Lost with only 2 sessions left

We’re together 12 weeks. This is week 11. I just completed (skimmed) this week’s reading, http://deschoolingsociety.digress.it/learning-webs/, written in 1971. Our final reading next week is from 1993. I believe next week’s reading will be the most recent reading we have for our 12 sessions. How is this a seminar on New Media, when the newest reading is from 20 years ago? On our first day, when our massive textbook was handed to each of us, I wondered why on earth we were getting a textbook for a seminar on “New” Media, but I figured I would wait and see…

So, what am I missing? A couple of the readings I’ve found insightful (Message is the Medium and this week’s reading come to mind), but other than nostalgia and, “gee, they were forward (or backward) thinkers back then,” what was I supposed to gain from reading about 40-60 year old technology and 40-60 year old technological thought?

BTW… I’ve found our discussions enlightening and enjoyable. I look forward to them every week. But mostly our discussions have not been on the readings. Maybe that’s the point? I just wonder what we could have been reading, that would have been more relevant. Or, again, am I missing the point?



“Boys with Toys”

While watching Douglas Engelbart’s, ‘The Mother of All Demos‘ (1968), I flashbacked to 1981, when, as a Sophomore in high school, I attended a family friend’s college course (he was a professor in electrical engineering at UW-Milwaukee) on Fortran (a programming language). The thrill I experienced creating code, which caused the computer to do <x>, ingrained deeply enough in my psyche that I still feel the excitement today. Watching Douglas smile softly while he manipulated the code told me he was experiencing the same thrill.

How much was the creation of computing driven by the joy/thrill of power and control?