Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Here's the questions....

1. While reading, the same thing kept going through my head: "wow, look at that great prediction ... Kay's dynabook is like a powerbook and Nelson's windows are like.... Gates' Windows." But how many predictions were out there at this time? Were there a lot of predictions of future technology -- with the ones that happened to describe a memex gaining popularity, while the ones that described computers ... doing my j-676 reading, never getting off the drawing board? What makes a good prediction? Are the ones that are most correct/influential to the right people the only ones that get talked about? How can we make accurate predictions for the next 40 years, especially with technology changing at an increasingly faster rate? With the Internet under more privatized control, will current predictions be more PR-ish and profit-driven (Telecommunications and the City describes this) than, for instance, Bush's vision of new media helping mankind? Sorry, lots of questions there...

2. Licklider describes two roles: humans helping computers with goals, motivations, hypothesis and questions and computers helping humans with testing data, answering quantitative questions, etc. Will computers be able to learn, do intuitive tasks and come up with goals, etc? In what ways do they currently?

3. Nelson's description of a document as "an evolving, ongoing braid" is not currently used, at least in the way he describes (check out www.waybackmachine.org sometime). Now that we have the space to contain larger documents/files and software that could display them, why hasn't this been adapted? What drawbacks and benefits are there to a file management system that "keeps track of the changes ... so that when you ask for a given part of a given version at a given time, it comes to your screen"?


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