Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I have a paper due this week and am not sure I will complete it.

I proposed to write a paper for the Journal of Community Informatics about the co-creation of technology by telling the history of the group Computers for Communities and have a simple draft. The problem is that it is too simple I feel and I may not submit it to this journal after all. I will loose no money if I do not submit it. It is not such a big deal in the here and now.

I have been learning to apply mathematics in computing this past year.

I believe in the title of this post I am being vague. I do want to be specific so first off let me deal with this vagueness. I add numbers, multiply them and thus have an idea if my data is correct. University level math is really doing arithmetic calculations in large amounts, more frequently and resulting in much more practice thus the programmer gains more skill and knowledge of arithmetics.

I had been trained in university to take it for granted that mathmatics was part of computer programming. Variables were one of the key common terms, concepts and symbols one would use in the completion of homework and exams in both mathematics and computer science. At work and at school and in computer self help books, I was guided to use meaningful names for variables. Yet, in proofs one aims for generality. My work at present seems to favour a general approach for variable names where an abstact generality is, in fact, favored over specific meaningful instances. I work in the abstract in my present job duties and leave it to others to draw out the meaning and attach the data to the real world.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Journal Field Notes: Meeting the co-creation theme from participation theory

I was blogging on our organization's (Computers For Communities) web site about allowing participation and when I say allowing I mean allowing those we give computers to to direct what participation they would like to have happen. Sure we can think about instructions and support and using free software tools to help us offer that support but it comes down what do those in the community getting these Linux computer want to do? We logically can not really think of this answer ourselves and plan for it, I believe. We can listen perhaps.

Then from this argument where do the new owners of these computers create or co-create with us. They provide the tables and chairs for the computer lab. The room where the lab is set up is given to them by the landlord and they choose to have computers in there. In working briefly with these people I did active listening to see how we could interest them in the computers. What could the computers do for them based on what they were saying and how they were expressing themsleves around the lab. The question is still open.

I need to write about this in my field notes for the journal of community informatics. The notes are due soon.