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    • AMMDI is an open-notebook hypertext writing experiment, authored by Mike Travers aka @mtraven. It's a work in progress and some parts are more polished than others. Comments welcome! More.
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Edith Ackermann

26 Jul 2021 07:55 - 01 Jan 2022 07:48

    • Edith was a faculty member and friend at the Media Lab. Trained as a Piagetian, she did quite a lot of interesting work on children's mental models and how they thought about agency .
    • Ackermann, Edith. "The agency model of transactions: Toward an understanding of children's theory of control." Psychologie genetique et sciences cognitives. Geneve: Fondation Archives Jean Piaget (1991).
    • In this paper, I discuss how children come to disentangle purpose and causation—or psychological and physical descriptions—when explaining the behaviors of “simple-minded intelligent artifacts," as well as the behaviors of people and of things. I argue that very early on, children attempt to build a synthesis between these two kinds of expla> In this paper, I discuss how children come to disentangle purpose and causation—or psychological and physical descriptions—when explaining the behaviors of “simple-minded intelligent artifacts," as well as the behaviors of people and of things. I argue that very early on, children attempt to build a synthesis between these two kinds of explanations, and that they do so in a similar way when explaining the functioning of people, of objects, and of living and artificial creatures.
    • Mitchel Resnick is currently building a computer-based microworld for exploring the behavior of very large populations of such simple-minded creatures (second-order cybernetics).
      • Um, is that really what second-order cybernetics means?
    • We know from the history of cybernetics (and later, of AI and cognitive science) that as soon as the first intelligent artifacts were built, many fundamental concepts such as "self," "purpose," "intentionality," and "free will," needed to be reconsidered.
    • In studying the Macy Conferences, we noticed time and again that engineers and psychologists quite consistently picked different sets of concepts for describing the functioning of self-regulating devices.
    • Engineers usually insist that no vital principle needs to transcend, or live independently, from a material substrate. To them, if mind might well emerge from matter, the building of a mind—out of matter—does not require the use of higher-order concepts such as purpose and ntentionality. Such concepts are not operational or useful in the work of engineers.
      • I get what she is trying to say but I think something here shortchanges "engineers".
    • In contrast, most psychologists (as well as educators) study behavior __as it becomes meaningful to—and controllable by—a subject__. And not surprisingly, since it is their job to help people use whatever reflecting capabilities they have (self-awareness) as a means of monitoring their own behavior.
      • This is well-put, I can use this maybe
    • Ackermann, E. "Enactive representations in learning: pretense, models, and machines." Learning Sites: Social and technological contexts for learning, Elsevier (1999): 144-154
      • Oh interesting but I'm not sure exactly what "enactive" means in this context.
    • Ackermann, Edith K. "Programming for the natives: What is it? What’s in it for the kids?." Tecnologias, Sociedade e Conhecimento 1.1 (2013): 133-149.
      • Programming is many things to many people, and not everyone agrees on its potential for human learning. This is especially true at a time when ever younger children are increasingly “expert” gamers, tweeters, information-seekers, and digital “bricoleurs”. ... This paper looks at programming “obliquely,” as an opportunity to explore issues of agency, control, and interaction styles, as played out in the creative and critical uses of “smart” tools by curious minds.