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Re: [feyerabend-project] OOPSLA Workshop Invitation

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  • Jay Han
    There are also Internet stuckists or DRM-refuseniks . See The Stuckist Net - what is your post-Palladium future?
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 30, 2002
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      There are also Internet stuckists or "DRM-refuseniks".
      See "The Stuckist Net - what is your post-Palladium future?"
      http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/26740.html

      -jay

      --- eliot@... wrote:
      > Don't know if this is news but there is some dissatisfaction in the art world with the "status
      > quo" or the "contemporary scene", see
      > www.stuckism.com/index.html
      > and in particular their manifesto for Remodernism
      > www.stuckism.com/remod.html
      ...

      =====
      jhan@...

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    • Pascal Costanza
      ... I have only quickly and superficially skipped through their manifesto, but I already don t like most of what they say. (This is a gut feeling for the time
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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        eliot@... wrote:
        > Don't know if this is news but there is some dissatisfaction in the art world with the "status quo" or the "contemporary scene", see
        > www.stuckism.com/index.html
        > and in particular their manifesto for Remodernism
        > www.stuckism.com/remod.html


        I have only quickly and superficially skipped through their manifesto,
        but I already don't like most of what they say. (This is a gut feeling
        for the time being.) This is partially because I am an atheist and
        therefore some of their statements appear strange to me (to say the
        least ;). However, my main objection here is that their manifesto
        doesn't seem radical enough. Let me explain what I mean by this...

        The current situation in our field is that there is a mainstream of
        research and practice that most of us don't like (some "cleaning women"
        [1] are Java, C#, XML, web services, and so on). Many of us suggest to
        replace these "cleaning women" with "obviously" better technologies and
        hope for these technologies to become the mainstream (again) instead.

        In "The Social Construction of What?" by Ian Hacking (a book that I have
        already mentioned elsewhere and that I highly recommend) gives the
        following analysis how such criticism works.

        "People begin to argue that X is socially constructed precisely when
        they find that:

        (0) In the present state of affairs, X is taken for granted; X appears
        to be inevitable."

        "Social construction work is critical of the status quo. Social
        constructionists about X tend to hold that:

        (1) X need not have existed, or need not be at all as it is. X, or X as
        it is at present, is not determined by the nature of things; it is not
        inevitable.

        Very often they go further, and urge that:

        (2) X is quite bad as it is.
        (3) We would be much better off if X were done away with, or at least
        radically transformed."

        Hacking further explicates that "social constructionists" don't
        necessarily need to proceed from one argument to the next. We may think
        that something (an X) is not inevitable but we don't need to conclude
        that X is bad.

        Most of us in the "Feyerabend community" are social constructionists in
        this regard. We see the whole world focusing on Java and XML but we tend
        to argue that this is not because of the technical merits but just
        because of social merits at best or, even worse, just by accident. (I
        guess nearly all papers that have been submitted to Feyerabend workshops
        can be categorized by how far the authors go in their criticism.)

        Now, how radical can we get? What do we want to get rid of? I see two
        possibilities: (1) We want to do away with the current mainstream (Java,
        XML, and so on) and replace it with better technologies (Scheme,
        Smalltalk, s-expressions). (2) We don't want to have _any_ kind of
        mainstream.

        I would rather like to think in terms of the second approach. I think
        the problems that we currently have result from the fact that there is a
        mainstream, and it doesn't matter what kind of mainstream it is. I don't
        think it would be an essential improvement if everyone would start to
        program in, say, Scheme and abandon everything else. This would just
        mean to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

        For example, in my opinion students should learn at least five or six
        programming languages from at least three different programming
        paradigms, including pure and hybrid languages, dynamically and
        statically typed languages, and so on. There are studies that show that
        this is what makes good programmers. There's no single approach that is
        the cure to all problems. (Sorry, I am starting to ramble...)

        Back to the "stuckism": I have the feeling that they're playing the same
        post-modern game as everyone else. They want to attract attention and
        want to establish themselves as another subculture in the current
        diversity of subcultures. Any attempt to become "the mainstream" is
        unrealistic. I don't think we can do away with post-modernism. The
        attack on post-modernism that it cannot provide the answers people need
        is not an attack because post-modernism is essentially the
        _acknowledgement_ of the fact that there cannot be a (coherent) answer.

        The "biological framings" project can be interpreted as a statement that
        there are still lots of things to be researched. It doesn't aim at
        getting rid of the state of art. That's what I like about it - it adds
        to the field, it doesn't fight it. The "rainbow conference" idea is in
        the same vein.

