Feb 28, 2011

Technology Supporting Thinking

I've been interested in the nature of technology for some time, which I can trace back to both my near life-long fascination with computer technology and to all the thinking I had to do as a PhD student in engineering.  Though my particular focus here is the intersection of technology and theology, I have been trying to read about the nature of technology - what is this thing that I work with so much?

To pursue that, I went to the campus library a few months ago and started searching the database on some keywords that I thought would get me close. Taking the resulting little scraps of paper with some call numbers, I set out for the shelves. As an aside, I think this is one area where search engines like Google fail. They are designed to take you to exactly what you want to find. In my case, I don't know exactly what I wanted to find but I was able to find some books that, according to the library's information in their database, looked close. Then, I could park myself at that bookshelf and browse through the books around that one that I found. I picked up several books that way - perhaps 1/3 of which were not part of my original set I went to find.

Anyway, I've been reading through them (or just returning them after finding them not helpful or indecipherable) and will bring up some of them in the future here. My point in bringing this up is to point out I used a database (a very modern tool) to find books (a very old tool) that are organized by subject (an in-between tool - using call numbers by subject). Technology is great!

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