[oclug] Re: Fwd: Re: Why we have Source code
rgiffin at cangurus.com
Wed Jan 24 07:24:53 EST 2001
On Wednesday 24 January 2001 02:13, Matt Rose wrote:
> On Wed, 24 Jan 2001, Rod Giffin wrote:
> > On Tuesday 23 January 2001 18:09, David F. Skoll wrote:
> > > On Tue, 23 Jan 2001, Rod Giffin wrote:
> > >
> > > [Francis Pinteric]
> > >
> > > > >Being able to
> > > > >programme a computer in the so-called computer age is equivelent to
> > > > >knowing how to read.
> Nope. Knowing how to read is equivalent is knowing how to read.
> Knowing how to program a computer is like being able to design and build
> a car engine from scratch. It seems I can never stress this enough. A
> computer is a *tool*. Sure, they're neat tools, and they can do lots of
> stuff, and they can do exactly what you want them to, if you know how to
> program. But for 99% of the population, it's really not that important.
You missed the point entirely. Perhaps I didn't word it very well, perhaps
you missed it because I was writing metaphorically (and I think I said I
was.) All I am saying is that I think I begin to understand what Francis is
talking about. Excuse me if it sounds silly, but I think it's actually
In an industrial society the skills you mentioned above and later in your
message are important. They are less important in an information age
society, which it appears we are slowly entering. How many jobs are there
right now for ferriers (the fella's who make horse shoes for horses, not for
the game) Is it generally a relevant skill for today's society? If your son
came to you when he turns 18 and said, "Dad, I've figured out what I want to
do for a living, I want to make horseshoes." how do you think he'll do?
Would you feel more comfortable with his choice if he said, "Dad, I have
discovered I have a real interest in photonics"?
Think of it like this: In the industrial age, industrial technology skill
sets are important to wealth. In the information age, these skills become
less important to generating wealth, and information technology skills
become more important. Literacy is a metaphor for information technology
skills. Programming a computer is an information technology related skill.
It's a metaphore.
Meanwhile, the guy who makes the screwdriver lost his job yesterday because a
robot now makes the screwdrivers in an automated factory in Singapore, or
wherever... maybe it's still made in Windsor or Hamilton, where is
irrelevant. Clocks and cars are also now largely assembled by robotic
equipment. It takes a computer to diagnoss what's wrong with your car, not a
mechanic. It still takes a mechanic to fix the problem, but he's becomming a
little more irrelevant every year.
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