Subject: Re: Why use a functional language?
From: tmj@sch.tiac (Some Unimportant Geek)
Newsgroups: comp.lang.functional,alt.nerd.supremacy,misc.misc
Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 01:28:38 GMT
Organization: still not filling this field writes:
> They might not be smart, as you say, but they do have a very
> precice mindset that baffles folks who don't think in the same lines.
> Computers are total mysteries to most folks because they don't
> understand the mindset behind building the computers and programming
> software.
> It's really easy to pass yourself off as smart if you know
> something that's total mystery to more intuitive types.

You went and pushed my hot button. I've had it up to here with socially-oriented people who breezily declare themselves "equally smart" while evincing the opposite. I always felt that, if we geeks didn't beat sub-geeks over the head with our superior intelligence, you sub-geeks on the other hand shouldn't minimize our intelligence, or exaggerate your own, or assume out of hand that our intelligence is neccessarily balanced by incompetence at things artistic or humanistic. A former professional musician like me isn't really impressed to hear that last one.

You seem to think that it's all some sort of trick, that if only you were told a few "secrets" it would all be so easy. I don't think so! It ain't the Rosicrucians. There's probably no field other than programming that is on the one hand so accessible in terms of the literal information, and yet so inaccessible to those who haven't got the brains; no other field whose jargon is so totally *not* about keeping people out. Competent programmers continuously master new approaches, new tools, new ways of thinking. Our knowledge is ancient in five years, obsolete in ten. Anyone can jump in, but few do.

We geeks are supposed to be totally humble and generous about the frontiers we've opened up for everyone else. It wouldn't be so bad if sub-geeks did the same, but the moment the advantage is the other way around, that's the last we hear of any sharing or co-operation.

It's a class thing. It goes beyond symptoms like the degradation and abuse of the Internet as it opened up to non-geeks, or what the stupid, socially-oriented sub-geeks in Congress are doing, with their seemingly unlimited contempt for all things geekish, or the political and social travesties made possible by the sheeple's vulnerability to rhetorical tactics that I think do not fool most geeks, or the mainstream populace's contempt for anything that reminds them of science or math class, or the fact that although computer software is now crucial to daily life, the typical programmer barely makes white-collar wages, while his software saves others countless hours.

I know, this is probably too vague. To really know what I mean, you have to have a "click" experience.

I do have to thank you for two things:

The impetus for this rant, which has been building for a long time.

The phrase "not geek enough". I like that.