Ultra Rich Environment Reflection

It was brought to my attention that I never posted a reflection on the ultra rich environment assignment. I spent days trying different themes, and designs for my site. I first tried a typical website layout, however, I did not feel as if it helped bring attention to the content on my page. I flipped through other variations of the Twenty-Fourteen blog theme, in an attempt to keep the site focused on my post. Most of the page designs, I decided I liked had already been utilized and in an attempt I decided that my decorated simple blog style was perfect for me. I created a tagline, and then took my header photo and made it my header picture on my twitter as to create a connection to link the two further. I added a login screen to the side in case someone clicked a link on my twitter and needed to sign in. The last thing I did was to add a picture of myself. I feel like posting a picture makes you a person with an opinion as opposed to a webpage in the abyss of the internet. Although my changes were not really cosmetic, I thought adding the login screen and a calender make the blog more inviting, as does the picture.

Innovation Vs. Communication: The Flyzilla Perspective trailer (Inquiry Summary)

What does the future of technology hold? What does the innovation of technology mean to us, as individuals and as a society? The answer to that question is different depending on who you ask.  Some see only the boundless possibility the development of new technologies and how much we can fit into smaller devices every year, others look at what is lost when new technologies become so portable and massively consumed.

One big thing that science has revealed, is that technology and being so plugged in has had a negative effect on various skills and abilities from the ability to focus, to the ability to actively listen, and even the ability to empathize. A commonality among all of these skills and abilities is they would be grouped in a category of intelligence called emotional intelligence. There are studies that link high emotional intelligence to success. Basically, in pool full of equally qualified candidates, who is most likely gets the job or promotion? The person with the highest emotional intelligence.

When you consider the negative effect of certain technologies, most specifically the cell phone, in terms of their effect on emotional intelligence, especially in the modern day job market that is the most competitive it has ever been, the innovation of technology doesn’t seem as positive. However, when you look at the great things we accomplish because we augment our skills with the level of technology, it seems fabulous. Which one of these sides should we be more focused on, the positive or the negative?

Unformatted Source List

http://www.bgnews.com/in_focus/technology-can-harm-aid-socialization-through-dependency-for-communication/article_ac8b402c-9392-11e3-9c95-001a4bcf887a.html

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/nature-and-technology/presence-smart-phone-lowers-quality-person-conversations-85805/

http://drdavidhamilton.com/why-empathy-is-important/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1205669/Is-multi-tasking-bad-brain-Experts-reveal-hidden-perils-juggling-jobs.html

http://www.wbur.org/2013/01/31/digital-lives-iii

The Dynabook and the iPhone

In America, we generally think of terms of size. If it’s bigger then it’s better mentality. You can see that in many facets of american life. However the one place where that does not ring true is with technology.  When it comes to technology, smaller is better, but only if it’s just as powerful, if not more than it’s larger predecessor. We can effectively attribute this way of thinking to the concept and overall goal of a Dynabook. There are very few people in the world who wouldn’t want a portable device that could do almost everything they could imagine. Technology has grown and evolved in a path very similar to one that would be required to create a Dynabook. From the first telephone, to the invention of mobile phones, from computers the size of a room, to sleek laptops that also double as a tablet. Even looking at the first iPod and comparing it to the latest iPod Touch, the one consistent property is that each improvement made the invention more practical, usually by reducing the size and adding more power and features. The picture below demonstrates the evolution of  storage technology over its relevant life span.

Does anyone remember floppy disks, the way of storage before cloud?

I believe the concept of the Dynabook is a portable, mass producible, flexible, customizable  device with a large amount of features that can be utilized in a casual or professional manner. As technology evolves, what is considered “portable technology” changes as well.. While boomboxes were portable in the 70’s and 80’s, you’d be hard pressed for someone in our current times to consider something portable unless it can fit in a pocket, or a purse. The goal of a Dynabook would then be to be able to augment your problem solving abilities anywhere.  We can see how the portable part is important to the goal from that connection.

