“Electronic literature, generally considered to exclude print literature that has been digitized, is by contrast “digital born,” a first-generation digital object created on a computer and (usually) meant to be read on a computer. “(Hayles) In other words, it is still print literature but it is modified to become electronic literature by computer programs. With digital technologies, electronic literature thoroughly integrated with printing literature to make new inputs to literature field nowadays. “Shy Boy” is great example for electronic literature and it is a poem that is created by computer with digital production. “Shy Boy” was very early production for Thom Swiss. Collaborating people underneath poems is his work but he’s not a programmer; he’s a language person. He tried to put a team of people to work on single pieces or group of pieces. For “Shy boy”, he used to capture the ideas, which were inside of his head, then he contacted to one designer and one editor. At this point, they worked as the team as combined all their pieces of work together to make new production. Also, “Shy Boy” had soft music that got along with the video and the way that the words were disappearing and appearing. “Electronic text remains distinct from print in that it literally cannot be accessed until it is performed by properly executed code. The immediacy of code to the text’s performance is fundamental to understanding electronic literature, especially to appreciating its specificity as a literary and technical production” (Hayles). With the print literature, we can’t have this process that make the document is more interesting like electronic literature.
“A record, if it is to be useful to science, must be continuously extended, it must be stored, and above all it must be consulted.” Vannevar Bush, author of “As We May Think,” states at the beginning of chapter two. The Matrix, a film released in 1999, full represents what Bush is alluding in his work. The film was released at the turn of the century, when Digital Media was first taking it’s hold on society. Not only were computers a relatively new technology for the average person, but they also represented the vast amount of knowledge that we as humans could never hope to retain and understand. This is the reason computers have integrated into many people’s lifestyles so well.
When particularly examining the Matrix “Dream Sequence” Bush’s idea of continuously extended and stored data shines through. The scene displays of a stream of seemingly random letters falling from the computer screen, as if the information stored was pouring out. This visually represents what humans seek to find in technologies like computers, an infinante ‘fountain’ of knowledge. computers today hold all sorts of knowledge of human’s lives, ranging from casual conversations, to a business’ finances. Humans rely on computers more and more not only to store their information, but to feed it back to them and analyze is for them, as Bush explains as the most important aspect of the digital age.
Overall, it is important to understand the way in which Bush explains humans rely on the lifeless brain of the computer.
The relationship between human and computer has been long time ago and it just keeps growing up as the human’s world is developing. According to Vannevar Bush, technology is always new and very powerful (Vannevar 46); that’s why people have to rely on technology to the approach modern efficient world. With the current computer’s system, its functions are very complicated with significant noticeable features. However, the current computer system is not more than the information technology as the first product came into the world. In 1945, Vannevar Bush created the very first piece of technology; it’s called the Memex. “ A Memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” (Vannevar 53). There are four main components that operated the Memex system; they were microfilms with drawers, the screens, the keyboard and the stylus. Firstly, microfilms were used to record documents, communications and images; additionally, drawers were the storage for the microfilms as the library of microfilms were accessed through these drawers. Secondly, the screens displayed the projected items, the codes, the trails and allowed the direct entry of notes. Thirdly, the keyboard was used to enter codes, project the heads of trails and to duplicate established trails. Finally, the stylus was used for adding notes to project items (Vannevar 53). Nowadays, there are so many computers’ systems and devices are created base on the Memex’s system of Vannevar Bush; plus, it increased the technological human demands to higher levels.
