Date: Tue, 5 Sep 1995 08:32:05 -0400 From: David Muschell Subject: Re: secret codes Terry Lynn Irons recently wrote: >If we don't understand uuencoding and the other things that new technologies >allow us to do, do we really have any right to say that the NEH should >give us money? > >Increasingingly I find technology being used by humans who are not in control >of it and it scares me. I don't know why, but I still think the people >using the machines should be smarter than the machines. That's quite a leap in logic. Since when is computer programming part of the humanities? Must we pass a computer skills test as part of the grant application process now? My instincts tell me that technology has always been used by humans who are not in control of it: from the bow and arrow to the musket to the "smart bomb." I have some idea how the air conditioner cooling my office works, but I couldn't take it apart and fix it if it broke. It has only been a few years since I was dragged into using the device that is sending this mail, and I resist getting too deeply caught in its web (world-wide or otherwise). I don't necessarily believe I have to be "machine smart" to be an effective teacher or to make fair use of a computer. I'm certainly no language chauvinist when it comes to a computer code being sent to me as a message, but I do believe in an audience-centered communication process and that one missed the mark for me. David