| This is a small step toward the DynaBook, conceived by Alan Kay [Goldberg 1979, Kay & Goldberg 1977]. As the saga of the shrinking chip continues, computers will become smaller and faster and cheaper and smarter and friendlier. It is easy to imagine, before the end of this century, each child with a personal pocketbook-sized device. It flips open to reveal a screen on the top and a keyboard and a rollerball (a sort of built-in mouse) on the bottom. You slip in a card, like a credit card, which permits you to read a book, see a movie, or explore a domain of knowledge. When tired of it, the children trade them with friends (as they now trade sports cards). This electronic device will no doubt be called a Binary Operating-system for the Organisation of Knowledge (B.O.O.K.). This is not some far-off future. I have in my wallet a debit card, of the same size and shape as a credit card, which contains 800 pages of optical memory. Blank disks will enable students to build satellite brains (siliclones) so that they can establish a synergistic relationship between the natural intelligence of the person and the artificial intelligence of the machine.|
Computer As Corpus Callosum
The operating manual for our species is, more precisely, an operating manual for the nervous system of our species. This is the only one of our subsystems which can be "operated" directly. The two major categories of media - print and video - could be identified with the left and right hemispheres of the brain, responsible respectively for creating a conceptual and a perceptual map of the objective world (Figure 6). Schools and universities traditionally emphasise the function of the left hemisphere. That is, they teach us how to build a conceptual map of the world and they focus on print media. Little effort is concentrated on the function of the right hemisphere. That is, we do not learn how to use image-based media to build a perceptual map of the world. Indeed, as discussed above, television (the most ubiquitous image-based medium) is often condemned as harmful to education.
The computer, loaded with HyperCard, could be considered as the corpus callosum, the tissue linking the two hemispheres. Each card can contain words and/or images. Thus HyperCard serves as an integrative device. The corpus callosum is an even more apt metaphor because it links the cortex (responsible for thought) to the rest of the nervous system (responsible for action). Each card also contains buttons, which allows the user to interact with the computer. Thus HyperCard serves as an interactive device. Education will then provide the whole operating manual - for the left hemisphere, for the right hemisphere, and for the corpus callosum, which links the two hemispheres to one another and to the rest of the body.
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