Human OS = witchcraft wannabe


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Thread: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

  1. #1
    bill woodruff Guest

    Human OS = witchcraft wannabe


    The McCarthy's use the rhetorical devices of circular reasoning, mystification,
    and the coinage of esoteric catch-phrases like "The Core" to try and suggest
    they have discovered some unique insights into group dynamics in technical
    collaboration.

    Funny that they can't talk about "it" directly : but whatever "it" is, they
    have "it," and you must get "it" from them.

    Such semantic devices and tones invoke in me the immediate protective recitation
    of the mantra (falsely attributed to P.T. Barnum) : "a sucker is born every
    minute."

    This piece of writing SHOULD, indeed, be compared to the vague cultic mystifications
    of technology applied to human psychology such as the large-scale frauds
    of Scientology.

    How unfortunate that the space occupied by this article could not have been
    devoted to a discussion, say, of the nature of consciousness and computer
    programming beginning with Turing's ideas and ending with Kurzweil's.

    Strange that on the way to the Forum, the McCarthy's somehow never mention
    the significant body of research and experimental knowledge of task-oriented
    small group behavior whose roots are in the works of Moreno, Homans, and
    (pre acid-freak-out) Timothy Leary (yes, he did some serious research on
    small group dynamics before dedicating himself to the destruction of synapses
    through chemistry).

    Strange that there's no mention of more modern (early 1990's)attempts to
    use technology to facilitate meetings and collaboration such as the interesting
    work of Bernard DeKoven using outlining software and trained meeting note-takers
    and facilitators (see www.technography.com).

    No mention of such (now somewhat dated) classics such as "The Mythical Man
    Month" by Brooks which was so influential in the deveopment of cultural awareness
    of the psychology of computer programming and teamwork that even its chapter
    headings now have the status of folklore : "Plan to throw one away," for
    example.

    No mention of the substantial and long-term r&d at Xerox Parc that explored
    computer whiteboards and other tools for technical collaboration.

    And no mention of the post-Internet explosion of ideas and tools for collaboration
    and teamwork such as the brand-new "zaplet" concept (see www.zaplet.com)
    which uses e-mail as a base for collaboration and dynamic update.

    Are we to belive that these happy technical trainers have, like astronauts
    gazing back at the earth from some extra-planetary perspective, had some
    cosmic revelation which they can only impart, without words, to those in
    their presence ?

    I am led to wonder if their "core" revelation has left them enlightened or
    stupefied.

    But one thing I am sure of : I will not be paying cash to find out.

    Bill Woodruff (former board certified member of the American Academy of Group
    Psychotherapy and Psychodrama who's over all that now and is very happy programming
    in VB)

  2. #2
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    On 1 Nov 2000 23:39:45 -0800, "bill woodruff" <billw@dotscience.com>
    wrote:

    >How unfortunate that the space occupied by this article could not have been
    >devoted to a discussion, say, of the nature of consciousness and computer
    >programming beginning with Turing's ideas and ending with Kurzweil's.


    Aw shucks, we don't have to end somewhere just yet do we? :-)

    Btw, thanks for giving the McCarthy's the treatment they deserve for
    trying to sell their snake-oil on devx. I can only wonder what the
    editors were thinking when they decided to publish it. Guess they just
    don't know nuttin about nuttin.



    ---
    Homie Z

    You're just mad because the voices don't talk to you.

  3. #3
    Tom Koch Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    Hi Zane,

    < I can only wonder what the editors were thinking

    All available evidence suggests that they weren't.

    --
    Tom Koch
    Awareness is free.




  4. #4
    Karl E. Peterson Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    > < I can only wonder what the editors were thinking
    >
    > All available evidence suggests that they weren't.


    Porkies rides again!

    news://news.devx.com/39ff1180$1@news.devx.com



  5. #5
    Robert Scoble Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    > < I can only wonder what the editors were thinking
    > All available evidence suggests that they weren't.


    Probably not, but I find this forum one of the best pieces of reading every
    morning and it came about because they decided to publish that piece.

    By the way, they are serious. Jim McCarthy presented an early version of
    this article at a VBITS about a year ago.

    Why did I sign him up? Cause I like keynotes that make people think. Even
    wacko ideas make us look at the world differently and make us consider a new
    approach.

