Evil, Evil Everywhere (was Re: [oclug] Test Shows 99.99% of
linuxdoctor at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 4 10:07:19 EDT 2001
--- bbarnett at L8R.net wrote:
> On 02-Apr-2001 Francis Pinteric wrote:
> > You must be kidding. In any case it isn't about the language at
> > but the nature of programming. As for the languages that a
> > should learn: C/C++, Unix shell programming, and yacc/lex.
> No, its not about the nature of programming. Its about being able
> to control
> the media. Its the same reason high schools now have a required
> course on
> television, its impact on society, and the art of advertising. Its
> there to
> keep you informed about one of the greatest influences our culture
Well, we've just hit the wall of what the nature of education should
be (see what I posted yesterday regarding that). You prefer a
strictly utilitarian time constrained method (called modernism) and I
perfer a generalist method that transcends the constraints of time.
Most people think only about today, I am concerned about all time.
> The web is going to take the place of that, and our children NEED
> to be able to
> manipulate that media. Teaching kids to code using php, html,
> perl, etc will
> allow them immediate access to what influences them most, the
I agree. The web is still a very young media and undergoing a great
deal of change as we speak. php, html, perl have yet to prove
themselves in regard to that evolution. By constraining yourselves to
those languages, you by definition constrain the evolution of the web
to the capabilities of these languages.
Physics was constrained in the same way by the nature of the
mathematics that they used and the constructs based on Newton's
understanding of the universe. As scientists developed a more
sophisticated understanding of the universe, the mathematics they
were using was not up to properly describing that universe. Einstein
ran into that wall when trying to formulate General Relativity. He
was unable to adequately describe his understanding of the universe
using that mathematics. Then he discovered tensor calculus and
everything fell into place. Current physics and cosmology is faced
with the same constraints: the mathematical models are not up to
properly describing the theories and so development of those theories
The web is in the same situation. You probably don't see it, but I
do. The web is stuck. It needs a whole new paradigm which the current
crop of computer languages are not up to describing.
Therefore, I submit, that by teaching kids the paradigms of an
inadequate construct with (frankly) bad systems you discourage these
kids from "thinking outside the box." That is the worst sin you can
commit on a future generation.
Unix broke that mold 30 years ago but became constrained by the
narrow thinking of the time and then suppressed by the greed of
monopolistic corporatism. So, now Unix can evolve into something
really special. We're already 15 years behind where we should be
thanks to Microsoft and corporatism, and the people responsible will
reap the reward in the afterlife for the sin.
> C++, etc should only be taught in universities. The important
> thing is that
> PHP and perl both offer the constructs of a language, even as basic
> did when I
> first picked up a programming book for the vic20. The concepts of
> IF, THEN and
> PRINT alone are important, and give a basic insight into
If schools taught mathematics properly with a sold grounding in
mathematical logic and set theory (which in my day was taught at the
university level and shouldn't be) then these basic programming
constructs would already be second nature. That way they can tackle
any modern computer language both conventional and experimental.
I learned mathematical logic from a book called "Symbolic Logic: The
Mathematical Basis of Reasoning" (I think) written in the 1950s when
I was about 11 or 12. THe guy who wrote it had his own method of
deductive reasoning (quite different from what is taught in 1st year
logic courses) that is very suited to today's computers. It was a
very exciting read I assure you.
With a solid grounding in logic, these kids will be designing
computer languages by the time they get to university not merely
using them. By the time today's kids are in university, the web will
probably be seen as a rather primitive anacronism and today's adults
will look back on it the same way they look back on photographs of
themselves taken 20 years ago -- with embarassment.
"A lot of people are rushing in [to Open Source] ... These people say 'I'm an open source advocate' but they're actually not. They just want to get rich quick ... and that could pervert the revolution."
-- Eric Allman
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