W3: A Tool for Associational Thinking and Augmenting Intellect

“The World-Wide Web” was on the technical side for me which normally gets a little fuzzy for me but I was surprised by the understanding this essay provided in respect to  the relevance of all the letters in the URL bar, which is mentioned in “W3 Broken Down.”  It was a fairly followable breakdown and for that I was appreciative.

However, as I was looking for nuggets I thought WAY back to the beginning of the semester when we read Bush, “As We May Think,” Licklider, “Man-Computer Symbiosis,” and also a little Engelbart, just because W3 aided so much in augmenting human intellect.  The authors hoped through the use of W3 that knowledge would be able to extend across “boundaries of nations and disciplines.”  If I recall correctly, Bush called for this very same idea; in class I remember talking about taxonomies and the way the Library of Congress was indexed in a way that made searching for something specific so difficult.  Why was it so difficult?  This organization did reflect the way humans think, which is highly “associational.”  It seems like W3 kind of wanted to aide in automating this humanistic way of thinking through hyperlinks and such.  By providing more sensible ways of navigating such a vast and rich pool of knowledge, has the World-Wide Web enabled us to have “unfettered thought?”  To think “creatively, continuously?”

The authors talked about future developments in information technology such as a “name service” that will allow internet users to discover information not based on a specific location but on the name.  This screams Google to me, or simply search engine for that matter.  They called for an integration with teleconferencing…Skype, Facebook video.  The authors also wanted to facilitate commercial uses, such as online charging and virtual clothing stores (Paypal, any online store).  These advances do not necessarily indicate a complete augmentation of human intellect but they sure do make things more efficient.  In being more efficient, W3 eliminates all the processing which enables constant thinking and decision-making.  I think that’s a sure sign of augmentation and associational thinking.

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2 Responses to W3: A Tool for Associational Thinking and Augmenting Intellect

  1. Melissa Migliarese

    I never thought about how my train of thought is so continuous on the Internet. So many things are there to trigger different wants and needs my mind has, and everything just sort of flows into one stream of thinking and learning.

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