Wet Ware

The human mind. The physiology, psychology, and biology that affects human mental performance and productivity. In the past, the term "psychology" has been used to describe this concept on this wiki, but it has been concluded that psychology is too narrow a concept to convey the concept.

As a working definition, it generally excludes "social factors", although those may have an impact on the above. Thus, hard borders are difficult to define.


Wouldn't the term be better named as BioWare?, or BrainWare?? WetWare is a little to broad for my tastes, as it could mean wet-as-in-beer, or wet as in peed-one's-self, or just piss-on-it.

It's a recognised term. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wetware_%28brain%29

{I've heard it before also. Otherwise, I'd recommend "squishware". -t}

Excluding "social factors" may be too limiting. The office politics and/or "marketing issues" and/or motivation techniques of an organization usually play a significant role in the options available and choices made. One must consider these when making choices and presenting options, or else they will be risking their career and the job will eventually end up going to somebody who does give attention to such. Perhaps that area goes under something like "politics-ware" or "social-ware"? Whether it should be considered part of the term WetWare is still open. -t

The following is moved from TopNoiseFilter, where it is embedded in LavaFlow of discussion, at someone's suggestion. It needs a bit more context. -- JohnFletcher

Context: I do believe software engineering is mostly about WetWare, and the human mind is currently a gray science. (from top) (see TopNoiseFilter)

Interesting. I am giving a seminar tomorrow to my colleages in science and engineering on the topic The Adventure of Teaching Engineering. This will be based on the DreyfusModel as set out by AndyHunt in PragmaticThinkingAndLearning which he subtitles Refactor your WetWare. -- JohnFletcher

Please note that this comment was on the paragraph a long way up TopNoiseFilter which mentioned WetWare, and not anything between there and here, as the LavaFlow of text in between had not happened then. -- JohnFletcher

I just coined LavaFlow and found the page already exists! The seminar went well, I am told.

May I suggest you move your comment to WetWare. And we may be interested in the some of the comments in terms of disagreements or agreements over its role in tool evaluation.

I am interested in what sort of tools you think are relevant. Our discussion was about models of learning, both for ourselves and our students. My personal interest is in tools which would help an individual build selfawareness by recording their thoughts about their knowledge so that they can capture it and grown in understanding. -- JohnFletcher

Software is written for humans first, and machines secondly. This state of affairs isn't my doing, I'm just the messenger. The component on the human body that processes software is called "the brain". Therefore, if we want to optimize software for it's primary intended use/goal/target, then we must understand this component known as "the brain". QED. --top

Since the interface between a computer and a programmer's brain is through programming environments and programming languages, we should focus our attention -- as programmers -- on those two things.

I do not know what you mean. Please elaborate.

As programmers, what matters to us about the brain-computer interface are programming environments and programming languages. What does it mean to "understand this component known as 'the brain'"? Neurology? Irrelevant. Psychology? Mostly pseudo-science and superstition. Neither provide any insight into how to build better programming environments and languages. For that, we need to study programming environments and languages and how programmers use them, and encourage programmers to use and develop new ones and evaluate them. That is how to improve the interface between a computer and a programmer's brain.

See also: WherePsychologyMatters, ProgrammingIsInTheMind, PragmaticThinkingAndLearning, WordsUsedAsAbstractions, TheMasterAndHisEmissary, TopsLaw

CategoryPsychology, CategoryHumanFactors, CategorySociology

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