Concept Experience #3 “Augmenting Human Intellect”

Diigo, our class’s social bookmarking tool, relates to Douglas C. Engelbart’s writing “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework.” Engelbart discusses a dynamic knowledge repository very similar to Diigo. Diigo can augment our intellect and push us forward toward Engelbart’s vision.

In Engelbart’s writing Diigo can relate to two segments. It first relates to the section where Engelbart mentions Vannevar Bush’s Memex. The Memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. Like the Memex, in Diigo you can bookmark websites, pdfs, and anything found online to share with others in a speedy and flexible manner.

The second section relating to Diigo in Engelbart’s writing is a relatively simple note and file system. Using IBM-card sized edge-notchable cards to write or type data, thought, fact, consideration concepts, ideas, worries, etc. These cards are then separated in decks with a master card with descriptors associated with individual holes. The master card idea and the holes, corresponding to organization, evoked thoughts of Diigo where you can write a description of the site you are bookmarking and use tags to put on those bookmarked websites.

Engelbart calls these little cards “kernels” that he can browse, make additions or corrections, or build new sets of thought kernels with a good deal of freedom. My current workspace for integrating new ideas, concepts, considerations, and questions about your research topic represents a (metaphor) black hole into a smaller process similar to gold panning in which gold is my “kernel.”

Throughout the week I have just been absorbing up all the information I can get. Even though my topic is Internet privacy, I have just been open to a lot of different ideas. If the idea is captivating, I add it to my archive although I might not even know what I am going to do with it. In the end I really do not know what I am going to do with all the information but as long as I have it I am satisfied.

This week I had taken information from my peers blogs, comments on my blogs, articles I have read, and ideas people have thrown out there. I read a few of my peers blogs that had branches of Internet privacy regarding hacking and government policy and saved that information on my computer. I got a comment from my professor regarding an article about humans getting smarter, I read it and bookmarked it. I read articles for my Inquiry Project that interested me so I bookmarked them all. People commented ideas on some of my blog posts so I kept them in mind and edited my post to integrate that idea. In addition to all the information I had gathered, I also added four new articles from my peers to my Diigo library and bookmarked five new articles to my library about cyber crime, social media, Internet privacy, Facebook, and controversy.

No matter what the information was I kept it because I knew sooner or later, when I need it, I will not be able to find it. Similar to Blurpity who did not explicitly make a metaphor but stated, “I take what ever I find, read it, see if its worth using or keeping for later and if it is Diigo it… There is no sorting or anything like that, it’s just just drop kicked through the vault door and left there.” I guess you could call Blurpity and I hoarders of information who do not really know what to do with it quit yet.

Once I hoard all that information I go through a process similar to gold panning. Gold panning is basically a process of extracting gold from large amounts of hand picked sand or gravel by a repeated process of sifting. In the end you result is that you find gold or you do not; gold being information pertaining to my topic.

My interpretation of the quote to the bottom right, in terms of digesting other writings, is that you must commit yourself to collecting all relevant data, no matter the amount, because you will soon filter out all the important information from it. Specifically this week I have used this method dozens of times. I have not found precise information pertaining to Internet privacy but I found small subsets of it after panning out all the big ideas. While using Diigo I looked up the broad topic of Internet privacy and the tags in our ThoughtVectors2014 group. Once I read those broad articles, I began to skim for more specific branches of that article’s topic. The subset topics I found happened to be cyber crime, hacking, international disputes, controversy, and Facebook privacy. In the end it was still difficult for me to figure out whether these topics were too specific, broad, or a perfect fit for a topic?

7 thoughts on “Concept Experience #3 “Augmenting Human Intellect”

  1. So the black hole metaphor is more a metaphor for your brain at this point — all that information going in and not sure where it’s going or what it will lead to.

    Diigo will help you sort the material. Use TAGS that will help you remember the content of the articles, and separate them by ideas. I think internet privacy will come up in some of the other classes as well — so it will be nice if you can find those researchers and connect with them.

  2. I really like your metaphor about Gold because sometimes research feels like we are on some sort of quest or journey to find treasure. We have to dig deep, use a map, and we sometimes even get frustrated but when we find what we are looking for it is such an awesome feeling. That same feeling is the way I feel when I did research papers my first year in college as well as in high school, it is sort of like I found the missing piece to complete the puzzle. I really look forward to your topic!

    • Thank you! Yeah in the end its nice to see the finished paper and it is worth just as much as gold, if you put a lot of effort into it! I can wait to continue my research so I can show you all my piece of gold writing!

  3. I find it ironic that your metaphor would be that of a “nugget”….just like the nuggets we’ve been writing about. Pure gold.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.