AL Preston Noon
When I began this class I was kind of thrown into the mix and had no real idea where the class was headed or even what it was for. It has been now a month, and although I am no closer to that seed, I have thought a lot about what a Library means to me, and how, for the most part, that is our commonality within the class.
What I have found time and again is that I keep coming back to the history of place. This, I believe, is the root behind the Swanson article. A Library is a place where one goes to acquire knowledge that is not reality available to them. The internet has nearly usurped that role. However a library is also where you find professional researchers. People who have been trained and are masters at finding information. When you type into google there is no guidance, it can be at times completely random. However in a Library you can always ask someone. I view the Library as not only a house of knowledge but a place where there are people using that knowledge and very well may be at the top of their field. I then began to view the library, any Library, as a university. As though the entire faculty were within it's doors. For me, what has faded in the lore and lure of a Library setting is the scholarly pursuit. It is more than just books, it is people, and interaction, it is that search but you are not alone.
Onto Ubiquitous Computing: I received a copy of Everyware about a year and a half ago. I remember that at the time a lot of the examples being used were already on the market, and in fact I felt that implementation of these systems was not far off. I immediately pointed to bluetooth. As most everyone already carries a phone, and therefore your identification and location are already possible. In New York there are a few places where messages are sent to your phone with no approval. In fact almost every time I walked over to Union Square I got a text advertisement. When they first started doing this they asked if you wanted to accept it. They no longer do. I have worked on a few smart homes and for the most part the smart home is used to conserve energy. This could be turning down the heat in the house when no one is there, or it could be turning on the lights in your rec room when you walk in the door. This technology is very much "bells and whistles" but through our discussion many of the benefits came to light. The Toto manufacturing company in Japan has a fully automated toilet that monitors nearly everything, liver function, weight, time of day, and flushes when you leave. Ubiquity is already here.
I blame Orwell. Even if my toilet knows everything about me, big brother will not. This is the fragile ground of implementation. No one likes to be reported on, but if the refrigerator reminds you that you are out of milk and sends you a text message, it will be appreciated. My feeling is that in many cases we need to surrender our control in order to regain it. I have carried a cell phone for eleven years and since being in Bennington I stopped carrying it. Every once in awhile however, I feel the buzzer in my pocket. Hopefully it will go away.
So as I said at the onset of the rainstorm concerning ubiquity is very much the same. And this has been reverberated by the observations and that is that people enter the Library with different agendas. But if, on the onset, ones preferences could be established; a fuller richer library experience could be created, one that mirrored and could perhaps rival the exalted history of the Library. Ubiquity for me is not about the addition of technology but the removal of it.
Technology in the environment around me should not infiltrate or compromise my experience but augment it, and that is why I am here. "http://www.spl.org/lfa/central/images/stimages070900.jpg"
And then I found an interesting group of studies: "http://p4.p.pixnet.net/albums/userpics/4/1/312841/1177945818.jpg"
Which made me think of this: "http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/44/Murinsel_Acconci.JPG/800px-Murinsel_Acconci.JPG" . . . an amazing project. I will say though that until I had th opportunity to hear V.Acconci speak in person about his art and this piece I never really regarded him as an artist. But hearing the process of this building I was amazed. Though this may be his most notable work. He did some pretty crazy stuff in the early seventies.
But then. . . . I started learning Ruby.