, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 411–439 | Cite as

Culture-bound technological solutions: An artificial-theoretic insight

Open Forum


Sometimes, technological solutions to practical problems are devised that conspicuously take into account the constraints to which a given culture is subjecting the particular task or the manner in which it is carried out. The culture may be a professional culture (e.g., the practice of law), or an ethnic-cum-professional culture (e.g., dance in given ethnic cultures from South-East Asia), or, again, a denominational culture prescribing an orthopraxy impinging on everyday life through, for example, prescribed abstinence from given categories of workday activities, or dietary laws.

Massimo Negrotti'sTheory of the artificial is a convenient framework for discussing some of these techniques. We discuss a few examples, but focus on the contrast of two that are taken from the same cultural background, namely, technological applications in compliance with Jewish Law orthopraxy.
  • . Soya-, mycoprotein- or otherwise derived meat surrogates are an example ofnaturoid; they emulate the flavours and olfactory properties, as well as the texture and the outer and inner appearance, of the meat product (its kind, cut, form) they set out to emulate (including amenability to cooking in the usual manner for the model), while satisfying cultural dietary prohibitions.

  • . In contrast, the Sabbath Notebook, a writing surrogate we describe in this paper, is atechnoid: it emulates a technique (writing to store alphanumeric information), while satisfying the prohibition of writing at particular times of the liturgical calendar (the Sabbath and the major holidays).


