Wednesday, August 09, 2006

the purpose of programming

"What is the Purpose of Programming? I mean, why do you do it and where is it going? Where should it be going?"

This is a brief summary of some of the answers at Ward's wiki:
  • to make money
  • pleasure derived from abstract problem solving
  • turning money into time by automating processes
  • free the human race
  • electronic procreation of neural activity ("immortality")
  • make computers imitate other machines (computer as universal machine)
  • electronic modelling of real things
  • reifying what can be conceived (reifying = convert abstract concept into a thing, materialise)
  • satisfy human ego, "I can command a dumb machine"
  • it's people who have purposes, not tasks
  • solve problems faster
  • automate tedious tasks
  • improve communications
  • create entertainment, eg. games
  • to model a concept (anything) in order to learn more about it

The reason I started to program (in logo) was because I read about recursion in Godel, Escher, Bach and thought the only way to understand it would be to program it.

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