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A Conversation on Computers as Companions From COFES

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In the first part of my COFES conversation with John Gage and John Voeller, we discussed the importance of metaphors in computing discussions. Metaphors help us come to a common language and understanding on complex subjects. Metaphors and computer networks enable knowledge to be broadcast and more usable, but Voeller notes we have to take it to the next step since western-based metaphors don't always translate around the world. Here's the second part of my conversation with John and John.





Gage notes the need for companions or guides to help us realize the impact of our decisions on the environment.

Voeller notes that much of the computer has focused on alphabetizing, which doesn't translate for non-alphabet languages. He believes true globalization goes beyond connectivity to enable coworking or companion-level working. He provides an example of a sustainability cloud to enable coworking. Younger generations will come into the workforce expecting this. He says we need our computers to be proactive companions vs. reactive appliances:

"An appliance would know a set of rules and could guide me, a companion knows my goals and will proactively inform me."

Stay tuned for more of our conversation on sustainability, water conversation and social networking. In the meantime, tell me if you view your computer as an appliance or a companion?

- Dora
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