Wednesday, November 02, 2005

computation isn't a bad word

First, I'd like to say that "Welcome Aboard" was just really fun to read.

Now, on to computation:

"The implemenational details [of computations] have been largely ignored in the past. This may be due in part to the notion that in informational-processing systems what is important is the structure of the computation, not the means of implementation...The material means in which the computation is actually performed are implementational detals for the system, but they set the task constraints on the performance of the naviagations staff" (51).

This is about when I decided I was going to really like this book. Computations are constrained by how they're implemented - the two are not separable. This is why Hutchins is so interested in tools, they offer a place to study where implementation and computation intersect. It also seems to be a good way to get around the "heavy lifting" that Peg talked about a couple of weeks ago. We don't have to talk in the abstract - we can just study the tools and how they're used.

I'll be interested to see how he talks about what's "computed by the system as a whole and what is computed by the individual navigation practitioners" (51). He says this will happen in later chapters.

1 Comments:

Blogger jmj said...

Jim:

You should send Hutchins a letter with the message:

"You had me at computation."

I bet he would enjoy that.

1:07 PM  

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