Tag: engl340

Knowing but not Understanding

On the first day of class when we were asked about the relationship between the humanities and the digital age/computers I thought that the relationship was one that was growing with the advancement of technology and the way in which we consume information. I found the connection of the humanities and computers to be a concept that I had never once thought in depth about. This I found to be especially interesting because the humanities is being changed because of the growing prevalence of technology. As a digitally based society we are in constant exposure to information and the way in which we receive information is different now than it was 50 years ago. When coming into the course however I never truly had to think about and connect the two subjects of humanities and computers together, they were always two separate entities addressed separately in my previous courses. When exploring the humanities I have always focused on texts and related that to the subject instead of focusing on the more broad definition of the humanities in which were brought to my attention on the first day. The only thing that can possibly connect the humanities and the digital age that I have participated in is the finding of primary sources using the Milne library databases. These archival databases act as a sort of digital library full of information and texts that pertain to the humanities.

My knowledge of computing that I brought with me into this course pertains to my love for video games. I from a young age loved computer games, I would sit at our family computer for hours as a child playing games. This is a hobby that could classify myself as a “nerd” in modern society but I had always found the computer and the internet to be fascinating. I had many games as a child that I would modify or “hack” if you will by downloading files and moving them to a folder in the games hard-drive called “mods”. I would do this “modding”  for a game called The Sims (yes I know, nerdy), where I would download custom content online and they would show up in the game after I had downloaded them and put them into the games hard-drive. This knowledge has helped me a great deal in knowing the inner workings of games, especially on a computer. I have always been the person in my family who was able to solve “tech” issues, if someone has a problem I am usually able to solve it, (unless it is an issue pertaining to the Mac computer in which my skills would be rendered useless).

If I am given a task pertaining to my computer I am generally able to solve it however, I find a lot of the time especially in this class I am doing something, and understanding how to complete the steps and get to the end result, but at the same time I have absolutely no idea what I am actually doing. When I would download custom content and drag it into the mods folder I understood that by putting these files into the modifications folder in the games hard-drive I was then putting these files into the game where they would show up. However, in class where we are downloading various programs such as the virtual box I am able to follow the steps and get the end result that I am supposed to I just don’t truly understand what it is I am doing. This class is in turn helping me develop more of an understanding of my computer and what it is capable of. My relationship to my computer coming into the course was one of simplicity. I would use my computer for gaming, YouTube, course work and simply to surf the web. A computer can be compared to the human brain, it is speculated that humans are only using a small percentage of their brain when we are capable of using much more, it is the same with a computer. Humans are only using a certain percentage of their computer when it is capable of doing so much more. I feel as if this course will help me to see just how much my computer is capable of and how I can use it in ways that I have not previously thought of. At the beginning of this course I thought I was very familiar with my computer and how to use it and at this point in the course I am finding that assumption to be incorrect.