[Edu-sig] Entering Squeakland

Arthur ajsiegel at optonline.net
Fri Mar 10 20:21:03 CET 2006

kirby urner wrote:

>Yes, *you* might hate such stuff, but we could *not* take all this
>away from children on general policy, once they've become addicted. 
>There's simply too much precedent for healthy development in this
>direction, like in the form of fairy tales and mythology.

Tsunamis, addictions -  I sometimes think your choice of words are more 
appropriate than you want them to be ;).

To some extent the most practical thinking is yes, we have jaded 
children's sensitivities - as well as our own. Work within it.  *We* 
don't understand much about the tools on which we are dependent, have 
given up trying, nobody seems to attach much importance to it - so we 
can't expect more from our children.  Get lost in the magic. Go with it.

We turn on the television and pictures appear and we are lost in the 
pictures - the magic that is beyond our understanding or interest on 
what is making them appear is suitably left as magic.  *That's* the 
fallacy that's going to bring us down, IMO.

Guess I prefer the voice of the prophet over that of the visionary. .

Got to read more from my friend Kay yesterday - by accident.

Fun book:

What We  Believe But Cannot Prove - Todays Leading Thinkers on  Science 
in the Age of Certainly.
 Edited by John Brockman

Maybe 100 scientists in diverse fields get between a few paragraphs and 
a few pages to express something related, or unrelated, to their own 
field of specialty that represents what they consider to be true , but 
(currently) unprovably so.

The only computer scientist so far encountered is Kay.  No surprises - 
in the course of a few paragraphs he quotes Einstein, Knuth, and 
McCluhan and other peers (we fill in our own wink number here) - does 
his printing press thing - and expresses his guess -that he admits he 
has been married to for a long time -  that "people who learn to think" 
in the new way represented by computers will be "qualitatively different 
thinkers", "and this will (usually) advance our limited conception of 

And the funny thing is I don't really disagree with him.  Except that I 
would express it a little differently - believing that the most profound 
thing that computers will do for us is teach us what computers cannot do 
for us. And I do think that is a profound lesson.

Just a little impatient with the process, is all.


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