Purpose-Driven Human-Computer Interaction

Within the years past of the second millennium AD, there is a discussion about the predicted future of human-computer interaction in dialogues related to computing technology. In a fictional science fiction video game concentrating on cybernetic augmentations in society, Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Eidos Montreal, 2011), an article is given called Nano-Augmentation – Pipedream, or Theory for the Future. The fictional article in the game asserts:

In the decade to come, the enhanced beings — post humans who are our progeny– will look at the mechanical devices we rudely bolted on to our living flesh or buried inside our grey matter, and they will mock us for our crudity. They will look upon what we have made with the same curiosity, the same disinterest, as the pilot of the veetol helicopter would look upon an ox-cart. (2011)

The premise of this story is not an aberration of the world, but rather a checkpoint on the path towards human-computer interconnectivity. Ray Bradbury wrote about the slights people would perceive in an environment essentially saturated in computing technologies that surveil society. Bradbury (1953) wrote that the self-described murderer of technology said, “I’m the vanguard of the small public which is tired of the noise and being taken advantage of and pushed around and yelled at, every moment music, every moment in touch with some voice somewhere” (p. 299).  In contemporary times, the field of engineering solution discussed by a wide domain of computer science including cyber security is called The Internet of Things. A writer for the Journal of Engineering (2014) said, “Slowly shaping the market in embedded security or the testing and auditing of IoT applications prior to launch are the first steps in providing a trustworthy base: Arrayent, Hewlett-Packard, Microchip, NXP Semiconductors, Sonatype, and Wind River.” Therefore, major participants for the future of human-computer interaction consider this field relevant enough that it is invested in for the purpose of embedding computing systems into human lives, but forward presentations do not discuss the strength of the flank that ushers in the legality of human-computer interaction. Although the truth of innovation being followed by litigation may be thought of as an avoidable practice, the relevance of confronting the exponential growth of technology with the notion that the rest of its users is part of the human psyche.

Statista, an organization that provides scholarly communities with facts and statistics explained the origin of the Internet of Things (IoT). Statista stated, “In 1999, British technologist Kevin Ashton came up with the term Internet of Things (IoT) to define a network that not only connects people, but also the objects around them” (Web 1). What Kevin Ashton labeled, Ray Bradbury expressed as something that would result in slights harming people attributable to societal misconceptions about the benefits of relying on normalized science and technology without inner sanity and outward care for results that benefit the common man. The question that follows naturally depends on the historical and Biblical truth (KJV) that “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Mat 12:36). Therefore, the reader might ask what benefit is scientific understanding and technological connectivity if it does not result in the advancement of humanity in a moral sense. The notion that the Deus Ex: Human Revolution presents related to curiosity and mockery as a result of progress is a focus of this because the strength of character does not necessarily evolve, so to speak, with, what in this case may be sarcastically called, character displacement of technological adaptation. Having said that, value may be found by accepting that the big picture of scientific advancement and technological innovation is justified through correct faith applied for the common man, male and female. This is so that he may be offered a hand up and understand that the machinery that augments the person extending it will be a beautiful instance of equipping him with the mental tools for giving him an active voice in society.

References

ABI research; internet of things is cybersecurity’s next frontier, according to ABI research. (2014). Journal of Engineering, 718.

Bradbury, R. (1953). The Murderer.

Nano-Augmentation – Pipedream, or Theory for the Future [Deus Ex: Human Revolution]. Montreal, Canada: Eidos Montreal.

Web 1. Statista. (n.d.). Internet of Things – Statistics & Facts. Retrieved December 21, 2016.

Epistemology and Information on the Internet

A practice that is relevant to the development of views is finding citable sources. However, what constitutes a citable source is predicated on the notion that a source is trustworthy.

In contemporary times, one of the most relevant topics related to developing views is how we accept what we consider useful for dissemination, and the Internet is related to that. Bo Brinkman and Alton F. Sanders (2013) said, “Epistemology, roughly speaking, studies the nature of knowledge and how we know what we know” (p. 211). A practice that is relevant to the development of views is finding citable sources. However, what constitutes a citable source is predicated on the notion that a source is trustworthy. Brinkman and Sanders mentioned that the start of the age of Enlightenment began societal dependence on singular experts who apply reason and construct knowledge (p. 211). Although this is the progress of history from a secular perspective and is valid as a concept of reason, it is a position apart from the grace of the Most High. We may look to the ancient philosophy, that of science, also relevant for an understanding of how Biblical truths are germane. In paraphrasing, Stephen Law (2007) said,

Scientists construct theories they believe are confirmed by what they observe. Such confirmation, however, comes in degrees. A theory might be very slightly confirmed by a piece of evidence, or it might be very strongly confirmed. One question we might ask about confirmation is: what makes one theory more strongly confirmed than the next? (170)

