PPIG 2017 - 28th Annual Workshop
If What We Made Were Real: Against Imperialism and Cartesianism in Computer Science, and for a discipline that creates real artifacts for real communities, following the faculties of real cognition
Antranig Basman
Abstract: I argue that we have not yet succeeded in constructing any real software, but merely simulations or cardboard prototypes of software. I criticise the pernicious imperialism of the so-called “computational thinking” which suggests that society should come to think like computer scientists, and instead suggest that computer scientists should come to think more like ordinary citizens. A greater appreciation of the cognitive underpinnings of everyday thought and everyday life will lead us to make durable, flexible things which are widely useful, as opposed to brittle, fragile things that disrupt everyday activities. We’ll make a case study of a paradigm element of traditional programming languages, function application, and consider how alternative building blocks and metaphors can lead to more successful artefacts for humans.