First DS106 Assignment, “Haiku It Up!”

Limitless data

And associative trails

Behold- The Memex!

The Assignment

Im doing Haiku It Up! by Takeru Terajima

For the writing assignment, take a random Dailyshoot photograph and create a haiku using that image.

I am combining this assignment with my CIS course at TUJ about the pioneers of the internet and today’s technology. This is based upon Vannevar Bush’s As We May Think. This haiku summarizes his hypothetical technology known as the memex.

The Process

To be honest, I didnt even know what a “dailyshoot” was when I read this, so like every misunderstood word I have, I turned to trusty old google search. Apparently its this site with daily photography assignments. I chose one at random from the technology assignment section- And i ended up with this one of the iPhone by Raging3vil.

Then it hit me, a quote from the second day of class by one of my classmates, “The iPhone is the memex.” I brushed it off at first, but now I see it clear as day. I started counting syllables on my fingers: as-so-ci-a-tive trails okay thats 6, behold the memex- 5, li-mit-less da-ta theres 5 okay we can do this!

The Story

Our first reading was Vannevar Bush’s As We May Think (1945), in which he describes something he names as “Memex”. This Memex is basically a modern computer connected to the internet. It is incredible the way he describes with such precision the capability and uses of the modern computer. He envisions a table computer that has nearly unlimited data storage capacity, which can be shared with others.

Items, notes, and ideas can be joined together, following the “associative trails” of linking one thought to another. These trails can be shared with other memex users by way of Bush’s concept of what we would now call a USB device.

When I read this article, I was filled with chills. How can someone 60 years ago predict the type of technology that we are currently using? I wonder what technology that is seen as a dream will be possible in the future? How would Bush react if he saw the iPhone? I think he would be taken aback and announce “Behold- The memex”


5 comments on “First DS106 Assignment, “Haiku It Up!”

  1. lockmantuj says:

    This post is chock-full of awesome.

    It blows me away to see how quickly something we covered in class has been turned into a piece of art. Your haiku is stunning. It’s also great the way you picked up on the phrase Nick, Mr. A-plus, shared with us from his reading of Bush. I was struck with it at the time.

    The fact that his insightful observation has been made in to such simple and clear message as you’ve crafted blows me away to no end.

    It looks Tokyo is ready for ds106. Is ds106 ready for Tokyo?

  2. John says:

    I was ‘filled with chills’ reading your post. I’ve just joined up for ds106 too. After a few photo daily assignments i though that a good one would be to add a haiku to one of them. I didn’t get round to suggesting it.
    Today in my RSS reader I see 1 there is such an assignment and 2 there is an amazing example. I am no poetry expert buy I love the limitless and trails echos of older spaces and places.

  3. […] just thought of this as I was reading Anthony’s blog post he wrote that stemmed from the quote in class that the iPhone is the […]

  4. gabbalabba says:

    Very cool, I think I overheard the “the IPhone is a Memex” revelation and I love the idea of a haiku, they have so much meaning in such short simplistic expression! Technology is indeed amazing, but it makes me wonder if it is technology or the people who invent and change it? Thinking like this gives anyone a sense of limitlessness, even someone 60 years ago! Well done!

    P.S have you noticed that the books in the top picture (the green ones) are actually all one book? I wonder what book it is?

  5. tuc38620 says:

    Ooh, what a clever haiku you did there! Nice job!

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