For this first blog, I decided to focus on one of the readings.
“The dance (or as I prefer to call it, the complex ecology) of narrative and database has its origins in the different ontologies, purposes, and histories of these two cultural forms.” This quote alone, from N. Katherine Hayles, How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2012) sparked my interest of focusing on the paradigm aspect of databases, thinking of databases as well as how they function in symbiosis.
The Different Worldviews of Narrative and Database
On page 176 we read: “database parses the world from the viewpoint of large-scale data collection and management.” This made me ask myself whether or not the database really parses the world or if it is only useful for those countries that have access to such technology. Databases have different uses and may be interpreted as being either useful or detrimental to a society based on whom you may ask.
When we think of databases as Americans, we certainly tend to lean to the more optimistic views of they things they have allowed us to achieve and overcome.
** In reading this article, I quite enjoyed the argument of a database and narrative working together. I like to attribute database : narrative to notes : lecture. Without the larger piece, which in this case is the lecture or narrative, we have nothing to draw from to create notes or a database. It comes down to efficiency.
** As the database seeks out its place in our society, or even the many different societies with differing paradigms, the narrative shall never lose hold. As people, if we let the narrative go, we will be stuck in quite the simplistic world. Think about that…a world with no narrative, with no thinking…anything you want to know could be figured out by a sequence of keystrokes. This certainly is not the world I would want to be a part of. I want to have the opportunity to think for myself, act for myself, and at least put forth some effort when it comes time to research something.
I often question the purpose to life and have come to the conclusion that we live to act, change, and experience but fear that with the overtaking of the database we wont be able to be ourselves; instead, we will be defined by databases.