Re: Humans, Cyborgs, and Legacy systems

Roger Critchlow (
12 Sep 1995 02:52:11 GMT

In article <4323s1$> Mike Bishop <> writes:
"\"Alexander \\\"Sasha\\\" Chislenko\"" <> wrote:
> Regardless of the intelligence of the developing process,
> there are only a few basic options here. Endless patching of
> aging systems is not the ultimate engineering method. The
> evolutionary role of a legacy system is to perform some
> necessary functions and test novel design ideas while better
> systems are being built from scratch elsewhere. After the new
> designs become fully operational, the legacy system is
> invariably placed into a trashbin. Or, if it is particularly
> good, healthy and lucky -- into a historical museum.

The analogy between legacy systems and cyborgization described in the
above essay is quite appropriate. Much of this is being done today.
Doctors dissect the organs of deceased people to learn more about how
they work (reverse engineering). Based on this knowledge, artificial
organs can be created in some cases (the beginning of reengineering).
And we also see things such as plastic surgery, which can also be
considered to be a form of human reengineering.

A friend/co-worker/office-mate of mine pointed out a lovely example of
this process, though he thought of it in terms of the science fiction
process of ``uploading'' one's personality into digital form:

How do you feel when you lose the configuration files for
the computer programs you usually run every day?

Personally, I feel as if most of my fingers had been amputated.

-- rec --