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Why you so obsessed with me?

kelliott's picture

 After watching and discussing Conceiving Ada all I could think about was obsession. Emmy was pretty obsessed with Ada, let's be honest. She was fascinated with her life, and her influence on technology as we know it, so much so that Emmy ended up literally conceiving Ada, giving birth to a "reincarnation" of her or however you'd like to phrase it. Taking a step back, I found myself comparing Emmy's "obsession" with Ada to technology addiction today. Many scientists are suggesting that the addiction to technology is an actual psychological disorder, not just a social problem. 

internet addiction

So, naturally, I googled "Technology addiction" and got about 2,720,000 results....Then I kept googling and googling and googling. I wasn't really sure what I was looking for--I was "hyper reading." Quickly scanning the screen, I googled various things such as technology and the brain... Human relationship to technology... Technology and the mind... Technology and memory. BINGO. I stumbled upon this website..A syllabus for a class called "Memory as Technology/Technology as Memory from Plato to The Matrix" at the West Virginia University. The description states that "inscription, archivization, and representation...function as arts of memory." The course looks at "the art of memory concealed in our concepts of writing, literature, visual imagery, film, and digital interfaces, as well as in theories of mind and learning." Sounds cool, huh? What really resonated with me was this quote at the top of the syllabus: "a computer is nothing but a means for a memory to get from one state to another. - Joachim Weyl" Think of that quote in comparison to Conceiving Ada. Technology, for Emmy, permitted time travel and she was able to literally enter into Ada's memory. She "followed the data strems" of technology and memory, traveling from one state to another.

Extending this into the real world today, one can see how we continue to treat computers and other forms of technology as transfers of memory. For example: I hear something, I type up notes, I save the notes in a "file," I put the saved document on a "memory stick," I plug the stick into another computer, I use the notes to type up a paper, I print the paper, I hand it in. Technology allows memory to expand and contract across various wavelengths, transforming into different mediums...Emmy's daughter is an example of memory traveling through a computer, going from one state to another--she's still Ada, just a part of a different data stream.




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