Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Media and the Failure of (My) Imagination

As I've mentioned previously, I'm currently participating in a New Media Faculty Seminar at Baylor, under the guidance of Gardner Campbell, who runs the Academy of Teaching and Learning here.

This week, our reading from the New Media Reader was "A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect" by Douglas Engelbart and William English, written in 1968. Englebart is one of the reasons we have the computer interfaces we have now. The man invented the mouse. So in reading these essays by people like him, I was struck by how imaginative and forward-thinking these people were.

The imagination these men had was staggering - to be able to see the form and structure of what we currently take for granted when nothing like it had ever existed boggles my mind.

And what I am referring to in the title of this post? Well, simply put, I was thinking that, if it had been left to me, we wouldn't have too much to work with now when it comes to imaginative computer interfaces. It makes me wonder what else we'll come up with if the modern Engelbarts out there are encouraged to do their work.

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