Humans have become more reliant on technology than ever before. Vannevar Bush was correct when he said that a time would come when humans couldn’t live without technology. It is true. We have become so reliant that I couldn’t even imagine living in a world without the technology that we have. As we progress in the development of new technology, we become more dependent on all the technology that we create. Technology is becoming simpler to use. Anyone can become technologically dumb. Theodor Nelson said that the world of the computer must become simpler, and more clarified to “bring literature, science, art and civilization to new heights of understanding.” Information is right around the corner. It is very simple to gain access to information with such simplicity. Just launch your browser, and information is at your fingertips. Nelson also said that the computer should be used to assist humans in their everyday lives (Literary Machines). Truly, computer assist us with most obstacles that come our way. However, we rely on a computer, just as much as the computer relies on us. A computer does not have a mind of its own. It’s a working relationship between the human and the computer. The Matrix demonstrates this relationship in showing that we give life to these machines. In return, we receive a virtual world built from ground up with code. The raining code, as seen in the the clip, shows the information that arises from the virtual world. At the pace technology is going, we are bound to become dumber as computers become smarter. If we rely on technology so much now, what will become of us 20 years from now? Will we be able to make decision for ourselves? Or will computers determine how we will live our lives? These are just some of the questions that humans should consider before giving computers too much power.
When did the Connection of Human and Computer Start?
I am sure everyone has seen The Matrix and understands that the falling code IS the digital world that was created by the computers for humans to live in. The changing symbols, letters and numbers represent the constant change in the Matrix. I was not sure how I could make this connection with Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” until I watched the video showing his Memex. In section 7 he states:
Moreover, when numerous items have been thus joined together to form a trail, they can be reviewed in turn, rapidly or slowly…
If you think about it, this can be an early rendition of the raining code, as each ‘drop’ creates its own trail. His Memex also creates a unique code of letters and numbers to identify each trail, like in the raining code. The only thing missing is the non-alphanumeric symbols, though one cannot help but think if the Memex was able to be used on a large scale that symbols would be introduced. He goes on in the same paragraph and says:
It is exactly as though the physical items had been gathered together from widely separated sources and bound together to form a new book. It is more than this, for any item can be joined in to numerous trails.
When you look at the still photo of the three people immersed in the Matrix you can see that their ‘trails’ have been joined creating a new ‘book’ or reality. As well with the Memex, once Neo our protagonist, masters the Matrix he is able to call up and change anything he wishes, so does one with the Memex. The user can call up information, add to it, change it, share it and then save it or destroy it.
The relationship between human beings and computers is something that is not going away any time soon. As the human race continues to evolve, so will our technological strides. This will eventually bring the human race to the point raised by Vannevar Bush that humans will one day be so reliant on technology that we will not be able live without it. We as humans tend to rely on technology to make our lives easier, while technology (computers) relies on us to operate them. Technology will take away the need for hard work and overall comprehension. The Matrix is a film that cleverly demonstrates how human beings and computers rely on each other to function properly. In the film, humans are used as a source of energy for machines. The machines, in turn, provide a sort of virtual reality for the humans that will blind them from the apocalyptic world. It also provides them with security. The virtual reality created by the machines is represented by a raining green code (as seen in the image from the link). This raining green code is used in the dream sequence (seen in the video) and is used to represent information from the virtual reality such as visuals and audio. The dream scene supports Theodor Nelson’s idea that essentially all obtainable information will become computerized code. Claims from people like Bush and Nelson raise a lot thought and concern for the future. Will the human race truly be so reliant on technology that we will not be able to live without it?
The raining code from the Matrix photograph and video is one that may be very
confusing for people. If a person has never learned about the code or ever
learned about where it came from they would be very confused. In the photograph of the Matrix there is an image made from the raining code. The raining code looks like it would be just like the binary code which is made up of all ones and zeros. However when looking at the video of the raining code it seems that the code is not made up of numbers but of symbols, possibly of Chinese symbols. In Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think” he is discussing the
relationship humans have with computers and information. He says that there are machines for solving difficult equations, and functional and integral equations (Bush 50). This can suggest that humans use computers to solve the problems that they need solved when it comes to work in marketing or science. In fact, science is a large part of the relationship that humans have with computers and information. In majority of sciences humans use computers in order to get information for the equations that the computers can solve. Information can be found on the internet which is mainly accessible through the computer. In the time of when the Memex was being thought about there was no way to find anything that you wanted to know about through something like Google. There was not even the thought of there being an Ipad or smart phones. Theodor Nelson wanted to advance technology and ideas. It is clear that the relationship humans have with computers and information can be directly related to science. “Science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults the record of the race” (Bush 54).