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Re: Personification of gadgets and *software routines*
Subject:Re: Personification of gadgets and *software routines* From:Mike McGraw <mmcgraw -at- QUALCOMM -dot- COM> Date:Tue, 23 Mar 1999 17:08:14 -0800
We try so hard to create intelligent systems and
then we deny them a little bit of life. <sigh>
At 05:06 PM 3/23/99 -0700, you wrote:
>"To fire the triac pulse at the proper time, the ASP driver must
>which phase powers each lamp block."
>Does anyone have general suggestions on avoiding personification?
>hard should I try?
My answer is: don't try so hard. I see a lot
of this in my work (documenting embedded systems) and finally decided
that describing functional blocks as though they have some level of
intelligence isn't really a sin. After all, the object-oriented
model of software construction mandates that:
software objects be unique [individuals?, members of a community?]
objects provide programming interfaces [ears?] so they can be
addressed by other objects [talking?, interacting?]
objects "publish their interfaces" so other objects can
know about them [have a phone book listing?]
objects return status information to their callers [take
responsiblity?, 'fess up?, turn in a timecard?]
Ray Kurzweil, in his new book _The Age of Spiritual Machines: when
computers exceed human intelligence_ claims that the day we create a
machine (will we still call it a computer?) more intelligent than a human
is not far off. And he claims that the way we define humanity may
well have to change as a result of that evolution.
So don't worry about personifying small functions like the triac ASP
driver. Just make sure it's got a technical manual that tells it
when to fire...and, maybe take it out for pizza now and then just for a
change of pace. <grin>
Mike McGraw office: AA-240C, phone: x58048