Thinking: Personal Cyberinfrastructure

Throughout this blog post, I will explain my thoughts and feelings about being a university student in the digital age, what I hope to gain from my University experience, and give my view on Gardner Campbell’s ideas about a personal cyber infrastructure.

Being a university student in the Digital age, I feel that most of the classes that I have taken so far could have benefited from the use of technology in the classroom, such as posting assignments online or having a question and answer board for the class to use. The amount of classes that I had so far that actually utilize those resources, however, was very small. Moreover, the further I reflect upon my college experience the more I realize that the amount of teachers willing to take such a technological step, though drastic by no means, were few at best. On the contrary, I can remember more than one occasion in which the teacher had openly admitted not being good with the internet or “technology” in general, and proceeded to teach like they had for the last 30 years. While understandable, I think it would be much more efficient to learn a technology as it comes along. This is easier said than done; as this would require them to spend their precious time and money on learning something that has newly arrived to market.

In general, I hope to acquire a better understanding of the world around me and further reasoning capabilities in order to more efficiently accomplish my goals for the future. Thinking back to when I first began my college career, I thought that upon completion of my University degree, I would be completely prepared for my future job having completed all the necessary courses that were deemed necessary in order to be successful at said future job. To my surprise, and mixed emotion, I have learned that this was definitely not the case. Indeed, I did learn about the general principles of marketing, economics, finance, etc., but I slowly came to the realization that this was not what college was all about (for me at least). I found out that college was more like an amalgam of learning about subjects that you really wanted to learn, really didn’t want to learn, and perhaps the most important thing: subjects that you weren’t interested in originally but eventually found them to be quite interesting or learned to appreciate the meaning of its importance.

So my current wish as to what I want to get out of my university experience would be to learn as much as I can about the world and what composes it, in order to better myself. This means that I want to learn about subjects that I like, don’t like, or maybe even find pointless, as there is meaning in everything we learn, whether we realize it or not. Technology is no exception, and I wish to gain as much information about the growing cyber-world that is constantly evolving alongside the “real one” from classes such as this one.

In regard to Campbell’s ideas regarding personal cyber infrastructure, I think that if they were, in fact, implemented it would bring about a plethora of change for the better, as it would encourage the use of technology throughout other facets of life as people graduate from school and would also encourage innovation. I think, ultimately, his idea is good but the implementation would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to implement. There are plenty of people who have a hard time, or I should say lack of will power, to even maintain a simple blog such as this one, even if it is required to get a good grade in college. Making everyone in charge of their own web server is simple. Making everyone use that web server to the best of their own ability is a different thing entirely. Again, I think his idea is a good one, but in order to implement such a plan, it would have to be thought of carefully. It would not only raise tuition but also lessen time available to study or attend other classes.

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Cutting to the chase, let me get right to the selected quote from Gardner’s essay for today’s quiz:

“Sometimes, however, progress means looping back to earlier ideas whose vitality and importance were unrecognized or underexplored at the time, and bringing those ideas back into play in a new context.”

This line of text was probably the one that resonated with me the most compared to others within the text. It has been shown throughout history that sometimes the most profound changes or thoughts come from people who have long passed away. For example, works from now considered great thinkers,like Socrates, were not thought of much during the period they lived in. Today, however, the Platonic Socrates is examined greatly, with new meaning drawn from his writ actions daily.

Again, it is the profoundness of this line that makes me appreciate it so much. If we, as humans, do not consider our history carefully while progressing technologically, it can lead us to overlook a critical component for the solution in regards to our contemporary problems pertaining to innovation.