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Re: Re: Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk)

by jreades (Friar)
on Dec 05, 2002 at 09:41 UTC ( [id://217714]=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk)
in thread Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk)


In my own defense, the problem for has not so much been why should I care (I could tell that the contents of the Perl algorithm book would be good for me), but how do I even get my head around the daunting terminology.

The analogy here might be the construction worker to the architect -- the construction worker puts on a pair of old jeans, goes down to the site, checks the plan, lays out his tools and gets to work. Then the architect swings by with all his talk about form, habitable spaces, and so on. Much of this goes right over the construction worker's head -- not because he (or she) is dumb or uninterested, but because it's wrapped in a lot of impenetrable jargon that only the initiated can know.

The construction worker can tell you that if you put strut A over there your building will fall down, while the architect can tell you why it's ugly. They're talking about the same thing, but from different vantage points, and often the latter will have a greater sense of the whole.

I hope I'm not offending anyone with an construction background, I'm speaking in a grossly general way here in order to make a point.

My favourite programming book of all time was the Llama book. It was the third book from which I tried to learn Perl, and it was the one that worked because it was so clearly working from the premise that the reader was not stupid, was there to learn, but really didn't know his or her a** from his elbow when it came to programming. And what made it stand out as far superior to other books was that it took a progressive approach to teaching by example -- each program was an extension to the one that you had just done for the preceeding chapter. So you could see things coming together in front of you. Each program contained 9 things that you had already done, and one that you hadn't. If you became confused you only had to step back a chapter and re-read.

If you can make the CS vocabulary intelligible then not only will I erect a small shrine in the corner of my flat, but, frankly, you should be writing a book.

Awaiting his enlightenment,


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Re: Re: Re: Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk)
by TGI (Parson) on Dec 06, 2002 at 06:31 UTC
    <pm>There is an incredible wealth of good stuff in the Wikipedia on CS subject matter. It may even be a good place for the posts on CS theory to go. If not there, stick them in the PM Tutorials section.

    I really like the two Tannenbaum texts we had in my CS courses. I wish we would have used all of his books. You may want to check them out. I read all of Structured Computer Organization in a few weeks, and enjoyed it immensely. This is not my usual experience with textbooks. His networking text is almost as good a read, but still excellent from a technical standpoint.

    TGI says moo

Re3: Existential Crisis (Or: On Becoming a Better Monk)
by mstone (Deacon) on Dec 06, 2002 at 21:49 UTC

    Hey everybody.. sorry for the delay in responding. I'm a stagehand in one of my other lives, and am currently busy with a show that runs for a week (a Disney ice show.. pity me).

    I'll start cranking out notes for the first post of the series, and will try to have something ready by monday. If you don't see anything, feel free to flood my inbox with "what's up?" messages to prod me into moving.

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