Predictions & Prescience

We've talked a lot in class about theorists who were surprisingly prescient, and whose ideas continue to be developed successfully. But I it's also interesting to think about times when we can be too eager to jump into future technologies, and run the risk of incorrectly predicting how they will be used. A lot of our talks about the early days of computers reminds me of a story about a family friend. At the start of the computing revolution, when businesses we just beginning to see the benefits of using computers, he predicted (and correctly) that soon everyone would need access to a computer. Unfortunately, he didn't forsee the rise of the personal computer, and instead decided to sink several tens of thousands of dollars into buying many of those large computers we hear so much about - the ones that take up nearly a whole room.

new media and the political process

This article found online was on the front page of The New York Times on Feb. 9 discussing Democratic presidential contender John Edwards' controversy with the two people running his campaign blog. He decided to keep his staff, but it was either keeping the women and facing criticism from conservatives who disproved of the vulgarity in their blogging past, or firing the women and facing criticism from the internet world.

Symbiosis and a fine line


There's a project in progress at MIT called '10x'

It's a project which specifically looks to design symbiotic systems between human and machines, which enhance the strengths of both parties. This idea appears to be directly derived from Linklider's vision and it feels positive.

In our last class we talked about arguments regarding whether or not computers can think. That discussion and this project have been whirling about in my mind to create this post.

In the manufacturing process it's arguable that the machine does a better job than a person, with smaller room for error. However, the one skill that humans possess that machines do not is boundless creativity in design and finding solutions.

A Circle?


"New Media" when it appears is new, a novelty, but as time elapses and as this new media evolves, the process in which it grows mocks the pattern of the old "new media." Does this make sense? What makes this "new media" truly a novelty, if for the most part what is new is just a new version of some old artifact whose name we- as in us regular people- don't even know? Is "new media" simply just a new version of something that already existed somewhere in a different era? But then again, this isn't completely true, there are is some "new media" that is new in its own nature. I am being redundant, but it works for me, I need to rewrite what we've already read to understand the concept to a greater extent than just the surface.

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