Christopher Shank

06/04/2023, 4:17 PM
“Communal computing for 21st century science, Apr 2023”

Personal Dynamic Media

06/04/2023, 4:50 PM
I've seen a lot of cool Dynamicland demos, but I'm not sure how this will actually improve the world as long as it is locked up in one research lab, where nobody else can work with it. I've read descriptions of their concerns about not wanting a reduced and misunderstood version of their ideas to take root in the wider culture, as happened with the Xerox PARC research. I would argue that the reason a reduced and misunderstood version of the PARC research took root in the popular culture was because most people were not exposed to the real thing. They were exposed to Apple's and Microsoft's crappy copy of a superficial understanding of the surface appearance of the PARC research. By keeping Dynamicland so proprietary and under wraps, I fear that Victor is probably going to end up recreating this same tragedy, when someone who watches the video demos creates a crappy copy of a superficial understanding of the surface appearance of the Dynamicland research, and that crappy copy takes root in the popular culture.


06/26/2023, 10:19 AM
"it's just very different than GitHub"
To say the least...
"By keeping Dynamicland so proprietary and under wraps..." I don't think that it is proprietary. A different approach at naming this could be: Bret is trying to build a different computing culture
I would argue that most programmers are not aware of the "normal" of their programming culture. As most people are not aware of the "normal" of their overall culture...
Seymour Papert is stated as the father (or strong influencer) of maker spaces. But the majority of programming does not happen in maker spaces or communal spaces. It even doesn't happen in lets say "science" spaces as bret mentions.
Most of programming is happening in Industry . That is there is a nation state which inhibits a education system which produces people who work for corporations to write code, lots of code.
The most used programming languages are the ones used in industry: javascript , java, c, c++, python
Git is a versioning system. GitHub was a Hosting Service to share repositories. Through extensive sharing ( open Source culture?) patterns of behaviour emerged ( merge /pull request, issues, crowdfunding ...)
I used a lot of words to describe this and its still very sketchy but if bret tries to change or introduce that kind of novel culture it will take a very long time
And it will only succeed if its really sustainable. Meaning if people are starting to gather around these kinds of ideas for more then 1 month, 1 year or one mans life time.
Its interesting to see how bret tries to detach himself from "Industry" while the hardware he uses very much is a product of industry.
I do not see dynamic land - yet? - as a sustainable project but time will tell.
In some sense I feel bret is wishing for a kind of library economy:



06/26/2023, 11:51 AM
When I visited Dynamicland for the first time, I was disappointed. It was extremely low-tech and not at all shiny and polished as his demos were. As Bret was explaining things, you could also implicitly hear how he considers everything technological as completely replaceable, almost to the point where it sounded like it’s not important at all. It took me a while to understand, but then it clicked: It was never about the technology. It was always about the culture.