2009.07.22 19:00 - Architects and Scientists and labels

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    The Guardian for this meeting was stevenaia Michinaga. The comments are by stevenaia Michinaga.


    Pema and I chatted for the evening about labels taken and labels assigned.


    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Pema

    Pema Pera: Hi Steve!

    Pema Pera: Good to see you again

    Pema Pera: A quiet evening here, so far?

    stevenaia Michinaga: I was just finishing leftovers from dinner with Adams, Wol, and Fefonz last night

    Pema Pera: ah, in RL ???

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, we converged in Highland Park for dinner since Wol was in town before getting back to Germany

    stevenaia Michinaga: lovely dinner and light conversation

    Pema Pera: How nice!!

    Pema Pera: It was such a pleasure to meet Wol in Germany, last month

    stevenaia Michinaga: the most interesting thing I have found is accents don;t make themselves evident in Sl w/o voice

    stevenaia Michinaga: it add so much to hear someone

    stevenaia Michinaga: aside from leaving your avatar in sl

    Pema Pera: yes, it is like final meeting the poet, after having read some of her poetry

    stevenaia Michinaga: or hearing them read their own work

    Pema Pera: :)

    Pema Pera: each PaB session is in some sense a joint piece of poetry

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, in many ways

    stevenaia Michinaga: it was strike the similarities amongst us, all work in some kind of visual field and each has an appreciation for complex databases

    Pema Pera: interesting, with half of you being architects too :-)

    stevenaia Michinaga: even though our backgrounds are quite diverse

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes

    stevenaia Michinaga: there are at least 4 of us that I can count

    stevenaia Michinaga: unfortunately the restaurant was a bit loud, but the food was good and the friendship was warm :)

    stevenaia Michinaga: I suspect more of these little localized associations will take place over time




    Pema Pera: in some ways Wol counts for two, having been trained as a RL (hardware) architect and now working mostly as a software architect (including being the central person for our chat log recording system)

    stevenaia Michinaga: well, I've always taken issue with software programmers taking up the the term architect. I can;t say I;ve ever seen an architect in support of such usage :)

    Pema Pera: that's interesting . . . .

    Pema Pera: I can see good reasons for using the term that way, in the sense that in both cases you're working on the interface between hard-nosed engineering and artistic skill and inspiration

    Pema Pera: what are the points that count against that interpretation?

    stevenaia Michinaga: well, it;s more of a professional title that used as a process label, not sure a debugger could go around calling themselves a Software Doctor or and team negotiator calling themselves a software esquire, as examples

    stevenaia Michinaga: not sure there are specific requirements to have the title of software architect

    stevenaia Michinaga: other than a company title?

    Pema Pera: how would you describe the main qualities or requirements of an architect?

    stevenaia Michinaga: training, licensing, for instance, if I didn't have that, I couldn't call myself an architect, same it true of medical Dr's for instance

    stevenaia Michinaga: if I would call myself MD, I might be breaking a law

    Pema Pera: How about talking about the "architecture" of a complex computer program -- does that term makes sense to you?

    Pema Pera: and yes, I can see the accrediting problem

    stevenaia Michinaga: they are titles bestowed , not assigned by individuals

    Pema Pera: (I wonder whether insect biologists are unhappy about the term "debugging" :-)

    stevenaia Michinaga: could put them out of business

    stevenaia Michinaga: of course Software Architects I know love the title

    Pema Pera: Yes, I can see your point -- it is perhaps similar to many scientists who feel that a term like "library science" is cheapening the use of the word science -- I myself don't have a strong opinion either way, but I understand their concern




    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, another good instance, wonders who gets to call themselves a scientist, when does "Interdisciplinary studies" for instance become science?

    stevenaia Michinaga: when did neuroscience stop being biology?

    Pema Pera: some sarcastic colleagues of mine sometimes say "whenever something has the word `science' in it, it isn't"

    stevenaia Michinaga: lol

    Pema Pera: but that is too extreme, though there is some truth in it sometimes :)

    Pema Pera: neuroscience clearly is

    stevenaia Michinaga: I understand that, but I;m sure it wasn't once

    Pema Pera: social science clearly is an academic discipline, and there it all depends on whether you want to reserve the term "science" only for natural science or want to include sociology, psychology, etc

    Pema Pera: economy is another interesting case :-)

    stevenaia Michinaga: reading ... The International Brain Research Organization was founded in 1960,[1] the European Brain and Behavior Society in 1968,[2] and the Society for Neuroscience in 1969,[3] but the study of the brain dates at least to ancient Egypt.

    Pema Pera: lol

    stevenaia Michinaga: in what sense?

    Pema Pera: oh, economy is clearly very important . . .

    Pema Pera: . . . and equally clearly most economists didn't know what was hitting them, and the rest of the population a year ago . . . . .

    Pema Pera: it would be like the sun going to half power with no astronomer having expected anything -- not impossible, but unlikely . . .

    Pema Pera: in that sense I'd call architecture a science far more than economy!

    stevenaia Michinaga: yes complex systems have that unpredictable affect more often than expected

    Pema Pera: especially complex systems without conserved quantities

    Pema Pera: in physics, and hence in chemistry and biochemistry, etc, energy is conserved, entropy can only grow, charge is conserved, etc

    Pema Pera: but in paper money, anything goes . . . .

    stevenaia Michinaga: an initial, 4 year degree is usually in the form of a BS in architecture

    stevenaia Michinaga: but a 5 yr or masters degree is required to eventually use the title "Architect"

    stevenaia Michinaga: certainly science is a component

    Pema Pera: Yes, that is very different from the way the term software architect is used, I see what you mean.

    Pema Pera: oops, have to run, have to be at the university for a seminar in twenty minutes .. . .

    stevenaia Michinaga: enjoy

    Pema Pera: thanks for sharing your background! Always very interesting to look through the eyes of someone in a different profession.

    Pema Pera: bye for now!

    stevenaia Michinaga: bye

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