For Biblical truths, I think that individuals and people may rely on trust. The strongest argument that a skeptic could say against trusting the Biblical Scriptures is that no sense of self or self-concept may be trusted; all of reality could be a hologram for a single brain interfacing with a computer while placed in a vat. However, the notion that nothing is real therefore nothing is permitted is an induction of an induction, and doing so is a failure to build a general or specific argument based on the character of an individual person or people related to an action or series of actions. Without the acknowledgment of differentiated character, there can be no general brain in a vat. Without a general commanding character, there can be no multiple brains in vats. The notion that a computer could represent human ideals as well as human immorality and unethical behavior as an unconstructed leader that could be known in human terms separates the skeptic’s argument from a brain in a vat controlled by a computer from the essential resulting position that is a computer that is co-dependent on the brain because the best that the computer could be is another level of creation. There must be an ultimate level of truth by the skeptic’s own method of exhaustion. As Thomas Aquinas said of the highest level of existence that must be apart from reality, et-hoc-dicimus-deum: “And this we call God.” (Charry, 2000, p. 33). In proposing this position as the basis of trust, I think that sources that seek truth may be trusted.

When reviewing reports from one source or another on a single issue and there are contradictory reports, that may be an indicator of some unseen truth that may be derived or, on the other side of the mathematical axis of logic, induced. Although there is a contemporary notion that a truth is merely a fact, Biblical truths are facts that apply to all of mankind, male and female. Different people saying the exact same thing about an event implies that there is one source thus different people saying different things about an event implies that there are multiple sources and is more trustworthy than a single source. A Biblical truth that is relevant to this discussion is a verse from Mosaic Law. The Book of Deuteronomy (KJV) says, “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established” (19:15). Therefore, even with two or more sources, if these so-called sources have a single source for themselves linking them all together, two separate sources are more historically credible in a way that truths may be respected and understood.

With that said, the Internet offers access to much data on the internet, but in my experience, there are relatively few major sources of information. The vertical honor or prestige that is apparent is elevated from the base of horizontal honor that is introductory recognition. For the purpose of keeping the freedoms of speech and equal protections led by the United States, alternative sources or news should probably be acknowledged in a truthful way. Going against that is an attack on the integrity of character that Internet news sources have respect for apart from mere consistency. Rather than only consistency, the integrity of character that I speak of is the consistency of doing right things. Without that kind of integrity, any notion of doing the right thing is coated by the subject of seeking an end that results in maximum good for a particular group of people rather than what benefits man in common. As a Christian American, I believe that those who lack in basic necessities such as knowledge need truths that may help enrich characters so even if money is tight, people may rejoice in the blessings that they do have or will have with hard work.

Even though the epistemology that people may take for granted can be useful in a variety of disciplines, I think that there are issues with contemporary perspectives related to the development of views about contemporary issues. There is a useful application for the skeptic’s strongest position and that is the recognition that computer that the brain in a vat is attached to would ultimately be a part of creation as well, so assuming the highest existence as beyond reality that is thus supernatural is more tenable. Having said that, distinguishing truths that apply to all men, male and female, may help recognize fact from fiction for the purpose of developing information relevant for dissemination on the Internet.

References

Brinkman, W. J., & Sanders, A. F. (2013). Ethics in a Computing Culture. Boston, MA.

Charry, E. T. (2000). Inquiring after God: Classic and contemporary readings. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Law, S. (2012). Philosophy.

 

Nicomachean Ethics Book I: The Good for Man

In the days of Ancient Greece, before Christ walked the earth in the flesh, a philosopher named Aristotle of Cyrene wrote a worked titled Nichomachean Ethics, and this entry is about the first book. The first book, THE GOOD FOR MAN, Aristotle begins with an assumption about all men. Steven M. Cahn and Peter Markie wrote that Aristotle said, “All human activities aim at some good: some goods are subordinate to others” (Cahn, Markie, 2012 p. 124). Aristotle was claiming that every personal and professional action throughout history can be assumed as working towards some end goal from a purpose. This may be interpreted as people having any particular end that is a personal philosophical argument. In the post-modern age, this is called a worldview. After this initial assumption, Aristotle derives an answer. Aristotle said, “The science of the good for man is politics” (p. 124). Further, Robert C. Bartlett asserted his stance about Aristotle. Bartlett said, “And in order to grasp the most important arguments of Aristotle’s “philosophy of human matters”—for example, to understand the ground of the superiority of intellectual to moral virtue—such reflection on happiness proves to be crucial” (Bartlett, 2008). With the words of Aristotle and Bartlett’s analysis, superior mental ability may be surmised as the means for attaining a particular good according to Aristotle.

