Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Hey, here are my questions for the week....sorry they were not up last night.

1) In Bush's article, "As we may think", he discusses The Memex as a desk which is "the primary piece of furniture in which [one] works". The Memex also contained "slanting translucent screens", a "transparent platen" (for taking pictures), and the "Memex Film" for storing information.
As I sit here reading my post on an LCD monitor, with a scanner on my desk in front of me, and a hard drive full of information sitting in this tower thing on the bottom shelf of my desk, has Bush in a prophetic way accurately described our present-day average-Joe technology? If so, by integrating the most futuristic of our technologies, could we really be seeing common technology 40+ years down the road as Bush did? Or conversely, have the times changed where radical new gadgets are no longer a technological focus as much as making current technology more efficient?

2) Last week, we discussed the perpetual lack of security on the Internet. Is Wiener correct by contrasting machines to the story of the fisherman and the Genie? Is digital security simply a lost cause?

3) In the conclusion of Kay and Goldberg's article, Kay describes the Dynabook as something with the tools and power of a car or a TV (both useful devices, but not very versatile) and the versatility of clay and paper (on the surface, very weak devices with many uses). While it is indeed obvious to say that you can not design graphics with your TV or tow your jet-skis with clay, would Kay and Goldberg be satisfied with today's computers?


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