[deepamehta-users] Bret Victor talks about "Inventing on Principle"

Jörg Richter jri at deepamehta.de
Di Apr 17 02:09:41 CEST 2012

Dear DeepaMehta aficionados,

I like to recommend to you a talk Bret Victor gave at CUSEC 2012: Inventing on Principle.

He shows how our thinking and our design concepts are rooted in the past. Concepts are taken for granted and are not questioned anymore. A computer program e.g. has to be compiled and then be executed. This imposes a great deal of indirection to the programmer. That is, her's mind is destined to virtually become a machine simulator. As an alternative way Bret Victor brilliantly presents a self-designed interactive programming environment with instant feedback.

But the talk is not about programmers. Bret Victor shows wonderfully how e.g. an animation artist is forced to indirection by using crappy machine-thinking molded software like Adobe Flash and how it hinders creativity. And then as a contrast he shows another one of his excellent self-designed demos: an animation tool with a 2-hand iPad UI.

Bret Victor points out that people who've changed the world (not restricted to computing) -- Douglas Engelbart, Alan Kay, Larry Tesler, Richard Stallman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton -- followed their very own personal principle. And that they are guided by this principle her whole life. Larry Tesler's principle e.g. was to remove the modes from the UI.

The principle that Bret Victor found for his own life is that creators need an *immediate connection* to the things they create. This framework of thought provides him a fruitful guidance for evaluating and improving designs.

Bret Victor encourages everyone to think off the beaten track and to find a guiding principle for his/her work. And he shows how much this search is interconnected with finding his/hers own identity.

Bret Victor - Inventing on Principle. Talk at CUSEC 2012:

Bret Victor's highly creative and content-rich website:

CUSEC 2012 website:


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