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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Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

kwan_e,

Our culture is openly embracing technology as a means of life. I'll side with you in that for me there's no doubt that kids are smart enough to learn how to program it (given the proper education foundations, which is by no means a given).

However there are some roadblocks too. Children are being introduced to technology as fashionable bling instead of programmable tools. Worse still, today's popular consumer devices are becoming *less* programmable than their predecessors, which are threatening to displace open computing technologies at home.

Looking past these roadblocks, I have to wonder if there's any need for a significant percentage of the population to know programming. What would that get us? If half the population could program, wouldn't most of them be overqualified for the menial jobs they end up getting? Many of us are already overqualified today, meaning our advanced degrees are not being put to great use.

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