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comment by ThurberMingus
ThurberMingus  ·  422 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Alan Kay is not impressed with modern computing

A good read.

It's an interesting idea that we might be moving backwards in education. That we aren't using technology to raise kids who use technology to think better, just using technology as more engrossing TV.

He mentioned Kahneman's system 1 and system 2 thinking -- that media consumption can fill system 1 thinking so much that system 2 can hardly be used at all.

It reminded me of quote by someone I have forgotten, who said he achieved all his success while only having a real thought about once a week, but that most people are lucky if they really think more than a couple times a year. His idea of "real thought" was similar to Kahneman's system 2 thinking.




lm  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The thing that catches me the most about this article is the way Kay rejects the popular framing of "entertainment XOR education" and the emphasis that we should be building tools that encourage people to use them in advanced/novel ways.

I don't know really how to do this practically, but it's something I'm going to be thinking about a lot.

Devac  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    we should be building tools that encourage people to use them in advanced/novel ways

Can it even be done without making stuff like hardware hacking or more-than-six-weeks-of-Python programming mainstream?

This thing seems to have a good idea about it, but I don't own one myself. I've been mainly browsing their forums.

lm  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think there's more to it than bringing skills (hardware, python) to people. Modern hardware isn't made to be hacked, and I'd wager that almost no amount of Python education will help you learn to use your iPhone more effectively. Most modern closed-source software is pretty user-hostile if you want to do anything more than exactly what the authors intended.

For examples of hardware that's made with modification in mind, see the Chumby or the Novena or the Chip. For software...that was kind of the selling point of Smalltalk, I think? Also Lisp machines--basically, an environment that doesn't really draw a distinction between "programming" and "using".

Devac  ·  412 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I think there's more to it than bringing skills (hardware, python) to people.

I meant it more as a barrier to entry for stuff that already is here, but your other points about [programming ~ using] seem to make my point moot. Thanks for clearing that up.