Some of us have a difficult time with technology. We try to enter our latest Facebook status, but somewhere between the typing and pressing post it somehow disappears without a trace. We dread the newest software update not knowing what is going to be changed on us. There are also some people who are never flustered by the latest and greatest from the text community. Embracing whatever the tech world can throw at them.
In the movie “The Matrix” there are two kinds of characters. There is the master of computers, Morpheus, and the guy who still can’t figure out how his alarm clock works. The master has the ability to see rows upon rows of ones and zeros and make complete sense out of it, knowing that there is a specific order within the Matrix. Meanwhile, the guy who perhaps is technologically less proficient at first is confused by these jumbled numbers, lost in the pattern.
In “As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush, he talks about all of the benefits of technology, from improving his food to giving him an “increased knowledge of his biological process so that he has had a progressive freedom from disease and an increased span of life.” (Bush, pg 37) This was a main point in The Matrix, creating a fictional world where everything had order. However, Bush also states that as more technology is being created and more research is being done, we have a limit on what our brains can remember. (Bush, pg 37) We need order.
As new technology is being created many great discoveries will no doubt be made, diseases will be eradicated and food will be improved. However, with more technology saturation we could possibly be consumed in a world of technology waiting for the next update, and ignoring our human counterparts.
The image from The Matrix and the “Dream Scene” shows the connection between humans and technology, especially computers. Computers use a binary code to organize functions and communicate. In the examples from The Matrix, communication from computers is no longer in binary code, but letters are also used. This form of programming, called hypertext, is not sequential but creates more simplicity for the user and the hyperworld (Literary Machines). Simplicity is important ever since computers became personal devices because everyone is not a professional programmer. Todays computers are similar to Vannevar Bush’s idea of the memex. The memex is “a device which an individual stores his books, records, and communication, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility” (“As We May Think”). Computers are devices that have become personalized and allow the user to give and receive information. Humans have come to rely on computers for information, but computers still receive information from humans. This idea is also revealed through The Matrix because humans and computers are still dependent on each other. Computers were made to improve our lives but there is still a lot to learn about them. As humans learn more about computers and improve technologies, computers become a device that can be used by everyone. The relationship between humans and computers have become very important because of the availability and improved simplicity in programming. The Matrix is a possibility in the future as programming becomes more simple for users because it shows the bond between humans and computers.
Computers haven’t been around for as long as humans have, but throughout the years humans and computers have had a relationship. As time passes by the relationship between humans and computers will only increase, which is what Vannevar Bush is trying to say in “As we may think”. (45) “But there are signs of a change as new and powerful instrumentalities come into use. Photocells capable of seeing things in a physical sense, advanced photography which can record what is seen or even what is not…” (vannevar, 46). Humans, computers and information computers hold are very big. As we can see in the matrix image it is made by a computer and looks 3D. In the “dream scene matrix” you can see the “raining code” you can also see some of this green code in the 3D image. Humans still have a lot to discover about computer and information as Bush says “Like dry photography, microphotography still has a long way to go.” (47) Ted Nelson and Vannevar Bush have similar ideas/theories and as time passes by those theories are becoming facts and reality. Matrix also supports their theories because they are all codes and soon everything will be codes. Whatever does the future hold for us?
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.
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.