[FoRK] Advice From An Old Programmer

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Thu Jun 23 18:18:14 PDT 2011

On 6/23/11 5:48 PM, Noon Silk wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 5:19 AM, Stephen Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> [...]
>>> But, the author sounded a bit like the implication was to keep
>>> programming "secret"; and not even educated other people, or tell
>>> colleagues, etc. I don't agree with that, at all.
>> Why did you get that idea?
> The final sentence was "You can code. They cannot. That is pretty damn cool.".
> I wouldn't really consider it "cool" if my co-workers couldn't code;
> it'd only be "cool" if it means I have some advantage over them, so
> clearly the implication is that he wants to have an advantage (i.e.
> not educate them).

I'm alive.  "He" is dead.  I think that's cool.  So that implies I wanted "him" dead?
I once ran a 4:30 mile.  I think that's cool (since I worked so hard to get there).  So that implies I wanted to actively prevent 
anyone else from running that fast?
I think it's cool that I happened to choose to develop a valuable skill set that gives me a lot of opportunities.  That implies I 
want to actively prevent others from choosing that skill set or learning how to do what I've learned?

What do you call the worldview where these things are true?  (Bump, set, spike...  Anyone?  Bueller?)

Seems like you are reading way too much into a little artistic license expressing the concept:
"Be proud that you have learned and achieved something valuable.  And ignore those ignorant people who try to denigrate you simply 
because you made yourself better in a useful and powerful way and they haven't (yet)."  In the context of "some people will 
denigrate you...", I can't see a valid trigger of the thought "gloat that you are better" or "prevent them from matching you".  
"it'd only be 'cool' if it means I have some advantage over them": Well, yea, when you learn a skill, and it is a useful skill, you 
have an "advantage" over those without it.  They may or may not have advantages that you do not.  That is a completely neutral 

>> I believe he was just saying that if you happened to reach the nirvana of
>> being a programming god, don't for a minute allow anyone to put that down.
> Perhaps that's another interpretation.
>> sdw


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