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The Future of Computing Science

This is where Tim Cook wants to push programming.

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Computing science is changing. Or appears to be.

Computing science is new. In the long history of the planet we live on, computing is but a speck, a nanometre.

There was some computing science already in the second world war. Herman Hollerith made his mark even before that.

Until recently computing science looked like this.

Now there are some who see it like this.

Everyone can see what's wrong. No, correct that: computing scientists can see it. The unwashed most likely cannot. Why can't they? Several reasons.

One reason is that they don't really know what computing science is all about. Another reason is they don't know much about anything.

The nerds in the first pic are just that. Nerds. They don't look cool.

Computer science was different back then. It wasn't until Bell Labs in the 1970s changed that. When ZZ Top made it to New Jersey.

But they were still adults. They still had advanced degrees.

The only member of the CSRC team at Bell Labs back then that didn't have a PhD was the one seated at the telex console here. Ken Thompson, main creator of Unix.

Co-creator Dennis Ritchie, standing in the same pic, had a PhD from Harvard.

The treatise he never submitted has just been found. Ritchie did a lot of work in sub-recursive functions. His first compiler for C relied heavily on recursive parsing.


Tim Cook's 'programmer' won't know what recursion is, won't know much about what a compiler is, won't be able to create a compiler, something that was a 'rite of passage' for those seeking an engineering degree.

They won't be able to understand assembly language. They'll probably have serious issues with hex code. They mostly won't understand Von Neumann architecture, if they against all odds have heard of it.

They won't be acquainted with VM, MVS, MVS/XA, VMS, the VAX series, the PDP series, System/360, System/370, zSeries, or any of that.

They won't know why register 15 on an IBM mainframe is so much fun. They probably won't know what a register is, much less have even heard of it, unless it's something they heard of called the 'cash register'.

This is where Tim Cook wants to push programming.

Why he wants to do this is not hard to understand. No one's made money for a corporation like Tim Cook. He likes to paint himself as a Mother Teresa, but Tim Cook is a predator - an Alpha Predator. Oh he'll be good to you once he has you where he wants you...

Tim Cook wants programming for everyone, in a Brave New World where everything is in Logo. Today they call it 'playgrounds'. It's like an automated system of having a chat with a grownup where the grownup ends up writing the code.

Speaking of code: who writes the low-down stuff? Who writes the kernel? How does one arrive at new ideas at that level?

The answer is: one doesn't.

What you're witnessing is a systematic and deliberate dumbing-down of the masses. The US franchise of Mensa now report that the upper 2% there exhibit an IQ of what 12-14 year olds did a generation or two ago. This is likely happening in other countries too.

Dumbing-down is good for business. Dumbing-down is good for Tim Cook.

In the dark nihilistic world of Tim Cook, only the bottom line means anything.

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John Cattelin
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