[Humanist] 29.158 machines, machines everywhere

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jul 11 22:38:50 CEST 2015


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 158.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org



        Date: Sat, 11 Jul 2015 08:27:19 +0100
        From: Ken Kahn <toontalk at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  29.155 machines, machines everywhere
        In-Reply-To: <12e2c271-9faa-43d7-8695-2205c3b2814a at HUB05.ad.oak.ox.ac.uk>


And many more articles and essays by Papert are at
http://papert.org/works.html -- well worth reading.

Best,

-ken

On 10 July 2015 at 22:33, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 155.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
>
>
>
>         Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2015 09:26:57 +1000
>         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
>         Subject: gears
>
>
> John Naughton has reminded me of the Foreword to Seymour Pappert's
> Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas (1980). For thinking
> about machines and the meaning they have for us it is, I think, an
> essential reading. Thanks to the Lifelong Kindergarten at MIT, the
> Foreword itself may be found at
> https://llk.media.mit.edu/courses/readings/gears-v1.pdf. (The seasoned
> URL-choppers among us will likely discover several other items of
> interest at https://llk.media.mit.edu/courses/readings/.) Pappert's whole
> book, though poorly formatted, may be found at
> http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/arvindgupta/mindstorms.pdf.
>
> Asking how children learn rather than what scholars want (i.e.
> know that they want) seems to me a far superior starting point.
> Neurological plasticity and the odd extraordinary experience
> along the line give me hope that not only children and the
> professional lives of developmental psychologists will benefit.
>
> The phenomenon of "reflected analogy" that Tim Smithers has
> pointed to I prefer to think of as co-evolutionary development,
> with no implication of progress, just a 'rolling out'. Still a
> problem remains with that term, since it suggests a rolling
> out of what's already there to be rolled out. Is it? Perhaps.
> Ian Hacking's term "looping effects" (in Rewriting the Soul)
> avoids that problem but carries the implication of closed
> circularity. In any case technological history provides
> abundant evidence that we refashion ourselves from our
> inventions, as McLuhan also noted somewhere. I prefer
> to think of this as just what happens with no moral
> judgment of the process -- as long as we remain self-
> aware, and so able to step back and look critically,
> speculatively at what we're doing. Let us say we are
> *as if* composed of a gazillion biological nanobots.
> What follows from that? Why are we thinking in this way?
> In the moment before as-if becomes is, there's a chance
> for some insight.
>
> Comments?
>
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
> Humanities, King's College London, and Digital Humanities Research
> Group, University of Western Sydney






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