Nugget Post #4 – Almahmouda EVEN MORE MEANINGFUL

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“Any nitwit can understand computers, and many do. Unfortunately, due to ridiculous historical circumstances, computers have been made a mystery to most of the world. And this situation does not seem to be improving. You hear more and more about computers, but to most people it’s just one big blur. The people who know about computers often seem unwilling to explain things or answer your questions. Stereotyped notions develop about computers operating in fixed ways—and so confusion increases. The chasm between laymen and computer people widens fast and dangerously.”

Pretentious.
Ostentatious.
Showy.
Grandiose.
Highfalutin!
Or are they?
I believe in capitalism, but I am a strong proponent of sharing information. If someone goes out of their way to learn code, should he or she be responsible to answer questions, or “explain things?” After reading Ted Nelson, I left with my brain contorted; although the chasm between laymen and computer people widens fast and dangerously, which group should really be in the wrong for such a gap? Is there a wrong?

I have come to the conclusion that both groups are in the wrong, yet there are individuals within each group who attempt to ameliorate the widening wound.

The laymen: the common man, whose design is no design, must make an effort to learn more about the technological craze that has been sweeping the nation for the last half-century. Furthermore, he must realize that the jobs that do not require technological skill, especially pertaining to computers, are beginning to minimize in quantity.

The computer people:  a group of individuals who are skilled in the realms of computation and technology must try their best to integrate computational technology into the markets where there is a large group of laborers, should they seek to make a profit. They do not have an obligation to educate every laymen they encounter, and yet they do; the expenditure of energy, time, and other resources on an another individual may seem altruistic, but it can operate out of self-interest! Should the newly-informed individual utilize more computational technology, the “computer people” will be able to sell more product.

However, should the gap between the laymen and computer people be bridged? As critical thinkers and scholars, we must undertake the responsibility to really think about this question. Perhaps specialization is a must in the field of technology; we should not view it as a reserve of power to a group of people, but a sort of symbiotic relationship between the laymen and computer people! The laymen could acquire the parts, and meld them into the required shape, and the computer people can assemble and use the computers!

What do you guys think? Did you like the poem? What about the duties of the laymen and the computer people? Also, if the picture offends any individual, I will take it down at a second’s notice. It made me chuckle.

1 thought on “Nugget Post #4 – Almahmouda EVEN MORE MEANINGFUL

  1. First off, I was amused at your quote as Dr. C had told me to look up ‘grok’, a word coined by Robert A. Heinlein in his book “Stranger In A Strange Land”. On the point of the article, I found your nugget interesting, but I can’t help but ask if you read the Introduction to the article. See, as I read it, the whole point of the Computer Lib section is to show a hyperbolic, perhaps sarcastic view of computers to rally people to ask “How does this work?” and Not accept anything less than a lesson. And since this book became so popular after computers came out, it would seem they were successful. So I think the point really being made is that in all fields that was closer to correct, but CS being newer, it could become that way. But today you can look up tutorials on anything. Want to learn how to program Right Now? Go to http://www.codecademy.com. Want to see what kinds of things computer scientists ask each other? go to http://cs.stackexchange.com/. I don’t think we would be in such a tech dependent society without openness about how things work, especially since so many computer programmers started off by asking “how does this work?” and then trying to take apart their VCR or reprogram the game they were playing. That being said, we programmers do still have to assume that our end-users are “not technically savvy” to ensure the security and proper functioning of out code.

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