“Database” seemed to be a key word in this week’s symposium. What is a database? “An organised collection of information,” Elliott tells us.
“Everything online comes out of a database” we are told by Adrian. He then tells us that data bases, despite how much (or how little) information they can offer us, are not “story machines”. They are lists. Yes, we can turn a list into a story, but they are not stories themselves. The difference between a list (or data base) and a book is that they do “different things”. It is true that a story does not have to have a certain lineage, as discussed earlier in this course. However, a list simply gives you the facts, or tools rather, with which you can CREATE a story.
In this week’s symposium we also looked at how far technology has progressed. 8 years ago we didn’t have blogging, nor did we have smart phones. What lies in store for us another 8 years down the track? Driverless cars and remote control cameras are two suggestions made by Adrian. I feel that while we can predict what the future holds, it’s difficult to put a date on it. Think back to our week 4 Ted Nelson reading in which we predicted the 21st century would be a “dungheap”.
I often think back to a book I read in grade 1, 1999 (it’s funny how you can remember the smallest thing from your childhood, yet I can barely remember what I ate for dinner last night). It was a book about cars, which in classic Gemma Watts form I only picked up to look at the pictures. One of the cars looked like a giant snail with a full living room setting inside, where you could key in your destination and your snail would take you there. No windows, no driver. Predicted to be available for purchase in 2010.
“Great,” I thought. “That’s the year I turn 18. When I get my driver’s licence, this is gonna be my first car.”
Not the case.