Regarding the potential 'blind-spots' you mentioned, there was an
interesting piece on Core77 by cognitive scientist Don Norman last autumn.
It's related to testing in design, but addresses the point where computation
is best complemented by a creative leap of a (human) designer. Perhaps this
is of interest in this context.
Have a good weekend,
Design Without Designers, Donald Norman, Oct 2010
*Why Testing Is Both Essential and Incomplete*
Data-driven design is "hill-climbing," a well-known algorithm for
optimization. Imagine standing in the dark in an unknown, hilly terrain. How
do you get to the top of the hill when you can't see? Test the immediate
surroundings to determine which direction goes up the most steeply and take
a step that way. Repeat until every direction leads to a lower level.
But what if the terrain has many hills? How would you know whether you are
on the highest? Answer: you can't know. This is called the "local maximum"
problem: you can't tell if you are on highest hill (a global maximum) or
just at the top of a small one.
When a computer does hill climbing on a mathematical space, it tries to
avoid the problem of local maxima by initiating climbs from numerous,
different parts of the space being explored, selecting the highest of the
separate attempts. This doesn't guarantee the very highest peak, but it can
avoid being stuck on a low-ranking one. This strategy is seldom available to
a designer: it is difficult enough to come up with a single starting point,
let alone multiple, different ones. So, refinement through testing in the
world of design is usually only capable of reaching the local maximum. Is
there a far better solution (that is, is there a different hill which yields
far superior results)? Testing will never tell us.
Here is where creative people come in. Breakthroughs occur when a person
restructures the problem, thereby recognizing that one is exploring the
wrong space. This is the creative side of design and invention. Incremental
enhancements will not get us there.
On 22 January 2011 17:19, Pier Luigi Capucci <email@example.com> wrote:
> Il giorno 21/gen/2011, alle ore 03.15, rbuiani ha scritto:
> > that particular sense has not being payed too much attention to (smell
> being one) or has been deemed as secondary
> Yes Roberta, I think it is mainly a cultural affair... Since the dawn of
> its exixtence the humankind tryed to hide, eliminate or divert the odours. I
> think this has something to deal with the idea of truth. Every single people
> on the Earth can be represented by her/his odour, which is unique,
> unmistakable and unchangeable. Our odour is what we, biologically and
> psychologically, are, it reveals what we are and our state of existence. The
> odour represents our deeper truth, which can't be tricked, or diverted. The
> odour can't lye, In semiotics it is an index.
> For this and other reasons, since humans are symbolic people they tryed to
> expand, enrich and divert this truth ... and they invented the perfumes, and
> the deodorants to cover the odour. We can change the perfumes, while we
> can't change our odours... With the perfumes and other smells we can tell
> stories and lye.
> Pier Luigi
> Pier Luigi Capucci
> e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
> web: http://www.noemalab.org/plc/plc.html
> skype: plcapucci
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