Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why Pencil Science?

This blog has, at least for now, wandered from its original intent, but its original explanation of purpose is worth saving. I do think computer science is for everybody, not just middle school kids but even climatologists...
This is a blog about the nuts and bolts of computer literacy from a
Pythonic perspective.

I would like not merely to defend the position that computer
programming is "for everybody" (including children, intelligent
adults, and scientists) but also to examine the proposition that
Python is the appropriate vehicle for such a de-professionalization of

Of course, "computer science is not about computers" but about
formally expressing processes using symbols. The misnomer is
consequential in how most people think about the question of the role
of programming in education.

We don't teach children how to write because we expect them all to be
professional writers. Professional writers are not opposed to literacy
on the grounds that they will lose readership. We do not call the
ability to write "pencil science".

Is writing (pencil science) for everybody? That wasn't clear a
thousand years ago. Can "computer science" be for everybody too?
I'll be reorganizing my online presence soon. Still thinking about what to do...

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