At the risk of wondering something that was covered in the class discussion (for which I was admittedly and unfortunately absent), I quite like the idea of thinking about computers as “artifacts.” I think of an artifact as a tool that reveals something about the culture in which it was created, so I wonder what Engelbart’s mouse, and our use thereof, reveals about us.  If, as Engelbart seems to suggest, our current use of technology directly affects our capacity to develop new technologies, is all technological innovation then the great-great-great grandchildren of one parent?   What can we know of that parent from the modern computer artifacts that surround us every day? Can we, like a geneticist, trace back the DNA of a computer or a computer language?

I seem to remember a time during my college years when I taped paper mouse ears and drew whiskers on a broken computer mouse, thinking myself very clever. What does that reveal about me, other than a clear need for humor augmentation?