Computer Lib / Dream Machines

I really enjoyed this reading, and had a hard time choosing what to write about for that reason, which is a wonderful problem to have! I ended up relating the most with the quote, “The system of tensions and defenses it creates in the student’s personality are unrelated to the subject or the way people might relate to the subject. An exploitive attitude is fostered. Not becoming involved with the subject, the student grabs for rote payoff rather than insight.”  In the supposed pursuit of knowledge, we end up pursuing the reward for the knowing of it, instead of the will to expand our minds. It is not about the subject anymore, be it math, science, history, any of them, it is about the end goal. LEarning should not be about the end goal, learning is a process that can never end by its nature! Not the most uplifting quote, the one I picked, but I loved the way it was articulated. An exploitive attitude is fostered, that is so well put and simply. This way of teaching has become commonplace, and it is not entirely the teachers faults, but it is their duty to change it. And, hopefully, we as students can aide in that shift as well.

I read an article a while back called Bird by Bird that I wanted to include. Some of it is about writing, and though that part is masterfully crafted as well, the segment about how perfectionism kills creativity is the one I deem most relevant. It brings the whole public school system to mind in the way it describes.

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There is a line in a post by ewingjm2, quoting Nadeem Aslam (who I looked up and learned he is a prize-winning British Pakistani novelist).  “Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.” There were a couple of lines in the reading, about how teachers separate information into sections, subjects, and how they should not, because it is limiting. Those sections were not included in the post, but the quote above brought them back to mind. I wish I had had Nadeem Aslams quote in my head, for I would have used it and written about those afore mentioned sections. 

shabanm had a particularly good post about the “information revolution.” We truly are in the midst of one. There has never been so much information at our disposal, to the point that the “internet titans,” as she puts it, of Google and Facebook emerged as we adapted to find ways to maneuver the mazes of the web, to find what is useful and cast aside the inconsequential. That whole train of thought was mapped out beautifully in the post.

tariktilahun had a paragraph so profound I cannot resist posting its entirety here; “What is very compelling is to wonder how far we can go in dissecting problems to their core and whether or not it is inevitably in our fate that we cannot unravel all of the world’s mysteries. Surely, we strive to make new and efficient progresses as we transition from one era of human intelligence to another. The essence of human existence is that we are in a race to improve. But with whom is the race? The natural world?” I have been thinking about this all day. We will always strive to solve, and we will always make progress, but contentment in this endeavor is impossible to reach. We cannot solve it all, and, there will always be more emerging, more unanswered questions will come to be then I could ever know. This sent me into a wonderful philosophical spiral, and I am truly grateful. “With whom is the race?” Who knows, but I doubt the race will ever end.

Reflection/Comparison

It is a wide variety of topics we have to sift through for articles to add to our Diigo libraries! With such a plethora of research being done, I’m sure it was not too difficult for all of us to find tree or more students with some research overlap. One researcher in particular, Maryam Kaymanesh, had several articles that I loved to read. Teacher beliefs and technology integration was the most helpful, but she had several others that I will remember to reread before writing a first draft on y topic. Another who posted a few that were helpful was kahn_artist, sharing Technology’s Toll – Impatience and Forgetfulness, and This Is How The Internet Is Rewiring Your Brain, both of  which really helped me round out the other part of my research question.  Lastly,  mjminutoli posted an article called  Visual Culture Is Taking Over, about how the internet is shaping the way we process information in all parts of our lives. 

In m original nugget post, I could have picked an article that elaborated on more than one example, and thoroughly, as all of the above do. But more importantly, I should have broadened my topic earlier on.

 

 

 

Extending My Dream

My research from a few days ago had to do with online poker, how the online aspect has changed the way people learn and perfect the game. I have decided to broaden my topic a bit, to ask the same question but not about such a specific facet of the idea. As I found more articles about the social effects of technology on how we learn and process, I realized that was what I wanted to continue to learn about for this series of assignments.

My question is something like, how has technology changed the way we process information, and how has that affected the way we learn?

