Inquiry Project Ideas

One idea, and it would be similar to some of the essays we read for this class, is to make an argument about where I think man-computer interactions and symbiosis is going. I could possibly talk about wearables, VR, maybe bionics. It doesn’t seem argumentative enough though and it’s a bit generic. I’d say both the reparations and kitty litter examples could be considered controversial and that could be a huge element to making an interesting research topic. Maybe I could make an argument moving away from representative-based democracies since we have the ability to have virtual assemblies. Our government systems could be considered outdated. I’m thinking something less serious in tone would be bit more up my alley like the influence of the digital age on pop-culture or some such thing.

Reflection Post

I allowed myself to get really behind in this class and I realize I have some bad habits when it comes to something that involves daily ‘maintenance.’ I also have a harder time with more open, creative thinking as well. I’m glad I’m not an art student. I find when I’m given a very concise objective I work much more efficiently. Often when given a task of just thinking of anything and writing, I feel overwhelmed and it makes me want to put off the task. The idea of having to research a subject of my choosing is daunting for me. I feel like a lot of people enjoy that sort of choice. Hopefully, I can find something that interest me that I can elaborate on and work on these weaknesses of mine.

Analyzing the Obvious

My initial obvious observation was aluminium is hard. I came about that question since were talking about man-computer interactions and my computer is made of aluminium. I initially entered the question into a google search and found a wikipedia page on aluminium. Wikipedia is actually very similar to some of the ideas that Vannevar Bush talked about. One thing I found interesting is that on the aluminium alloy page anodizing doesn’t have a link despite having a Wikipedia page. I almost got too lazy to look it up because of that and probably would have been if Chrome didn’t have a highlight and right-click functionality to search Google. I’m really surprised that the link functionality on Wikipedia isn’t automatic and is instead manual dependent on who made or edited the page. When it comes to Man-Computer interactions, convenience is everything.

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Man-Computer Symbiosis Revised

“The second point is that a very important section of memory will be permanent: part indelible memory and part published memory. The computer will be able to write once into indelible memory, and then read back indefinitely, but the computer will not be able to erase indelible memory. (It may also over-write, turning all the 0’s into l’s, as though marking over what was written earlier.) Published memory will be “read-only” memory. It will be introduced into the computer already structured. The computer will be able to refer to it repeatedly, but not to change it.”

It’s actually somewhat scary how disposable memory is now. I remember when I was little we use to have pictures in picture albums. Probably a lot of people still print pictures out, but I know our family got away from it except for very special occasions. My last phone broke and I lost hundreds of pictures. If you manage to publish it to some social network or to cloud storage, it’s all a bit more permanent given who’s storing your stuff doesn’t go out of business one day. I’ve never really put the effort to do that and to be frank, the lack of potential privacy always made me a bit nervous. I’ve seen entire websites full of information just go down one day and never go back up, all that information lost forever. There’s archiving efforts, but I’m not sure how successful they are. There’s a lot of information out there.

Here’s one relatively large archiving project:

https://archive.org/projects/

 

I read Emely’s post about how the lack of face-to-face interaction makes it difficult to know a person or their true feelings. It’s definitely true in  a lot of cases, but I also think the anonymity and indirect nature of the internet allows people to communicate their feelings that you wouldn’t know otherwise. Perhaps someone is depressed and hides it, but is able to vent about it over the internet.

Both Harpreet Kaur and Christopher Smith mentioned a tool called WolframAlpha. I’ve actually never heard of this, but this is an incredible resource and I’ll be using it from now on. Previously, I had just looked up how to do things on Khan Academy, while still quite cool, is not nearly as powerful in regards to math.

Man-Computer Symbiosis

“The second point is that a very important section of memory will be permanent: part indelible memory and part published memory. The computer will be able to write once into indelible memory, and then read back indefinitely, but the computer will not be able to erase indelible memory. (It may also over-write, turning all the 0’s into l’s, as though marking over what was written earlier.) Published memory will be “read-only” memory. It will be introduced into the computer already structured. The computer will be able to refer to it repeatedly, but not to change it.”

It’s actually somewhat scary how disposable memory is now. I remember when I was little we use to have pictures in picture albums. Probably a lot of people still print pictures out, but I know our family got away from it except for very special occasions. My last phone broke and I lost hundreds of pictures. If you manage to publish it to some social network or to cloud storage, it’s all a bit more permanent given who’s storing your stuff doesn’t go out of business one day. I’ve never really put the effort to do that and to be frank, the lack of potential privacy always made me a bit nervous. I’ve seen entire websites full of information just go down one day and never go back up, all that information lost forever. There’s archiving efforts, but I’m not sure how successful they are. There’s a lot of information out there.

Here’s one relatively large archiving project:

https://archive.org/projects/

Associative Trails

 

 

 

I actually had to start hunting down an article for a bio lab assignment, which may not be exactly the randomness that was desired for this experience. Left to my own devices, I realize I end up spending a lot of time mindlessly looking at Facebook, Reddit, and Youtube. Maybe I’ll have to make my inquiry about how much time we waste looking at social networks. Then again I read and discuss some interesting things from time to time.

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As We May Think

“The impulses which flow in the arm nerves of a typist convey to her fingers the translated information which reaches her eye or ear, in order that the fingers may be caused to strike the proper keys. Might not these currents be intercepted, either in the original form in which information is conveyed to the brain, or in the marvelously metamorphosed form in which they then proceed to the hand?”

I found it interesting that almost everything Dr. Vannevar Bush talked about had been superseded by better technology except the last few paragraphs. He talks about having instantaneous, physical photography, which would be the polaroid, but that’s been outdone by digital photography. He imagined a world where an encyclopedia of information was on microfilm and easily accessible taking up little room, which is by far outdone by the internet and computers. Same with the memex with trails that you can follow for research, which may be no more than a wikipedia page with hyperlinks. But then he goes onto this. Maybe he ordered it that way intentionally, knowing it was the most difficult to accomplish. Even 70 years later, we’ve barely been able to touch the surface with interacting the human brain with technology.

How does it feel when I think?

It’s hard to describe what it feels like when you think. Most of the time it seems to be an internal monologue. Other times, it’s strictly action or reaction to stimuli. I know there’s supposedly micro-muscle movements when you subvocalize or have an internal monologue with yourself. When attempting to a learn a dance movement or an athletic movement, you have to break it down into individual pieces. Each part is an intricate movement that you have to think actively about. Lift the foot up, move this way, hop up, and turn. After a time, with practice, it becomes more intuitive. Instead of being a movement broken up into pieces, taking great thought and detail, it becomes a larger, summarized concept.