In essence, all the things I have read this week have really come to suggest the implications and importance of connections. So I guess the idea is that things are already connected in certain ways and you can just find the connections relevant to you.
Jorge Borges and his "Garden of Forking Paths" has many implications for the application of technology and transferrence of knowledge. I think some of Borges' other works perhaps deal more overtly with these issues, but there are definitely a lot of provocative thoughts about connection in this text not only with Ts' ui Pen's simultaneous realities, but the ancestry and professional ties are also significant to interconnectedness.
Connections are made with all different implications of technology in Bill Viola's "Will There Be Condominiums in Data Space?" Viola takes a sort of piecemeal examination of structures, relationships, touching on religion, art, and a whole host of other topics that leave me wondering where one really begins and another ends.
I also considered the words of Tim Berners-Lee and others in an essay called, "The World-Wide Web." As I read this attempt to explain what is now part of daily life, I realized that people then thought these guys were just blowing smoke and could be brushed off, but now their words are complete understatements and extremely conservative assertions given what the web now accomplishes. When I later read about the Porcupine and the Car anecdote in Viola's article, I thought that was exactly what this article was. It was thought to be silly and harmless at the time, but now the car has made roadkill out of that confident porcupine.
Sherry Turkle's Alone Together: why we expect more from technology and less from each other, actually touches on a lot of the issues raised by the other articles. I only read part of this book, but here is what I picked out. Everyone is quick to point out the ways the internet has changed our lives for the better, but I am with her on this one. What about the ways it has affected us negatively? Creating more demand on our lives, more strain on our eyes, increasing social ineptitude, encouraging laziness, and much more are all prices we pay every day for convenience. I am not so sure that all this is better.
I guess that makes sense when Viola, in his essay, explains that the internet is a tool just like everything else and it will accomplish only what its user implements it for. This reminds me of the phrase, "user error." My brother owns a computer consulting business and I have heard his stories as well as experienced for myself how angry and frustrated people get using computers. They are stressed out and they blame the machine for their problems, but in reality they should be angry with themselves for not understanding their machine or for other humans who programmed software poorly. To be honest, the biggest drawback of a machine is also its biggest asset. It does exactly what it is supposed to. Unfortunately, people have different expectations and are never satisfied with this because they are imperfect and they make imperfect things. Is it really the computer's fault that it is being used in a different way that it was designed or programmed for? This is doubtful. What is the real benefit of technology and connections? Is it convenience or understanding or something else entirely? As I continue to use the internet and other technologies to edit my videos, market my music, create a book, etc. I think will have to reconsider the impact of these connections and what they all mean. I hope to make some valuable connections, but also some surprising or unexpected ones.