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I don't think Mayor Bloomberg is the best person to serve as your kind of stereotypical paradigm of the "clueless old man talking about technologies he doesn't understand": he made his fame/fortune initially with his Market Master/Bloomberg terminals. I'm not at all a fan of the man as Mayor of NYC--but though he's a politician now, it's rather presumptuous/naive/stupid to use a fantastically successful tech pioneer as a clueless old man. Many years ago, he earned his BS in Electrical Engineering - as a student now he'd likely have pursued a course of study requiring more than a little coding. And the same could be said of students in many other fields - not only engineering - who studied and then entered the workforce decades ago. What's more - the need to code custom solutions rises in all sectors--though specialization piled on top of poor basic math/science education too often dulls people to the mere existence of those possible solutions. You are arguing within very narrow professional boundaries (and even there making a false argument), while the Mayor and many others are arguing pedagogy. Parents and educators aren't concerned with algorithmic thinking with a mind to getting students to knock out code. I'm surprised that anyone who isn't a luddite or reactionary could seriously argue against innovations in math pedagogy...
Toggle Commented May 17, 2012 on Please Don't Learn to Code at Coding Horror
Great piece. - Paulina Borsook did indeed have it right, when she wrote more than a decade ago about the libertarian ethos of Silicon Valley (in Cyberselfish). Godin is indulging his own fantasies of rational markets, while anatomizing what he sees as the creative's fantasy of earning an income as a professional. And note that he lumps all "creative" occupations together--journalism, photography (by which he means...photojournalism?), fiction, poetry... And he has decided - very conveniently, for him - that if the work may be cached/captured in a digital form, it's now worth that much less, has almost negligible value. It's been said before: this asinine "philosophy" obviously doesn't hold for any other discipline or profession; but that hasn't stopped these people from deciding unilaterally that certain professions/skills/crafts have been obviated by the technology used to store/disseminate them. The CEO of LegalZoom couldn't for instance declare to attorneys that many of them have been outmoded--not without being laughed at. The rigors of professional craft are supposed to mean something important in other sectors, but not in fiction? The objective here isn't I think to hold a commercial monopoly on ebooks--the real objective is vanity publishing, vending the opportunity to make books, to "win" literary fame at a price. The vanity publishing model has insinuated itself into the world of pseudo-peer-reviewed academic journals and textbooks (see this blog, for instance: ). This is as shady a practice as recent "contests" soliciting work from creatives (including HuffPo post-AOL), a corporate nickel-slots kind of approach: the potential to win a great jackpot at little-no-cost.
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Mar 12, 2012