The Future?

Consider this statement

... a good technology, firmly related to human needs, cannot be one that has a maximum productivity as its supreme good; it must rather, as in an organic system, seek to provide the right quantity of the right quality at the right time and the right place for the right purpose ... The center of gravity is not the corporate organization, but the human personality, utilizing knowledge, not for the increase of power and riches, or even for the further increase of knowledge, but using it, like power and reiches, for the enhancement of life.
Lewis Mumford, "Bacon: Science as Technology," reprinted in Interpretations and Forecasts: 1922-1972 (New York, Harcourt Brace World, 1934), p. 16
quoted on pp. 75-76 in Schewe, P. F. (2007). The grid: A journey through the heart of our electrified world. Washington, D.C: J. Henry Press.

What was he talking about? Is it relevant to you?

Then read this short article

The Knowledge, London’s Legendary Taxi-Driver Test, Puts Up a Fight in the Age of GPS
with some supporting information at an 8 December 2011 BBC article, Brain changes seen in cabbies who take 'The Knowledge' as well as a cabbie with "the knowledge" explaining his perspective.

Are you worried that your brains may be rewiring themselves in ways that may not benefit you?

Then read this longer article

Carr, Nicholas. Is Google Making Us Stupid? The Atlantic, July-August 2008.

Finally, watch this presentation and think about what Lessig is describing

But do Lessig's issues even matter any more?


OK, what should we think about all this?

Bring to class examples of how information technology is either improving or damaging your future and plan to discuss them in class

We will ask each of you to write on the white boards examples of a positive future or a less than positive future as more and more information technology becomes part of our lives.

Think about whether or not our legalistic world and our technological world can work together, or if one or the other will have to change itself to adapt to change.

Remembering back to when I discussed the information world of LTG Fred Franks in the First Gulf War and said that sometimes we have to make decisions based on what we think we know and not on the information we have, ask yourself if your information tools will enhance your ability to make informed decisions or if they will become crutches that will limit your ability to work without them.

There is no necessary correct answer, but there is a necessity to participate