Before this, the Biblical Scriptures contrasted this assertion. For example, the Book of Micah says, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (NIV, Micah 6:8). This is after the Exodus date asserted by Ralph K. Hawkins. In paraphrasing, Hawkins said, “Both biblical and extrabiblical evidence pointed to a mid-15th century BC date” (Hawkins, 2007). Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton assert an approximate date for Micah. Hill and Walton wrote, “He [Micah] is said to have prophesied during the days of kings Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. These three kings reigned during the last half of the eighth century BC, and it is a safe assumption that the prophecies would have been recorded at that time” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 642). During the time of the divided monarchy of Israel, Micah prophesied that God’s law is a reflection of His intelligence.

Although God is thought of in contemporary times as all knowing, the Hebrew Bible saw him particularly as infinitely wise in contexts of morality that exist in all things, and that is the distinguishing trait that separates Yahweh from all other gods. This may be seen with God’s position of lifting up people out of slavery and making them leaders of the ancient world; God is best noticed in his blessing of the meek. Therefore, Aristotle’s good for man is probably challenged the most in helping those who are meek. In my experience, the political good of a group even if refined from birth is not always moral in the eyes of Christ.

Bibliography

Bartlett, R. C. (2008). Aristotle’s introduction to the problem of happiness: On Book I of the Nicomachean Ethics. American Journal of Political Science, 52(3), 677-687. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5907.2008.00336.x

Cahn, S. M., & Markie, P. J. (2012). Ethics: History, Theory, and Contemporary Issues (5th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

 

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.

Conceptualizing Worldview and Expressing the Biblical Worldview

Throughout history, various perspectives which could be called worldviews have been formed, and with the life of Jesus Christ, the Biblical worldview has as well thus this paper is seeking their delineation. Eugene Webb, Professor Emeritus in the University of Washington Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, asserts what he views as an essential part of humanity. Eugene Webb states, “No human being lives without a worldview, but comparatively few ever give much thought to what worldviews are, how they come into being, how they change, and how they are held” (Webb, 2009, Pg. 1). Another way of saying this is that all of humanity perseveres with a worldview. This essay is an inquiry into what the Greeks called οὐσία, which is translated to English as being or, as an adjective, factual in the state of the things as they are. Therefore, this is to deduce what a state of being is and what can be defined as any true Christian fact, if any. The process of analyzing these views is something which is a substantial effort and it is possible that all details fundamental to them may not be described in this essay which shall be addressed in the form of implications for the reader to apprehend through induction. Furthermore, the outcome of this essay is not to express what a conceptual worldview and the Biblical worldview should be, normative proposals, but rather to express what they are, descriptively. It is thus this writer’s contention that the concepts of worldview and the Biblical worldview can be bounded.

To understand a word, apprehending its etymological roots can be worthwhile. The research of James W. Underhill about the origin of the meaning of worldview shows insight. James W. Underhill says that the German word “Weltanschauung” (Underhill, 2009, Pg. 54) is associated with the idea of “’function[ing] as an idea of pure reason to bring the totality of human experience into the unity of the world-whole, or Weltganz’” (Underhill, 2009, Pg. 54). The converse of this is the totality of Weltganz, another German word, into the unity of the human experience. This writer asks if this is a sound relation with some skepticism. If it is, then it a functional idea about which the human experience and the world-whole and sets of values can be input to output information relevant about the entirety of existence. However, looking at the history of the world and its state of not knowing everything in existence, even that of human experience, it is clear to this writer that this term could be, at best, viewed as a conceptual ideal rather than the relationship between humanity and the world in fact or as de facto situation. Therefore, at the very least, worldview is not a relationship between human experience and a unified understanding of the world. Having stated this, it follows that the Christian worldview could be inquired about for the sake of understanding its characteristics.

At this point in this discussion, the word Christian in Christian worldview can be seen as a characteristic of worldview, being an adjective. However, this writer asks if this grammatical explanation is a sufficient one. To reflect, the apostle Paul states something worthwhile to the Romans. Paul says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Rom 12: 2 King James Version). This writer holds the view that exegetically, this is to say that if there is a single Christian worldview it is thus not a characteristic of the world hence it forgoes that of attribution to worldview in its true form. Therefore, a more reasonable identification of this understanding should be described as the worldview of Christianity.

During Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, he writes about the natural state of Christ in the world. Paul states to the Corinthians, “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now if you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12: 26-27 King James Version). A view of this writer is to express that the humanity of Christianity is connected by Christ. Therefore, the worldview of Christianity is hierarchically subordinate to him as if Christ is the metaphorical roots of a tree or a mainframe system of a computer network. It follows that the prior identification of worldview as not that of a relation should be compared to the Christian worldview. Interestingly, all of humanity is linked with Jesus, collectively, and Jesus is linked with all of humanity by Paul’s assertion.

