Posting to NGC4LIB
On 10/5/2013 4:14 AM, Peter Schlumpf wrote:
The way I see things going is the total dissociation of data and semantics with the medium and whatever technology used to store present it, whether it’s paper cards or iPads. There will come a time, sooner than one may think, when mobile devices will be gone. Even the “cloud” will come and go. It doesn’t matter. Then there may come a day once again when in some cases a paper card catalogue might be a desired “format” for this kind of stuff.
This may be true since the logical trajectory of the technology is going toward a direct connection into your mind, à la the Matrix, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5b4_5hvOog where someone learns to fly a helicopter, or learns Kung-Fu, in just a matter of seconds. All of this may be arriving sooner than we think, since there have been two experiments, one where a person was able to control the finger of another person http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/sciencefair/2013/08/27/human-brain-remote/2709143/, and another experiment where a human was able to control the tail of a rat http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/162678-harvard-creates-brain-to-brain-interface-allows-humans-to-control-other-animals-with-thoughts-alone. Incredible, and in some ways–in my opinion–absolutely appalling. But there is no stopping the trajectory.
I hope that such technological “advances” will find people who are wiser than we are to control them. Nonetheless, such advances do seem to lie in the fairly remote future and for the moment, we should focus on the here and now, and that means mobile devices.
So, concerning Alex’s idea of a “human model of understanding” and Karen’s comment that there is no single model, an example would be the idea of a cow. When I think of a cow, I think of steaks with a nice glass of red wine, but someone from India would think quite differently. I suggest that Google deals with this now by taking your IP address and making various assumptions. Google results are quite different if you are in the US or Argentina or Norway or Italy but this is mainly with languages and advertising. I could see that results would be culturally different if searching for “cow” and you were in the US or in India. That may happen now, I don’t know.
But returning to cards, there does seem to be a fundamental paradox: how to place more and more information on smaller and smaller screens? I know that the military has done a lot of research into the “heads-up” displays of fighter pilots: how much information they can process and how quickly they can do it; what information is vital and what can safely be ignored, and so on. Perhaps something similar will have to done eventually. Much of what I have seen with APIs and linked data has reminded me of adding more and more “stuff” on top of a hamburger (pickles and onions and mustard and ketchup …). At some point, it just gets too much, such as what we see on Amazon, but tools could allow (and do allow) individuals to decide for themselves what they want on their hamburger (card) although that also has its own problems.