#technologyeffectsonsociety

#technologyeffectsoneducation

 

Augmenting Human Intellect

First any possibility for improving the effective utilization of the intellectual power of society’s problem solvers warrants the most serious consideration.  This is because man’s problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society.  The other contenders for first importance are all critically dependent for their development and use upon this resource.  Any possibility for evolving an art or science that can couple directly and significantly to the continued development of that resource should warrant doubly serious consideration.

This passage from Augmenting Human Intellect is one that resonated with me strongly. I never would have thought to think of problem-solving capability as I resource possessed by a society. Of course I’d have noted it is a tremendous asset, and one that should be cultivated, but I love the wording of it here. It goes on to say that all of the other contenders for most important resource also have to do with problem-solving capability. It makes sense; if a community were to have no tangible resources, the resource that would be most important would be problem-solving capability, by a long shot. But then even in a country with many other resources (like us), without a surplus of problem-solving capability, we may as well have none! Problem-solving capability is how we use those resources to take the next step, to move forward and overcome whatever our obstacles may be.

Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” In my opinion, this is a compact way of summarizing much of the above paragraph. When your societies most important resource, your problem-solving capability, is utilized correctly, you are following this old piece of advice to the best of your collective ability. 

One classmate spoke of a quote that I do not remember reading in the article. I am glad I found it, because  the main idea of it is thrilling! (http://rampages.us/m1chael/2014/06/24/augmenting-human-intellect/). The iPad could have been invented a long time ago, but it would have been so unreliable, and take so many people to build, it would have been impractical. But, in a way, plausible!

Another explained a quote that went above my head when I first read it; “… The summation of human experience is being expanded at a prodigious rate, and the means we use for threading through the consequent maze to the momentarily important items is the same as we used in days of square-rigged ships.” Its composer explained that Bush was explaining the “need for a system that integrated the storage of knowledge over time and being able to retrieve it successfully,” and used the “find” function on apple word as an example. (http://rampages.us/ifrahansari88/2014/06/24/nugget-3-augmenting-human-intellect/)

Another one of my favorite quotes that resurfaced for me thanks to a classmate is about the purpose of technology; “…developing comprehension within the individual and of solving problems; both processes are subject to human motivation, purpose, and will.” It comes down to our will! We now know that we have the resources to learn about whatever subject we want (to an extent), and it is up to us to utilize that resource. It comes down to us now! Thank you to helenakim for the inspiration. (http://rampages.us/helenakim/2014/06/24/nugget-augmenting-human-intellect/)

 

 

 

 

After perusing the topics my classmates are interested in, and shifted mine a bit after realizing that I was looking into a topic that does not follow the assignment as well as most of my classmates. My research led me to online poker, and I was focusing on the social implications of the game becoming less about person and more about practice. I want to broaden this idea of mine; not just poker, but pass times and tasks that have become almost entirely/entirely online endeavors, and what that means in regards to our generations social build-up. I am much happier with this idea, although I do feel, upon looking over the #thoughtvectors for #dreamersunite! sales pitches that my topic would work best as a “solo mission.” 

#questingyourdream

#dreaming

Connections

A post a found more interesting than the rest I can across was this one here; (http://rampages.us/taheripf/2014/06/19/texting-my-dream/).  Its author is reflecting on a  health information website. If you have any symptoms, you can input them and the site will give you results on what illness you might have. The problem is each symptom does not only have one or even a few reasons it may be happening, so the site may lead you to misunderstand, and feel you have every sickness under the sun. A damn shame that good old human nature can find a downside to even the most amazing technological advantages! An amazing resource online I have never used. 

I am realizing that a couple of classmates have chosen topics that are much more broad than mine. I have yet to deliberate whether I feel the broadness will be an academic asset or undoing as we delve deeper into the web of assignments leading to our final papers. This blogger(http://rampages.us/blakemollnow/2014/06/20/interpretation-of-dreamsfacebook/) aims to study “the constant change of social media and how people use it to do a million different things.”

