Personal Dynamic Media12/27/2023, 6:07 PM
alltom12/27/2023, 8:08 PM
Eli Mellen12/27/2023, 9:22 PM
Our primary activity is not the making of things, but of thinking about how the thing ought to be made. We are building up this theory as an interested party, we are crafting the world into the way we want it to be. Or at least that’s what we want to do.Could a more diverse group of folks build a theory together? Are the programming-intelligentsia the only ones allowed to contribute to a theory? In my work I’m tasked with making services folks are obligated by their government to interface with as accessible as possible…but I’m often locked out of the room until the very last minute, as such, the influence I can have on theory-building is left until after the theory has crystalized, and almost always without facets that include my purview and expertise. Could theory building be made more intentional and expansive, like an actual step in the process of building software, and in this way include more voices?
Personal Dynamic Media12/27/2023, 9:32 PM
Could theory building be made more intentional and expansive, like an actual step in the process of building software, and in this way include more voices?
I would argue that including more people is exactly what is needed. The problem is that the management intelligenceia often believes that since they have an MBA they can manage anything and they don't need to include the perspective of programmers or other technical people. I have literally heard people say that technical issues should not be considered when making business decisions because the business should drive the technology and the technology should not drive the business. The result is invariably disastrous for both the technology and the business.
Eli Mellen12/27/2023, 9:32 PM
Eli Mellen12/27/2023, 11:18 PM
But I think we have to accept that there is a real bottleneck here. One that can’t be easily worked around. The programmers will build the system, and along with that will implicitly instill their own values into the system. Their understanding of the world will infect the system.I wonder if this bit points back to the future of coding, and the role tools play in helping to reveal, craft, and make “real” theories? Especially the last bit,
Their understanding of the world will infect the system.What if a tool could be inoculated with different understandings of the world; Marshal McLuhan style, the medium is the message, wherein the tool could be configured with parameters that help guid theory making?
But I don’t think process and requirements are the ultimate fix. We need the people building the system to internalize more.HUGE agree here — one of the major differences in the space where I’m at now versus other places I’ve worked in the past is that teams often include, or are sometimes almost all made up of researchers — sometimes with diverse backgrounds of previous experience. The skillset and insights these folks are able to synthesize is wild and often times remarkable.
Should programmers be the only one to contribute to the theory? Of course not! But sense at the end of the day they build the system, if we don’t fix who they are, their habits of thought, their process of theory formation, we will always end up with these bad results.I read this (and agree) that this is because the the programmers often have the responsibility of making the theory “manifest.” The shared theory thing is defo my personal point-of-interest with the whole future of coding thing. I don’t have much cogent to say about it, but am starting to think that a big bit of tension (especially when looking to Naur) is, perhaps, the specificity of a theory — like “real” theories are diffuse and a bit more ephemeral than the word’s more general usage lets on.
Marcelle Rusu (they/them)12/29/2023, 5:19 AM