Coding is Power

Two day. Gym nicely vacant. Podcast episodes middling and unmemorable. Typical except for degree.

Jack Kerouac. “On the Road”. “Knowledge is Power”. Francis Bacon may have said it first but Kerouac was the one who taught it to public Amerika. Back in the ’50’s when the cool were beatniks. “The Wild Ones”. Stage setting for the hippies of the ’60’s.

Yesterday I ran across an article [Link] entitled “When the Heck Did Learning to Code Become Cool?”. The article is a bit thin. Vapid even. Everything prior to the ’90’s is irrelevant and nonexistent. But I can sorta answer the question.

When I went off to college in ’66, coding – called programming in those days – was cool. Post-Fonzie type cool. Astronaut cool. 

A bit of clarification: COBOL was NOT cool; FORTRAN was cool. And my nerd buddies and I could not wait to go learn FORTRAN. So we broke rules legally. We asked permission. And obtained it. And learned FORTRAN. And aced the course. And wrote great programs. Too many to list. All nerd programs. None of this GUI stercus. These were cool progams on either 5081 punch cards or reel-to-reel magnetic tape. We carried our programs under our arms, not in effeminate knapsacks. And we carried slide rules. No calculators then that weighed less than a hundred pounds.

And we were COOL. Because we could program. Even the Greeks knew we were cool. Not that we cared about them so they could still ignore us except when they had to step out of the way of a nerd carrying a tape reel. Or a briefcase full of notes.

Now I am not saying that was when coding started being cool. But it was already cool then.

Not in 1990.