. Not only, are computers a piece of art but a person can also create art on a computer. The possibilities with technology are endless, constantly growing, and technology creates new and better technology. It is amazing how computers can seem so simple yet so complex like a puzzle. The world is in the midst of a technological revolution in which we have cheaper technology that everyone will soon be able to afford. It brings in a new level of understanding and education to a higher amount of people across the world.
The two pictures above show how internet and technology is coming to be available to everyone, including children.
“Note the automatic telephone exchange, which has hundreds of thousands of such contacts, and yet is reliable”
People have begun relying almost completely on the internet and other technologies to save them in school, work, and household problems. Luckily technology is generally pretty reliable, so people do not have to be helpless.
Everyone’s brain works differently, this is a given. We all like to think that people think the same so that we can understand what everyone is thinking, but alas this is not the case. In my brain I feel as if I am a very logical and organized at most times. Everyday I wake up and plan out my day before I am even out of bed. My brain works like one big office building, if one cog is out of place my entire day is muddled up. I have different sections in my mind that deal with specific activities, such as school, fun, work, friends, and family. Certain parts work harder than others, if my fun is compromised I am much more likely to work harder in school and work in order to salvage my fun. Although if my school is in trouble, my attitude and fun will suffer, because it is hard to concentrate on having fun if I am stressed. My brain is like a gymnast on a balance beam, if I am not balanced it is impossible for me to walk across the beam. Without balance in my life it is impossible for me to think clearly and be stress free.
The gymnast is my muddled brain and the bar is my goal, which unfortunately is hard to reach if my brain is cluttered and not balanced.
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