Artificial Intelligence Everyday Life Technological Application Practical Problem Meat Product 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adams, A.S., Hall, R.R., McPhee, B.J. and Oxenburgh, M.S. (eds) (1988). Ergonomics International 88 (Proceedings of the 10th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Sydney). Taylor & Francis, London.Google Scholar
  2. Baidya, K.N. and Stevenson, M.G. (1988). Effect of Rest Breaks on Local Muscle Fatigue During Repetitive Work. In Adams, A.S. et al. (eds)Ergonomics International 88. Taylor & Francis, London, 421–423.Google Scholar
  3. Bansat-Boudon, L. (1995). Abhinavagupta, Exegete and Connoisseur of Theatrical Practice: An Essay on the ‘Natyayita’,Indo-Iranian Journal. 38(2). 149–165.Google Scholar
  4. Bleich, J.D. (1998). Survey of Recent Halachic Periodical Literature. Cloning: Homologous Reproduction and Jewish Law,Tradition: A Journal of Orthodox Jewish Thought. 32(3). 47–86.Google Scholar
  5. Čapek, K. (1921). R.U.R.: Rossum's Universal Robots. Aventinum, Prague. (English edition, transl. Appleby, B.L., Lancaster Univ., 1970; transl. Selver, P., Oxford UP, 1961, 1991.)Google Scholar
  6. Dalby, D. (1968). The Indigenous Scripts of West Africa and Surinam: Their Inspiration and Design,African Language Studies. 9, 156–197.Google Scholar
  7. Faerstein, P.H. (1986). Fighting Computing Anxiety,Personnel. 63(1). 12–17.Google Scholar
  8. Fakher-Eldeen, F., Kuflik, T., Nissan, E., Puni, G., Salfati, R., Shaul, Y. and Spanioli, A. (1993). Interpretation of imputed behavior in ALIBI (1 to 3) and SKILL.Informatica e Diritto, Year XIX, 2nd Series,2(1/2). 213–242.Google Scholar
  9. Farook, D.Y. and Nissan, E. (1998). Temporal Structure and Enablement Representation for Mutual Wills: A/ Petri-Net Approach,Information and Communications Technology Law (Special Issue).7(3). 167–172.Google Scholar
  10. Food Science Archive (1998). Frequently-Asked Questions. Part 2. Oxford University Libraries Automation Service World Wide Web Server ( archive: sci/food-science-faq/part2).Google Scholar
  11. Genentech (1998). New Foods and Food Producers. Review essay accessible as a Web presentation (http:// Genentech, San Francisco, CA.Google Scholar
  12. Gilbreth, F.B. (1912). Primer of Scientific Management. Constable, London (2nd edn. 1914).Google Scholar
  13. Gilbreth, L.M. (1927). The Home-Maker and her Job. Appleton, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Gilbreth, F.B. and Carey, E.G. (1948). Cheaper by the Dozen. Crowell, New York. (Heinemann, London, 1949. Pan, London, 1968.)Google Scholar
  15. Gilbreth, F.B. and Gilbreth, L.M. (1916). Fatigue Study: The Elimination of Humanity's Greatest Unnecessary Waste, a First Step in Motion Study. Routledge, London (revised edn 1919).Google Scholar
  16. Gilbreth, E.M. and Gilbreth, F.B. (1920). Motion Study for the Handicapped. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  17. Gilbreth, F.B. and Harrington, E. (1993). Motion Study: A Method for Increasing the Efficiency of the Workman; and: Efficiency as a Basis for Operation and Wages. Routledge, London.Google Scholar
  18. Gilbreth, F.B., Gilbreth, L.M., Spriegel, W.R. and Myers, C.E. (1953). The Writings of the Gilbreths. Irwin, Homewood, IL.Google Scholar
  19. Halperin, R.L.Y. (1987). Tzeruf otiyyot le-millim le-ìnyan issur kotev [The juxtaposition of characters into words vis-à-vis writing prohibition]. InResponsa Maaseh Choshev [Response on Contemporary Halachic Problems]. Part 2: Problems Concerning Medical Matters on Shabbat. Institute of Science and Halacha, Jerusalem (in Hebrew, English preface), 213–235.Google Scholar
  20. Hehir, S.W. (1988). An Analysis of the Mechanics of Handwriting'. In Adams, A.S. et al. (eds)Ergonomics International 88. Taylor & Francis, London, 342–344.Google Scholar
  21. Idel, M. (1990). Golem: Jewish Magical and Mystical Traditions on the Artificial Anthropoid. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY.Google Scholar
  22. Jay, S. (1994). Review of Miettinen (1992),Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.57(3). 635–636.Google Scholar
  23. Jones, L. and Harrison, J. (1987). Evaluation of Hand Movements Used During Hand Testing and Activities of Daily Living,International Journal of Rehabilitation Research. 10(4) Suppl. 5. 54–56.Google Scholar
