Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 10:19 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Development "Computers are ubiquitous in modern life. They offer us portals to information and entertainment, and they handle the complex tasks needed to keep many facets of modern society running smoothly. Chances are, there is not a single person in Ars' readership whose day-to-day existence doesn't rely on computers in one manner or another. Despite this, very few people know how computers actually do the things that they do. How does one go from what is really nothing more than a collection - a very large collection, mind you - of switches to the things we see powering the modern world?"
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What is vs what could be vs what will be
by kwan_e on Thu 27th Dec 2012 14:12 UTC
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I think the point is being missed: whether it's a good a idea or not, it's probably going to happen.

Congratulations to all those telling it how it is, but that is near to useless in predicting what will be. Even if most people are psychologically not disposed to maths and the sciences, the fact is most people in the first world today on average knows more about basic maths, the sciences, and even literacy than people just over a hundred years ago. Average intelligence increases.

No, not everyone is going to be a programming genius. That's not my argument at all. My argument is that, for good or bad, basic understanding of programming will be expected. Just like basic maths and basic literacy.

One reason I mentioned previously - the potential availability of private manufacturing like in "Diamond Age".

Another reason is the trend towards automation in all physical jobs and the outsourcing of all other menial low skill jobs. Pretty soon, "entry level" jobs will be about being able to program basic automation of tasks and maintenance.

I think it's going to happen, and either society keeps up by updating the education system, or risk widespread unemployment and unrest.

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