        ...

        (I am a little bit lost in my own reasoning, so I stop here. ;)

        Pascal


        [1] The term "cleaning woman" is borrowed from the movie "Dead Men Don't
        Wear Plaid". In this comedy, the main character (played by Steve Martin)
        always goes berzerk when he hears the words "cleaning woman" because he
        has the traumatic experience that in his childhood, his father left his
        mother because of a cleaning woman.

        --
        Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
        mailto:costanza@... Institute of Computer Science III
        http://www.pascalcostanza.de Ro"merstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)
      • Gross Joshua
        ... I have to agree; the current manifesto trend (I d point to Dogme 95 - www.dogme95.dk - as a possible point of origin) is getting a bit absurd. It seems
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 1, 2002
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          --- Pascal Costanza <costanza@...> wrote:

          > I have only quickly and superficially skipped
          > through their manifesto,
          > but I already don't like most of what they say.

          I have to agree; the current manifesto trend (I'd
          point to Dogme 95 - www.dogme95.dk - as a possible
          point of origin) is getting a bit absurd. It seems
          that the end product of such a manifesto should be a
          collection of work that is noticeably coherent and
          similar as a unit, and that is noticeable dissimilar
          from other contemporary work. Looking at the work of
          the stuckists, it seems to be fairly typical
          comtemporary art. Dogme films, however, are noticeably
          different from their Hollywood counterparts. I would
          argue that this is because Dogme 95 is a real
          manifesto, bound by practical actions and limitations,
          rather than a set of (frankly) pseudo-philosophical
          assertions.

          > Back to the "stuckism": I have the feeling that
          > they're playing the same
          > post-modern game as everyone else. They want to
          > attract attention and
          > want to establish themselves as another subculture
          > in the current
          > diversity of subcultures.

          The stuckists are obviously playing a game, which is
          perfectly normal and natural with art (and perhaps
          software?). The game could be a success; the
          Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood -
          http://www.speel.demon.co.uk/other/prb.htm - was very
          successful. However, I think the whole point of
          stuckism is to self-affirm and other-reject ("Artists
          who don�t paint aren�t artists.", "Art that has to be
          in a gallery to be art isn�t art."). Artists can't
          actually reject innovation wholesale, nor can those of
          us in software; mining the past is worthwhile, but is
          not an end in itself.

          That having been said, it would be interesting to
          write a practical dogma (such as Dogme 95), which
          forced developers to abandon all of the nonsense that
          dominates software development.

          One of the areas of concern (for me) is the
          condemnation of commercial influence. I'm no
          laissez-faire free-marketer, but this notion that
          commercial eq corrupting and non-commercial eq
          creative is patently absurd. I won't insult the
          intelligence of this group by listing, but beautiful
          art has been produced as a commercial enterprise and
          abominations have come out of "pure" environments.
          This applies equally to software.

          I'm all for radical thinking, but I'd like to see some
          practical good come out of Feyerabend. Commercialism
          is an unstoppable force, and we are not an immovable
          object. I believe that commercialism can be exploited
          for good ends as well as bad, and that to exploit
          commercialism is by no means a perversion. Perhaps we
          can be like the Shaolin Buddhist monks; they pursue
          martial arts in an effort to understand and defeat
          violence.

          -Josh

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        • Pascal Costanza
          ... I have been away from my office for a while, so I couldn t respond in the meantime. Here are my $0.02: I think a kind of Feyerabend manifesto could be
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 14, 2002
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            Gross Joshua wrote:
            > --- Pascal Costanza <costanza@...> wrote:
            >
            >>I have only quickly and superficially skipped
            >>through their manifesto,
            >>but I already don't like most of what they say.
            >
            > I have to agree; the current manifesto trend (I'd
            > point to Dogme 95 - www.dogme95.dk - as a possible
            > point of origin) is getting a bit absurd. It seems
            > that the end product of such a manifesto should be a
            > collection of work that is noticeably coherent and
            > similar as a unit, and that is noticeable dissimilar
            > from other contemporary work.

            I have been away from my office for a while, so I couldn't respond in
            the meantime.

            Here are my $0.02: I think a kind of "Feyerabend manifesto" could be
            really helpful. One thing Dick has noticed correctly is that it is hard
            to get a paper accepted at conferences that is not part of normal
            science (in Kuhnian terms - I don't know if Dick stated it explicitly
            like this, but this is something I have drawn from his several
            writings/presentations/discussions).

