Don't Let the Simulation's Beauty Convince You It's Real

The architecture faculty who designed Project Athena’s Garden dreamed of transparent understanding of design process; today scientists are reconciled to opacity and seeing only a CAVE’s shadows. Over the past twenty years, simulation has introduced its dazzling environments and we have been witness to our own seduction. A mechanical engineer instructs his students: “Don’t be fooled by the graphics.”17 Luft says that beautiful codes promote the “illusion of doing really great science.” Kinney teaches “human supervisory control” to inoculate students against the ?ashy colors and confusing styles of air tra;c control displays. When simulation pretends to the real, buildings look >nished before they have been fully designed and scientists >nd no fault in “impossible” molecules that could only exist on a screen. Computer precision is wrongly taken for perfection. The fantasy, visceral in nature, is that computers serve as a guarantor, a “correction machine.” Kinney puts it this way: “As technology becomes more and more sexy, the problem is that we get lured into it, the seduction, and we actually come up with what we think are good displays but actually they’re bad.”

Notes:

Folksonomies: abstraction simulation

 Simulation and Its Discontents
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Turkle, Sherry (2009), Simulation and Its Discontents, MIT Press, Retrieved on 2021-03-02
Folksonomies: computer science