[OLPC Brasil] Why call tools "activities"?
bert at freudenbergs.de
Thu Apr 5 20:14:15 EDT 2007
On Apr 6, 2007, at 1:46 , José Antonio wrote:
> Two diferent things called by same word in same context. Children
> already know this kind of tools (softwares) as
> "programs" ("programas", in portuguese). Everybody calls software
> "programa" (just hair-pointed managers calls software
> "application"). There's no need to call programs "activities", no
> matter how wonderful would be these programs.
Words shape minds. Now "program" as in "instructions for a computer"
actually is generic enough to do no harm. But "application
program" (and that is what is usually meant if you just say
"program") does harm in artificially forming the idea that you need
separate programs for specific tasks. Yes this is how it is
implemented in most systems today but that doesn't actually make it a
good idea [*]. I'm not particularly fond of the word "activity" but
it is way better than "application".
Just as an illustration about how bad this mind-shaping already is -
when I showed a system to university-level students in which you can
have a "program" draw outside its window they were flabbergasted.
Each year again. The notion that each application can only draw into
its own window is so burnt into the minds of people that they do not
question it any more. Same now in this dicussion - people do not
actually see the restrictions of their environments, just like
- Bert -
[*] "Don't be misled by the enormous flow of money into bad defacto
standards for unsophisticated buyers using poor adaptations of
incomplete ideas." --A.K.
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