High school debating class 101, brandish a few experts and try to shame your opponent into silence. And/or whip them into the wall with semantical sideline.
I didn't brandish any expert but re-opened a debate you actually tried to close with simple statements which, IMO, aren't true enough. Said that a few neuroscientists friends wouldn't agree... FYI, the debate isn't
closed and explanations not as clear cut as you seem
BTW : attack/ridicule/... your "opponent" (your own word) personally to try to gain superiority (--> "high school 101") -- "Argumentum ad odium" or "Appeal to ridicule"... Pick your poison. So you see...
The brain is an organ, it can be located, examined, analyzed, and clearly defined. Intelligence, intellect, memories not so much. You can think on your feet, but you can't think with them...that's done with some other part of the body where ones life's experiences are kept.
Is this to justify why you chose the "brain as container for intelligence" metaphor ? Sure, ok....
But that doesn't say/explain exactly what is "more important", the brain (as such) or intelligence. Does intelligence-consciousness ("function", "content") influence-shape neurological patterns or are biological structures conditioning intelligence without any feedback loop ? I could spend the afternoon finding studies to illustrate how NOT clearcut the relationship is... But I won't. I'll just restate that the brain/intelligence relationship is not a simple "one way" one. (err...This is not an attempt to silence you, I'm just repeating what I read as I actually like that subject.)
In any case, I'm not sure what would you gain if you were able to prove that function (let's say... intelligence) is a by product of form (the big shinny brain). Or even the reverse. Which is my point exactly. Moot point.
They're both equally essential and important.
Granted art as a collective can define the mindset of a time period ... Which is serving a function. But that's a side effect of viewing all of it (Painting, sculpture, music, etc) collectively at once. Individual pieces sit there, are looked at, and if done well convey/express a feeling that the artist was trying to share. What does it do? It's pretty, catches the eye, and causes lively debate amongst folks that are sure they know what the artist was thinking/trying to express.
However when there is real work to be done. It is highly unlikely that a job Foreman looked through their tools and exclaimed "Shit! My statue is missing! Now we'll never get this job done..."
I wouldn't have any problem saying that I agree, but I don't. And not only I don't, but I can tell you that it's at best very partial
. Not to mention other sophisms you use like "real work", as if there was such a thing and that art was a "lesser" kind of work, or... life form
Art serves many
functions. Very briefly, as all this has nothing to do with the topic here :
1- From the point of view of the artist (amateur of professional) /creator : It allows individuals to express complex experiences, whether these are purely sensorial, emotional, conceptual (skipping a few experiential domains here for the sake of simplicity) or often a mix of all of these. That type of expression is a fundamental aspect of human nature. Humans have been involved in artistic expression since the dawn of humanity -- probably to keep their sanity, cope with the mysteries and harshness of the universe, or simply to be a bit happier. Of course, culture (or more specifically art), religion and science haven't always been as differentiated as they are today, but that's another matter entirely.
2- From the point of view of the "receiver" : It allows individuals to both discover new important realities, enlarge their experiential palette (an important step towards greater acceptance of both alien inner and outer phenomena), enjoy what some have called the "aesthetic feeling", take a break life's harshness (if there's any) and replenish/have fun, reinforce both their most intimate identity(ies) and less intimate one, like the one(s) linked to religion, family, etc. And yes, even if I have no idea what this has to do with the debate (and how devaluating art's importance correlates with what you previously said), but "My statue is missing! Now we'll never get this job done..." could actually be frequent in many cultures/belief system where art hasn't been dissociated from the other aspects of life. Only, it's not your
case, but this isn't generalisable fact ... Laugh if you want, ridicule it, but it won't remove the fact that it isn't
3- From the point of view of society : it helps it, both internally (culturally) and externally (structurally), to function properly as a whole and it's fundamental in helping to shape major social habits, small group identity (think about teenagers and their music... And how important it is to them), political ideologies and so on.
4- It helps scientists to discover new ways of thinking
about reality, and new ways of studying
it (you wouldn't like it if I dropped researchers names here but I can if you want).
Now, it could be that this small list of functions
isn't long enough for you. But... I won't be able to do anything about that...
Theory vs. Practice. In theory anything is possible, which is why academics tend to end up in circular discussions. Practice on the other hand, tends to rather clearly define the limitations that were being missed in conversation.
It's only circular if you have no context. Tools are devices that perform work that we want done. Sure, pretty gets it off the shelf and out of the stores into the garage. But if it don't work ... It's not going to stay in the garage...It's going out to the curb on its way to the dump.
This is exactly what I said. If you reread my last posts : the context ("precise aim" [...] "What form and function for whom ? When ? ") is missing from many posts.
The topic was revolving around "simplicity" in CMS... This evolved towards other topics, fine. But this is when I said that the discussion was becoming circular and vague as there's no (in this case) specific UI case (targeting specific users) to discuss.
Theory vs practice ? Maybe.... depending on your definition of what a "theory" is, of course. For me it's more "A well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena". I imagine you meant "A belief that can guide behavior" or "speculation" ?
In any case, in my life, I certainly saw very different
UIs depending on the targeted users... And this isn't speculation. Which doesn't mean that many prevalent UI concepts/techniques aren't shaping most GUIs... Interfaces have often more commonalities than differences. However, as we all know, the devil is -- quite often -- in the details. This is why I used the expressions : "precise aim" [...] "What form and function for whom ? When ? ". What you rightly (IMO) named "context".
The thing that gets me is that simplicity is in the eye of the
beholder... umm... user. What's simple to me might not be simple to someone else. And what's simple to someone else might be a nightmare to me. Same with form and function. Even with user groups and usability testing and user acceptance- you're only dealing with a subset of users. That's why there can never be a hard target for these things. There's a reason that there's a saying that you can't please everyone all the time. And it's one of the reasons that I think that *most* reviews/critiques are flawed- they don't say this outright and the sheeple that read them in most cases take these reviews at face value without taking this into consideration, which can reduce someone's bottom line undeservedly, just because one person that happens to have influence doesn't like it.
Yes, targeted users is both a point of departure (humans aren't good hard targets... They're rather soft
), and can also help constitute a "check list" for future improvement and testing. What we could call "arbitrary" choices must be made along the path. Fortunately, there are forums so that developers can get a feel for what can't be digested, and what can't by the user base.
As for critics' partiality (and this is true of any form
of critique...)... Yup, in most case, especially if the review doesn't adhere to really strict parameters, it doesn't have much value... For example, making a buying decision when n=1 (or ... 2... if one considers that a software critic = 2) always means taking a risk. Comparing reviews is compulsory to make a more informed decision (errr... hermeneutics 101?). The more reviews, the less risks are taken, but also the more complex it gets in terms of data analysis.
And so it goes for the "targeted users" : the fewer to please, the easier it is to plan the GUIs structure... As soon as the number grows, the reverse phenomena is observed. Well, seems to be.
[EDIT : posted what I wrote instead of previewing it... Of course had to correct some English mistakes -- the beauty of second/third languages...