Ack! This could have been a really good discussion. In fact, parts of it were great. I wish that more people would engage in the conversation. It also kinda pisses me off that some people seem intent on finding some type of philosophical tool to justify their own little axe to grind. As future librarians or whatever, it seems like we have a certain obligation to divorce ourselves from our own little axes…get over it. We’re supposed to be finding ways to connect, not so that we can convince people of the rightness of us but so that we can talk about our differences…understand them…so that we can put some of them aside and get down to the business of figuring stuff out. Our patrons already come with all their own baggage…their own misgivings about asking for help. They don’t need us, the ones that can help them, bringing our own personal messed up views of reality to make a bigger mess of their views. I know that’s all pretty abstract, but meh. Religion and politics – everyone wants to preach; nobody wants to listen.
That said, there were also good bits. As we were talking about artificial intelligence, I began thinking about the concept of building computers to mimic people. I guess I never understood what the appeal was. I can see building a computer that augments the brain. That’s basically what we use computers for anyway. But why try to essentially make humans obsolete? I know that’s not what the point of the discussion was, but it was thought the discussion sparked.
I guess the thing that struck me most was how intuitive the idea of schemata seems and how we almost seemed to belabor the point at times…but maybe that was just me. I think that one thing that we didn’t really say concisely was how the paradigm that we build based on all the diverse schemata in our head…that paradigm is very dynamic. Rather than trying to stand on a concrete floor, it can often be more like surfing in the ocean. It takes some knowledge of the substance of the foundation to really successfully navigate; a little bit of skill. The alternative is floating at best…or drowning.
So, that’s what I’ve got for tonight. Like I said, I wish that more people would participate.