I am staring this problem right in the face again. For quite a while I tried to renew my programming skills, but finally gave it up as a bad idea. This was something of a relief for me personally, because my old brain did not have to struggle so hard to learn these strange skills anymore. I felt better about myself.
But the really amazing thing was how much this effected other people also – all of a sudden they became more friendly! I could only conclude that when I was a Computer person I was less friendly myself – and had looked down on other people. Without being aware of this at all.
This convinced me that a much larger problem exists. That the Computer has made people ashamed of being merely human. And has made them stupid also. They hesitate to be intelligent, because the Computer will immediately make them look stupid – they think. So they do the smart thing – to their way of thinking – and become stupid. So the Computer will not show them up.
Once I thought about this, however, I wasn’t surprised. Computer people have always considered themselves superior. Back when the Industry was just getting started – in the early Eighties – I was surprised to hear one of my fellow-workers (a woman who knew practically nothing) brag over the phone that she was now into computers. No doubt her friend was impressed.
Everyone was starting a computer company because funding was so easy. Computer stocks were an instant hit. The companies themselves were a perfect mess, and soon went under. But the mania continued – and Silicon Valley collapsed – twice. Now the same thing is happening again – start-ups are flying high. One can only conclude that people are stupid – as they were during the Tulip Mania.
Recently, I saw an ad for a new Software Development environment – Intel’s XDK – which is free. Instead of trying to explain it to me they just asked me to download it, and try it for myself. Being ever the sucker, I did. Now I am not sure what to so with it. It claims to be the best thing since sliced bread – and it does look good, at first glance. It can do everything, it claims. But I have been down this road before – and ended up in the weeds.
To its credit, the Intel documentation does go into these problems – as you can see here. From this, I could see right away that I was out of my depth.
I have to ask the question “How is this going to be good for me?” A question I am not supposed to ask. I am supposed to ask “How is this going to be good for Software Development – in other words, for the Almighty Computer?” And then rush to serve it. At one time, this was tempting – but that was before everybody and their brother was trying to do the same thing. There are a lot of desperate people out there now – and I don’t feel like competing with them. If I were fifty years younger – maybe.
In fact, I urge bright young men (and women) to try this. But they have a problem – they are lazy and helpless – and programming is hard work. It’s sad to say – but the young are not going to save us. They expect other people to save them instead.