Archive for February, 2013

These days, now that I’m a card-carrying God-botherer, I find Matthew Stewart’s The Management Myth a bit too cynical for my tastes.

That said, the book was quite an eye-opener as a history of management theory; especially when read in conjunction with Kiechel’s The Lords of Strategy. And the original essay still has a certain charm. Consider this:

As I plowed through tomes on competitive strategy, business process re-engineering, and the like, not once did I catch myself thinking, Damn! If only I had known this sooner! Instead, I found myself thinking things I never thought I’d think, like, I’d rather be reading Heidegger!

There has been the odd occasion when I’ve read everyone’s favourite Nazi windbag philosopher, for fun. Perhaps it’s just a matter of finding an occasion that’s sufficiently odd.

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I’ve previously mentioned Rodney Brooks approach to robotics, and also “bottom up” views of knowledge. Here’s a nice quote (from Brian Rotman, Mathematics as Sign, p115):

Brooks’ attachment to the bottom-up procedure is also performative, ruling the description as well as the content of his approach. Thus, not only mind—problem solving, central control, representation—is subordinated within his model of intelligence but also its sociocultural correlates—philosophy, abstract thought, theory—are likewise invoked by him on a minimal, need-to-know basis.

This appeals to me, in part, because it chimes with my views about another form of abstract knowledge that’s central to programming: knowledge of programming languages.

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