Computer Lib/ Dream Machine Nugget

Computer Lib/ Dream Machine by Ted Nelson has definitely been my favorite essay to read. I think it was really imaginative and creative especially with the inclusion of the little illustrations.

Perhaps this was the author’s intention since creativity was one of the themes of his piece. The nugget I chose was the following:

“What’s worse, we are confronted not merely with the job of
using computers to present specific things. The greater task
is to design overall computer media that will last us into a
more intelligent future. Adrift in a sea of ignorance and
confusion, it is nevertheless our duty to try to create a whole
transportation system that everybody can climb aboard. For
the long run, fantic systems must be treated not as custom
systems for explicit purposes, but as OVERALL GENERAL
CATCH ON, otherwise collapse and perish.”

This nugget caught my eye because the header to this paragraph was “New Media to Last”.  I found this section connected well to the other essays we’ve read as well as our entire unit.

What I believe Nelson is describing is as our society continues to create new media it should be accessible to everyone. A type of media that can improve our intelligence collectively, not only one specific group.  Both Licklider’s “Man-Computer Symbiosis” and Engelbart’s “Augmenting Human Intellect” had similar ideas of how to improve upon the intellect of the human race through technology. I saw connections to our class because not only are  we focusing on new media, we’re using it constantly in many different forms. When Nelson says, “DESIGNS WHICH WILL HAVE TO TIE TOGETHER AND CATCH ON”, it makes me think of all the different media sites we’re using that we connect and tie together. Whether it’s linking different pages together or sharing information with each other, we are tying together these forms of media.

Inquiry Project Proposal

How has the presentation of police brutality in the media changed over time and how have newer forms of technology shed more light on this issue?

1. Police brutality is a relevant issue not only in one state or one country, but a worldwide problem.

There have been many clashes between law enforcement and citizens of countries abroad in recent news. Many people of countries holding protests find themselves being attacked by police.

Even now, people protesting the World Cup in Brazil are being met with violence.

While some protests can become wild, police can sometimes be seen meeting protesters with aggression, many times looking to cause harm.

2. With new technology and the growth of new media,  the way police brutality is being viewed and handled is changing.

Youtube, Twitter, Tumblr and various other social media sites are reporting cases of violent police and sharing them rapidly all over the Internet. But even when videocameras were still becoming popular, videos of brutality were being created and were able to be used in court cases against the accused cops.

3. I personally think it would be interesting to research the connection between the media coverage of brutality and race. I think this issue goes pretty deep and I’d really like to see what I can find pertaining to it.

Obviously, there has been immense hostility, hatred and aggression towards African Americans in America’s past and the brutality of law enforcement during the 50s and 60s can be seen in many different photos taken during that time. civil-rights-dog-photo

I think there are still many instances today where race and class have played a role in police brutality and how or if it is covered by the media.


“You can integrate your new ideas more easily, and thus harness your creativity more continuously, if you can quickly and flexibly change your working record. If it is easier to update any part of your working record to accommodate new developments in thought or circumstance, you will find it easier to incorporate more complex procedures in your way of doing things. This will probably allow you to accommodate the extra burden associated with, for instance, keeping and using special files whose contents are both contributed to and utilized by any current work in a flexible manner–which in turn enables you to devise and use even-more complex procedures to better harness your talents in your particular working situation.”

I chose this nugget because I liked the phrase “harness your creativity” as if creativity is something that is wild and explosive and needs to be expressed and released.

I also liked Engelbart’s ideas about machines to help improve writing process and further “harness creativity”. The essay definitely brought up similar concepts from Licklider’s “Man-Computer Symbiosis” like just the main theme of working with newer technology and machines to improve our work. The machines Engelbart was describing reminded me of the 3D printing pen.  It’s a little limited for making detailed, breathtaking pieces of art, but it brought to mind the idea of using a machine to express creativity.


Progress report / Research Reflection #2

This week we worked with the essay “Man-Computer Symbiosis” and continued our search for the topic of our inquiry project.

I’m really glad we had a chance to revise our nugget for this week because I made the mistake of not reading the date this piece was written.