Now, the iPhone has done a great job of fulfilling the goals, and following the mold of the Dynabook’s innovative  ideas.  The app store was very important because that’s what truly offers the customizable, flexible components of the product. So if it living up the the idea of a Dynabook in our modern world, what caused the controversy and backlash to the reveal of the new iPhone 6?

Left to right: iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPhone 6 mockup (smaller of the two sizes), Retina iPad mini

The controversy comes over the rumors that the iPhone 6 will be bigger than any of the others. When the rumored size was released, the consumers were initially split. Some liked the size the way it was, or thought is was too big when the iPhone 5 was made slightly bigger than its predecessors. The others like the bigger screen movement, but only if it was also made more sleek in its design. My major takeaway from this is that very few, if any, wanted the phone to become larger. The two camps were basically, keep it smaller/the same vs. make the screen a larger percentage of the whole phone, but don’t actually make the phone bigger.

Apple later released that they were indeed making the phone more sleek as well. This reduced the controversy a bit, making consumers focus more on the other specifications such as the larger of the two could have 128 gb of storage, an improved camera, and better resolution among other things.

I believe this shows how the consumer has grown to value technology based on the concept of a Dynabook. When they felt like the product was going to become more of a hassle to carry around, backlash was the response. With society only pushing for making things smaller and portable, maybe the day where a Dynabook exist in reality exactly how it is supposed to function in concept.

 

Weekly Report

As the course nears its end, I start to wonder more and more what my finished product will look like. I have all but officially decided that my project will highlight the effects advancements of the digital revolution are having on communication. Our generation is extremely plugged in, and truth be told, we don’t know the effects of technology immersion on our long term future. With all the issues like cyber bullying, or the way technology allows media to go viral, all being mostly unforeseen causes of the evolution of technology, hopefully I can even divulge some insight into future developments and possible side effects on society.  I believe that at the end of the day, the most important part of technology is its effect on society.

Meta Medium Mumblings (Concept Experience #5)

In my post about the technology and communication, I spent a lot of time researching. I found my article on my cell phone initially and took some notes on my notepad app. I took screenshots of important paragraphs so I could reference the paragraph in my notes, and all of this was stored in the 32 gigabyte memory of my phone. Using blue-tooth, my phone wirelessly transmitted my files to my laptop so that I could form the blog into a coherent thought. I discussed in the the post before, how a modern day cell phone (Iphone) is a Dynabook in concept. Well this post was living proof to back up that assertion.

In Inquiry Proposal #1 and #2, I used a format to organize and explain the abstract thoughts that my brainstorms had produce about a research project. The format was sent to me in the form of a website. Millions of people actively have access to the same page that gave me instructions on how to compose those post. This shows the multi-layered nature of the internet as it is in collaboration with my personal network of computing. In contrast to my personal level of computing, which transmits my personal files from one of my personal technologies to another, this level is the world wide level, where the internet and countless senders and receivers are involved. Hundreds of others could have used the same general format for my post, and the very nature of posting on a blog is sending information into the world.

The final post that I would like to discuss is my concept experience #3 reflection. The concept experience in itself used old ideas and thoughts to create a new thought. It combined all the previous concept webs into a superweb of sorts. However, the reflection pushed the metamedium connection one step further. It then required us to interpret and reflect on not only our new concept super web, but our classmates as well. To see the different types of concepts created and offering our reflection combined our personal network with out classmates. I feel that this shows a different dimension of the computing experience, the chances for connectivity.

In short, I feel as if these post, best highlight the work done in this concept space as it pertains to a meta medium and the idea of a dynabook.

Personal Dynamic Media Nugget

“Some mass items, such as cars and television sets, attempt
to anticipate and provide for a variety of applications in a
fairly inflexible way; those who wish to do something
different will have to put in considerable effort. Other items,
such as paper and clay, offer many dimensions of possibility
and high resolution; these can be used in an unanticipated
way by many, though tools need to be made or obtained to
stir some of the medium’s possibilities while constraining
others.
We would like the Dynabook to have the flexibility and
generality of this second kind of item, combined with tools
which have the power of the first kind. Thus a great deal of
effort has been put into providing both endless possibilities
and easy tool-making through the Smalltalk programming
language.”

