Four short links: 28 April 2016

Questioning Physical Affordances, Market Solution to Peer Review, Automating Engineering Away, and Data Metaphors

  1. The Shape of Things (Tom Coates) — In fact it’s this problem of what’s most intuitive that gives me most pause for tangible computing generally. The assumption from many of these thinkers is that making an interface that’s physical makes it inherently more intuitive. But I don’t buy that physical affordances alone will make it immediately obvious what a smart connected object is for. Sure, you pick up a hammer and you immediately want to hit something (or maybe that’s just me) — but is that true of a smart hammer?
  2. Improving the Peer Review Process: A Proposed Market System (PDF) — We thus suggest a more efficient and integrity-preserving system based on an open two-sided market in which buyers and sellers of peer review services would both be subject to a set of recursive quality indicators. We lay out key features we think would be important to reduce the opportunities for gaming and that improve the signals about the societal value of a contribution. Cool story bro, but until academics are rewarded financially/professionally for publishing in a Better System, most will accept/route-around the current system.
  3. Are Engineers Designing Their Robotic Replacements? — yes, and that’s the exciting part of software engineering right now.
  4. Metaphors of Data, a Reading ListThe goal in assembling this list was to catalog resources that are helpful in unpacking and critiquing different metaphors, ranging from the hype around data as the new oil to less common (and perhaps more curious) formulations, such as data as sweat or toxic waste.

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