    _

    Robert Scoble

    Editor, Thunder Lizard Productions

    Fawcette Technical Publications, Inc

    http://63.192.218.207 <<--Fawcette's Speaker FAQ

    http://conferences.devx.com <<-- Fawcette's Main Conference Web Site

    Phone: 650-688-2442

    Fax: 650-321-3818

    I'm also the founder of the NetMeeting Zone at
    http://www.netmeeting-zone.com and the Train Simulator Fan Site at
    http://communities.msn.com/TrainSimulatorFanSite/

    ###




  6. #6
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    On Thu, 2 Nov 2000 13:23:57 -0800, "Robert Scoble" <rscoble@fawcette.com>
    wrote:

    >Why did I sign him up? Cause I like keynotes that make people think. Even
    >wacko ideas make us look at the world differently and make us consider a new
    >approach.


    Wow, great idea! Btw, I hear L. Ron Blubbard's wife is looking for
    opportunities to present her wacko ideas. I can only assume you're
    interested.

    Geesh, wacko ideas? There are so many much much better decent ideas
    around. If you want to make a hit at a conference invite someone with a
    brain and a clue, someone like Dennett will really get people thinking.



    ---
    Homie Z

    You're just mad because the voices don't talk to you.

  7. #7
    Robert Scoble Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    > Wow, great idea! Btw, I hear L. Ron Blubbard's wife is looking for
    > opportunities to present her wacko ideas. I can only assume you're
    > interested.
    > Geesh, wacko ideas? There are so many much much better decent ideas
    > around. If you want to make a hit at a conference invite someone with a
    > brain and a clue, someone like Dennett will really get people thinking.


    Well, remember, I signed up Alan Cooper too. I remember a lot of developers
    thinking he was a wacko too.

    <grin>

    Robert Scoble



  8. #8
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    Robert,

    >Well, remember, I signed up Alan Cooper too. I remember a lot of developers
    >thinking he was a wacko too.


    And rightly so. Apparently he got delusions of grandeur (with significant
    help from *some people*) after originating VB - leading to that new-age
    babble-thon called a UI book.

    ><grin>


    Ok, time to wipe that silly grin off your face. :-)



    ---
    Homie Z

    You're just mad because the voices don't talk to you.

  9. #9
    Tom Koch Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    > Porkies rides again!
    >
    > news://news.devx.com/39ff1180$1@news.devx.com



    ROFL! Thanks for that, Karl.

    --
    Tom Koch
    Awareness is free.




  10. #10
    Nancy Folsom Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    In article <3a01ab3f$1@news.devx.com>, karl@mvps.org says...
    > > < I can only wonder what the editors were thinking
    > >
    > > All available evidence suggests that they weren't.

    >
    > Porkies rides again!
    >
    > news://news.devx.com/39ff1180$1@news.devx.com
    >
    >
    >

    Does that go somewhere? Apparently Gravity doesn't handle URLs. :-(

  11. #11
    Karl E. Peterson Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    Hi Nancy --

    > > > < I can only wonder what the editors were thinking
    > > >
    > > > All available evidence suggests that they weren't.

    > >
    > > Porkies rides again!
    > >
    > > news://news.devx.com/39ff1180$1@news.devx.com

    >
    > Does that go somewhere? Apparently Gravity doesn't handle URLs. :-(


    Sorry to hear that. Yeah, see below.

    Time to get a "real" newsreader? <bg>

    Later... Karl


    "Karl E. Peterson" <karl@mvps.org> wrote in message
    news:<39ff1180$1@news.devx.com>...
    > Hi Dan --
    >
    > > Sorry, but I don't think you're taking the Language Stability issue
    > > very seriously. It's almost insulting.

    > <snip>
    > > You (and the .net folk) need to think about this from the 'big
    > > picture" standpoint. I assure you others will be.

    >
    > You heard about the recent hackjob on MS servers, right? Well, "someone"
    > surreptiously forwarded the following private journal entry (below), found deep
    > within the bowels of the dotnet group. Though provoking, no?
    >
    > Later... Karl
    > --
    > http://www.mvps.org/vb
    >
    >
    > > It started out innocently enough.
    > >
    > > I began to think at parties now and then to loosen up. Inevitably
    > > though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just
    > > a social thinker. I began to think alone - "to relax," I told
    > > myself - but I knew it wasn't true.
    > >
    > > Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was
    > > thinking all the time. I began to think on the job. I knew that
    > > thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.
    > >
    > > I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and
    > > Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking,
    > > "What is it exactly we are doing here?"
    > >
    > > Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had
    > > turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life.
    > > She spent that night at her mother's.
    > >
    > > I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss
    > > called me in. He said, "I like you, and it hurts me to say this,
    > > but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop
    > > thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."
    > >
    > > This gave me a lot to think about.
    > >
    > > I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I
    > > confessed, "I've been thinking..."
    > >
    > > "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"
    > >
    > > "But Honey, surely it's not that serious."
    > >
    > > "It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver.
    > >
    > > "You think as much as college professors, and college professors
    > > don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have
    > > any money!"
    > >
    > > "That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to
    > > cry.
    > >
    > > I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I
    > > stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for
    > > some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the
    > > big glass doors... they didn't open. The library was closed. As I
    > > sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for
    > > Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking
    > > ruining your life?"
    > >
    > > You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard
    > > Thinkers Anonymous (TA) poster.
    > >
    > > Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never
    > > miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational
    > > video; last week it was "Porky's."
    > >
    > > Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the
    > > last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at
    > > home. Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped
    > > thinking.

