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  • What they describe is not necessarily intuitive

    Not to you, but how else do you think people would come up with these ideas? To send a fax, you write your letter on a piece of paper and stick it into a fax machine. To send a letter, you write your letter on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope, and stick it into a mailbox. Why should a computer be any different?

    That is why I think "intuitive" is an absolutely terrible word to use to describe computers.

    • Not to you
      Well, I'm really the only one I was thinking it has to seem intuitive to.

      I'm writing this with a very light sense of audience, mostly people from this hyah site. Were it non-technically minded folk and writing with a more serious purpose, I might refer to the paper insertion data transfer as "intuitive".

      The audience here is really just me anyway, I'm only guessing that a few others here might read it, and possibly a few stragglers from other areas of the web. I take the point, I do -- I read what you've said about it before, and I think I understood it, and felt that I agreed -- it's not necessarily intuitive. But here, in this case, referring to it as unintuitive fits the people that will probably read it.

      I'm not saying that the concept is unintuitive to the human race, or even unintuitive to every American in the United States, I'm just saying that you and about twenty other people, maybe, will find it unintuitive.

      On top of all this, even with the limited scope of what I'm saying -- I understand that I might well be wrong. I'm okay with being wrong.

      This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately, part because it seems to allow for remarkably interesting creative results (now I've got a notion that what you'd have are nanomachines that can scan paper, and OCR algorithms that result from their instruction sets, and transmittal -- this is now a concept for bizarre espionage tools as opposed to a way to get data from a human mind to a computer) and part because there's some sort of short-circuit in there. When I read about a 'breakthrough' discovery, typically there's some sort of odd parallel (like the story of the bubble chamber and the beer) where the short-circuit, the (forgive my use of the word again where it may or may not be applicable) uninformed intuition can, when an implementation is produced by the informed person, actually be a wonderful step in the right direction.

      I believe this is why free association is useful, why the Oblique Strategies are useful -- precisely because they tend to produce less informed ways to view something. When you take the less informed notion and apply the information you have to fill in the gaps, sometimes you get something interesting. Sometimes, something very interesting, it seems.


      You are what you think.