[-empyre-] ambiguous artistic strategies & critical engineering

James Morris james at jwm-art.net
Thu Feb 16 00:07:42 EST 2012

On Wed, 15 Feb 2012 13:18:24 +0100
Lasse Scherffig <lscherff at khm.de> wrote:

> Hi empyre,
> although we are already in week 2 of the in/compatible discussion, I 
> briefly want to get back last week's question of "honesty":
>  > 1. What does honesty/transparency mean in the context of so many
>  > layers of abstraction? Is there any honesty in there, or is a
>  > computational system a simulacrum? No matter how much you expose
>  > to the user, there will always be something hidden.

I'd just like to add another quick response to this forgive/ignore me
if this goes without saying. It is in the nature of software to hide
abstraction. I would say dishonest software misleads people through
abstractions. Open source software for example mostly does not mislead
people about the abstraction and it is possible to show the
abstractions quite easily. Misleading software - I'm thinking Apple and
their hardware too, in particular - does hide the abstractions and
does not allow inspection (though I'm speaking with extremely little
usage experience)...

... well it seems I'm starting to go over ground already covered more
expertly by others on the list... I don't recall any mention about
usability experts. There's some tension between usability experts and
developers that might be interesting for some - especially in
/free/libre/open/source/software. That's why you've got distributions
like Ubuntu, Arch, and Gentoo. All going in different directions
regarding users and the abstractions their expected to understand.


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