Sorry class.. Didn’t realize I hadn’t ‘published’ my post yet..
In his letter to Fortune magazine that was transformed into the essay “As We May Think”, Vannevar Bush explains and predicts many advanced and future technologies in the time of writing the essay. He successfully describes a prediction in the advancement of the computer, photography, speech recognition, the internet, and even the world wide web in link to his invention of the “memex”. Bush even predicts the digitalization of encyclopedia’s when he says: “Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified”. In this sense, even back then the world was becoming surrounded by technology, technology comprised of numbers and mathematical formulas. In the “Dream Scene” of the Matrix, binary code (1’s and 0’s) is shown raining and making up everything in the frame. This represents everything from our laptops, smartphones, cameras, and even simpler things such as thermostats can all be numerically represented and boiled down to binary code. The simple truth is these technologies are all around us, all the time, especially in modern time and this is what’s portrayed in the Matrix scene. So many of the things we take for granted today or don’t even realize are a direct cause of the advancements in technology that made these items possible that Bush talks about.
The famous image from the film, The Matrix, and the video clip that experiments with recreating the “raining code” concept from the film relates to humans because humans had to create it. Technological things are made to make things easier for humans as the world becomes more complicated and advanced. For example, in the memex, it shows a person taking notes on one screen, then reference material comes up on the other one. The people in the image with all the coding, show they are the one behind making this technology.
In a way, I think the image relates to showing that it’s not just math and numbers. There are people in the picture too. In “As We May Think,” Vannevar Bush explains that “If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get far in our understanding of the physical world.”(42) Humans have a whole mind to put into new inventions. To invent something, they have to know how the human works to make it actually useful. The game of poker can’t be based entirely on the use of the mathematics of probability. There may be some logical in trying to read what other people might be thinking.
People have different approaches to looking at technology too. The physician, the chemist, and the historian all bring in something different. Information is passed on to newer generations and more things are made. I think the raining code seems like unlimited information already here and more of it to come. But the human mind will think of it, create it, and invent it. Machines are nothing without the human behind them. If humans were to vanish from the earth one day, machines would rot eventually and not be of any use anymore.
The image from the film, the Matrix, and the video clip we have watched relevantly relates to humans based on who invented it and who or what can access it. The movements that happen in the video of there creating of the raining code, the size, shape, and form are all created by humans. Technology was made, by theory, to simplify complications for humans, like ourselves. According to the article, “As We May Think,” Vannevar Bush explains that, “If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get far in our understanding of the physical world,” (Bush 42). This visually represents what humans seek to find in technologies like computers, an infinite ‘fountain’ of knowledge. We may find ourselves thinking about something and wondering why characters on screen move the way they do and so on. If we actually think about it, if humans can do it, the numbers and other figures of computer science can be used to create the characterized figure just like the one in the Matrix. Without humans, inventions wouldn’t be made. The matrix was made by human ability and of course, computers. The numbers used is relevantly used to create movement, and do things that cause humans on screen to look alive. Many of us look at technology differently and we all have our sources to how it relates to humans. The fact being that humans are creating it all makes me realize how much it takes for a human to consume all the computer science information possible to do these things.
“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.
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.
It seems that the video of the Dream Scene and the image from the very same movie represents ideas within the readings of Vannevar Bush and Theodor H. Nelson. Before I get into how it is appropriate to say that the ideas conveyed in this post will be completely up to opinion as considering how the interpretations of both the image and the video are up to the individual.
First of all it seems that video clip seems to show an endless amount of knowledge falling from the sky into nowhere. It seems that this data, knowledge or whatever people would like to call it, it seems that this data is unattainable to any regular person. People are forced to sit back and watch it fall into an endless sea of nothingness. This seems to represent the idea that Vannevar Bush presents that there is so much material and knowledge but how can one attain it. I would further push on this idea that without any way to attain this knowledge, it is lost. I would not necessarily say forever considering how it is still possible to attain it in some way.
The picture seems to represent computerized data and humans intertwined together. This might represents the idea that digital technology is only what humans make it out to be and that this technology is so intertwined into ourselves that we become apart of it as a whole. That is to say like Vannevar Bush eluded to this idea of the Memex (53) which could link people together in order to add new ideas to an existing idea or create a new idea in which people can add on to as well. While today, this already exists but for the time it would be a new and revolutionary idea to be able to connect to people inside and work together on a project rather than having to meet up and discuss.
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).
Theodor Nelson expresses this idea of a new accessibility and excitement of expression through multiple mediums (3). People will be able to have access to ideas through not only videos, but through digital photos, texts, web videos, etc. Not only, will people be able to have access to this information, but they will also be able to be “active producers,” (DTC Lecture 01.17.13). The Matrix has both a video and image that recreates the raining code. It’s the same representation of the code expressed in two different ways; that have two very different effects. Personally the video creates a choppy feeling, where as the image seems for like a “raining code.” The creators of The Matrix, used computers to create information in two different accessible ways, which is what Nelson stressed in Literary Machines.
Furthermore, in “As We May Think,” Vannevar Bush saw multiple possibilities in the advancement of technology for the benefit of humanity. The Memex was an idea that allowed the user to project ideas that could be linked with previous ones drawn up on a neo-desk top computer (54). The memex allowed the user to build a trail of ideas and links that another person could ultimately follow or add to. (53). So really we have this web of information created by humans, but accessed through computers. Not only could a person view this trail, but they could also add to it, tying different aspects and cultures to information. The image from the Matrix appears to be three humans in this digital or computerized world. The image visually represents the link between humanity and computers that Vannevar and Nelson express. That humans express their ideas and thought through multiple outlets with the help of computers. These thoughts can be built upon and linked by others and expressed in even more ways (as is seen in Vannevar’s influence of other thinkers).