And when talking about technology, the place in time is very important. I felt a little foolish because I went on about this idea of a futuristic library and that’s probably not what Licklider was describing. I still kept that paragraph in my nugget after the revision, because I figure it’s all part of the writing process. We then did a concept experience where we jumped from site to site of the topic that could possibly be our inquiry project topic. I found the experience to be helpful, but I don’t think this was my strongest blog post. I’m not sure if we were supposed to take it as literally as I did, but that’s all I can think of when I hear the word illustrate. I’m also not sure if I connected it to Licklider’s essay as well as I could have. I agree with Maryam, that concept experiences can definitely be helpful when you get idea from other people because I ended up picking a topic someone else mentioned from my reflective writing from last week. Looking forward to continuing the project and improving my posts.

Concept Experience #2

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Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 12.03.54 AM

The above image is my literal interpretation of the instructions to “illustrate” my concept experience. It basically just points out how I arrived at each link and little notes about what I concluded. I definitely found this concept experience to be helpful for my topic. I was worried I wouldn’t find enough information for police brutality relating to new media, but this has given me some ideas. I did find that the computer was able to lead me in the right direction and create thoughts and questions as I went. I hated running into dead ends because sometimes I felt like I was on a roll. I think this experience is a good example of a computer and a human brain  working together. I had come up with a topic/question and using the computer as a guide, I was able to find the material I was looking for.

“Man-Computer Symbiosis” Nugget (Revised)

“It seems reasonable to envision, for a time 10 or 15 years hence, a “thinking center” that will incorporate the functions of present-day libraries together with anticipated advances in information storage and retrieval and the symbiotic functions suggested earlier in this paper. The picture readily enlarges itself into a network of such centers, connected to one another by wide-band communication lines and to individual users by leased-wire services. In such a system, the speed of the computers would be balanced, and the cost of the gigantic memories and the sophisticated programs would be divided by the number of users.”

I’m glad Max who said, “This caught my attention because the author’s idea in this section is the basic idea of the Internet as we know it today.”, pointed out the date of when this was written. I went into this thinking it was a more modern piece. Oops.

I chose this nugget because I thought J. C. R. Licklider presents a very interesting idea. I hope I’m understanding what he’s saying, but I’m picturing a library, but with as much information as Google or an even more advanced Google. It really reminds me of the show Sherlock. There is this concept in the show called a “mind palace”. The brilliant characters in the show, like Sherlock himself, have an ability to go inside their own minds and have access to tons of information they’ve remembered, more than the average person. It makes me wonder what it would be used for and who would have access to this. Because if it would be a public library sort of set-up, I’m really jealous of future college kids.

I think it’s an interesting concept, just like the rest of Licklider’s essay. For computers and humans to work together seems to be the direction our society is headed, if we’re not already there. I liked when Virinchi described the cooperation between computers and humans by saying, “improve efficiency by using mankind’s flexibility and a computers accuracy.” I think it’s fascinating that we create these machines, yet they are now capable of solving problems many humans cannot at lightning speeds. Brooke furthers this idea of how advanced technolgy is when she states in her post, “He stated that a computer knowing 1,000 basic english words and 1,000 technical words would be enough, where Siri knows over 5,000 and that is considered limited…”.  It makes me curious to see how much computers will become involved in our lives. Will we use them to the fullest? Is it possible to overdue it? And the tiniest little voice in my head is asking, could computers possibly take over? But I’m pretty sure I’ve just watched too many movies about that. Though this blogger (I’m sorry I can’t find your name) seems to agree. He/she says, “This is far off in the future of course, but it is possible that one day, the man-machine relationship can go from a symbiotic one to them seeing us as parasites and trying to eliminate us.” Overall, I think creating technology to further our own intelligence is a step in the right direction. Though, this blogger does make a good point when they say, “Until such a day, I think we would be wise to mind the distinction between the duties of a man and those of a machine.” I’m sure it will become a very highly debated topic in the future.