  24. Kelso, J.A.S. and Schoner, G. (1988). Self-Organization of Coordinative Movement Patterns,Human Movement Science 7(1). 27–46.Google Scholar
  25. Kirton, M.J. and McCarthy, R.M. (1988). Cognitive Climate and Organizations,Journal of Occupational Psychology. 61(2). 175–184.Google Scholar
  26. Knuth, D.E. (1968). The Art of Computer Programming. Vol. 3: Sorting and Searching. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.Google Scholar
  27. Kouris-Blazos, A. (ed.) (1998). Food Safety and Consumer Attitudes. Report accessible on the Web (http:// Department of Medicine, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  28. Kravitsky, N. (on) (1999). Obituary of Prof. Naftali Kravitsky,B'Or Ha-Torah. 11. 8–9.Google Scholar
  29. Kuflik, Ts., Nissan, E. and Puni, G. (1991). Finding Excuses with ALIBI: Alternative Plans that are Deontically more Defensible,Computers and Artificial Intelligence. 10(4). 297–325.Google Scholar
  30. Lancashire, I. and Nissan, E. (1991). Hebrew (Computational Linguistics). In Lancashire, I. (ed.)The Humanities Computing Yearbook, 1989–90. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 292–300.Google Scholar
  31. Mali, J. and Motzkin, G. (eds) (1994). Narrative Patterns in Scientific Disciplines,Science in Context (Special Issue).7(1).Google Scholar
  32. McLoughlin, H.B. (1987). Personae: Models of Stereotypical Behavior. In Reilly, R.G. (ed.)Communication Failure in Dialogue and Discourse. North-Holland, Amsterdam, 233–241.Google Scholar
  33. Mestecky, P. (1998). Editorial: What is Materials Chemistry?Materials Today. 1(3). 1.Google Scholar
  34. Miettinen, J.O. (1992). Classical Dance and Theatre in South-East Asia. Oxford University Press, London.Google Scholar
  35. Moretti, S. (1993/94). Caso di studio di tecnologia artificial: l'ipertesto,Studi Urbinati, B: Scienze Umane e Sociali. 66. 853–863.Google Scholar
  36. Negrotti, M. (1993a). Perunateoria dell'artificiale. In Negrotti, M. (ed.)Perunateoria dell'artificiale: Tranatura, cultura e tecnologia. Franco Angeli, Milan, 21–125.Google Scholar
  37. Negrotti, M. (1993b). Towards a Theory of the Artificial,Cybernetics & Human Knowing. 2(2). 19–29.Google Scholar
  38. Negrotti, M. (1995a). Verso una teoria dell'artificiale. In Negrotti, M. (ed.)Artificialia. CLUEB, Bologna, 15–96.Google Scholar
  39. Negrotti, M. (ed.) (1995b).Artificialia: La dimensione artificiale della natura umana, CLUEB, Bologna.Google Scholar
  40. Negrotti, M. (1995c). Artificiale,Scienza & Vita. No. 3. 52–61.Google Scholar
  41. Negrotti, M. (1997). Laterza realtà: Introduzione alla teoria dell'artificiale (Nuova Biblioteca Dedalo, Vol. 196). Dedalo, Bari.Google Scholar
  42. Nissan, E. (1986). The Frame-Definition Language for Customizing the RAFFAELLO Structure-Editor in Host Expert Systems. InProceedings of the First International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems (ISMIS'86), Ras, Z. and Zemankova, M. (eds) Knoxville, TN, 1986. ACM SIGART Press, New York, 8–18.Google Scholar
  43. Nissan, E. (1993). Cyberspace for Animal Husbandry,Computers and Electronics in Agriculture.8(3). 251–259.Google Scholar
  44. Nissan, E. (1995a). Meanings, Expression, and Prototypes,Pragmatics and Cognition.3(2). 317–364.Google Scholar
  45. Nissan, E. (1995b). SEPPHORIS: An Augmented Hypergraph-Grammar Representation for Events, Stipulations, and Legal Prescriptions,Law, Computers, and Artificial Intelligence.4(1). 33–77.Google Scholar
  46. Nissan, E. (1995c). On the Lost Identity of Paschal Lambs: Hypergraph Grammars at the Rescue.Studies in Rabbinic Logic. No. 3, 132–150 (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  47. Nissan, E. (1996). From ALIBI to COLUMBUS: The Long March to Self-Aware Computational Models of Humor. InAutomatic Interpretation and Generation of Verbal Humor (Proceedings of the 12th Twente Workshop on Language Technology, joint with International Workshop on Computational Humor), Hulstijn, J., Nijholt, A. (eds) University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands, September 1996, 69–85.Google Scholar
  48. Nissan, E., ed. (1997a)Hypertext and Hypermedia. Special Issue,Journal of Educational Computing Research, 17 (3). Baywood, Amityville, NY.Google Scholar
