Monday, March 11, 2019
In KMWorld, David Weinberger on the joy of machine learning.
[H]e talked about the things of the world primarily showing themselves to us as available for our use in whatever project we have in mind. If we’re about to cut a tomato on our plate, we don’t see our knife as a simple metal object of a particular shape; the knife shows itself to us as something good for cutting tomatoes. In fact, said Heidegger, when a tool is operating well, it becomes invisible to us: We don’t notice the knife unless its edge is too dull or if it balances badly in our hands. In that invisibility, a tool operates as an extension of us. His observation that we only become aware of tools when they break is astute, but ignores the fact that they also become visible to us when they work exceptionally well. When a knife is so sharp that it cuts a tomato into translucent slices, you notice and admire the knife. There is a noticeable joy in using a good tool.
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