Progress Report/Reflective Writing

Alcohol – alcoholics may be able to find help for their addiction without even leaving the house

Politics – Politicians presence on social media

Education – education has been able to move online, ex. this class

Human Rights – activists have a larger platform for creating awareness, finding others who fight for the same cause

Narcissism-  social media blamed for creating a platform for narcissism

Porn – accessible to everyone, fed. agents creating more traps to catch child porn predators

Beauty- buy and review products online

Television- tv shows moving to outlets online

Fame – strong online presence can generate fame for some people

Dieting – people able to share dieting info. and connect with others in the same boat

Police Brutality- images & stories of police brutality can be shared must faster ex. when NYPD failed miserably on twitter with #myNYPD

Commercials – more advertisements online

Music – music can now be created with solely computers and edited in any way you want

Transgender – how the media presents transgender people  ex. Laverne Cox

Bullying – taunting and hurting others has now become a problem on the internet, laws passed to protect victims

Obamacare – the messy situation with the website to sign up for Obamacare

Jobs – how job hunting has changed in the digital era

Current events – the sharing of information and events is now incredibly fast, breaking news can be seen worldwide within seconds

Blogging – has grown so much over the last couple years, now  can be considered a job

Addiction – addiction to the internet, media and other technology has become a reality

A topic that cannot be connected to new media? This is definitely a difficult question, but first thing that popped into my head was the Civil War. Or perhaps anything before the digital era.

One of the topics I’m interested in is police brutality. I’m interested in this because this has been a problem for decades and the police involved usually get away with their violence. I want to find out more about the history of this topic, learn more about the racial connections. Are there any laws specifically for law enforcement preventing brutality?  To connect this topic to new media/ digital media, I could cover how the media presents the police and the victims, how people react to brutality on media and how people are using media to shed light on this problem and create change.


The other topic I was interested in is politics. Now, I’m not the hugest fan of politics, but I think it’d be interesting to research how social media and new media in general have changed the political game. I’d want to find out when this shift started happening, who were the front runners in this trend. How did it help some? How did it hurt?  I’d probably want to narrow my topic, to maybe, potential presidential candidates or something like that.



Brainstorming for Inquiry Project

Umbrella Categories  



Obsessive Compulsive Disorder






Hard to break













21st Century

Social Media



World Cup

Current events





Google Trends




Roles enforced by society








Does not identify to either gender









Human Rights




School Shootings

Gun Rights

College Debt




Video Games

World hunger



Places or Spaces

The moon


My bed



A Cave


South America


New Jersey




A rooftop pool

A meadow





The Dark

The Future




Loud Noises





The unknown

Small places










Past Experiences



Your work

Your ability to do whatever it is you want to do

Your children

Zeal for life























Associative Trails Concept Experience

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The trends I notice for how I think are very random. Something I need to google pops into my head and I have to google it right then and there or I will definitely forget it. If i’m working on schoolwork, I try to remain on task, so my history right now is mostly UNIV200 related. At earlier times, I was jumping from pie recipes, to random tumblrs to jobs on craigslist. My associative trails usually follow whatever I’m doing right now in the moment. For example, I’ve been currently stressing about getting a job and I’m trying to figure out what pie to make for tomorrow. It’s basically any little worries or ideas that are most prominently floating around in my head.

As We May Think Nugget


When I first began reading Vannevar Bush’s essay, I thought it was interesting that the first piece of work we were reading was related to science. As I kept reading, I felt a faint twinge of nervousness when I realized this was a very deep piece of work, with some of the concepts and words going immediately over my head. As I re-read and put pieces together, I began understanding that this essay was just as much about the human experience as it was science. I chose the following as my nugget:

“The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.”

I think this was a good passage because it instantly reminded me of my “How It Feels When I Think” passage from yesterday.  Bush is describing literally how people think.  I believe this passage also connects to the broader picture he was making. He says “trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent” this statement can also relate to the technology he was describing and how technology grows with us, making past innovations obsolete and thus fading them from our society. 


Bush goes on to point out how the technology we’ve crafted and enhanced have in turn enhanced us as well. It’s like an on going cycle of improving upon one another. He describes a couple functions of the brain as “…speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures..”, which I believe are some of the qualities that many people look for in new innovations, speed, intricacy and detail. Bush questions what many wonder themselves, how far can we go? Where will this technology take us?  I’m curious for the answer as well, but I believe there are two ways it can go. Very well and very bad. We could take our intelligence and keep improving our world for years and years to come. Or perhaps, as Bush mentioned in his introduction, we could use our intelligence for more destructive purposes, which will very likely not end well. I would hope as our intellect progresses, we will be able to make the most of our future decisions.