Title
#thinking-together
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

03/23/2020, 4:11 PM
😄
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Doug Moen

03/23/2020, 5:41 PM
That was my favourite part. Awesome.
Mariano Guerra

Mariano Guerra

03/23/2020, 6:18 PM
5 people catched the reference 😛
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Doug Moen

03/24/2020, 12:55 AM
I just finished watching the movie "They Live". Until now I only knew it as an internet meme. Now I see how it is really a metaphor for software development.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

03/24/2020, 1:38 AM
I was never impressed with The Matrix. Everytime I said it wasn't very innovative because of They Live, nobody knew what I was talking about.
Konrad Hinsen

Konrad Hinsen

03/24/2020, 10:17 AM
Nice presentation! Now if some software-genie would grant me a wish... I'd ask for Unison with GToolkit as its user interface. With both interfacing to legacy languages so that I can continue to use my domain-specific libraries.
curious_reader

curious_reader

03/25/2020, 1:29 PM
really nice Presentation. I really like the quite different aspects of each Project.
3:27 PM
I really do like the communal aspect of dynamic land, but as far as I know the project has stalled. Am I wrong? Are they in search of other comunites to share their tech with them?
Mariano Guerra

Mariano Guerra

03/25/2020, 3:36 PM
last time I heard they are rewriting the core for the second version
Edward de Jong / Beads Project

Edward de Jong / Beads Project

03/25/2020, 8:47 PM
be sure next time you do a presentation to use a lavalier microphone, the audio was poor on the video.
8:49 PM
Dynamicland is IMHO a dead end. They did what they could with computer vision, and it certainly has a nice tactile aspect, but making it easier to make software it did not achieve in the slightest. if anything it is more awkward to work on the Dynamicland system than in front of a terminal hooked to a timeshared computer in the 80's running logo.
curious_reader

curious_reader

03/26/2020, 9:30 AM
I think you are dismissing the social/communal aspect too easily. Technology does not exist apart from society but with in it. I would go so far as to say as its impossible to solve technology problems without working on institutional/organisational problems.
Edward de Jong / Beads Project

Edward de Jong / Beads Project

03/26/2020, 10:49 PM
Dynamicland is like Papert's original LOGO experimental facility, which had the motorized turtle with the pen that could go up and down. It was fascinating in person, but the specialized equipment was not available to anyone else because he didn't productize it. Dynamicland when i visited, has cameras and projectors in the ceiling pointing down, a very unusual physical installation that is not going to be replicated much. It is basically a one-off research facility, and so what institutional or organizational problems is it solving? I don't see that as a relevant comment.
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Doug Moen

03/27/2020, 1:59 AM
I went to a science and tech fair at the local public school a few years ago, and they were using logo-inspired programmable robots in the classroom for teaching. I didn't see a pen, but the robots would run around the floor and had sensors, and kids used a simple programming language to control their behaviour. Also in my city, we have various LEGO robotics programs for kids, both in the publicly funded schools and in various non-school enrichment programs (in the public libraries, and in for profit STEM camps), and FIRST robotics competitions for high school students. I can't understand why you are sniping at Papert's research: his use of robots to teach programming is now fully productized and ubiquitous.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

03/27/2020, 2:00 AM
Konrad Hinsen

Konrad Hinsen

03/27/2020, 10:53 AM
@Edward de Jong / Beads Project @Doug Moen You are both right, but on different time scales. Experimental technologies like Paper's Logo robots and DynamicLand rarely ever end up in recognizably similar products. Nevertheless, they inspire the designers of products that appear many years later.
shalabh

shalabh

03/27/2020, 11:28 PM
I don't think of Dynamicland as a 'programming' system at all. From their home page:
Our mission is to incubate a humane dynamic medium
whose full power is accessible to all people.
So what is a medium? It is an external representation of ideas and thought. Writing is one medium, but it took ages after its inception to achieve the power and ubiquity for humans. Successively evolved, refined and morphed via other overlapping mediums such as algebra, (bar|line) graphs, architecture diagrams. The printing press had a big impact on the ubiquity of writing. Dynamic screens are another kind of medium - there is overlap with writing (so we got a lot of stuff for free) but hypermedia and other interactive interfaces let us represent and navigate ideas in new ways, which we couldn't do with dead tree books. Dynamicland is seeking a live 3D physical medium. We don't quite know how to represent ideas in this medium yet. I think this is what they are exploring. The programming part is a means to an end - to animate the physical - but the deeper question is how do you represent, interact with and understand ideas and thoughts in such a medium? What kinds of ideas are even better represented in such a medium? Might also take ages to discover, refine and evolve to something ubiquitous, but in this sense I think they are doing something nobody else is doing.
Kartik Agaram

Kartik Agaram

03/27/2020, 11:33 PM
In general, I think being dismissive of any project is antithetical to this group's goals. After all, the most likely outcome is that all our projects will be ignored by humanity. The whole point of what we're doing is look amidst the rubble of what humanity has cast aside in hopes of finding one new synthesis with sticking power. Dismissing projects or causing others to dismiss projects has only downside in that context.
shalabh

shalabh

03/27/2020, 11:50 PM
I recommend Victor's talk The Humane Representation of Thought, if you haven't already seen it: https://vimeo.com/115154289
Edward de Jong / Beads Project

Edward de Jong / Beads Project

03/28/2020, 12:26 AM
The worst thing that can happen to a project here in this forum is not to be criticized, but to be ignored. Out of informed criticism, something can be improved, but without criticism, there is no recognition, and that is the worst fate. I cannot comment on Dynamicland's goals. I visited there - have you? - and thoroughly inspected their technology stack. The system is extremely cumbersome, and mostly invisible. Their key interaction mechanism consists of colored dots on the border of sheet of code, that basically form a unique barcode for each program fragment, which is stored in the computer. That you can bring a piece of paper containing a filter or sort module next to another paper and the computer makes the connection seems magical, but when you diagram it on paper what is happening, you have the UNIX pipe operator working on an output of another function. Their experiments with editing on a projected keyboard showed it not to be a very handy way to edit. Research projects don't always work out so hot. DynamicLand ver 1 is a bit of a disaster, and like a mouse exploring a maze there isn't much cheese there. I think the VR-based programming world will be a much easier domain in which to build a physical interactive medium, as the single camera view is quite limiting in the DynamicLand world. If you remember the great Mario 64 game on the Nintendo 64, there was a following camera that occasionally had to be hand-tweaked by the player to fix the viewpoint. A static camera presents so many rigidities. It was a worthwhile experiment. It just doesn't work very well, and I don't want people who haven't had a chance to visit the site in Oakland to think they are missing something amazing. Bret Victor has made some great prototypes of programming aids, and I am sure i would like the guy. I am sure version 2 will be much better.
curious_reader

curious_reader

03/28/2020, 10:22 PM
Hi @Edward de Jong / Beads Project I agree that the route to improvement is critique, if it uses good arguments. The Institutional Problems its solving or to be more precise it is emphasizing is that it brings the computer as a actual physical device into the center of attention. That may seem to many people in our field as something obvious or unimportant but if we took at the meta narrative I think its super important. Much effort has been put into the notion of "cloud" for broader society. If you think about typical interaction scenarios of "cloud" users I do not see good cases for humane as in IN persona human interaction while collaboration with the computer. I do see this however as a state goal for dynamic land.