relationship with our tools? NO.

RE01 Rice Brian T. EM2
Tue, 8 Dec 1998 20:35:01 +0800

I'm sorry that I'm so inflammable that I respond to this garbage.

> TUNES is not a being.  It isn't any more alive than Linux is.  TUNES is a
> dynamic, evolving software project.  That means it only evolves at the
> whim of its users and coders.  We should not desire the computer to take
> control of its own evolution.  It might be a fun experiment, but the
> purpose of TUNES is to make a useful system.  If the system is not
> completely controllable by the user at all times, how is it useful? 
Get an imagination!  Tunes is an age-old idea which has been waiting for
devices which could propel it into reality.  Tunes is not about software,
it's a kind of relationship between people and linear machines (in the sense
of Turing machines being abstract notions).  It's about how people think
about _things_.  Computers don't and can't _control_ anything.  They are
expressions in the space of linear thinking.  Complete control is an
illusion, unless the context transcends our paradigm of control.

> The desire to create artificially intelligent (autonomous) computer
> software is the REASON why existing systems are so stupid!  If you assume
> your product will be SELF CAPABLE, why make it easy for the user to get
> inside it and change what's going on?  Programmers design their programs
> to be complete solutions to a problem, unchangeable by users, because of
> their ego!  So the moment things change, their work is obsolete.  This
> could be as soon as a user gives the program some input the coder didn't
> expect.
No assumption there, unless of course you realize that my product is not
something which will fit on a linear machine!  The user takes part, and the
key to the success of this interface is the kind of analysis that I am doing
(I hope).

> I think, like TV, many people get confused about computers.  They believe
> their TV is a real person.  They have a relationship with it.  It teaches
> them.  These people are deluded.
Cybernetic reality is relative.  Hence delusion is relative.

> HAL is the worst example to use if you are wishing to emulate sentience. 
> HAL was a murderer.  Because the designers tried to make it/him
> autonomous.  They should have known better than to not send someone who
> knew everything about the inner workings of HAL, so it/he could be
> reprogrammed when problems came up.
A question merely of cybernetics.  I've answered this long ago.

> Tools are an extension of thought (in the reaching out sense, not in the
> truth value sense).  If you depend on your tools without thinking (HINT: 
> Worship them), then you bring ruin, because the tools depend on thought.
And I'm arguing for a revolution in _thought_, in your ontology.

> TUNES is not about establishing a "partnership" with the computer.  It is
> establishing new partnerships with other *people*.  The computer is a
> means to an end, not an end itself (the only thing that is an end in
> itself is a human being, said Kant).  The computer should be as invisible
> as the telephone.  The telephone transports a person's voice as if it were
> in the room.  Likewise we should think of our software as transporting
> people's ideas to us.  The mechanism to do such should be invisible, and
> that mechanism is what we are designing now.  We need to minimize
> interaction with the computer itself and allow direct access to ideas and
> people.  Otherwise computers are useless.
You don't call your relationship to a telephone a partnership?  The
telephone, by being part of your implicit context, shapes you, just as
humans shape the telephone's role in society.