After looking at the sources I realized that the article was probably written around 1976. The idea they spoke about was a mass produced device that allowed storage and other services such as note taking and music playing that was portable in size.

Fast forward about thirty years into the future and that device lives.  I mentioned in my last post how an Iphone is essentially a portable service box.  In the form of note taking apps, it can be used better than paper. Using it’s touch screen capabilities, you can even use your finger to trace and draw on some apps. The resolution possible on the camera’s made low end digital cameras almost obsolete, and led to the rise of new camera based social medias.

Where pictures of food, memes, and narcissism collide!

The Iphone is so packed with possibilities that it can be an mp3 player, a cookbook, a keyboard, a flash light, a GPS, and a wireless hotspot. The Dynabook lives, if only in concept. I think to fully live up to the vision imagined in the article, we still have a bit to go, but i thought the similarity was uncanny.

More on Technology and Socialization/Inquiry Report

Interesting blog 7/10

I wrote on an excerpt from this article earlier. The main focus is the idea that technology is having an effect on socialization. While the article begins describing freshman girl Natasha Roth’s, dependency on her iPhone, it also compares the rise of social media popularity, specifically through mobile phone use, to the rise of the transistor radio because of its focus on communication.

Roth says she felt disconnected when she was without her phone, stating that even though she was near her friends, not being able to check social media like twitter made her feel as if she was missing out on life and out of the loop.

The fear is that technology could be blurring the line between interpersonal communication, which is communication between people, and mediated communication, which is communication through some sort of medium i.e. a text or an email. Interpersonal communication, like most face to face forms of communication, is done more so by nonverbal cues that verbal actions. Though the actual amount varies from sources, it is generally agreed that as much as 60% of your message’s meaning is displayed through nonverbal communication. This makes interpersonal communication a personal type of communication.

Mediated communication is not personal at all. We see this all the time through youtube comments, and the show Catfish on MTV. The internet especially, is full of people pretending to be others, fake information, and millions of detached, non-empathic receivers to every message sent. This impersonal connection is how more and more choose to engage in rather than face to face. The next part of my research will be to find out what that means for us as a society.

Inquiry Report 7/11

This week, my inquiry project definitely started to develop into a coherent idea with a clear path of progress. As I read more articles, and see the difference each evolution of technology is having on society, I find more association trails for my project. In my head I can imagine the concept space that my inquiry project resides in.

I took in some comments that helped me develop my ideas, and would like to thank my classmates for sharing what interested you about my topics. I’m excited for sharing my final project with you.

Just a Nugget about Technology and Socialization

Hi all, I’m going to post 2 post in quick succession. I have had no internet access for a week so I have been reading articles, researching and taking notes on my phone, and then typing them up into Microsoft word. I apologize for my absence, but am excited to share the post I have created since I have been missing in action

Nugget 7/07

Freshman Natasha Roth cannot go long without checking her iPhone.

It’s her alarm clock in the morning, her way of talking to friends before class, her source of music at the Rec and her news provider at night through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“It’s just a habit,” Roth said, who checked her phone during an interview with The BG News. “I’ll pull my phone out while talking and my dad’s like ‘You’re always on your phone.’”

Though she considers herself a social person, Roth said her phone use may keep her from socializing more in college, especially in her classes.”

 

This excerpt is from an article I encountered while researching that focuses on the positive and negative effects that technology immersion is having on millennials, the generation who has been most exposed to the digital revolution. This is actually the opening sentence. I picked it because very quickly, it highlights how much an average young person uses technology and also how many gadgets are packed into our technology. The emphasis of my nugget is on pointing out the difference the digital revolution has made.

 

Natasha uses her iPhone as an alarm clock, a phone, an instant messenger device, a music player, and her news provider. Her cell phone, no bigger than a Nintendo Gameboy, serves all those functions and more, while being able to fit in her pocket.

