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Response to Gardner Campbell’s essay, Assignment 2

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So I just read Campbell’s essay on Personal Cyberinfrastructures.  Here’s my thoughts.  What really stuck out to me was the first two lines, ” Sometimes progress is linear.  Sometimes progress is exponential:…”

My first thought was “Wow, this is just like working on a car!”  The exact same reality applies to not only my mechanical abilities, but also to the amount of progress I seem to make.  Sometimes my abilities, and my progress is simply linear.  I follow the workshop manual, start with step 1, then step 2, then step 3, and so on.

Sometimes though, my abilities and progress seen to jump “Exponentially”.   I’ll be working on something, and it will hit me, “Hey, I just did something similar, I bet I can use the same method to take off this part as I did that other part the other day.”

To me, it is the basic principle of building a base of knowledge, and once that foundation is laid, one can drawl from that knowledge base and extrapolate out into other fields.

The same principles also hold true for my experience so far in creating this space, my own “Personal Cyberinfrastucture.”  I have been playing around in the various cpanels, and with the WordPress Dashboard, trying to figure out what does what, and how to do this, etc.

By experimenting with all these new controls, and learning the techniques in setting up my own virtual space, I am building a knowledge base.  In the future, I ought to be able to drawl on this knowledge to develop and design future spaces, be it for work, school, another car, or whatever.

I think what’s great about being at a University like UMW, is that we have faculty that are aware of these kind of culture shifts, and willing to experiment with them, and to share them with students by creating courses like DS 106!

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