Thursday, 9 August 2012

Program or Be Programmed

Program or Be Programmed by Douglas Rushkoff is a thought provoking book, arguing we should understand the tools (computers) we are using. Raising the point about only a minority can actually program a computer. The book essentially (or my take on it) talks about the need to understand the technology we are using and the internet is a social media.

Chapter X Purpose has a great line "If we don't learn to program, we risk being programmed ourselves", we need to understand the underlying technology to understand the in-built bias of the system. I agree with programming should be taught in school, and the point that basic programming is not that hard to learn; all of these ideas fits with the ideas such as Computational Thinking of Jeannette  Wing. It is not about people necessarily becoming professional programmers, but about the skills (e.g. problem-solving, logic) and knowledge (how the device is actually operates).

This book is an enjoyable and thought-provoking book, that raises questions about the technology in the 'West'.

Another that might be worth reading alongside this one is the Filter  Bubble by Eli Pariser which raises Again, we need to understand the technology we use.

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