Reading Johnson’s “Information Infrastructure as Rhetoric” definitely made me reflect on my years in high school and past two years of college. Using databases like Jstor, ProQuest and Gale, I always felt technologically savvy and efficient. Being able to search by keywords, years of publication, specific journals–so much easier than the ways of the past: maneuvering through stacks trying to locate single sentences amongst billions of words of research. But in Johnson’s article, the suggestion that databases are antiquated had me taken aback for quite a while. It’s true that the mere size and extant complexity of databases often makes them seemingly impenetrable when it comes to research, however it confuses me that he claims they are in dire need of restructuring. I think the idea that he presented which appealed to me the most was the idea of “protocological hacking,” especially the example of having search technologies tailored to the users and not the creators. Often times I think one thing that websites/apps/”gardens” overlook is the ease of use for those who haven’t written the code or designed the interface. If tools could be tailored/fine-tuned or run by/modeled after those who were most apt to use them, wouldn’t that make the transition from invention to reality much more seamless?
Another thing that stood out to me this week was in Baron’s “From Pencils to Pixels,” when discussing the technology of writing. In another class I talked about the development of writing in this manner, and I remember me and my peers shocked to hear that writing was deemed unnatural, untrustworthy. When examined as a “cognitive revolution” writing definitely becomes congruous to things like the development of computers and the internet, or the development of wearable tech in recent years. It’s interesting that things can shift from being eccentric to accepted in a matter of time. It will be interesting to see the developments that are being made in wearable tech, especially with the recent disappearance of GoogleGlass from the market, and the proliferation of cardboard Virtual Reality glasses (especially touted by the New York Times)