  49. Nissan, E. (1997b). Notions of Place (2 parts). InLogica delle norme, Martino, A.A. (ed.) SEU, Pisa, 256–302 and 303–361.Google Scholar
  50. Nissan, E. (1998a). Review (in English) of:Studies in Rabbinic Logic, Nos. 1–4 (in Hebrew or English, Aluma, Jerusalem 1989–1997), of:Judaic Logic, Sion, A. (in English, Slatkine, Geneva, 1997), and of:Gezerah Shavah, Chernik, N. (in Hebrew, Haberman Institute for Literary Research, Lod, Israel, 1994).Le'Ela (London School of Jewish Studies, University of London), No. 46, 63–65.Google Scholar
  51. Nissan, E. (1998b). Fictitious Toponyms in the Responsa: Bashan's Ruleset Revisited,Studies in Rabbinic Logic (in press).Google Scholar
  52. Nissan, E. (1998c). Modelling Spatial Relations in the Traveller's Conditional Divorce Problem,Studies in Rabbinic Logic (in press).Google Scholar
  53. Nissan, E. (1999). The Shabbat Notepad: Saving Ideas that Occur on Shabbat.B'Or Ha-Torah. 11, 76–87.Google Scholar
  54. Nissan, E. (2000). The Jama Legal Narrative (2 parts).Proceedings of the AISB'00 Symposium on Artificial Intelligence and Legal Reasoning, Birmingham, April 2000. To appear inInformation & Communications Technology Law (Special Issue), Peterson, D.M., Nissan, E. (eds).Google Scholar
  55. Nissan, E. and Dragoni, A.F. (2000). Perspectives on Exoneration Proceedings of ISA'00 Wollongong, Australia, December 2000.Google Scholar
  56. Nissan, E. and Rousseau, D. (1997). Towards AI Formalisms for Legal Evidence. InFoundations of Intelligent Systems: Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium, ISMIS'97, Ras, Z.W. and Skowron, A. (eds). Springer, Berlin, 328–337.Google Scholar
  57. Nissan, E. and Shimony, S.E. (1997a). TAMBALACOQUE: For a Formal Account of the Gist of a Scholarly Argument,Knowledge Organization.23(3). 135–146.Google Scholar
  58. Nissan, E. and Shimony, S.E. (1997b).Vegedog: Formalism, Vegetarian Dogs, and Partonomies in Transition,Computers and Artificial Intelligence.16(1). 79–104.Google Scholar
  59. Nissan, E. and Weiss, H. (1994). The HyperJoseph Project (2 parts). InProceedings of the 4th International Conference on the Bible and Computers (AIBI'94), Poswick, F. (ed.) Association Internationale Bible et Informatique, Amsterdam, 15–18 August 1994. Champion-Slatkine, Geneva, 154–162 and 163–173.Google Scholar
  60. Nissan, E., Weiss, H. and Yossef, A. (1966). HyperJoseph: The Hypertextual Organization,Knowledge Organization.23(1). 16–24.Google Scholar
  61. Nissan, E., Rossler, I. and Weiss, H. (1997). Hermeneutics, Accreting Receptions, Hypermedia: A Tool for Reference versus a Tool for Instruction,Journal of Educational Computing Research (Special Issue).17(3). 297–318.Google Scholar
  62. Petersen, R. (1994). The Character of theKafir: Domains of Evil in theWayang Golek Menak of Central Java,Asian Theatre Journal. 11(2). 267–274.Google Scholar
  63. Robertson, B. (1994). Caught in the Act: The Ability to Capture Motion from Live Beings is Finding Wide Acceptance as a Pragmatic and Artful Solution to Many Types of Animation Problems,Computer Graphics World. 17(9). 23 ff.Google Scholar
  64. Sokoloff, M. (1981). Epigraphical Notes on the Palestinian Talmud. InBar-Ilan: Annual of Bar-Ilan University Studies in Judaica and the Humanities 18–19, Kaddari, M.Z., Katzburg, N., Sperber, D. (eds) Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, 218–220 (in Hebrew), 36 (English summary in the English Section of the Volume).Google Scholar
  65. Ullmann, V. (1943). Der Kaiser von Atlantis, oder, Die Tod-Verweigerung; Op. 49 (Spiel in einem Akt von P. Kien). [Emperor of Atlantis, or, Death's Refusal. Revised Krause, A. German words, English transl. Lyndon, S.] Schott, Mainz and London, current edn 1993.Google Scholar
  66. VegSocUK (1998). Information Sheet: Soya and Mycoprotein. Report accessible on the Web (http:// Vegetarian Society, UK.Google Scholar
  67. Vincent, J.F.V. (1998). Naturally new Materials,Materials Today.1(3). 3–6.Google Scholar
  68. Wood, R.E., Mento, A.J. and Locke, E.A. (1987). Task Complexity as a Moderator of Goal Effects: A Meta-analysis,Journal of Applied Psychology. 72(3). 416–425.Google Scholar
  69. Young, L.F. (1989). Decision Support and Idea Processing Systems. W.C. Brown, Dubuque, IA.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of GreenwichLondonUK

Personalised recommendations