This is an initial summary report of a project taking a new and systematic approach to improving the intellectual effectiveness of the individual human being. It’s more of a detailed conceptual framework that explores the nature of the system composed of the individual and the tools, concepts, and methods that match his basic capabilities to his problems. One of the tools that shows the greatest immediate promise is the computer, when it can be harnessed for direct on-line assistance, integrated with new concepts and methods. These are just a few words of summary that can be gathered from this excerpt. But, there was one nugget that really stood out to me :
Our culture has evolved means for us to organize the little things we can do with our basic capabilities so that we can derive comprehension from truly complex situations, and accomplish the processes of deriving and implementing problem solutions. The ways in which human capabilities are thus extended are here called augmentation means, and we define four basic classes of them:
- “Artifacts–physical objects designed to provide for human comfort, for the manipulation of things or materials, and for the manipulation of symbols.
- Language–the way in which the individual parcels out the picture of his world into the concepts that his mind uses to model that world, and the symbols that he attaches to those concepts and uses in consciously manipulating the concepts (“thinking”).
- Methodology–the methods, procedures, strategies, etc., with which an individual organizes his goal-centered (problem-solving) activity.
- Training–the conditioning needed by the human being to bring his skills in using Means 1, 2, and 3 to the point where they are operationally effective.”
In this excerpt by Douglas C. Engelbart, this really stood out because it really represents us humans today. Artifacts are so important today, whether it’s a calculator, laptop, or television to watch anything we want to.
Then the way that we read, see, and understand such artifacts and what is projected through them will define how we think. If there is a problem and we need it to be solved, we take the artifact, use the language necessary to solve the problem, and then use a procedure for the solution.
A language doesn’t mean Arabic, Hindi, English, Chinese, or a spoken language. It could mean a computer language or the way we think and process.
Finally to put all three together, we must train to receive the most accurate and precise results. “Practice makes perfect” is what I am sure that every parent told and still tell their kids.