 

To drive the point home, this is the form all those appliances and services took circa 1995.

 

Imagine carrying all of that stuff with you everytime you wanted or “needed” to use a service.

 

I will address this article more later in the week, to discuss it in its entirety, but I feel like the level of technology has had a desensitizing effect on our lifestyle. Having all these things at your fingertips has made life easier, but also makes us more impatient, and lazier. I feel as it has also effected the mind by making us think life is supposed to be easier. Maybe, on a subconscious level, most minds associate big with clunky, and inconvenient, and small is associated with convenient, fast, and cutting edge. When you have all the things pictured above, in a package this small, it makes a bit of sense that your perception of the world might be different

Inquiry Proposal #2

While I still have multiple ideas and possibilities, I’m letting them develop as naturally as possible so this is what my most complete proposal looks like.

Area of Inquiry

My subject is still based on technology interaction. When industrialization first began to happen in the world, I’m sure very few realized how important technology would grow to be. The media has become interlocked with the wealth of technology through the internet and the way we use classic technologies became vastly different. What I truly want to know is what guides the evolution of these media technologies in the ways we interact with them. For example, we now need virus protection software on our phones or our phones are at risk. What drives the innovations in cell phones, from the huge brick-like phones, to the sleek, high speed, wifi enabled, 4G LTE network speed, computer/mp3 player/telephone we have now. What purpose does this innovation have as far as augmenting human intellect?

Direction of Inquiry

Sub categories of technology interactions in television (Remotes, interactive guides, on-demand, High Definition), movies (3-D, 4-D, Imax sound), Video Games (A.I., Virtual Reality, Online Gameplay, Downloadable Content), mass media and the advertising industry (ads, adware, commercials, using search information to provide more accurate ads). What goal were the inventors trying to achieve when these upgrades were created.

Concept Web Space

I would like to examine the effects, positive or negative, that the innovations and upgrades in technology interactivity have on humans. The inquiry would be heavily focused on the results as they are relevant to augmenting human intellect, or at the very least how they affect the relationship between machine and human. This could be illustrated through various video clips and pictures to illustrate my points as I have been doing in my nuggets.

 

 

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/advantages-disadvantages-technology-advances-12579.html

http://www.slideshare.net/EMEAHQ/whirlpool-digital-school-lesson-2-the-impact-of-digital-revolution

Nugget #4

By “Thinkertoy” I mean, first of all, a system to help people think. (‘Toy’ means it should be easy and fun to use.) This is the same general idea for which Engelbart, for instance, uses the term “augmentation of intellect.”

What struck me about this passage, was how many things could qualify as thinkertoys by that definition. Puzzles, and Riddles had to have been the earliest form of something that helps people think and are fun to use. There are statistics that say puzzles, riddles and word problems help critical thinking and problem-solving skills. As mentioned by Engelbart, “man’s problem-solving capability represents possibly the most important resource possessed by a society.” Games like Chess could be considered thinkertoys as well. Chess is well known to help people strategize. In the same way, there are many video games that could qualify as thinkertoys. From this area of advancement, we have simulators and virtual reality based technology. I believe this is the route that thinkertoys must follow to be useful to the future generations. In a society where we are buried in media and technology, thinkertoys must attract people to them if they are to be useful. It is already stated that toy denotes that the item should be fun. Video games already offer an attractive model to follow to continue the innovation if thinkertoys.

I think of people trying to get a pilot’s license. I am fairly confident that you fly planes in simulators first so you learn how to react in certain scenarios. When training to be an astronaut, there are many simulations that you train in, to teach your body how to think in those intense conditions. Now toy might not apply to these training simulators, but they are probably more fun than the alternative. Basically I think every specialized job should have easily accessible thinkertoy-esque training simulators because it would completely immerse them in the way their job works, and I think that will lead to a deeper understanding of the tasks and its importance, which should lead to more innovation.