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In Chapter 2 of Cohen and Rosenzweig’s Digital History, “Getting Started: The Basic Technologies Behind the Web,” I found this specific quote very interesting:

“Individuals who are used to the world of books and journals often find themselves overwhelmed by the web’s technological otherness, and its myriad terms and concepts—HTML, servers, design and graphics software, and a host of other acronyms like FTP and ISP.”

This quote hit home with me and really captures exactly how I feel about all of the new technologies that exist today.  Last semester, I took a basic introduction to computing course to try to fill my general education computer requirement.  However, throughout the whole semester I was so overwhelmed with how to use different computing software and many other computer terms that I ended up failing.  It is so easy to just use a computer.  For whatever reason, the internet works and that’s that.  When different concepts are introduced and an endless supply of acronyms, the internet becomes so much more multifaceted.

It truly does fascinate me that there is so much more going on underneath the surface that I don’t know…but understanding a book is so much simpler.  You read a page, and simply turn to the next one.  No concepts or acronyms are needed.  This plays into the conversation that we had in class last Thursday.  Most of us come from a background in which physical books were given to us to learn.  As children today grow up to be more and more technologically advanced, they will easily understand all of the concepts and programs in a computer.  They won’t have a problem understanding the concepts in which I, myself, do not.

Three potential historical topics that I may be interested in researching this semester are:

  1. The history of the Honor Guard Marine Parade in Washington DC
  2. The history of Fort Belvoir
  3. The history behind the Smithsonian


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