The Best of Creative Computing Volume 2 (published 1977)

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Televisionism Manifesto No. 1 (Selected Excerpts)
by Phil Smith

graphic of page


The ancient Greeks treated
geometry as a mind-sharpening
device; in the computer we have a
new, vastly more powerful tool.


technique to build large structures from smaller modules.

The programmer-student acquires a modus operanti for
problem-solving. He plans and weighs his actions, making
allowance for unforeseen events, and balances the initial
programming cost with subsequent debugging effort. He
evolves to be a more perceptive, better balanced individual,
with a deeper understanding of the machine as well as

All of these could have been done ten years ago, but the
cost has thus far limited the education through computing
to a privileged few. With the projected low cost, one should
expect the majority of students in the future will have extensive 
computing experience. Using optical displays,
preferably in color, the computer education process can
already begin before the student can spell correctly (5).

There should be no compunction about dressing up the
optical terminal as a colorful game machine; anyway it is
hard to tell where pure play ends and serious learning


The LSI revolution makes machine intelligence generally 
available at all levels. This chance should be seized to
bend the machine to the user.


The programmer should no longer need to learn the
idiosyncracies of the machine operating system. The LSIboosted 
machine and the intelligence terminal can even
adopt human communication channels and rudiments of
human semantics to perform semi-intelligent tasks, for
human approval or overrule.

The untrained layman should now have the chance to
use the computer for queries into very large data bases for
facts relevant to himself. Only this way can we claim the
war against drudgery is being won in the face of a
computer-fueled information explosion.

A classroom with abundant supply of computing power
can expose the student to realistic problems and encourage
him to solve them systematically. He thus becomes better
equipped for decision-making in a complex society.



The writer is indebted to his colleague, Dr Juan Rodriguez-Rosell for



1. H.N. Yu, R.H. Dennard, T.P. Chang, C.M. Osburn, V. DiLonardo and H.E
Luhn, paper presented at the 13th Symposium on Electron, Ion and
Photon Beam Technology, Colorado Springs, May 1975. See Electronics,
May 29, 1975, pp 46-47.

2. J. Rodriguez-Rosell, "Trends in hardware and software technology, the
1980 environment," a report from the Center for Computer and Information 
Sciences and Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University,
Providence, R.I. 1973. 54 pages.

3. E.C. Joseph, Session Chairman's remark at the IEEE Workshop "From calculators

to minis," San Francisco, California, February 1973.

4. J.G. Kemeny, Man and the Computer (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York

5. For an early discussion see R.W. Bemer, Computers and Crisis (ACM, New
York 1972), pp 59-70.


(Selected Excerpts)

by Phil Smith

 1. Anything can and will happen.

 2. Well
 3. Well
 4. I am alone and l am not alone. 
14. There is no such thing as best.

16. Value is a matter of opinion.

17. Value is not Worth.

19. Dream Life is Vertical
20. Real Life is Horizontal.

25. What l am DOING lS important.

40. Worth is inherent in all things Real and Unreal.

52. Worry is a Horizontal slamming into a Vertical
57. Dream Life is a Fiction.

58. Real Life is a Friction
Phil has written a number of "Alternative Press"

booklets. He is currently involved publishing the "Gegenschein 
Quarterly" which features the work of one artist in
each issue. Sample copy $3.00. Phil Smith, 350 East 9th
St., Apt. 5, New York, NY 10003

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