When first entering the class I figured out right off the bat that, it was no ordinary class. Although I have not had enough time to form an opinion on whether I prefer this hybrid class or a traditional class, I still believe this course is an experience. The work load can be heavy at times, just because the articles we are assigned can be dull and repetitive at times and then we are instructed to craft a meaningful blog. It has yet to be a month of school yet, so I hope this course will start coming together soon and our class gets the hang of how this UNIV class operates.
Technology is everywhere, it’s in everything, and the world would not function the way it does without it. Computers are a different story, in the article “Man-Computer Symbiosis” author J.C.R. Licklider speaks about a time when humans and computer will work together to analyze, test and discover new technological advancement. “Man-Computer Symbiosis is probably not the ultimate paradigm for complex technological systems. It seems entirely possible that, in due course, electronic or chemical “machines” will outdo the human brain in most of the functions we now consider exclusively within its province.”
When most people see computers and humans trying to work together, this is the greatest fear they have. If the world ever reaches a time of technological singularity, the chaos that follows will be the worst of it’s time. Although I am a huge fan of technology, I wish to keep our systems humane as possible and have restrictions on “computer” programs and how they function.
Due to the many articles discussing the internet and how information is dealt with and the many problems that follow I do believe it is appropriate to discuss one of my favorite internet hacktivist Aaron Swartz. As many of you probably already know, Aaron Swartz was a computer programmer, writer, and among other things a genius. He had a passion for the world wide web and all the things he could do with it. Although he was recognized for his programming achievements as a pre-teen, I am here to discuss how Mr. Swartz changed the world in his later years.
When finally deciding on attending Stanford University, Aaron was not the happiest person. He believed that he did not require education and that he could be spending his time more constructively programming in is apartment. Not going into extreme detail, one day Aaron found out about a database named JSTOR. JSTOR is a database for academic journals that were private viewing for paying members only, Aaron hacked into the JSTOR database and downloaded all the articles on to his laptop in order to “set them free” to the public. In doing so he caught the attention of the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and was arrested and charged with many different internet crimes. He realized that the payment required to view academic journals was ludicrous and it was his duty to try and fix it. After Aaron’s’ tragic death at the age of 26, Mr and Mrs. Swartz created a website in his honor and stated “He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place.”
R.I.P. Aaron Swartz you will always live in the internet hall of fame as one of the greatest.
(P.S. Great documentary on Netflix)