Murray Chapter 3

“Computers are the most capacious medium ever invented, promising infinite resources” (Murray 83). Computers are the most interesting, but yet the most intricate and confusing pieces of life in today’s world. “It is a realm in which we easily imagine ourselves to be omniscient” (Murray 84). With all of the resources, the images, and the different media we put computers into, our lives have changed from it. The computer is like the mind, we put information into, and it feeds back with results. Within Chapter 3 of Murray’s book, Hamlet on The Holodeck, she brings the idea of the computer to life with how she is complex with her words about how the computer brings life into the human race. She states, “Like every human of communication, digital media have been developed to perform tasks that were too difficult to do without them” (Murray 90). The complexity of the computer is what is so interesting; we can put a whole encyclopedia inside of it, and it will find any word, and its definition at a rate of speed that I don’t think anyone understands. Different softwares are also put into computers to complete tasks; these softwares are created by the human, but performed by the computer to create new things, etc. “The computer has developed during this time into a versatile tool for modeling systems that reflect our ideas about the world is organized” (Murray 92). Everything in life nowadays involves a computer such as the Iphone, digital organizers, cameras, etc. Every year there is a milestone for how our technology is working and completed. Murray also brings up another point of how we, humans, have conversations with computers; the computer will actually spit out answers or opinions of what one should do; this is like the Iphone with Siri who answers questions that are asked of her. She replies with her opinion of what one should do, good or bad, but even Siri can get confused on what the person who is asking her the question is saying. Computers have their highs and lows, but all in all, the computer is the master of the human mind. Computers bring life into the human race, and with the rate of how the technology we have in today’s world is going, anything is possible. “Therefore, the next step of understanding what delights or dangers digital narrative will bring to us is to look more closely at its characteristic pleasures, to judge in what ways they are continuous with older narrative traditions and in what ways they offer access to new beauty and new truths about ourselves and the world we move through” (Murray 94).


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ladybartleby
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 23:36:07

    So truly Molly, so true! I agree 100%, computers are one of the most intricate and confusing creations we have. We may assemble these technologies but their workings and abilities to spit out results….I don’t think we fully understand it.

    I find your comment about computers bringing life to the human race interesting, you would think it would be the other way around. And yet, I think I understand what you’re saying. Computers provide us with such infinite and fresh possibilities it’s hard not to be energized; there is so much we could do! I think you took an important point from Murray’s chapter. She put so much emphasis on the growth of technology and the changes that have occurred and your response just took that in a different direction. Murray points out the amazing things that we have done, the progress that we’ve made. Your response points out that, not only will we continue to progress, but the possibilities are endless.

    To wrap up I feel like you do a good job of combining the previous technologies and mediums with the future. Your last quote points that out. We have to combine the old with the new, recognize where we have come from and learn what works and what doesn’t from each progression.


  2. dunnjc1
    Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:41:23

    I’m really struck by the ways you naturally anthropomorphized Siri. You refer to the interaction between the user and Siri as a “conversation.” You discuss Siri as becoming “confused.” Most notably, you ascribe to her the ability to formulate opinion. It’s striking that even in our more digitally savvy age, we’re still as awed by these advanced protocols and the illusions of humanity that they produce. Of course, Siri is significantly more advanced and more convincing than ELIZA, but they both are composed of a set of procedural rules crafted to mimic human interaction. Perhaps it’s only natural for humans to want to assign humanity to these illusions. After all, we have historically anthropomorphized the world around us. Our myths and stories are filled with plants, rocks, and animals that possess intelligence, language, and agency. And perhaps we aren’t that far off the mark in comparing Siri to human intelligence; after all, the human brain is arguably just a significantly more advanced algorithmic system.


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