From: Bill & Sharon Bearden (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2000 - 07:50:32 PST

From: "Bill & Sharon Bearden" <>

Thanks for responding, Jeff.

Original Message...

Jeff wrote:
> I'd have to agree with you that training is most important. The question
> is how much do we bend the human to the computer and the computer to the
> human.

Computers should do most, if not all, of the bending. The power of computer hardware is increasing rapidly compared to the
increase in the capabilities of the individual human. We should expect more from our computer systems. Yet, most systems I know
of require that the user work as much in the computer's world as their own. For instance, normal users are still often required to
think in terms of programs and data files. While it is appropriate for system administrators and computer programmers to think
about these things, users shouldn't (IMO).

Jeff wrote:
> Which brings me back to your mention of eastern techniques. These
> techiques may have something to offer in a gerneral sense, but what of the
> more specific example?

I do not know how these techniques can specifically aid the cause of solving complex, urgent problems. I mentioned it primarily to
make sure that we don't just focus on one method of improving the human system. But I also mentioned it in anticipation of the
upcoming discussion of human augmentation through nano-tech (e.g. nano-biology). Engelbart mentioned in the first section that the
complex solutions to complex problems also become complex problems themselves. Perhaps simple, well worn solutions should be
investigated first.

Jeff wrote:
> how about a meet-in-the-middle attack. Work out the best method for the
> computer to handle the data and the best method for the human to enter,
> view and manipulate the data. Then provide a translation between them, ie
> the UI and protocol. Obviously, some compromise must be made by both
> (computer and human) if way are to gain the best from computer augmation.

I'm sure meet-in-the-middle will be tried but I am a bit radical (and therefore maybe way off) on this particular point. You and I
agree (I think) that there are three components in our imagined system: human side, computer side, and interface. I argue that we
should forget about the last two until we better understand the first. Once we really understand what people do (people name
things, people do things, people talk to each other, people decide things, people make lists of things, people categorize things,
etc...), we can consider what sort of interface and what sort of support from the computer side will be required.

Bill Bearden

--------------------------- ONElist Sponsor ----------------------------

Independent contractors: Find your next project gig through JobSwarm!
        You can even make money by referring friends.
<a href=" ">Click Here</a>


Community email addresses:
  Post message:
  List owner:

Shortcut URL to this page:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Tue Aug 21 2001 - 18:56:35 PDT