simulations cause trouble

Here is a short but interesting interview with Sherry Turkle, professor of social studies of science and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has a new book out in which she tracks difficulties that can arise from computer simulations. Here is one of the more interesting quotes:

"There's a generation that is growing up with the computer as an appliance, and they truly have no understanding of how it works. In my book, I tell the story of a girl who was a power player of the game Sim City. She talked to me about her “David Letterman Top Ten Rules of Sim City,” and rule number 6 was “raising taxes leads to riots” because when she did that, that happened in the game. She didn't understand that if I had programmed that computer, raising taxes would've led to more social services and greater social harmony. She was drawing a set of conclusions about how the world worked based on the simulation. The trouble with that was not that she was using the simulation, but that the simulation wasn't transparent to her."

http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3659/simulations-may-be-causing-real-trouble?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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