we really don't know how to compute

gerald jay sussman compares the adaptability and robustness of biology with the fragility of our engineered technology:

I'm only pushing this idea, not because I think it's the right answer. I'm trying to twist us, so we say, "This is a different way to think". We have to think fifty-two different ways to fix this problem. I don't know how to make a machine that builds a person out of a cell. But I think the problem is that we've been stuck for too long diddling with our details. We've been sitting here worrying about our type system, when we should be worrying about how to get flexible machines and flexible programming.

now take alan kay:

Knowing more than your own field is really helpful in thinking creatively. I've always thought that one of the reasons the 1960s was so interesting is that nobody was a computer scientist back then. Everybody who came into it came into it with lots of other knowledge and interests. Then they tried to figure out what computers were, and the only place they could use for analogies were other areas. So we got some extremely interesting ideas from that.

And of course, the reason being educated is important is simply because you don't have any orthogonal contexts if you don't have any other kinds of knowledge to think with. Engineering is one of the hardest fields to be creative in, just because it's all about optimizing, and you don't optimize without being very firmly anchored to the context you're in. What we're talking about here is something that is not about optimization, but actually about rotating the point of view.

and finally steve jobs:

Ultimately it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you're doing. I mean Picasso had a saying he said good artists copy great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas and I think part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world.

i think there might be something to it...

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