Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fun Bug (More Networking Images)

I. Computer Bug
Here's another fun networking image:
The first recorded computer bug.

From wikipedia: computer bug
"ABOVE: The First "Computer Bug"
Date: 9 September 1947
Source: U.S. Naval Historical Center Online Library Photograph NH 96566-KN
Author Courtesy of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren, VA., 1988.

"Moth found trapped between points at Relay # 70, Panel F, of the Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator while it was being tested at Harvard University, 9 September 1947. The operators affixed the moth to the computer log, with the entry: "First actual case of bug being found.'"

II. The Mails

Rural Delivery (Where the Mail Goes, 'Cream of Wheat' Goes)
by Newell Convers Wyeth, 1906, at the Minneapolis Inst. of Arts
III. Radio Free America

I hadn't known that radio was free (no commercial broadcasts) and unregulated for the first couple decades of its existence.

Are we living in a Golden Age of Internet freedom? Will we look back and be amazed at the lack of regulation, the amount of free expression?

I was surprised how much debates over every new technology sound like our debates about the Internet. Is it--the telegraph/telephone/television––the door to a bright new future, or an invention to suck our brains dry?

Every new communications invention--from writing [1] to the printing press to the radio-- has been met with cries of Too Much Information, Too Fast, and warnings about how it would destroy society.
(And of course, they always did destroy society as it was, or transform it.)

Then, there're the questions, should it be regulated? By whom? The government? Commercial interests? The great unwashed?
Another fun thing: Wikipedia just raised $16 million dollars during its fun(d) drive: 500,000 people contributed, and the average contribution was $22.
(I sent $20.)

When I think technology could be the door to a better world, I think of the model of Wikipedia. You know? It shouldn't work--it should be a total mess. But it does work.
[1] Plato warns against writing:
[Writing] will introduce forgetfulness into the soul of those who learn it: they will not practice using their memory because they will put their trust in writing, which is external and depends on signs that belong to others, instead of trying to remember from the inside, completely on their own.

"You have not discovered a potion for remembering, but for reminding; you provide your students with the appearance of wisdom, not with its reality. Your invention will enable them to hear many things without being properly taught, and they will imagine that they have came to know much while for the most part they will know nothing.

And they will be difficult to get along with, since they will merely appear to be wise instead of really being so.”
(Phaedrus 275a-b)
We're still saying this about our communication tools, and it's still true... and not.

And now I am going to FINISH the rough draft that will, if I'm lucky, impart the illusion of wisdom.


momo said...

oh NOES! writing is teh suxxors!

So glad there has been funness!

Chris David Richards said...

Interesting. I like a bit of etymology in the evening. Well, sometimes.

ArtSparker said...

Heh, re Plato.

Plato said...

I don't remember writing that.

Clowncar said...

re: wikipedia - I know! I'm shocked it works, and so well.

Ever heard of crowd-sourcing? If you have a jar of jelly beans, and ask 20 people how many JBs are in it, the average of the answers will almost always be more exact than any individual answer.

Or at least that's what the guy on Science Friday said.

Fresca said...

MOMO: Suxxors. You know it.

CHRIS: And etymology + entymology is the best, eh?

ARTS: Heh, re you.

PLATO: Double heh, re you. :)
(Good point!)

CLOWN: Crowd sourcing--cool!
I am intrigued with how we humans really are collective creatures... we work in aggregate.
(And we're aggrevating! Are we ever.)
Wikipedia is a shining example of how that can work for the good.
As a political model, it's almost shocking.