grim sad tale

Stefano Costa
Tue Sep 5 20:18:01 CEST 2006

Hello to all the list subscribers. Excavations aren't yet at their end
but as summer goes away it would be very interesting to have some more
activity on the list. 

Il giorno gio, 24/08/2006 alle 10.26 +0200, Vittorio Fronza ha scritto:
> Perfectly agree with Giancarlo (and with Popper obviously; by the way, what
> is it, some kind of drug?), especially about the fact that
> >...there are only problems and the urge to solve them.

Yes, that's true (and yes, Popper does matter, but unfortunately that's
just those 'generic' sentences we can apply to archaeology and other
non-universal sciences), but talking about computers - on the other hand
- it sounds quite obvious that we happen to CHOOSE problems given our
tools. Hadn't we the right tools (computing tools in this case), it's
harder to choose problems we know we can't face or we don't even know to

> but there are
> >plenty of archaeologists that do not have scientific problems to solve.

By 'scientific' here we mean 'related to math, chemistry, physics,
etc' ? Logic itself is a science nevertheless. I don't want to start
here the useless question whether archaeology can be considered a
science or not. But I think it would be _very_ interesting to have a
definition (and a discussion) of these 'scientific problems' and in what
our discipline differs from others about them.

> That was exactly one of my starting points in the last post, together with
> the fact that there is not only one way to solve them.
> I'm also convinced we should always remember that
> > there is nothing more scientifically sticked to tradition than computer
> >sciences. 

Without claiming to be right, I guess 99% of today's computing science
is stuck with a somewhat aristotelic view of the world, as one can
easily see looking at the binary logic. And this is tradition.

But we cannot ignore fuzzy logic nor neural networks, as some of us
might know well. However, these applications are still built upon a
traditional mean in their inside, but they try to move towards a
"post-modern" approach to computer science.

Moreover, let's try to remember that, just like archaeology, CS is not a
uniform discipline and it has its currents and "A/B teams"...

>  i think that there aren't only team A and B, but also
> team AB, AAB, BA, BBA, etc. and this isn't all together a bad thing as long
> as there is some kind of interaction.

Wouldn't it be easier to say that there are no groups? Just in the
supposed A-team, think about how many marked differences can be seen,
that have nothing to do with technology and come from the archaeological

> Let's try to get more
> practical in the next posts; if anyone agrees at all on the several points
> that have been raised, let's try to formulate some proposals on how to go
> about it.

Good to hear that. Lots of the list subscribers are students or
teachers. It would be great to start from a basic question like this

What's the best way to teach/learn archaeological computing? What are
the key concepts that a student should have clearly in mind while

Best regards


Stefano Costa Software Open Source per l'Archeologia
GnuPG Key ID 1024D/0xD0D30245
Linux Registered User #385969

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