Dramatic difference

Asked about witnessed presence in systems, middleware or applications, Quillinan finds that the difference between applications and infrastructures is dramatic. Even though he claims that computers are tools, at the application level they have to deal with humans.

There is a certain compromise made to deal with humans. The easiest way to get a lot of information is to fill it out a text form, one line after another so the computer can deal with it efficiently. But that doesn’t allow humans to use it. On the infrastructure level, computers talk to computers most of the time, so the communication tends to be much more efficient. But also in infrastructure there are institutional, human based constraints put up in computers, they can’t just discover how they talk to each other. Computers witness other computers extremely primitive; they recognize that they’re there or not there. A computer doesn’t change because it’s dealing with an HP computer, instead of a DELL computer. It doesn’t make any difference to it; it doesn’t have any feelings; computers don’t have feelings; human beings have feelings.