            One of my experiences is that I have got a paper rejected with the
            stated reasoning that it's not important that a language is easily
            understood but it rather needs to be statically type safe. Regardless
            whether my paper was good or not, this is a statement that sounds
            strange to me, to say the least.

            Now I imagine a world where we would be able to attach a Feyerabend
            manifesto to our papers so that the likeliness increases that they are
            judged by the measures of that manifesto, and not by some arbitrary
            prejudices of reviewers (which you can never completely anticipate).

            Wouldn't that be /nice/? ;)

            I think Dick's "Polemic of the Proposed Effort" at
            http://www.dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/FeyerabendInvite.html would be a
            very good starting point. The "Themes and Goals" of the Extravagaria
            workshop at http://www.dreamsongs.com/Feyerabend/Extravagaria.html can
            also be considered. If we could distil this to a list of, say, 7
            one-liners, we would have something useful IMHO. Something along the
            lines of Dogme's "Vow of Chastity" at
            http://www.tvropa.com/tvropa1.2/film/dogme95/the_vow/vow.html, perhaps?


            What do you think?


            Pascal

            --
            Pascal Costanza University of Bonn
            mailto:costanza@... Institute of Computer Science III
            http://www.pascalcostanza.de Römerstr. 164, D-53117 Bonn (Germany)
          • Gross Joshua
            I think that this is a good idea. The problem is that our interests seem diverse (and perhaps divergent). Can we create a manifesto that will result in a
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 18, 2002
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              I think that this is a good idea. The problem is that
              our interests seem diverse (and perhaps divergent).
              Can we create a manifesto that will result in a
              coherent and somehow unified body of work?

              I think it is possible. We have some commonalities: a
              belief in technology, an appreciation for the human in
              technology, and a generally broad view of "technology"
              topics.

              Perhaps, once we have a manifestoa, we should start
              our own journal (e.g. "The Feyerabend Journal of
              Computer Science Articles Previously Rejected as not
              Computer Science-y Enough")?

              -Josh
              --- Pascal Costanza <costanza@...> wrote:
              > Here are my $0.02: I think a kind of "Feyerabend
              > manifesto" could be
              > really helpful. One thing Dick has noticed correctly
              > is that it is hard
              > to get a paper accepted at conferences that is not
              > part of normal
              > science (in Kuhnian terms - I don't know if Dick
              > stated it explicitly
              > like this, but this is something I have drawn from
              > his several
              > writings/presentations/discussions).
              >
              > One of my experiences is that I have got a paper
              > rejected with the
              > stated reasoning that it's not important that a
              > language is easily
              > understood but it rather needs to be statically type
              > safe. Regardless
              > whether my paper was good or not, this is a
              > statement that sounds
              > strange to me, to say the least.
              >
              > What do you think?


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            • patrickdlogan
              First a question: any reports from OOPSLA? Then a follow-up to a message from last month... ... I would think at this stage a Feyerabend manifesto would be
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 26, 2002
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                First a question: any reports from OOPSLA?

                Then a follow-up to a message from last month...

                > The problem is that our interests seem diverse (and perhaps
                > divergent). Can we create a manifesto that will result in a
                > coherent and somehow unified body of work?

                I would think at this stage a Feyerabend manifesto would be somewhat
                diverse in its manifestations. What's needed today is diversity and
                experimentation rather than coherence and unification. A manifesto
                should promote those qualities.

                > Perhaps, once we have a manifestoa, we should start our own journal
                > (e.g. "The Feyerabend Journal of Computer Science Articles
                > Previously Rejected as not Computer Science-y Enough")?

                This on-line group archive seems to be enough of a journal. What's
                missing I think is discussion, especially about ideas and experiments.

                I am interested in time-oriented, history-preserving data streams,
                simple coordination models, adaptive object models, workflow, and
                process & rule definitions, simple & composable user interfaces, all
                made available to non-CS programmers.

                Primarily I am interested in finding simple ways for non-CS
                programmers to create time and space distributed adaptable systems.
              • Jay Han
                http://www.dreamsongs.com/Essays.html#ObjectsHaveFailed Objects have failed debate is very interesting. I thank rpg for making his notes available and hope
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 26, 2002
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                  http://www.dreamsongs.com/Essays.html#ObjectsHaveFailed "Objects have
                  failed" debate is very interesting. I thank rpg for making his notes
                  available and hope the other participants in the debate would do likewise.
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