After contemplation, David Mathis states that Christ is the son of the unifier of the gospel. David Mathis states, “And, mark this, no one cares more for her unity of his church around her Savior, his own Son, than God himself.” (Piper, Mathis, Warren, 2011, Pg. 11). This is to say that the will of Christ is a characteristic of God, yet the Holy Spirit is a third person thus the Triune God would necessarily be a collective relationship with all of humanity. It cannot be humanity with Jesus and God, and the Holy Spirit, separately, and be a relation. Therefore, at the very least, a worldview without the collective of humanity considered as a single idea with a body of knowledge as the Christian worldview is not a relation. It follows that it cannot be functional. This is to say that while a worldview and the Christian worldview, so to speak, may be concepts that human recognize without a true form of apprehension, at least we may be aware of what these concepts are not.

Bibliography

Piper, J., Mathis, D., & Warren, R. (2011). Thinking, Loving, Doing. Wheaton, IL: Crossway. Pg. 11

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2004). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. Cor 12: 26-27.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. (2004). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson. Rom 12: 2.

Underhill, J. W. (2009). Humboldt, Worldview and Language. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Pg. 54.

Webb, E. (2009). Worldview and Mind: Religious Thought and Psychological Development. Columbia: University of Missouri Press. Pg. 1

 

Reflections of Previous Semesters, and Thoughts on Moving Forward

Since January to August, my course schedule has been steady every week except for a couple times when there was a week break during or after the semesters, and more is here. During the Spring and Summer 2016 semesters at Regent University, I experienced an introduction to 8-week accelerated courses. They were very challenging with a promise of gaining knowledge of how I may approach various fields with Biblical thinking. In-depth studies of Christian theology was the start of my journey at Regent after transferring from a local public college. It was the first time that I had ever sat down and read the works of leaders of Christian thought throughout history from St. Anselm to Thomas Aquinas about arguments for the existence of God, and to topics such as friendship, art, and marriage from Biblically-based perspectives both from centuries in the past to our contemporaries such as Aelred of Rievaulx, St. Augustine of Hippo, and Richard J. Foster. I learned the significance of the superior quality of Biblical prophecy with research into Jesus the Christ’s life on earth. Old Testament studies further built on these understandings.

After that, I faced testing with the understanding of this Biblical foundation in the form of applied dialogues in every course from Microeconomics to Introduction to Programming, and from Making of the Christian Leader to Operating Systems. Each course required rapid integration of faith with the study of reason. With these completed, I became accustomed to this eight-week format.

After a business week and a couple weekends for a break between semesters, Fall classes began, this Monday, the 22nd. Interestingly, I enrolled in a Calculus III course for my program that is fifteen weeks in duration. I say so because the study time was estimated for about the same amount of time as the eight-week courses; there is the same study challenge as an eight-week course, but that duration is doubled. Calculus being the study of infinity is a relevant topic for the integration of the Biblical Scriptures. As one of the Psalmists wrote, “But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children” (NIV, Ps 103:17). According to Andrew E. Hill and John H. Walton, the relevance of this chapter is related to the agenda of the editor of the Psalms. About what its purpose is, Hill and Walton said, “Critical discussion of God’s forgiving the sins of the nation” (Hill & Walton, 2009, p. 429). The Psalms verse and Hill and Walton stated that God Almighty grants his servants blessings of mercy that are collectively grace. This may be interpreted as the privilege of understanding His justice and infinite wisdom, though that does not mean God, himself, is understood beyond his character. Even when Immanuel walked the earth, God the Father reigned in heaven thus his character is known in the flesh, but his infinite Spirit is not fully known. I think that this may apply to Calculus III well as the concept of infinity may be known, but true infinity is not. It is an appealing dichotomy that may be studied for the purpose of growing in true faith for we all assume something as the basis for our worldviews. While this truth about humanity persists, the study of conceptual theory should continue in my view. Having said that, I have more courses this semester.

In general, my other courses are computer science topics, and they are Database Fundamentals, Ethics for Computer Science, and Distributed and Parallel Programming. Each of these eight-week courses required for my major are what interest me. In particular, the research that may equip me with a purpose-driven education is appealing, and I believe that this is the right path for me. Having said that, as these three eight-week courses are accelerated, I chose them two at a time at most. Towards the halfway completed date of the Fall semester, Database Fundamentals has completion as part of its scheduling whereas the remaining two have the beginning of their scheduled coursework for students. While this is work for me, I believe that any truths that I learn from these courses come from God, so I receive blessings then He receives glory. Therefore, my goal in this study consists of working for God Almighty.

Bibliography

Hill, A. E., & Walton, J. H. (2009). A Survey of the Old Testament (3rd ed.). Grand Rapids, MI, MI: Zondervan Pub. House.