Intriguing week. Lots of confusion and strife. Had to motor into Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill Wednesday for a gum inspection. Two weeks early. Not bad but draining with the uncertainty going in.
Then on Thursday I had to motor to Guntersville to help a colleague install Linux Mint on an old (relatively) W7 lapbox. Which turned out to be severly whacked by its Windows install and had to be given religionist internment.
Did I mention the box was made by HP? Sad. Used to be a good company when I was in college. Stercus now.
After the debacle we shared our experiences with IT staffers over a mediocre cup of coffee distilate. I won’t mention the location since coffee distillate isn’t part of their mission.
Then today, at gym, I listened to an episode of Linux Links podcast. On this, the part I listened to this morning – the rest tomorrow afternoon (I do hate the religionist discrimination the gym management practices!) – the four talkers held a telecon with some young woman who was a Freshman in college studying Computer Science. This conversation – and the discussion Thursday – reminded me of a couple of things
- Computer Science folks can’t do Nerd computing.
- If you have to tell me your discipline is a science, then it isn’t.
I have visited the latter several times previously and won’t elaborate much on the matter. Computer Science is considered to be a STEM discipline but too many of the folks who study it are not nerds. They’re geeks. They collect stuff mostly, and do sometimes. But mostly in inordinately well defined environments.
Take the physical universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves. (And, NO, religionist books are not manuals!)
Take the biological universe. The only manuals we have for it are the ones we have written for ourselves.
Take the computer universe (relatively speaking.) All the manuals we have for it are how the universe was made. In effect, Computer Science guys are gods because the create their stuff from the physical and biological and social universes.
So why do they have such problems? If you ask, they will tell you it’s because of all the people who aren’t IT and the IT folk who are idiots and sociopaths. The latter usually being everyone but the individual and his (very few her – mostly because of good sense) drinking buddies.
Did I mention that this is a construct of MegaHard and Forbidden Fruit attitudes towards computing? The more serf-like the users, the better. Especially management, who is seen as the great evil because they never make the IT budget large enough.
But all the wiring diagrams of their universe are there from the get-go.
What does this have to do with nerd computing? Well, nerd computing is different from everybody else’s. Most people do browsing and spreadsheeting and word processing and maybe a bit of databasing. Nerds write computer programs, something that only IT folk are supposed to do. But the Nerds use languages that the IT folk don’t know and, in most cases, can’t learn very well.
Say FORTRAN to a young IT person and they’ll have to go into psychiatric analysis. And that’s what all the supercomputers are programmed with.
Nerds also want to attach computers to things they have built for themselves, like spectrometers and particle accelerators. IT folks mostly can’t make stuff but they can – sorta – repair what they have. At least if it can be repaired. Only the minority of IT folks can design IT stuff.
IT folks claim that IT is a profession. No argument, if profession means a body of knowledge that you get paid to know and use.
So what is NERD computer programming? For example, a simulation of the formation of the universe? Can IT guys do this. Unless they’re the rare ones who are NERDs, they can’t. Generally only NERDs can do NERD programming. And that really bugs IT folks. Because it’s a knowledge hole in their domain.
The good news is that some of them can learn it. If they are taught by NERDs. Unfortunately, if they are, they too become NERDs and can’t be “real” IT folk any more.
Sleeping with the Enemy.
And I need to reveal a big secret. The NERDs are happy with this. Because they want someone else to do all the scut work on the Internet. NERDs don’t mow grass. Not because they can’t but because after the first time it’s a waste of time.
And I ain’t even gonna mention Quantum Computers.