On ponderous essays…

by

In all the response papers I have ever had to write for my writing classes, I have never commented on my personal opinions of the piece. I usually discuss the ideas in the piece, and cite an example or two from my life to illustrate that I have understood the material. This time, however, I am going to set a dangerous precedent. I’m going to say, honestly, that Vannevar Bush’s “piece,” “As We May Think,” is the worst reading I have ever been forced to endure in college. I can honestly say that 95% of the piece is completely meaningless drivel that was probably not even remotely engaging at the time of its publication. However, the message of his piece, which he finally gets across on the last page of the article, makes sense, and I think I understand what Bush supports. 

 

“Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library…” Bush is imagining the Internet. While he goes on to describe a large, desk-like appliance, what he is really referring to is the knowledge of human beings, and its documentation in a miniature library. Essentially, his Memex is a device that represents a material form of our World Wide Web. It is the sum of everything that we have accomplished; the index of our world, and what we have built in it. 

 

Where do we go from here? What is the next major step in our technological evolution? As I read in Jim Porter’s “Why Technology Matters,” we are becoming cyborgs, a blend of man and machine. As individuals, and as a collected society, we have never been more linked to information and communication. If speculation regarding the Internet existed at the end of World War 2, then I’d imagine that there would be theory floating out there now regarding our next major informational step. But if there is, I haven’t heard it. I think that our communication methods are changing at a rate where if we dream it, it happens, and quickly. At this rate, we are going to wake up in the morning, go through our day, and fall asleep in a changed world. There will be a technological catharsis: a Renaissance of our electronic age, and all of us are going to be there to see it. And it scares the hell out of me, because I know that the burden of this Renaissance will cast its shadow on my shoulders.

 

This is Edinburgh, Scotland. It is my happy place. It should be yours, too.

This is Edinburgh, Scotland. It is my happy place. It should be yours, too.

Here’s a link for the site that I use to book hostels when I travel. http://www.hostelworld.com

 

And here’s a groovy little video:

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