xkcd ftw

See, my philosophy is that--

some cultures, some ways of life, are inherently better than others*. To take some hopefully non-controversial examples, I think that society encouraging incest and cannibalism is BAD. Likewise, using germ theory to figure out that you shouldn't pollute your drinking water is GOOD.**

So by extension, new technology and culture has the potential to meaningfully improve our lives, as in, make them measurably better than they were before. So we should be open to that potential. I'm not saying that easy is always good, and I'm not saying that building character is worthless, it just depends on how you want to spend your life. If you have a tool that makes programming twice as easy, the way you build character, (and this is a big part of why technology seems to be exponential,) is you choose to work on something that is twice as hard.

So instead of worrying about what we lose in culture and character by moving to an easier system, try to imagine the new challenges that the system allows us to tackle, that were impossible before. You will be a more positive, less bitter, and richer person as a result.

*ooooooh! take that Cultural Relativism! burn!

1 comment:

  1. Great comic (probably the best xkcd I've seen, especially the ending) and great post.

    Along those lines, every programmer should learn Haskell (or at least learn about Haskell) to build character and expand possibilities. It's not the answer to everything ---Python is usually the answer to most tasks, JavaScript + HTML sometimes will do quite well, and you will definitely want C or C++ for things like graphics libraries or games---but Haskell will warp your programming mind in ways you can't imagine.