Re: regarding innovation

Subject: Re: regarding innovation
From: David Hirst (
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 17:48:39 EST

What you wrote here reminds me a bit of "Action Research" which is a
research methodology whereby you work with some system or some situation,
make some observations, make some tweaks or slight changes, observe how the
system changes & try & learn new insights about the system (the innovation
bit). So whether "the system" is some code being hacked or your artistic
aesthetic or the relations between a group of people (something we find
comes up in education), this action research looks for questions as well as
answers (in contrast to engineering approach which tends to supply solutions).

So a programming as a medium approach might be a system that assists in
creating questions and then assists in creating answers (plural). - A bit
like a decision tree with lots of branches. (Mm does games programming come
into play here?) This reminds me of the organic approach to programming,
which also reminds me of "The Blind Watch Maker" - an eloquent attempt to
show how complex things can arise from the application of simple principles.

This also reminds me of years ago when I was programming a real-time
wave-shaping instrument on a PDP 11/10 computer that could be played from
the tele-keyboard. It was my first encounter with the multiple-triggering
you get when you keep the key held down. I loved the resulting sound but
had to make some adjustments to its envelope to eliminate clicks - which is
a simple illustration that innovation sometimes comes about by accident and
engineering can be useful to clean up the by-products.

At 04:28 PM 16/02/2005 +0100, Ross wrote:
>The above lead me to think about what might motivate the aspect of
>practicing "programming as a medium" which isn't just about solving
>functional requirements. One thing that came to mind was the tendency
>towards innovation, and how I could ground this tendency in a broader
>context which considers other people's creative practice, and practices
>which don't involve software.

David Hirst
Senior Lecturer, Educational Design
Information and Education Services
University of Melbourne
Victoria, 3010
ph +61 3 8344 7568
Fax +61 3 8344 4341

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