Re: Things that prevent learning LO1317

Jim Michmerhuizen (
Fri, 19 May 1995 21:48:20 +0059 (EDT)

Replying to LO1293 --

On Thu, 18 May 1995, Dickover - Melvin E. wrote:
[ ... a story that's already gone to my archives... ]

> This system was a disaster. No one new what questions to ask. It turned
> out that the act of reading the raw data created a mental model of the
> world necessary to have intelligent conversations about the data. The

Right on. I had thought myself unique (and highly idiosyncratic) in
wanting to enter program code by typing it in rather than downloading it.
Two years ago I did 11,000 lines in four weeks including testing and
debugging, entered by hand from a published book, when I could have easily
ftp'ed the whole thing. But I wouldn't have known what I had -- in
exactly the sense of your story.

Actually, this is crucially important. I know many people, who have been
in software for years, going berserk with their first connections to the
internet -- downloading everything they can get their hands on. It
sometimes takes months before they realize that they have accomplished
nothing. There is no effective difference between code 6,000 miles away
and code right in your own c:\bin\src if you've never looked at it and
never built it.

These problems relate _directly_ to the summarizing-info theme. John
Warfield's post of a day or so ago expressed it as "full transparency" of
the summary -- that is, the summary is to be "transparent", itself only a
handle to the body of facts it summarizes. In your story, the supposedly
more efficient "automated" system failed because it delivered only the
handle and not the facts -- the finger and not what the finger was
pointing towards.

Many thanks for the story. It was - um - crunchy.

     Jim Michmerhuizen
--------------------------------------------------- ---------------------
. . . . . There are more different kinds of people in the world . . . . .
 . . ^ . .             than there are people...                . . . . .