Reading Response #1

I spent a lot V. Bush’s article, “As We May Think”, confused. I read the introduction and it talked about changing war science into peacetime science, since we are in a war I understood how this could be a problem. Then I read about the the specialization of science and the ability to retrieve quickly retrieve data, and again I understood the need for this. Then the article continued on about the need for smaller cameras, untethering researchers from their labs using radios and putting documents on microfilms and I became confused. Hadn’t we solved these issues with computers? Surely the idea that an entire library can fit into a matchbook isn’t new. Then I checked the date. Writing from 1946, Bush forecasted the technologies of the future incredibly well. But modern technologies have dwarfed even his wildest dreams.
After my experience with Bush, the first part of Engelbart’s “Augmented Human Intellect Study, Conceptual Framework” the first thing I looked at was the date. Knowing that this was proposed in 1962 gave me an immediate reference to the technology he was discussing. Engelbart’s idea is that the human memory is just like any other system. Therefore a logical approach to designing a way to improve it will pay off. Engelbart thinks that by rethinking the way we use learned language, artifacts and methodologies, the elements of communication, we can make human being more intellectually efficient.
Starting the third reading, Licklidder’s “Man-Computer Symbiosis”, I immediately checked the date. Then I laughed at his last name (it may be immature, but this material is rather dry and I’m doing whatever I can to make it more interesting). Licklidder wants humans and computers to depend on each other. He strives to point out that this is different than computers enhancing human’s natural features and artificial intelligence, where a computer thinks for itself. Licklidder’s ideas are limited by the 60’s technology, his technological hurdles of speed, ease of use and cost have been limited.
Each of these articles talks about future technologies. I originally thought we were closest to Licklidder’s view on the future. People depend on there technologies. Cell phones, Blackberry’s, email accounts, Facebook, Myspace, people need these things. But I’m not sure these things need use. Facebook and Myspace depend on people to grow while people depend on these things to keep in touch with friends. Then I realized that Bush’s ideas are pretty close too. We have achieved the miniaturization of data storage that he perceived.
But then I think we’re using Englebart’s ideas too. Internet usage has changed language. We’ve simplified it and, the computer generation, has made it their own. Aside from that these changes to language were created as more of a grass-roots progress as opposed to an engineers logical system, I think we’re closest to Englebart’s ideas.

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3 Comments

  1. delvyncale said,

    September 4, 2007 at 2:20 am

    I thought the same about Licklider…that he was the predecessor for essentially the apple iphone…the technologies of the internet, phone, word, calendar, etc. etc. all in one. Its impressive he was able to guess the devise would be small and portable. I think its safe to say this technology is rather new, less than 10 years old. A friend bought one this past weekend and he couldn’t put it down, kept pointing out all the amazing things the devise could do and amazed by where he could pick up wireless signal.

  2. exploringinteractivecommunication said,

    September 4, 2007 at 2:50 am

    I thought the same was about Licklinder and how the recent technology is pretty much the shaped description of what they said back then. What is your opinion?

  3. September 6, 2007 at 3:16 am

    Some strangeness going on there with the hyperlinks, methinks.

    You have some good starting points here, but you need to try to get away from summarizing and craft a more cohesive argument. In the last two paragraphs (BTW, double-space between paragraphs on the web) you touch on some ideas that could be more fully developed into a short essay, I think.

    Need to carefully read over what you have written before pushing that “post” button. Consider that lead sentence. Is that really what you were trying to write?


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