Delayed week two reflection

Warning on a computer equipment rack at Jefferson Lab, Newport News, Virginia

Warning on a computer equipment rack at Jefferson Lab, Newport News, Virginia
Photo by Bill Smith CC-BY

I’m glad to be an “open online participant” rather than a registered student. If I were an official student, I would have my work in on time! (side note: I’ve been an official student plenty of times, and find that a key to success is meeting deadlines, even if the work isn’t as ready as it should be.)

During the last week or so, I’ve been digging into the pioneers of networking we have been discussing and looking ahead. I found a complete pdf of Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machines, so am re-reading through that. I had a real copy back when he published it; it informed my thinking about computer technology and what it could do. (side note: I wonder if we will get Ted Nelson into a hangout?)
Also, I’ve been watching or listening to the media we have had. I try to tune in when the event is live, not to be the first to hear the news, but because I enjoy learning some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on that get it all working. Gardner Campbell doing a test hangout ahead of time; Alan Levine cross-casting the hangout on ds106radio; taking the Alan Kay You Tube video and ripping it to mp3 audio so I can listen during my commute time. The multitude of technology allows us to reformat the content to meet our needs and desires. (side note for research: does reformatting to change media types ever violate copyright or license?)

The associations that the Alan Kay interview bring up include linkages to Scott Lockman, a long-time audio- and radio-enthusiast, podcaster, and teacher of the thoughtvectors material. He noted comments of Kay’s on the stagnation in teaching content since the 17th century, and references to cargo cult thinking. Scottlo’s own posts indicate other trails to follow. In a blog post, he included an animated GIF of Blake’s print of Newton morphing into Paolozzi’s sculpture of Newton. Doing the research, I find that both are at the British Museum in London, and I will be there later this summer. So, the created image will lead me to see the original works. Maybe I can also search out places associated with Newton and Blake, and find more of Paolozzi’s works (mosaics in the Tube, for example). Here’s a thought for you: go to ScottLo’s blog at http://scottlo.com/, pick any random podcast from the past, and listen to it. The associative trails will likely lead you to discovery.

These associations for me go beyond computer and network technology, and they should for you also. The technology (interesting and important in its own right, especially for the technologists and engineers amongst us) is the connecting network for our thoughtvectors; it is the concept space were we move from one association to another; it is the augmentation to our intellect that keeps us free to wonder as we wander.

Some future investigations

Some future investigations
Photo by Bill Smith CC-BY

My own thoughts for an inquiry project go beyond the scope of this course. Unlike many in this course, I am at the other end of a career. I am looking to build on personal interests, use the tools of augmented intelligence, find new thought vectors, and move forward into “retirement” with various investigations, and share my research (however trivial to professionals) in concept space. Maybe this is a way that all of us can think about the technology: we pursue our various inquiries throughout our professional and personal lives, and we gather from others and share to others through the available technologies. The technology not only augments our ability to inquire and think, but it is the medium for returning the processes and results to the greater community.

Always Exploring!

Always Exploring!
Photo by Bill Smith CC-BY

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