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Computer Science and Software Engineering

The theoretical description of an algorithm can declare that certain things are simply assumed not to happen. However, a real implementation may still have to include code to handle the case where something happens that was assumed to be impossible, even if that handling boils down to printf("Fatal System Failure") and exit, letting a human operator clean up the mess. This is arguably the difference between computer science and software engineering. [Designing Data-Intensive Applications (2017), Martin Kleppmann]


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Ivan Illich asked, “What can I do to survive in the midst of the show?”, before answering his own question with a proposed two-fold approach. First, he calls for “an ethics of vision”, which calls for us to “protect” our “imagination from overwhelming distraction, possibly leading to addiction”. Second, he suggests “ocular askesis”, a discipline by which we train ourselves to perceive the world as we wish to see it. Illich scholar L.M. Sacasas goes further: “Our task, then, would be to cultivate an ethos of seeing or new habits of vision. We should remember, that all the senses can be likewise trained.” [ Ashley Colby (2022)]

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