Friday, March 30, 2012

A Quiz Asks: How Insulated Are You?

A small blog post on the NY Times looked at a PBS quiz based on Charles Murray's latest book, Coming Apart.  Below is a comment I posted:

Looking over the scores, I was reminded of an idea I had when considering income inequality, that although I deplore the state of the country - I have been blogging about income inequality since 2003, when I discovered how large and negative the correlations were - I am glad to not be in the suffering lower classes. I deplore the suffering, but do not want to suffer myself.

This is no different. I want to enjoy a better, more affluent lifestyle. I like being among the educated and affluent. I look down my nose at all sorts of media consumed by the middle-classes, but not because of the people that watch it; I find much of it to be useless, critical, unintellectual garbage.

My score was 23, or 17 (depends on interpretation of some questions). Yes, first-generation upper-middle class.

A Comment on The NY Time's A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet

My father worked with computers in the military during the Korean War in the 50's and with corporations in the 60's. He died prematurely, but his brother saw the industry growth and got involved, programming for major corporations through the 70's and 80's. For much of my young adult life I heard "go into computers, it's the wave of the future." I find it amusing, in that it still is. The 'nerds' are a bit less nerdy, but still considered odd and of lower status than other professions.

As for myself, I avoided the 'wave of the future' for quite some time, but with half a CS degree, finishing a BA in Psych and half an MBA, I work as a software developer. Other than the basics I learned in 80's college, i.e., BASIC, PL/I, COBOL, loops, etc., most of my knowledge is self-taught, with books covering algorithms, patterns, data, databases, and software architecture.

Original article:

A Surge in Learning Language on the Internet

A Journey — if You Dare — Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

My responses in a NY Times comment section for the book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson ...