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open week!

So this week is open. I'm not too sure what exactly I want to write about but since we just had a few presentations on Media Art, I figured stating my opinions on them would be best. I really liked everyones presentation. Everyone seemed to touch on some different type of art regardless of the similarity in the years. I know personally that my presentation touched on a very new type of art of it's time. It seems that these artists really started a revolution on how the world perceives art. Art these days isn't defined by how the past presented and thought as of art. Although the arts of the past can never be outdone, you can really say the same about the future artists. So congrats to everyone, all the presentations were done excellent! Have a good weekend all. 

Open Topic Week!!!!!

Since this week gives us an opportunity to discuss open topics, I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity and express my hatred toward computer viruses. Although I have never actually gotten a computer virus on my laptop, my desktop computer at home has been victim on more then one occasion. Now I know this is one of the many downfalls to having high speed internet, but the need to make these viruses really stumps me. One of the best aspects to the internet is the ability to further the technology and create better codes and programs. But some individuals must ruin the fun for the rest of the world and create viruses, Trojans, worms, ad ware, spy ware, and malware. I'm sure it wasn't in the eyes of the masterminds behind the internet, to have programs that can eat your hard-drive away in a matter of seconds. Imagine a middle-aged mother of 2 who has both children grown and either off to college or out living their own life. Now she has had computers in her life for the past 13 years but she really hasn’t perfected how to use it. The purpose of buying the computers was for the children. She basically uses the computer to check her email, online shopping, booking plane tickets, and researching vacation spots. She may occasionally use the computer to write a document but usually consults her daughter via cell-phone first for some tips. One day she turns on the computer and it displays a blue screen. Now you tell me what she’s supposed to do? She will probably call her daughter who will have to interrupt doing her homework to call the vendor to get service because her mother doesn’t have a clue on fixing it. If viruses weren’t continually invented then she would not have to remind her mother to update her virus prevention software so that they don’t have to purchase a new computer because their old one just got destroyed by a virus. This is a true story, and the point of this story is to express my extreme hatred for viruses. Not only do I hate viruses, but I see no point for them. The internet is supposed to be a tool to connect and help people, not make everyone’s life a living he**!!!!!

Turkle and Class Discussions Comparision

This week’s blog topic is over a comparison of Sherry Turkle’s, The Second Self: 20th Anniversary Edition, to something already previously discussed in class. Turkle’s article has some interesting aspects in it when discussing humans, and giving them computer-like qualities. It seems like some MIT student has the idea that humans, don’t have free will. There is this idea that humans are “decentralized.” In the chapter it states, “But theories that deny and ‘decenter’ the ‘I’ challenge most people’s day-to-day experience of having one. The assumption that there is an ‘I’ is solidly built into ordinary language, so much so that it is almost impossible to express ‘anti-ego’ theory in language.” This point argues the very nature that we live by. What I have noticed lately is that every movie and story that predicts the future always has a plot that involves computers running society. Computers tend to be the governing agency that tells people what to do. There is no free will. Basically you just go about your business following the rules laid down and enforced by some massive super computer. If the movie is as traditional as candy canes during Christmas, the computer gets overthrown by some badass character who only notices the need for change. In both movies we’ve watched in class, Tron, and Alphaville, this has been the case. Also in the stories and Ideas we’ve discussed has this main topic came into play. For example, The Machine Stops and The World Brain, were basically stories with this plot line. I feel like there was this overall fear that computers were going to take over the world and honestly in the year 2008, I still think there’s plenty of time for that to happen.

General Conclusions

I've decided to make this week’s blog about a conclusion I've recently drawn from the studies in this class. We talk about how individuals have made strides to help attain the comforts we enjoy today. But what I honestly believe and feel is that the strides and the push for better are done because it needed to be. In WWI the United States had the need to create technologies to further defend and excel past our enemies. Without these technologies, obviously the war would have turned out in a much different manner. Similarly, when AT&T and Apple teamed up to make a phone that has the many comforts of a PDA and an IPod; it was only because they had made such advances in both the IPod and PDA industry that people demanded more. When Jacquard decided that weaving patterns by hand was not only tedious but less productive for his business, he strived to make a device that would make it easier for him. The same goes for Charles Babbage and his table of logarithms. Obviously calculating logarithms by hand each time you need them is unpractical. Technology soars when a new need is recognized. I just believe that each individual who helped inspire the idea, or made it happen is just another brilliant mind helping out humanity. The succession leading up to the internet was bound to happen. Some way or another, communication was going to advance to levels maybe Vannevar Bush didn't see it happening. When I was 5 years old I thought it couldn’t get much better then Barney. He was everything to me on TV and in real life. But when the Lion King came out, Barney was left in darkness. Progression is unenviable and until the day that the United States becomes under the rule of a totalitarian government, Steve Jobs is going to continue to make the iPod much more futuristic and complicated. 

