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Technological hubris

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1 Author(s)
H. Thimbleby ; Comput. Sci., Middlesex Univ., UK

A surgeon, astronomer and programmer sat down for tea and a fierce argument arose over whose was the oldest profession. The programmer claimed that Ada Lovelace was the first programmer. Then the astronomer traced astronomical observation right back to the ancient Babylonians. The surgeon claimed his was clearly the oldest profession since removing Adam's rib to make Eve was surgery. Challenged like this, the astronomer claimed that her profession was oldest, since before that, God had made the universe out of chaos. The programmer said: 'and who do you think created the chaos?'. The purpose of the article is to justify a critical view of current practice. It is argued that there is something deeply wrong with our approach to complex systems. Moreover, what is wrong is not amenable to a technological fix. Waiting for virtual reality, say, to work is a diversion and just more of the same.<>

Published in:

Computing & Control Engineering Journal  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 5 )