I also found a classmate whose topic is even more broad than mine. Found here (http://rampages.us/alyzh/2014/06/19/analyzing-my-primary-text/) plans to investigate if “Knowledge is Power.” This will take some doing, as knowledge and power are both somewhat relative terms, but as it is an old adage we have all heard many times over the years, perhaps it is high time someone investigates the soundness of the statement.

The Interpretation of Dreams

As stated in my previous post, as of now I am researching online poker, how technology has shifted the game and how I feel the changes mirror shifts in our generations set of social norms.

The article speaks of how new players online “Poker software allows poker players to not only test theories and strategies but to see the real-world results of these experiments in mere seconds.”  In the old days, you’d of had to record every hand you have played and the outcome and then sift through  the data yourself, but today, the same advantage can be gained by the click of a mouse. It reminds me of an effect the iPhone has had on us; arguments about easily verifiable facts are fading, because if one side has an iPhone at there aide, they can end the discussion pretty quickly. Mental prowess and skill are not as crucial with the use of these softwares in poker, and google has become and academic crutch (or at least sometimes; it is also an amazing tool to use, I do not mean to deal in absolutes). 

The players are getting younger. In the game  of online poker, “younger players have an edge, both in terms of understanding the technology, being motivated, and having the free time to do it.” Another aspect is how much easier it has become to practice and gain the skill. Online, you can play five times as many hands a night as you can in person, maybe even ten.  When I was 11, I did not know how to use a DVD player or send an email, any of that. My 11 year old sister is a master at maneuvering Twitter, Facebook, Netflix and all other technological tools at our disposal that for the time being I have to strain to understand! The contenders are getting younger, in online poker, and, for similar reasons, people ten years younger then me can communicate with each other and the world as much as I can, but better. 

Texting My Dream

My primary text is currently this article (http://pokernewsboy.com/5-ways-online-poker-has-changed-the-game) about how online poker has changed the game entirely.  A game that used to be an entirely social experience, often having a great deal to do with looking across a table at an opponent and trying to size them up, has had that segment eradicated. The math is still applicable to the game when played hundreds of miles from each other, but the players have gotten younger because information on the game is more readily available as is the game itself.

Much of the topics I see my classmates steering to surround the idea of social implications/shifts that technology has brought about and  the advantages/disadvantages thereof. There is not an easily sought out advantage to poker I suppose, but the social and psychological aspects of the game becoming one that does not have to be played face to face fascinates me. Its like the difference between a conversation in person or one by text. You word things differently, there are confidence shifts, and more intricate changes than I could list. The topic may not have earth shattering significance, but I think there is something in it to be found about our generations emerging/newly emerged culture and social normalities.

Research

 

I am not sure if how I did the assignment was what the instructions were meaning for me to do, but it was certainly an informative experience. I started with the question, “How old is poker?” because my original nugget included the quote  “If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability.” By the end of my internet searchings, I was reading all about the psychology of gambling, why we do it, what we get from it, and related articles. 

My favorite thing I learned was about out-smarting your opponent. Not because I gamble very often, but because it actually says a lot about thinking complexly;

Levels of Thinking in Poker

  • Level 0: No thinking.
  • Level 1: What do I have?
  • Level 2: What do they have?
  • Level 3: What do they think I have?
  • Level 4: What do they think I think they have?
  • Level 5: What do they think I think they think I have?

As is clear, the men and women who take the gave this seriously are not just relying on luck (which, apparently, is a great way to lose every time you play the game) but composing methods of thinking abstractly, specifically to be thinking above the level of your opponent.

All of the theorems were obviously painstakingly composed over hundreds of years of trial and era. To some, this amount of effort would seem misplaced, as the energy is being devoted to the art of gambling. But, there is no denying there is a science to it, and that part, I find commendable.

On a lighter side, the website also showed me this cool video about bluffing.

I’d search a question, like “how old is poker,” or “what is the oldest card game,” and then follow the links until I felt I had read the same thing a number of times, at which point I’d either rephrase the question or start with another question, either a closely or loosely related to the original question. My process was revision based, but instead of making the question more specific, it often involved changing the question entirely.

