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CS + theater

kirby urner-4
As I was telling my younger daughter during the ride to school today
(she's a senior in high school, though already 20% professor and 22%
your boss), a huge missed opportunity (so far) is the hybrid of
theater and computer science.

My older step daughter majored - minored in something like that, but
the college wasn't really doing the work to marry the two, she was.

Like with television, the computer comes with a "back stage" where we
craft a user experience (e.g. web site) -- like museum exhibit design
(interactive), like department store design (people behind counters,
customer service, help desk).**

The code is about animating agents and actors (how the systems people
talk).  In popular culture, this way of thinking was vastly aided and
abetted by 'The Matrix', wherein the idea was we live inside a
computer program built for us by computer viruses of extraterrestrial
origin.

Anyway, I think as the media continue to cross-fertilize, we'll be
getting back to theater more and more, as a core institution in both
east and west, and as a logical partner for the CS department /
compartment / pod.

Kirby

** museum exhibit design:  http://samgreen.to/blog/
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Re: CS + theater

Philip Guo
Agreed that finding more synergies (pardon my business-speak) between computing and the liberal arts can be wonderful.  Reminds me a bit of Computing for Poets:

http://cs.wheatoncollege.edu/~mleblanc/131/

On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM, kirby urner <[hidden email]> wrote:
As I was telling my younger daughter during the ride to school today
(she's a senior in high school, though already 20% professor and 22%
your boss), a huge missed opportunity (so far) is the hybrid of
theater and computer science.

My older step daughter majored - minored in something like that, but
the college wasn't really doing the work to marry the two, she was.

Like with television, the computer comes with a "back stage" where we
craft a user experience (e.g. web site) -- like museum exhibit design
(interactive), like department store design (people behind counters,
customer service, help desk).**

The code is about animating agents and actors (how the systems people
talk).  In popular culture, this way of thinking was vastly aided and
abetted by 'The Matrix', wherein the idea was we live inside a
computer program built for us by computer viruses of extraterrestrial
origin.

Anyway, I think as the media continue to cross-fertilize, we'll be
getting back to theater more and more, as a core institution in both
east and west, and as a logical partner for the CS department /
compartment / pod.

Kirby

** museum exhibit design:  http://samgreen.to/blog/
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Re: CS + theater

Steve Graham
In reply to this post by kirby urner-4
Computer Game Design seems to encompass this intersection and is a very interesting space, since there are connections to theater, but also to all sorts of other arts.  Frederick P. Brooks has expressed it about as well as anyone:
"The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures. Yet the program construct, unlike the poet's words, is real in the sense that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separate from the construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life, showing things that never were nor could be. ... The computer resembles the magic of legend in this respect, too. If one character, one pause, of the incantation is not strictly in proper form, the magic doesn't work. Human beings are not accustomed to being perfect, an few areas of human activity demand it. Adjusting to the requirement for perfection is, I think, the most difficult part of learning to program."
- Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition) by Frederick P. Brooks , ISBN: 0201835959 , Page: 7-8

There is more (very nice imagery) in the original text. The section labeled "The Joys of the Craft" is just over a page in length and fantastic.

cheers,
skg


On 4/5/2012 12:16 PM, kirby urner wrote:
As I was telling my younger daughter during the ride to school today
(she's a senior in high school, though already 20% professor and 22%
your boss), a huge missed opportunity (so far) is the hybrid of
theater and computer science.

My older step daughter majored - minored in something like that, but
the college wasn't really doing the work to marry the two, she was.

Like with television, the computer comes with a "back stage" where we
craft a user experience (e.g. web site) -- like museum exhibit design
(interactive), like department store design (people behind counters,
customer service, help desk).**

The code is about animating agents and actors (how the systems people
talk).  In popular culture, this way of thinking was vastly aided and
abetted by 'The Matrix', wherein the idea was we live inside a
computer program built for us by computer viruses of extraterrestrial
origin.

Anyway, I think as the media continue to cross-fertilize, we'll be
getting back to theater more and more, as a core institution in both
east and west, and as a logical partner for the CS department /
compartment / pod.

Kirby

** museum exhibit design:  http://samgreen.to/blog/
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-- 
steve graham
associate professor
computer game design
dakota state university
[hidden email]
605-480-6603

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Re: CS + theater

kirby urner-4
In reply to this post by Philip Guo
On Thu, Apr 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM, Philip Guo <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Agreed that finding more synergies (pardon my business-speak) between
> computing and the liberal arts can be wonderful.  Reminds me a bit of
> Computing for Poets:
>
> http://cs.wheatoncollege.edu/~mleblanc/131/
>

Yes.

Theater in particular because they hand you a "Programme" as you go
in, and the actors are following "scripts".  Objects in Python are likewise
actors.  Having a "self" makes OO intrinsically theatrical (agents doing
stuff, acting out).

Problems of parallelism might be "acted out" (Johnny, you block over
here, until you, Sally, are ready to accept from the queue... OK Johnny,
she's ready, walk your message to Jimmy for pre-processing...).

I think the Liberal Arts could swallow CS tomorrow if CS were willing
(CS has its reservations, nostalgia about math, but I say were
swallowing math too so come on in the water's fine -- spoken like
a true Philosophy major).

Related:  I practice a quaint Amish-like (Weird Al like) branch of
Quakerism wherein we call ourselves "unprogrammed", the idea
being if you follow a preacher and stand up and sit down a lot,
you're just a big fat computer (holdover 1600s backlash against
bloated churches).  Here's a picture of our quaint little sign:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/17157315@N00/7037954577/in/photostream
(note small print)

Yes, Religion and theater go together -- any ethnographer could
tell you that.

Kirby
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