Tag Archives: Theodor Nelson

Blog 2: Humans and Computers


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?


Blog Prompt 2- Information and Computers-Star Preston


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).