On BioScience and Life and Such

To change the world I need to program

In Uncategorized on August 7, 2008 at 9:34 am

Quotes from The Next Renaissance, A talk by Douglas Rushkoff

I am not a programmer. I thought maybe blogging would suffice in doing my part to change the world, – that has been, and still is, the distant goal of my blogging endeavor.

Computers and networks finally offer us the ability to write. And we do write with them. Everyone is a blogger, now. Citizen bloggers and YouTubers who believe we have now embraced a new “personal” democracy. Personal, because we can sit safely at home with our laptops and type our way to freedom.

But reading further in this piece in a recent Edge edition made me realize that to truly make an impact, knowing some molecular biology and writing about it, will not cut it.

But writing is not the capability being offered us by these tools at all. The capability is programming—which almost none of us really know how to do. We simply use the programs that have been made for us, and enter our blog text in the appropriate box on the screen. Nothing against the strides made by citizen bloggers and journalists, but big deal. Let them eat blog.

At the very least on a metaphorical level, the opportunity here is not to write about politics or—more likely—comment on what someone else has said about politics. The opportunity, however, is to rewrite the very rules by which democracy is implemented. The opportunity of a renaissance in programming is to reconfigure the process through which democracy occurs.

Since for the time being I do not have the time or the money to educate myself a second time around, blogging will have to do. And I still believe there’s some impact in that (maybe not in my blogging, but there’s without a doubt power in the blogosphere as a whole).

At some point however, since true future power apparently lies in programming, – off to school again, in a mission to rule the world.

  1. “I’ve never let my school interfere with my education.” –Mark Twain

    You don’t need to go to school to learn how to program. I would guess half the programmers out have an education in something other than CS, CE, or SE. With today’s programming languages, it’s pretty easy to get going with programming something useful quickly.

    I’m a biologist by education who spent some evenings learning how to program in Perl, then in Python, and eventually in C. Thanks to the Free Open Source Software, the Internet, and the many kind souls out there who offer advice of their own good will, I didn’t have to spend any money to learn, just time. So if you really want to learn to program, you’ll do it, I think. 😉

  2. My name is James M. Lareau, and I will be the next great public speaker, artist, politician, leader, and revolutionary.
    Until now we have viewed everything as separate problems, and yet I have found the one solution that will fix them all. I believe that I am One of a hand full of visionaries that has seen the world threw clear eyes. Once you see the world the way that I have there is no going back. all day long thoughts and idea just keep coming and coming every one building of the one prier, and all with the same simplistic genius that makes you believe the world can be changed so easily as long as you can find some one to believe in you. I’m not sure about other countries but the united states has become a nation of consumers in a sickening way, and I believe this addiction to buying can be easily broken, this is just one link in the chain of world changing events that I will bring, To tell you the truth I am unsure of what you web site is about, but I am guessing by the title and how it looks that I am in the right place. If you are the least bit interested in what I have said please contact my at jimjames0218@aol.com . This is only the beginning!

    Jim Lareau

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