Here’s my link to the final draft:
Thanks to some of my classmates making some insightful suggestions during my presentation, I decided to switch up the main focus of my final essay, while incorporating a bit of my old essay into it, and that really helped me finish the grueling 2500 words. I managed to come up with a completely new rough draft and final draft in a couple days as opposed to my old rough draft that took me a long ass time to think of and type up. I found this new topic to be a lot more interesting to me so that’s also probably why I was able to complete it in a lesser amount of time. Again I want to say thank you to my classmates who gave me the suggestions cause I think this new essay is a helluva lot better than my old one 🙂
I don’t know about anyone else but i’m finding it difficult to come up with 2500 words while still trying to make this paper interesting. Especially after coming off of Thanksgiving break, the motivation to do anything productive is completely non-existent. Hopefully I can find that spark of interest to help me finish off this mess of an essay. Wish me luck!
Today, like the past two days, have been less about the research and more about organizing everything and polishing things up. Today in class we discussed what we needed to do help our project, and I came to the conclusion that I needed to be more specific in what my project will be about, however, I think that being broad in my subject will help open more questions and answers that will support what I want to talk about (and it will also help me get to that 2500 word mark). So I’m gonna stay on the thesis that I already have and see where that takes me until I decide otherwise.
Today and yesterday have been pretty much the same for me, research and project wise. I have basically been looking at my peer’s projects to try and compare what I’m doing with my own project. The main thing I am currently working on for today however is getting everything done and publishing it in a fairly organized manner.
Part 1/2: The Gathering/Planning
After looking through various sources among the web, I have found a handful that have been pretty helpful in providing information for my project. I have used a book called World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet which is pretty self explanatory in the title. The second source I used was a Ted Talks video called A Visual History On Human Knowledge which discusses how newer studies show that there are many more connections between everything in existence than meets the eye or than what was previously thought. I have also looked into two other articles that talk about why we are so addicted to the internet, and the other talking about why we are wired to connect to each other as humans.
Part 1/2: The Gathering/Planning
Connectivity: As I discussed in my previous nugget, humans strive to connect with each other in various ways, including through electronics. I think that connectivity is a very important tag because my project will be based on the connections made between humans using computers and technologies such as the web.
Networks: Networks could be equally as important as connectivity because networks are the vessels used to connect one thing to another. Our brains, for instance, use networks to send electrical impulses of information from one part of the brain to another, just like how the internet is made up of many networks used to send and receive information from one person to another person.
Knowledge: I decided to add knowledge as a tag in order to help tie in another aspect of why people use technology and computers, and that is to gain knowledge and to help put out knowledge to the world.
Internet: The internet is could be considered one of my most important tags because it brings together all of my tags in a sense. The internet could be used in so many ways, to connect with each other, to gain knowledge, or even for just pure entertainment, that in the future I think it will be almost impossible to avoid internet in order to function in such a media based environment such as the United States.
Brain: This is a particularly interesting tag to add in. However, I decided to add this tag in order to keep myself from going completely off topic from my inquiry project. My main focus is to discuss the similarities between the human brain, and today’s computers, and how both overall continues to evolve and expand everyday.
Part 3: The Advising
The three dreamers I have chosen are Doug C. Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and J.C.R. Licklider. Reading what these three had to say helped my create what I wanted to research for my inquiry project. Each of them had very similar articles in my opinion, in the sense that they all talk about how we should rely more on computers in the future in order to help us reach new heights with our problem solving skills. I decided to tie that in with the fact that we can learn a lot from computers about how our own human brains are wired and eventually in the future, we will be able to completely map out the functions and regions of the entire human brain.
Part 4: The Missioning
I have gotten pretty far in fully deciding what my project is ultimately going to be about. So far I still want to discuss the similarities between the brain, the Internet, and computers. I also want to incorporate what makes humans strive for connections with each other, whether through physical face to face communication, or through computers. The only problem is I believe I will have to be careful in staying on topic and not wandering off into a completely different discussion, because after doing more research, there are so many interesting topics that branch off from the one I aim to do for my project
My nugget comes from a book that was recommended to me by Dr. C called, “World Wide Mind: The Coming Integration of Humanity, Machines, and the Internet” by Michael Chorost. This book is a perfect fit for my research project, for it discusses the synthesis of man and computer, and also digs into why people are so addicted to their electronic devices.
This brief exert from the beginning of the book immediately caught my eye, which states, “This intense connectivity reveals a longing for fast, dense communication-one that current bodies and devices can only partly fulfill.” What Chorost was talking about was how people are constantly texting on their phones no matter what they are doing, and how it can even be a danger to their lives, yet they still proceed to do it. I believe this is because people strive to connect to each other in anyway possible, and using technology such as a phone, or a computer is the fastest and most reliable way possible other than face to face, physical communication.
This simple sentence has already opened up many ideas for my project so I am excited to continue reading the book and I am sure I will be able to capture many nuggets from this source in the future.
The past week has taught me a lot more about the dreamers that I selected and the point that they were trying to get across in their respective articles. The activity that we did in class where we briefly reviewed and compared the dreamers helped me get into their mindset and look at things from different perspectives. My peers also helped me view things in a different perspective, making the goal of my blog, Mapping My Dreamers, a lot easier to write. The three dreamers that I chose were Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, and J.C.R. Licklider. I chose these three because I personally felt like even though they discuss their dreams of the future at different periods in time, they all fairly had the same ideas, even going on to say that they may have been influenced by each others ideas when writing their own. Research for my final project will revolve around the similarities between computers and the human brain, more so looking into how people connect with each other using the internet and gain more and more knowledge through various networks on the web, kind of like how our brains work making neurological connections through the various networks in our bodies that make us who we are. I believe that the dreamers I chose could further help me in my research with their recurring ideas of us using computers to help us evolve as humans into something greater.
My Three Dreamers:
Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework – Doug C. Engelbart
Computer Lib/ Dream Machines – Ted Nelson
Man-computer Symbiosis – J.C.R. Licklider
Advancement of technology – All three of these articles talk about how technology has advanced overtime and continues to advance as society finds new problems to solve, not only talking about computers, but also the tools that we use everyday, including our minds.
Use of computers – The gist of these articles are especially similar with this concept in that they believe computers and and the use of media and the worldwide web will help us prosper and grow at an exponential rate.
Evolution of thinking – Engelbart specifically touches on this subject in the beginning of his article, as he mentions that man continuously finds new problems and solutions to them everyday which has caused us to adapt and evolve overtime, making us smarter and smarter. The other two author also touch on this by saying that using computers and taking advantage of our media resources will help us tremendously with these problems.
Future of humans – I think that each author can agree with each other on the fact that the future will hold big things for us. They each predict in their own way that computers will be the centerfold of all of it.
Overall Similarities – The main points that I have taken from each of these dreamers is that working together towards a common goal as opposed to separately and selfishly will help better our society and make the world a better place, and computers will be the focal point of this for the growth of our knowledge and learning. We have come a long way from using simple tools for survival, and the possibilities for our future are endless considering the advancement of tools today. One of our biggest accomplishments in my opinion is the creation of the computer, because I think it is like an artificial brain, which continues to grow in knowledge everyday, just as the human brain does.
A topic that has continued to pop up in the readings given to us is the relationship between humans and computers, and how much potential this interaction has with the evolution and growth of mankind. Now, I don’t necessarily know how I’m going to incorporate this idea into my project and turn it into a full blown essay, but I know that I want this idea to be the basis of my project. What are your thoughts on this idea?