reading response 4

Does it really matter how it works?

What I found personally interesting in our last week's readings was the different perspective that humanists have towards computing than engineers or scientists have. In most of my education, I have been taught to treat computers as a tool that should be carefully used because of its ability to do so much so quickly that it may be unclear as to how it was done. In a sense, we are trying to demystify the computer so that it may be no more complicated than any other tool that we may use.

Why don't we use Nelson's "hypertext"?

With all of the computer software we have today, in addition to the internet, Nelson probably wonders why we don't currently use his model of hypertext. Although the internet may seem similar to his hypertext on the surface, he writes that hypertext would be "a body of written or pictorial material interconnected in such a complex way that it could not be presented on paper." Most informative websites on the internet seem to me to be a way of linking separate pages; they more like the table of contents in a book than a way of representing information in a radically new way.

The Computer's Problem of Self Presentation

Turing's analysis and reformulation of the fundamental question of machine intelligence raises some interesting problems both for the idea of a machine and the concept of thought. In moving the question from "can machines think?" to "What will happen when a machine takes the part of A in this ['imitation game'] game?" (Turing, 50), Turing removes the fundamental question from the realm of authentic thought and Being to the realm of seems and appearance.

Defining Tools

Defining Tools i.e. "the computer"

In response to the two articles that we discussed today in class...

In order to understand the true role a computer holds I feel we must first define and categorize two separate means of tools.

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