The progression of the internet

So basically it started with ARPANET. Arpanet was developed by the United States Defense Department because we were afraid of not being able to protect ourselves if we got bombed or something. The geniuses such as Licklider write these amazing papers in the past about internet now. We know that many people today just don’t care about how the internet came about. All they are really concerned about is how fast the Facebook Application “Bumper Stickers” is working. Or maybe that is just me? Not too sure. But either way, large networks braced together to create the World Wide Web. Universities and Colleges today would be doing many things the hard way if people weren’t creative and original in the 1950’s and 60’s. Like for instance, Polytechnic University would actually have to give you a paper transcript at the end of the semester, or maybe even encourage the professors to submit grades before 2 days before the beginning of the next semester. So basically it started with Arpanet and is a long way from being finished.

Past/Present Comparison

So we have to compare some type of technology of the past to the present. I don't really know which object I want to do. I guess I could compare an early answering machine to voice-mail. Voice-mail is a feature that we cherish today. Since I know that If my phone wasn't equipped then I would be picking up the phone much more often. I like to screen my calls haha. But seriously. Can you imagine just using the old school tape answering machine that you must buy tapes for over and over again? Not cool. Technology now enables us to just erase the old and welcome the new. There are a bunch of things I could compare in addition to voice-mail and answering machines. Like for example, how about CD players and Mp3 Players. Or how about the phone. Or maybe even a watch. Seriously, we take so much for granted these days. It feels good to reflect. Anyways, I'm kinda hungry so I'm going to go eat some food. You all have an amazing 3 day weekend!

Thinking Machines

Alright so in class we talked about these so called "thinking machines." I guess they are cool in some retrospect because I'm typing on this piece of crap “thinking machine" currently. Even though I have a 4 year "accidental insurance" warranty where if I suddenly get angry and punch the screen, I can get it fixed, and still to this day think I should have bought a Mac. Anyways so these early machines go by the names of ENIAC, Colossus, Enigma Machine, Codex, and Memex. My favorites are the ones that weren’t actually even built, such as the Memex. Vannevar Bush was cool guy to think of all this stuff and put into a machine that looks like a desk, you must give him props. Since it’s somewhat impossible to build, we all know his thinking was much further into the future. Bush also believed something about how the mind doesn’t think in a hierarchy. He thought it worked by associating objects and thoughts. Then there’s this Enigma machine that was basically a typewriter with a screen that help decoded scrambled messages during times of bombs, ammunition, and let us not forget about gas. Then to my favorite, the ENIAC, the stolen, ripped off, first digital computer in theory. This guy Mauchley steals the idea from the poor guy from Iowa State (Atanasoff). Then to make it worse, he gets the stupid thing patented. Genius, but come on, how did he expect no one to find out he was in to what would be known to us as plagiarism? Well I guess that’s it for me tonight. Have a good weekend and try not to bomb my blog, after all, being too serious can make you sick.

Analog Computing

Analog derives from the word analogy and in Latin, Ana means according and Logos means a word or story. The first digital devices were known to be clocks. However, clocks are extensions of the early models of the universe. Models of the universe were engineered with a series of cranks and gears to show how fast each planet rotates around the earth. Given that the planets in our solar system don’t actually rotate around planet Earth, thinking anything otherwise would have ended you up in the predicament Galileo suffered. In case you don’t know much about Galileo, he was forced to house arrest for the remainder of his life for opposing the Catholic Church. Anyways, analog computing made another huge leap when Blaise Pascal invented the first adding machine in 1642. This proved to be extremely important because back in the 17th century, not everyone went to school and knew their times tables. Now to Mr. Jacquard, this guy basically made the foundation for all of our clothes today. Who would think in 1801, that weaving strings together to get a shirt is a pain in the ass? Well he did, and he created the first mechanically operated Loom. I know that everyone has walked down the street and noticed someone with a nice pair of jeans or a shirt. And yes we all know that some people have bad taste in clothes, but without this guy, we wouldn’t have the opportunity to laugh at them. I guess the only bad thing I can see out of this creation is how he introduced the beginning language that is used in C++, and I hate C++. But that’s just my personal opinion, and since it runs my computer that I’m currently typing on, I guess I just hate writing programs, not using them. There are so many more inventions that helped spark the analog computing revolution, but I’m already over 250 words so I’m going to finish off my blog by saying that all jokes aside, the minds of the past helped make our future so much more painless, and to not continue imagining big dreams would be a slap in their faces.

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