Well, possibly less fun than you could use on a Monday afternoon, but interesting nonetheless. Today’s topic is computer simulations and their effectiveness in context, boys and girls. Basically, two groups — a university research group, focused on data collection, and. a environmental group, more focused on outreach — are studying flood-risk management:
We found that in the first context the use of standardized software was critical to the process of improvisation, the obstacles emerging in the process concerned data and were resolved through exploiting affordances for generating, organizing, and combining scientific information in new ways. In the second context, an environmental competency group, obstacles were related to the computer program and affordances emerged in the combination of experience-based knowledge with the scientists’ skill enabling a reconfiguration of the mathematical structure of the model, allowing the group to learn about local flooding.
Or, in English, groups using the modeling program in different ways experienced different problems, and addressed them in different ways. The End. A nice corrective to the way too prevalent thinking these days that data, even uninterpreted by humans, are poised to take over the earth.