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[Xmca-l] Re: The power of Humanities in a recursive loop


     Although I have been known to pour paint thinner down the toilet, I much approve of Annalisa’s solution (unfortunately there are no water quality people around here).

      Insofar as coding goes, I did, perhaps, learn to code by means other than strictly copying or pasting. However, oddly enough, I began with sketching - I needed to do this for a programmer who did work for me from time to time - and, when he was busy, I found myself translating the sketch into pseudo-code and later into code. Nonetheless, it is as Greg may be saying, you build-on /copy/paste others’ insights. Even original coding does that and I have written operating systems, compliers, games, etc. 
      Anyway, Annalisa’s point of beginning with sketching is a very good idea. Then when you have a sort of idea of what you want to happen you need to learn how to force whatever system of coding you are using to implement the sketch. There are people who don’t need to do this, but they probably wrote the system you are using out of a particular need of their own. Finally, you need to think like a computer; i.e.. dumb! This is probably the most important characteristic a good coder has. He or she knows how to think dumb.
     People have tried to take the ‘coding’ out and leave the sketching in. That works well for simple applications - see, for example, the community version of LiveCode. However, it doesn’t work too well for something interesting. The history of computer languages provides, by the way, a rather fascinating picture of attempts to capture aspects of human rationality and some of the more interesting attempts you could say were non-STEM.


> On May 23, 2016, at  2:27 PM, Greg Mcverry <jgregmcverry@gmail.com> wrote:
> However coding should not be a social-darwinist experiment, which tends to
> be the case because code interpreters are ruthless syntactic stalinists.
> I think this is  a stereotype, a specialized set of discourse practices,
> and a reflection of gender inequity among coders.
> Nobody learns to code. You can just copy and paste better than the next
> gal. It takes a long time to generate original code.
> I am a self taught....actually community taught...the auto-didactic coder
> is a myth. I have been involved in a variety of open source projects in the
> last few years as a non-technical contributor.
> Yet every project I get involved in, I learn a little bit more. Right now
> its just html/css/javascript but its always a little bit more than I knew
> yesterday.
> There are amazing and really inclusive places to reach out and learn how to
> code or markup webpages.
> On Mon, May 23, 2016 at 3:21 PM Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:
>> Thanks Martin and Greg,
>> Um... first things first. I never do the paint thinner down the toilet
>> thing. I actually make an appointment with the waste management department
>> on Saturdays and drive it in. Do they not have such a thing for you, Martin?
>> And, I love your poem Greg. Just because computers "think" algorithmically
>> doesn't mean we do. Humans first! :) And Humanities first (too!)
>> As much as code is a stinky affair for some of us non-STEMers, there is
>> something to be said of occupying the codebases. I don't mean github or
>> reddit, as I'm not a masochist.
>> However coding should not be a social-darwinist experiment, which tends to
>> be the case because code interpreters are ruthless syntactic stalinists. I
>> myself have tried to teach myself to code more times than I can count, and
>> it still eludes me! If I had the right teacher, I'd do some great things
>> with code. I think it's because of my system-thinking (top-down rather than
>> bottom up) that it eludes me. You can't sketch with code, and then fill in
>> the lines (or can you?) I sense, if I were to learn to code, I'd become a
>> dialectic coder.
>> Is there such a thing?
>> Kind recursions,
>> Annalisa

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