The Bologna Blog

a blog about all of the "bologna" in our minds that lead to writing.

Posts Tagged ‘computers

We Am the Line Drawers

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We’ve seen the movies. Robots and machines team up to take over the world. Terminator, iRobot, Wall-E… it’s a growing trend these days. That could have to do with the expanding capabilities of the technologies we use today.

At some point, we must responsibly consider the technological grounds we have paved before movies become the new age Nastradamus. In her 1995 Wired Magazine article “Who Am We”, Sherry Turkle presents an interesting take to allow you to ponder for yourself.

How real are computers? Can we consider them to be alive? They think for themselves in more complex algorithms than the average human being. They provide a virtual playground and social network greater than any work place or college campus.

Where do we draw the line between a living and non-living object?

While computers lack emotional concept that often drives the argument leaning toward non-living, one must also consider the emotional lacking of plants and micro-organisms that are considered living.

What’s that you say about computers not breathing life? Without electricity, computers are just as dead as any mammal without oxygen and any plant without carbon dioxide. Pulling the power cord out of the wall is essentially the same as wrapping a rope around your neck and cutting off the flow of oxygen to your brain.

If you think about it, what makes plants living organisms? Sure, they breathe; but they don’t move, they don’t feel, and they don’t think.

The intelligence of computer systems is simply astonishing. From video game A.I. to robots and smart homes, the interactive capabilities we experience is similar to that we have with living beings.

In her article, Turkle compares robots to Pinocchio, a wooden puppet that turns into a living, breathing boy. Robotics is not far from creating human-like robots that perform daily activities much like we do.

It’s just a matter of time before we see robots in the home much similar to those we saw in the movie iRobot and in the video below.


Written by cor24leone

November 21, 2009 at 7:27 AM

Transcription Through Transition

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As a product of the transition years of the technological age, my main writing space would be the screen that is propped up in front of me and the keys that I type away at so diligently.

While legal pads and notebooks filled with lined paper provide a good means to take notes, generate ideas, brainstorm, and scribble, the computer has made editing, revising, and the rest of the drafting stage so much more convenient.

As for convenience, my third most common writing space would be the awe-inspiring yellow sticky. They work wonders when in need to jot down an idea immediately before tending to whatever it was you were doing when the idea bursted from your mind.

When considering remediation, I find that each writing space provides its own unique purpose. While computers threaten the ways of old as all “new media” has done in the past, I don’t quite see the pen and paper conceding their relevance just yet.

The pen is a mighty means of exploring an idea; however, it presents a much more permanent stamp… a more honest stamp even. The only way for reflection through ink (or lead) is to continue jotting down ideas that come to mind, scratching out what no longer fits, and leaving an incoherent trail through one’s journey through thought. At least that’s how it works for me.

My mind works in complex rhythms. Sometimes, I don’t know what I think about a particular topic until I explore it through writing. If I used a pen all the time my wrist and hand would cramp up before I ever found my way through an idea, all while leaving behind the need for an intense session of agonizing organization. That is why I love word processors.

Some may argue that physically writing with a pen or pencil requires you to think before you press the tip to the page… but I say, “bologna.”

Written by cor24leone

November 11, 2009 at 6:49 AM