 

Man-Computer Symbiosis

The first thing to face is that we shall not store all the technical and scientific papers in computer memory. We may store the parts that can be summarized most succinctly-the quantitative parts and the reference citations-but not the whole. Books are among the most beautifully engineered, and human-engineered, components in existence, and they will continue to be functionally important within the context of man-computer symbiosis. Hopefully, the computer will expedite the finding, delivering, and returning of books.”

In an otherwise eerily on point piece of writing (eery in the sense of yet another great mind from decades ago predicting so well what the future of technology hold) I must point out what resonated with me in a completely different way.  This is a bit sad and ironic to look back on.

We may store the parts that can be summarized most succinctly-the quantitative parts and the reference citations-but not the whole.” That is not how it went. We have gotten to the point that if it can not be rendered succinct, it is more likely than not destined to fall by the way side.  For a while, I think computers served purposes closer to those predicted in Man-Computer Symbiosis, but over time the culture shifted to a generation that is perpetually in a hurry and will not sift to find the information, we want it presented. (I say “we,” I do this as much as any.)  And then there is the part about the importance of books, and how “they will continue to be functionally important within the context of man-computer symbiosis.” But now everything is being digitalized, and in a hundred years, there may not be books to hold and flip through, not without the use of technology. I hope it does not end up that way, and I do not mean to get on a soapbox here! I just found myself shaking my head at this part, smiling sadly, and felt it should be the segment I reflected upon. 

In this blog, (http://rampages.us/elisey/2014/06/17/man-computer-symbiosis-nugget-2/) the quote reflected upon is one that maps out the difference in human processing and computer processing.  Its writer points out that we are the only species that can think about thinking. A computer can plan and hypothesize in a way, but they do not think. They just do, “Sorta like instinct.” Computers have a long way to go until they can transcend the way human thought can. 

(http://rampages.us/linaibrahim/2014/06/17/man-computer-symbiosis/) The topic of this blog is Google Glass. In the chosen quote from  Man-Computer Symbiosis, it states that there are no man computer symbiosis’s yet. At that time, there was indisputably none, but today, you could argue that Google Glass is pretty much an example of one. We are further along than I thought, in that regard, and it caught my eye. 

(http://rampages.us/khoorivcu/2014/06/17/bman-computer-symbiosisb/) The last blog I’d like to point out stuck with me due to its optimism. The quote it chose to explain spoke of these times we are living in now, saying, “those years should be intellectually the most creative and exciting in the history of mankind.” That made me hopeful and happy, and seemed to have a similar effect on the composer of the post. Sure, we can’t make it through a day without a computer (as the post states). But these are truly amazing times we live in. So much is possible that was impossible, and now those floodgates have been opened, for more impossible things to no longer be seen as such. 

Comparing With Others

When you know that your history will be displayed, you are much more likely to be on task and careful about where you end up. I did not think about this too much before we started, but after I read this post (http://rampages.us/alyzh/2014/06/12/trail-of-thought/#comment-12) I realized how careful I’d been in going about the assignment.  I did not do it on purpose, but I am sure I would not have been so focused and direct if left to my own devices!

When I know an assignment will be widely reviewed, I tend to say less. The awareness leads to a dip in productivity/lapse of confidence. But in this post (http://rampages.us/ifrahansari88/2014/06/12/trail-of-thought/#comment-12) its author explained that the knowledge of being monitored led to triple checking everything and using a thesaurus! We felt the same, and then dealt with is very differently. I would like to try her method next time, it seemed more positive.

(http://rampages.us/jalafarquhar/2014/06/12/adventures-of-my-associate-trails/#comment-12) The creator of this post spoke of being a no nonsense searcher all the time. I am that when I have to be, usually when last minute panic is setting in. But the writer motivated me to pursue this way of functioning on a more regular basis.

In looking back at my original nugget post and combining that insight with that gained from reading over my classmates post, I feel that often to truly understand one thing you must understand many things. I do not know a less vague way to articulate that point!