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Black box

How was this done? The question arises for everything that exists: matter, living beings, machines, institutions, courses, etc. Materials, processes, organization, conditions, everything goes.

When we arrive in the world, the world already exists and practically everything is technically unknown to us. The movement of the stars, the growth of plants, the behavior of animals, that of the human body, machines, organizations or society... everything seems to work without us understanding anything; we are surrounded by "black boxes".

If the retroengineering of a fridge can be discovered quite easily, that of a laser or a computer is already more difficult and that of biological functions is of another order of difficulty. All kinds of knowledge must be mobilized or discovered to achieve this. Deep-sea mollusks make metal armor near hydrothermal vents. How do they do it? If we discover this, we will have one more way to clean up mining waste. Artificial neural networks are a good example of how most of our research is reverse engineering: we want to understand how what exists works.

Biomimicry is common in research, but when we tackle nuclear fusion, we could then talk about cosmomimicry. We want to light up suns!"  Closer to us, in pedagogy, we focus on understanding how we learn. How do we memorize? In which environments? It is a question of understanding in order to reproduce what works best; of reverse engineering as a mode of research, discovery and learning. We can even dismantle ready-made ideas.

Good discoveries!

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

Illustration: Deposit Photos - anvtim

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