While reading through the introduction, chapter 1, and chapter 2, I started to think to myself. Why haven’t we been taught or even encouraged to think more actively since we were little kids? So far I have been able to find no downside to what Gillmor has been saying in Mediactive thus far. No one likes to be that guy/girl that is talking but not making any since because his source of information was in no shape or form an accurate one.
While reading the some of the other blogs I came across Amber Horts and she had an interesting link to a site that shows you large media sources and all of the umbrella media establishments that that own and operate. Boom, knowledge gained just by simply taking some initiative and reading other students blog posts. It didn’t take any more time out of my day cause at the time I think I was just chatting on facebook and I learned some cool information that other wise I would not have discovered.
Gillmore sets out right away to help those of us how have not began living the life of an active. All of his five steps do not take much more effort then living your life without them but make lots of sense. Be skeptical, exercise good judgement,open your mind, keep asking questions, and learn and more media techniques. It’s something that throws you out of your comfort zone a little. For me at least, it’s the little things that are the hardest habits to break. Not asking questions in class etc. “When you become an active user of media, you can do much more than gain confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Millions of people already are taking it further, engaging in the emergent global conversations that help us and our communities every day.” Working to become more mediactive is something I plan on trying out. It clearly can not hurt and if anything make me a more aware person of news, events, and stories around the city, nation and the world. Being an active user is no more painful then being a passive user and who knows maybe you’ll learn something.
In the article “Man-Computer Symbiosis” , J. C. R. Licklider makes a startling realization of himself and the time he spends, “About 85 per cent of my “thinking” time was spent getting into a position to think, to make a decision, to learn something I needed to know. Much more time went into finding or obtaining information than into digesting it.” He performed this study on himself to help conclude that technology an help us cut down the time it takes to obtain information and less time analyzing it.
This got me thinking, how much of my “thinking” time is spent the same way as Mr. Licklider’s? I retraced my steps of the night and for my purposes my thinking time is studying time. Sadly I became shockingly aware that collectively I spent a larger amount of time cleaning my desk off then I did actually studying. Then, it became a matter of keeping myself off of all these other sites like facebook and twitter. More times than not this proved hard for me to do.
Personally, I’m would not be apposed to never recieving an “interactive computer” life while using it would most likely come to a stand still. Symbiosis, “living in intimate association or even close union, of two dissimilar organisms together.” If I was to describe to you how I felt about my computer it would be that “it’s my life” I have roughly 4000 dollars invested into this computer and depend on it not only for this class but a computer programing class as well. I spend more time with this machine then I do my own parents and siblings. Granted, that could apply to many things in our lives I would be scared if I had a machine that was capable of sharing more of my time energy and thoughts then it already does.
“In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face” - J.C.R. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor. This couldn’t be more of a reality for this generation and the ones to come. All it takes is a quick look into your personal life and how you go about your day to day activities.
Howard Rheingold sums up Doug Engelbart’s life work in Tools For Thought chapter nine, The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Thinker, with, “All he seems to hunger for is all he ever hungered for — a world that is prepared for the kind of help he wants to give.” After reading the chapter not only will you realize that this statement is so close to the truth that it hurts, but also that Engelbart spent his life working on a project that would have lasting affects in the field of computer science for decades to come.
Engelbart spent most of his adult life being told that his passion for a computer system that interacted with humans was a tall order and could not be done. Scientists and researchers thought this was a crazy idea, computers just simply did not do this kind of work. They (opposition to Engelbart’s work) thought they knew the limitations of computers unfortunately for the rest of us they were extremely wrong. Maybe, if they had taken a step back and looked at this as a “shit you know you don’t know” issue, help would have come instead of criticism.
In a place dominated by the digital world, where would we be if several important aspects of computer science had come a decade or two sooner? How long would it have taken for digital recording or myspace to become something popular and affordable? Under the heading of Steve Schwartz’s blog you’ll find, “The only certain path to failure is not trying.” Doug Engelbart tried and eventually succeeded while everyone else thought they new the answer to his questions and by not trying failed.