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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TM99
Member since:
2012-08-26

This is actually become quite fascinating the way you move the goalposts, fail to use logic, and aren't even apparently aware of your own premises.

So, how exactly did the general population become literate and maths capable? Was it a grass-roots effort? Read a history book for the answer, smart ass.

That's why it isn't a straw-man to point out that your premise requires formal education in order to be even remotely accurate as a predication whether in 5 or 50 years, and I provided you several excellent rebuttal as to why that isn't going to happen. They included failed attempts like the CP4E program over 13 years ago in order to implement such an education program (the only part of that program still in existence is the IDLE - look it up on the fucking webpage!); the changing technology since when I was a kid when more 'programming' knowledge was needed to use the damned things (not that everyone had them or programmed them to the level of literacy just that there was more of a need and a greater thrust in the public education systems to 'learn' about computers not just 'use' computers like today); and the current corporate business model like Apple and Microsoft's walled-gardens, vertically integrated hardware & software solutions, transparent & easy to use 'computing devices' and run-away consumerism.

Sure Python is a very popular programming language, but that doesn't mean that it is being used in enough schools where this 'programming literacy' will have to be implemented in order to become wide-spread as you predict in 50 years. Populations became literate due to institutions like the state and the church.

And yes, it is fucking idealistic and delusional I might add, to imagine that some grass-roots effort involving websites like the Khan Academy online are going to some how make populations computer programming literate in the next 50 years. You and I enjoy programming even if only one of us is actually in the field itself.

How many of your friends and family are not in the field? How many of them program? How many actually turn to you for assistance on usage as opposed to figuring out what is going on behinds the scenes? How many of your neighbors? How many of their kids? Have you got kids yourself? Have you got any idea what is happening with children in the public educational system?

You may be too young to remember 'shop classes'. They were a regular part of public high school education in America. They are no longer. Why? One reason is the thrust of simply getting schools tested and into colleges. Another reason is that most appliances, cars, etc. are not worked on daily by the general population in the way that they were 50 years ago. If I can't program an embedded device how to I fix my new Kia? Microwaves are thrown out, not kept and fixed. We pay a repairman to come fix the complicated computer-based dishwashers. The same has become true for computers and programming. It is simply not necessary to use the damned things any more. I can play my games, purchase my apps, send texts, surf for porn, and never need to know what the fuck the device is doing, how it is doing it, and how do make it do things I want it to do.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tarabrown/2012/05/30/the-death-of-shop-...

Here's an easy test. How many people of your age either has a programming job or some hobby involving programming at some time in their life? I can tell you it wasn't 100% of the American population at your age. I can tell you it's probably not even close to 10%.


So who is putting words into the other's mouth. I never said it was 100%. Look up this little statistic dumb ass. How many women in the 1970's and 1980's became computer programmers? Compare and contrast that to how many young women in 1990's and 2000's became computer programmers. Extrapolate from there some possible reasons and causes. That might answer a few of your oppositions to some of my comments.

Just because you believe it will happen, doesn't mean it will. Which, I might, is a sure sign of psychosis. So your response I am sure will be pithy, entertaining, and delusional like all of your other ones have been.

Have at it. This is quite entertaining now watching you dig yourself deeper and deeper in the bullshit.

Reply Parent Score: 1

kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

So, how exactly did the general population become literate and maths capable? Was it a grass-roots effort? Read a history book for the answer, smart ass.


Doesn't mean programming has to follow the same path. You have a very linear mind.

I raise maths and literacy as an example of widespread basic understanding, and somehow you extrapolate it to mean "that's the only way anything else has to happen".

I provided you several excellent rebuttal as to why that isn't going to happen.


You didn't. Really.

Your only "rebuttal" is to label my predictions "dreams" and "wants" and "idealism", and none of your anecdotal evidence actually addresses what I'm discussing. Labelling does not constitute an argument.

Maybe you should read my conversation with Alfman if you want to know what a proper discussion looks like.

They included failed attempts like the CP4E program over 13 years ago in order to implement such an education program (the only part of that program still in existence is the IDLE - look it up on the fucking webpage!); the changing technology since when I was a kid when more 'programming' knowledge was needed to use the damned things (not that everyone had them or programmed them to the level of literacy just that there was more of a need and a greater thrust in the public education systems to 'learn' about computers not just 'use' computers like today); and the current corporate business model like Apple and Microsoft's walled-gardens, vertically integrated hardware & software solutions, transparent & easy to use 'computing devices' and run-away consumerism.


I'm having a similar, but much more informed conversation with Alfman on this issue.

Sure Python is a very popular programming language, but that doesn't mean that it is being used in enough schools


Schools, huh?

How many of your friends and family are not in the field? How many of them program? How many actually turn to you for assistance on usage as opposed to figuring out what is going on behinds the scenes? How many of your neighbors? How many of their kids? Have you got kids yourself? Have you got any idea what is happening with children in the public educational system?


You know, a lot of my friends are in the IT world. I say a higher proportion of the people in my age range gets a job involving IT, whether it's programming, administration, or engineering that relies on computer simulations than they did in your time.

I know that's anecdotal evidence, but you don't seem to mind.

You may be too young to remember 'shop classes'. They were a regular part of public high school education in America. They are no longer. Why? One reason is the thrust of simply getting schools tested and into colleges. Another reason is that most appliances, cars, etc. are not worked on daily by the general population in the way that they were 50 years ago. If I can't program an embedded device how to I fix my new Kia? Microwaves are thrown out, not kept and fixed. We pay a repairman to come fix the complicated computer-based dishwashers. The same has become true for computers and programming. It is simply not necessary to use the damned things any more. I can play my games, purchase my apps, send texts, surf for porn, and never need to know what the fuck the device is doing, how it is doing it, and how do make it do things I want it to do.


There's a bifurcation happening for sure. Consumer products are closed off. But more complicated stuff requires programmable computers. Given the increasing tide of automation and outsourcing, the only jobs left in 50 years will be computing jobs. Menial and manufacturing jobs can be automated, but the task of automation requires human intellect.

Of course, I'll never expect you to look at the big picture as a system.

I never said it was 100%.


No, but you made it out as if everyone in your age range owned computers and had to write programs. You never said 100%, but you clearly implied it was the norm. It never was the norm. It was the norm amongst a small population, hence it is not the norm over the actual population.

Look up this little statistic dumb ass. How many women in the 1970's and 1980's became computer programmers? Compare and contrast that to how many young women in 1990's and 2000's became computer programmers. Extrapolate from there some possible reasons and causes. That might answer a few of your oppositions to some of my comments.


How many PEOPLE in the 70s and 80s were programmers? How many PEOPLE today are programmers?

This cherrypicking of data of yours is every telling of your mindset. And you have the nerve of saying I raised irrelevant points.

If you don't mind, I'll just continue my discussion with Alfman. He actually doesn't use any strawmen and has powers of comprehension. You can rant all you like.

Reply Parent Score: 2