Meanwhile, I was learning math in school. Always good at it but i never cared for the arcane symbols.

Indeed. I’ve long been a believer that using programming can result in much clearer mental processes for life in general, and time and time again when I come across someone whose thinking hits my “common sense” buttons, I strongly suspect I’ve come across a programmer of some kind.

I learned BASIC when I was 11 and got my “hooks up to the TV” Tandy Color Computer 2. 5th/6th grade. After copying a bit I learned to program things myself, and nesting loops, gotos, conditional statements, all became second nature.

Meanwhile, I was learning math in school. Always good at it but i never cared for the arcane symbols.

THEN I hit “pre algebra” a year or so later, then all the others, geometry, trig, etc – and cursed the archaic ways they described processes.

In my mind, I was translating the symbols into multiply nested loops, conditionals, just so I could make heads-or-tails of the stuff. Was it overkill? Probably. But I would see these terse little things and want to EXPAND them into programs, so I could see how it all works properly.

My most hated thing with mathematical stuff? the elimination of variables.

The “elegant formula” was the goal. But to me, what if you NEEDED X later on in the program?

What if y stood for something that was REALLY important?

But now it’s gone. Forever. In a program, you can just go back up the code and find it again, or you just have it print out the contents of the variable. It never went away.

[I also didn’t like local variables for that reason either, later on in different languages. I like global. Even if they’re a ‘waste of memory’, sometimes you _need_ something you threw away earlier on, or was buried in a private subroutine. Code bloat? Yes. But I could always tidy it up in the end.

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