    >




  12. #12
    Nancy Folsom Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    In article <3a02f31d@news.devx.com>, karl@mvps.org says...
    > Hi Nancy --


    > > Does that go somewhere? Apparently Gravity doesn't handle URLs. :-(

    >
    > Sorry to hear that. Yeah, see below.
    >
    > Time to get a "real" newsreader? <bg>


    Got one, thanks. The bozo bin is excellent.

    Thanks for the text. I liked it.


  13. #13
    Bob Reselman Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe


    Colleagues:

    Let us not forget the importance of our vocation. Please remember that we
    are software developers. We
    really do run the world.

    Those of us who have been making software for a while know that it is not
    a job, any more than making c
    the Cathedral at Chartes was. It is a way of life. The power and associated
    responsibility of our way of
    life is awesome and breathtaking. We are as we behave. And, the way we behave
    is the way the world
    will be.

    Therefore, I implore each and everyone of you act in a civil and humane manner
    when discussing and
    critiquing the work of a fellow developer. Name calling, meanness, ridicule
    and trivializing dishonor us.

    Trashing an idea does not make a better idea. It's the quality and subsequent
    impact of the idea that
    counts.

    Nobody likes a bully, be the bully physical or intellectual. Believe me.
    I know. I was one. I have
    to be ever vigilant not to revert to that all too easy behavior again.

    Respectfully,
    Bob Reselman

  14. #14
    Zane Thomas Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    On 3 Nov 2000 11:26:25 -0800, "Bob Reselman" <bob@CogArtTech.com> wrote:

    >Trashing an idea does not make a better idea.


    Not necessarily, but it exposes a bad idea.



    ---
    Homie Z

    You're just mad because the voices don't talk to you.

  15. #15
    Nancy Folsom Guest

    Re: Human OS = witchcraft wannabe

    In article <3a031161$1@news.devx.com>, bob@CogArtTech.com says...
    >
    > Colleagues:
    >
    > Let us not forget the importance of our vocation. Please remember that we
    > are software developers. We
    > really do run the world.
    >
    > Those of us who have been making software for a while know that it is not
    > a job, any more than making c
    > the Cathedral at Chartes was. It is a way of life. The power and associated
    > responsibility of our way of
    > life is awesome and breathtaking. We are as we behave. And, the way we behave
    > is the way the world
    > will be.
    >
    > Therefore, I implore each and everyone of you act in a civil and humane manner
    > when discussing and
    > critiquing the work of a fellow developer. Name calling, meanness, ridicule
    > and trivializing dishonor us.
    >
    > Trashing an idea does not make a better idea. It's the quality and subsequent
    > impact of the idea that
    > counts.
    >
    > Nobody likes a bully, be the bully physical or intellectual. Believe me.
    > I know. I was one. I have
    > to be ever vigilant not to revert to that all too easy behavior again.
    >
    > Respectfully,
    > Bob Reselman
    >


    I started out thinking your post was satire, but at the conclusion, I
    think it's not. I'm sorry you were offended by the critiques. There
    wasn't any name calling. Were they sharp? Yes, certainly as any bad or
    badly expressed ideas generally are. Heck, I heard the BBC today and
    noted the hooting, cat calls, and general derision that resounded in the
    background of the story. Rather lively, and those guys are really
    classy. <g>

    The article in question wasn't some newsgroup posting off the top of
    someone's head that was being responded to, and spending 6 months *****-
    footing around isn't going to help anything, either.

    Now. So far there hasn't been an iota of refutation of the criticism. Or
    scientific support for the position.

    If it's science fiction, fine, label it so. If it's science, the article
    needs...work.

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