Sunday, August 09, 2020

Geek Sublime

Geek Sublime starts with great potential. The author details his experience at the intersection of the literary and computer world. Writing computer code can be similar to writing literary works. There are good writers and bad writers. Early on, coding was a "female" profession. It was considered to be similar to typing up a memo that was dictated by the male boss. The algorithm created by the "guy" was important. Coding it into the computer was simple. However, it soon became clear that coding computers is a skill and an art form of its own write. There is also a great thrill in getting a computer to do things. 

Computer programmers can also be a difficult to work with bunch. Even in open source communities that depend on working together, there can be plenty of battles. Programmers will often look down on others that use "higher level" languages that allow them to more easily do things. However, today almost everyone uses differing degrees of abstraction from machines. Even low level assembly language has taken us a few levels above the electrical switches that are operating on microchips.

The also spends time exploring differing cultural attitudes, especially with regards to India and the United States. In India, engineers and computer programmers are highly respected. Males and females both enter the field. In America, it tends to be dominated by Geeky males. 

Finally, the book takes a detour into Indian cultural and religious views. This part strayed from the original theses and lost me. Bits on Sanskrit were somewhat interesting, though seemed a little out of place. However, bits on Tantra seemed even more out of place. Perhaps a nice readers digest version could focus on the good parts without drifting too far.

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