Your work of incorporating a detailed review of Doug's reception at SRI, honoring
his award for the National Medal of Technology, into the SDS record is greatly
I'm hoping other guests can contribute additional info about Augment/NLS and the
launching of OHS/DKR, including some pictures of Doug and all of his colleagues,
Rod Welch wrote:
> Eric's ear for detail on our discussion yesterday about Paul's ideas on
> fostering a climate of values to guide project objectives, is unmatched, per
> below. Will work it into the record shortly.
> In the meantime, here is a scant flavor of the proceedings for those near and
> far, who could not attend the reception honoring Doug's award for the National
> Medal of Technology....
> Eric Armstrong wrote:
> > First
> > -----
> > I'm glad to see a discussion centered around values,
> > because I suspect that a statement of values has
> > important implications for selecting a direction.
> > At yesterday's well-attended reception for Doug's
> > National Medal of Technology, this thread came up
> > over and over again. In discussing it with Rod
> > Welch and one other fellow, we identified several
> > salient points:
> > a) Given a wide range of options from which
> > to choose, a statement of values may well
> > narrow the selection.
> > b) It would be good to know for sure that the
> > direction we are choosing is within the
> > set of "desirable" directions, according
> > to those values.
> > c) On the other hand, even a tool as simple
> > as an ax can be used for good or for bad.
> > So its not totally clear that a statement
> > of values is much help when it comes to
> > making tools.
> > d) On the other other hand, there may well be
> > tools which are hard to use for bad ends,
> > and others which are hard to use for good
> > ends.
> > Second
> > ------
> > I was recently reminded of the dictum of unintended
> > consequences. Basically, a drought-likely environment
> > will only support so many people, and every time a
> > drought occurs, some percentage dies off. This keeps
> > the herd small that attempts to live there.
> > When well-meaning attempts to avoid that consequence
> > prevent the natural thinning, the herd grows large.
> > At the next drought, the number of potential deaths
> > is many times greater than it was, raising the sense
> > of urgency and the importance of "doing the right
> > thing" to prevent the consequences, because now,
> > thousands are affected, rather than hundreds.
> > As a result, the herd grows dramatically. The land
> > now holds many times more people than it can
> > comfortably support. Come the next drought, millions
> > will die. Now the situation is truly desparate, and
> > something simply has to be done.
> > But during the NEXT drought...
> > You see where this is heading. We're caught between
> > our natural impulse to help individuals, and the
> > counter-intutitive affects of our intervention.
> > We reach a point where only by keeping up a
> > constant stream of aid can the population continue
> > to be supported. And sooner or later, we reach a
> > point where we can't continue that level of
> > assistance. What happens then?
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Dec 21 2000 - 23:17:00 PST