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Reflecting on the Dynabook

I wanted to offer a couple of observations on the discussion topic for this week’s New Media Seminar, Personal Dynamic Media by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg. The most striking thing about these early discussions of computer technology, in this case about personal computers and applications, is how prophetic they have proved to be. In(…)

Our Deepest Fear & An Unexpected Outcome

Personal Dynamic Media by Alan Kay and Adele Goldberg, 1977 On one level, the reading left me thinking: these authors are truly smart, imaginative. Even though many of the things they are describing are actually functioning now in computer systems, I enjoyed reading their almost laborious descriptions of the functions. From the mundane editing and…

Awash in Data 2014-03-20 01:32:33

  Part of the first sentence of “Personal Dynamic Media” provoked thoughts about the ways that images, both digital and non-digital, can represent quantifiable human behaviors. The relevant phrase is that the Xerox group is interested in “all aspects of the communication and manipulation of knowledge.” The two images posted below are two very different […]

Multi-dimensional multi-scale visualizat...

It is strange how most of the articles we are reading are about the non-computational part of the computer. The focus is still on the non-human part of the computer but more on the non-physical part and on the ability of computer to so something humans can’t do on their own or with other tools. […]

Awash in Data 2014-03-06 19:38:36

Ted Nelson, like the other authors we’ve read in this seminar, offers a vision of computers that seems to have three elements that exist in some tension with  each other: the great potential to expand capacities for intelligence and creativity, the danger of routinizing behavior in ways that become dehumanizing, and the advantages of performing […]