E.W. Dijkstra on teaching the "radical novelties" of computer science

Coping with radical novelty requires an orthogonal method. One must consider one's own past, the experiences collected, and the habits formed in it as an unfortunate accident of history, and one has to approach the radical novelty with a blank mind, consciously refusing to try to link it with what is already familiar, because the familiar is hopelessly inadequate. One has, with initially a kind of split personality, to come to grips with a radical novelty as a dissociated topic in its own right. Coming to grips with a radical novelty amounts to creating and learning a new foreign language that can not be translated into one's mother tongue. (Any one who has learned quantum mechanics knows what I am talking about.) Needless to say, adjusting to radical novelties is not a very popular activity, for it requires hard work. For the same reason, the radical novelties themselves are unwelcome.

By now, you may well ask why I have paid so much attention to and have spent so much eloquence on such a simple and obvious notion as the radical novelty. My reason is very simple: radical novelties are so disturbing that they tend to be suppressed or ignored, to the extent that even the possibility of their existence in general is more often denied than admitted.

Usability week ending July 25th

Friday, 23rd July, 8:56 AM
Balancing #science and #art -- human-computer interaction #design benefits substantially from a #creative approach: http://j.mp/atXjOX #ux

Thursday, 22nd July, 5:00 PM
#Endeca launches UI Design Pattern Library -- understand users, create potential solutions, and evaluate and optimize: http://j.mp/dkxHRB

Thursday, 22nd July, 8:51 AM
Information networks and living cities provide a basis for understanding each other, and information architecture: http://j.mp/aCfSUs #ia

Tuesday, 20th July, 10:54 AM
Supporting User Experience and User Centered Design throughout the Product Development process: http://j.mp/aQ1P3P #ux #ia #ucd

via twitter.com/terretta