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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] Fun article

Eric Armstrong wrote:    (01)

> Similary, the washing machines determines fabric type by the volume
> and weight of the clothes, and the amount of dirt by I don't know what
> technique, and then gets the temperature and suds right without ever
> having to adjust a knob. Pretty cool stuff.    (02)

Indeed.    (03)

Not to belabor things, but notice the author 's possible confusion also about chaos
theory and complexity theory. Speaking more generally, to write professionally for a
commercial periodical is like filling a Japanese washing machine - the volume per issue
is pretty much predetermined which in the rush of time can make for factual errors and
fuzzy logic that subsequently are likely to pass into readers' minds, with potentially
deliterious effects.    (04)

Actually, I am glad Eric contributed this NY Times article because it demonstrates
something very, very important, something that is bound to happen more and more: folks
getting confused in the turbulence of information, much of it unreliable. Which leads
to the business we are in, which is satisfying the need for effective augmentation,
individualized to circumstance. In the case of journalists, they might avail themselves
not only of spelling checkers, but also of semantics checkers or memory-straighteners.    (05)

Kidding aside, it would be quite interesting to have a bit of a free-for-all on the
subject of individualized electronic augmentation in the age of information explosion
and a trickling down of multidisciplinarity to the level of everyday life - the level,
for example, of citizens contributing to informed, reasoned communal decision-making
that touches on domains of specialization (gene manipulation; cultural indoctrination;
quality of our food, air and water; matters of personal conduct and justice in the
light of new insights into the structural stratification of human brains, parcipitpory
communal responsibility for society's offspring, how free the market, etc.).    (06)

How should educators view the preparation of young people for the next 50 years of
communal life on a global scale while knowing how the brain structurally adapts to
educational experiences. How can augmentation help, if indeed it can? How will people's
sense of things change in a world that knows fewer and fewer firm, immutable facts? Can
we avoid building potentially harmful prejudices during early child rearing and in the
classrooms, instead putting a trust in electronically assisted judgements?    (07)

And what of the mental confusion caused - deliberately and with a sense that this is
perfectly alright - by marketing and political spin doctors? Should they be held
responsible for the damage they (possibly) do by misleading the public? Is it
reasonably to expect that "caveat emptor" applies in an ever-complexing society?
(Extreme case: the tobacco industry.)    (08)

What roles do we expect various professions, and their professional ethics, to play?
What role should computer scientists and engineers play? How will all this dovetail?    (09)

By golly; big subject.    (010)

Henry    (011)