Emergence from Modularity - Quote

The prevalence of modularity in computer design, and of "emergent" strategies and techniques in software design, makes my dreams of Morlockian power seem absurdly far-fetched. If the people who design and build the microchips, construct the hardware, and write the software codes don't understand how exactly the whole thing manages to work—or, as is often the case, why it doesn't—then shouldn't I just become the most skillful computer user I can (a "power user," as the lingo has it) and forget about tinkering under the hood? After all, Johnson argues that, as self-organizing systems become more technologically dominant—a development he thinks is inevitable, especially in computer software—the ability to "accommodate uncertainty" (as Baldwin and Clark put it), to accept one's lack of control over the outcome of a given process, will become a cardinal virtue.

--Alan Jacobs, "Computer Control (Who's In Charge?)"

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