Purpose and intentionality

Posted: October 16, 2007 in AI, iteration, meta

It only seems right that one should start off any blog with effectively a statement of purpose. Why did I make this blog?

Primarily, I made this blog in order to post my thoughts on texts that I read and to share where my research interests take me. I have a website of my own that does a very good job of showing my interests as a teacher. This will likely be shifting more towards research in the near future, as I shift my focus in that direction. Regardless, here on this blog I intend to focus entirely on research.

My research right now can be separated into two main categories: current and overarching.

My current research is in the field of iteration. That is, web accessibility, development, and how both of these things can be applied to pedagogy. I’m very interested in the role that changing technology will have on teaching, studying, and scholarship. To this end I am reading several things and trying to write a paper merging Process Theory of composition with the iterative development model of web 2.0.

My overarching research also contains iteration, but also pedagogy. I am interested in Artificial Intelligence as well, as I think that will have a great deal to do with changes in ideas such as authorship and user centering.

So I ask myself several questions.

  • What will it take for a computer to really be intelligent? The Turing test seems to me to be a poor standard, as it will only show that a computer is sufficiently clever to fool a human being into thinking that it is human; this seems to be neither sufficient nor necessary for intelligence.
  • Are computer languages real languages?
  • In relation to the things Ong suggests in Orality and Literature: is literacy actually necessary for the development of science, history, philosophy, and explanation in general, or is it a sufficient condition instead? Socrates would certainly argue against the idea that literacy is needed for the development of philosophy. He thought that writing was a bad thing. (for more on this, check out the Phaedrus)
  • Is Pedagogy truly user-centered? If not, what would user-centered pedagogy look like? More specifically, in pedagogy, who is the user?
  • Is the internet really ‘deskilling’ people (as Johnson suggests in “User-Centered Technology”) or is it true that “everything bad is good for you”? (a different Johnson)
  • How does non-linear text (hyperlinks, browsing, etc) change the field of composition? How do we need to change with it?
  • With hypertext, wiki, and other such things, what position does the author hold now? Who is the author? Is there an author any more, or is the author finally dead?

So those are a number of the things I am interested in. I will post more as I continue to consider and to read. Please, I am open to comments.

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