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Re: Programming & real life

by pg (Canon)
on Dec 30, 2003 at 04:49 UTC ( #317625=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Programming & real life

I always had the belief that, when programming teaches you the way of structive thinking and provides you great opportunity to practice it every day, it slowly kills your sense of non-structive thinking, which is ultimately much more powerful.

Down to the bottom, although computer is very powerful, it is only good at:

  1. Problems can possiblly be resolved in a sequential manner. (two side notes: 1. OO is still sequential, but people intend to see a section of the sequence a time; 2. (a limited number of) multi-process and multi-threading is still sequential, you just have more than one sequence.)
  2. Even under point 1, computer cannot help resolve all problems that can possiblly be resolved by applying a sequence of actions, it in fact only helps to resolve problems that have very reasonable complexity.

Although there are lots of progress in computer science in last half century, there is simply no break through after Turing. The computer is getting faster and faster, and the way to develop computer system is getting more and more efficient, but none of those progress is on track of possibly leading to a quantum leap.

Today, everyone learns computer as a basic skill, but in terms of teaching one the power of thinking, computer does much less than geometry, at least to my own experience.


Comment on Re: Programming & real life
Re: Re: Programming & real life
by hardburn (Abbot) on Dec 30, 2003 at 17:25 UTC

    . . . computer does much less than geometry, at least to my own experience.

    A general purpose computer can do anything that is mathmatically possible, provided it has enough memory (see also: Turing Complete).

    Though I do think Computer "Science" has stagnated into "make it go faster, mommy!" over the last 30 years, I disagree that there weren't any breakthroughs since Turing. Microprocessor technology, Unix, relational databases, and functional and OO programming were all breakthroughs. Turing just did the One Big Breakthrough, the CS equivilent of Newton or Einstein (one will note that there are a few centuries between geniuses in other disciplines, and CS has already had its quota).

    ----
    I wanted to explore how Perl's closures can be manipulated, and ended up creating an object system by accident.
    -- Schemer

    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

      "...computer does much less than geometry, at least to my own experience."

      The way you cut and paste from my post, made my sentence has a totally altered meaning. and I think the right way is:

      "but in terms of teaching one the power of thinking, computer does much less than geometry, at least to my own experience."

      You cannot cut the bold part off, and I was not saying what you thought I said.

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