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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Ah, the last resort of a feeble mind - the ad hominen attack at someone you don't even know.

Your reading comprehension is appalling.

You dream of a future where, as part of a standard preparatory education, computer programming will be as common as literacy and mathematics have become. You have stated that over and over in numerous posts.

I pointed out that the closest to that reality was in the infancy of home computing because during that phase of development to accomplish most things on the computer one had to know at least the rudiments of programming. There were no gui's. There were no app stores with a thousand ready made applications waiting to be downloaded.

So yes during that time in most public schools computer classes, which in my large cities public high schools was a part of the math department, involved actual programming. Yeah, maybe only Logo or Basic, but programming nonetheless. No, not everyone had a fucking computer in their homes. (You do love those non sequitors, don't you?!) No, not everyone went on to become computer scientists or aspired to work in the IT field.

By the late 1990's that had changed. Computer classes today in most public schools do not involve programming. They involve how to use productivity applications like office, multimedia applications like Garage Band, etc. Kids get iPads now for eBook reading instead of carrying around a backpack full of heavy textbooks. Yes, there are programming classes but, in general, not for the entire school. They are there as electives for the kids that want to and will go on to college or tech school in order to enter the IT field.

This trend is here to stay and frankly will get worse. Computers no longer need the general user to know anything about what is actually happening when they turn on the device. Single user devices like iPads with single application at a time usage patterns and automatic saving of files for use in other applications requires no thinking from the user. It has become like driving a car or using a microwave. Learn a few basic steps, and then you are fine.

I am not idealizing the past by simply pointing out, as you apparently were not there, that the time of computer programming being a requirement within general education has come and gone due to the evolution of the industry and marketing behind current computer usage for the masses.

I was laughing at the fact that what you dream about has already come and gone. It will not likely be back in vogue any time soon due to current realities.

I know you will simply not get it. That's fine. You will grow up someday presumably. While it has been 'interesting' debating with you, I am quite thoroughly done with this conversation with you.

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