[Humanist] 27.458 models of computation

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Wed Oct 23 09:57:57 CEST 2013


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 458.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2013 09:52:32 -0500
        From: Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  27.453 models of computation
        In-Reply-To: <20131022080236.244F176B3 at digitalhumanities.org>


Arianna has an excellent question, and I'd like to propose some answers
to the question:

> So, I guess, the real question is, is what way would the lens of computing
> be different from other lenses if at all?

First, forgive me for answering a slightly different question which is a bit 
broader. My justification for this is that what underlies computing is mathematical 
reasoning, which provides for an approach to see and use "patterns". Patterns 
and models occupy similar space.

Revised Question: In what way would the lens of "modelling"  be different 
from others lenses if at all?

..............

Modelling provides for an abstract way of looking at the world. Through 
modelling, we therefore see patterns of similarity.  In my work, I tend to
focus on scale models, as well as models of information/data/knowledge,
dynamics/behavior, and shape. Being able to model gives one a
strong toolkit for finding patterns of relation, behavior, and shape among
other characteristics. Computing as a discipline covers all of these
models in different forms. Behind "code" one finds the system model of
behavior (input, output, function, state, event). I find this way of thinking,
this lens, to be more fundamental and relevant to non-CS than learning
how to code in Python or Java.

-p

On Oct 22, 2013, at 3:02 AM, Humanist Discussion Group <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

> 
>                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 453.
>            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> 
>  [1]   From:    Arianna Ciula <ariannaciula at gmail.com>                    (45)
>        Subject: Re:  27.452 events: models of computation
> 
>  [2]   From:    Paul Fishwick <metaphorz at gmail.com>                       (63)
>        Subject: Re:  27.452 events: models of computation
> 
> 
> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>        Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2013 13:29:47 +0100
>        From: Arianna Ciula <ariannaciula at gmail.com>
>        Subject: Re:  27.452 events: models of computation
>        In-Reply-To: <20131021082558.36299767C at digitalhumanities.org>
> 
> 
> Possibly not a very productive reply, but I think the lens of computing,
> like any other lens, would constrain your vision and therefore make it
> possible that you see anything at all, or, as Olsson ("A Critique of
> Cartographic Reason") would put it: would allow you to make the invisible,
> visible. It's optical projection as David Hockney reveals it
> (deconstructing its mechanics) to us in "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering
> the lost techniques of the Old Masters".
> 
> So, I guess, the real question is, is what way would the lens of computing
> be different from other lenses if at all?
> 
> Arianna


Paul Fishwick, PhD
Chair, ACM SIGSIM
Distinguished Chair of Arts & Technology 
   and Professor of Computer Science
Director, Creative Automata Laboratory
The University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Technology
800 West Campbell Road, AT10
Richardson, TX 75080-3021
Home: utdallas.edu/atec/fishwick
Blog: creative-automata.com





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