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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the does-it-count-as-a-foreign-language dept.

Mark Guzdial at ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) writes:

I have three reasons for thinking that learning CS is different than learning other STEM disciplines.

  1. Our infrastructure for teaching CS is younger, smaller, and weaker;
  2. We don't realize how hard learning to program is;
  3. CS is so valuable that it changes the affective components of learning.

The author makes compelling arguments to support the claims, ending with:

We are increasingly finding that the emotional component of learning computing (e.g., motivation, feeling of belonging, self-efficacy) is among the most critical variables. When you put more and more students in a high-pressure, competitive setting, and some of whom feel "like" the teacher and some don't, you get emotional complexity that is unlike any other STEM discipline. Not mathematics, any of the sciences, or any of the engineering disciplines are facing growing numbers of majors and non-majors at the same time. That makes learning CS different and harder.


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:30PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:30PM (#620636)

    In this case, using "from" is better than using "than".

    • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:39PM

      by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:39PM (#620646) Journal


      if (language == 'C-INTERCAL') than
              COMEFROM end
      end

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by frojack on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:37PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:37PM (#620689) Journal

      Australians would say "Different to".

      Had an Australian employee once, and I had to constantly say: "Similar To and Different From".

      Took her years to break the old habit. English is wacky.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:43PM

        by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:43PM (#620720)

        English is wacky.

        The understatement of the year so far.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:13AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:13AM (#620885)

        It's a bit more subtle than that. Aussies say both. A is different from B if B is the standard or primary object. A is different to B if they are of equal status.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Barenflimski on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:32PM (40 children)

    by Barenflimski (6836) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:32PM (#620639)

    Computer Science gives people tools to affect most of the population in a way that most people's careers can't.

    Farmer? Thanks for feeding ten thousand people.
    Doctor? Thanks for fixing ten thousand people.
    Computer Scientist? Your platform only serves ten thousand people?

    Giving people this kind of power tests the soul. It becomes a contest about how well ones brain works. Don't look for hugs in the forums, which you'll spend years of your life in.

    • (Score: 1) by AlwaysNever on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:43PM (5 children)

      by AlwaysNever (5817) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:43PM (#620649)

      Farmers and Doctors are socially appreciated.

      Computer Scientists are, on the other hand, the target of all derision.

      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM (3 children)

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM (#620652)

        Future computer scientists are, on the other hand, stuffed into their lockers by football players. But years later, the majority of those high school football stars are working poor blue collar jobs that will soon be automated.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by Anal Pumpernickel on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:02PM (2 children)

          by Anal Pumpernickel (776) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:02PM (#620666)

          And many of the future computer scientists are developing mass surveillance systems, digital restrictions management, and proprietary software.

          • (Score: 3, Touché) by krishnoid on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:23PM (1 child)

            by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:23PM (#620680)

            And many of the future computer scientists are developing mass surveillance systems, digital restrictions management, and proprietary software.

            If another computer scientist develops non-proprietary software, wouldn't you just use theirs instead of developing your own version, and then spend that time developing proprietary software?

            • (Score: 4, Funny) by Bot on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:14AM

              by Bot (3902) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:14AM (#620747)

              > instead of developing your own version

              Programmers do just that, sadly. Ask Poettering.

              (uhhh sorry sysadmins for the acid reflux)

      • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:20PM

        by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:20PM (#620921)

        I don't think so. IT technicians, perhaps.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:43PM (31 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:43PM (#620650)

      The feeling of newer team members "doing something" is probably why no major product can remain stable in the way it works.

      Google for instance, has to change everything. A new mail web site? New messaging apps instead of Hangouts?

      Or Ubuntu and Microsoft (and others) trying to change the decades old, well understood, familiar Desktop into something different? That might (but doesn't) work on a phone? I suspect this abandonment of the desktop is why people fled Ubuntu to Linux Mint. I suspect pushback is why Windows 10 has a proper Start menu once again. (How about fix Windows Server Data Center Edition, please.)

      If it ain't broke, then don't fix it!

      Why does a modern automobile have pretty similar basic controls to a car from the 1950's? Or office staplers which can shoot staples into adjacent offices / cubicles.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by acid andy on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:56PM (29 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:56PM (#620698) Journal

        It's so right but the same thing (fix it till it's broke) happens in politics as well. Change for the sake of change. I was going to say Hollywood as well, but there it's just reboots of reboots of remakes although often the bits that did work in a movie franchise get changed in a clunky or shocking way just to try to generate some new interest.

        --
        Make hay whilst the intervening mass is insufficient to inhibit the perceived intensity of incoming solar radiation.
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fyngyrz on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:18AM (28 children)

          by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:18AM (#620750) Homepage Journal

          It's so right but the same thing (fix it till it's broke) happens in politics as well.

          Mostly, legislators don't even try to fix old law. Instead, already-made law hangs around, broken as hell, toxic as hell, while they make new broken laws, or just make the existing ones worse. So I'd say it's "break it further" is the goal of the legislator. Fixing things... no.

          Non-elected regulators tend to remove a bit more from the rules corpus, but they engage in the same general process.

          There's no motivation to fix old stuff; the tried-and-true (OMG terrorists... think of the children... superstitious pandering... yet more corporate and rich-person fluffing... etc.) occupies the vast majority of their time. That's why ridiculously, obviously and grievously broken processes like the "War on Drugs" don't get pushed aside because they don't, and never did, work; instead, they get progressively more Byzantine and destructive to society.

          As I watch these things continually go radically and speedily downhill, I am often reminded of the remark Pris made in the movie Bladerunner: "Then we're stupid and we'll die."

          Luckily, I'm old, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to die naturally on my own before voters manage to completely break things by continuing to elect the rich fools they consistently, and inexplicably, prefer.

          --
          The eyes are the windows to the soul.
          Sunglasses are the window shades.
          • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:05AM (27 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:05AM (#620762)

            You're making a huge mistake to think that "rich fools" are normally a thing. Yes, there are lottery winners, but generally the rich are damn smart. Many are geniuses.

            That can change with age of course. McCain has his brain tumor, and he's old as fuck. He also married into money... but still, in his younger years at least, he was no fool.

            In particular, if you think it is normal for a fool to increase his wealth by a factor of several thousand, you should do it yourself.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by Pav on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:56AM (20 children)

              by Pav (114) on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:56AM (#620779)

              Perhaps what you say would have been true in the old high-tax anti-monopoly days, but these days wealth accumulates regardless of intelligence. The statistics show that a poor genius has worse prospects than an imbicile born into wealth. This is a no-brainer both in theory and practice. Game theory talks about "positive sum cooperation between entities of unequal economic power" - basically an economic disparity can be leveraged to gain an exponentially increasing share of collective production. Yup, Marx was right... raw capitalism is inherently unstable (which is why the social democracies came into being). Our ancestors knew this - the game of Monopoly started as a political tool to demonstrate how a low tax economy and no laws against monopoly will result in most of the economy becoming impoverished.... the "winner" is just the last guy to realise the economy has crashed. Monopoly originally had another set of rules with a high land/asset tax and laws against monopolies - it was "boring" ie. stable, as noone ever completely "won". Thomas Pikety also showed how this has worked in reality - as societies become more unequal and the common man is disempowered economies slow and falter.

              • (Score: 1, Disagree) by khallow on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:09AM (19 children)

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:09AM (#620816) Journal

                Perhaps what you say would have been true in the old high-tax anti-monopoly days, but these days wealth accumulates regardless of intelligence.

                No way. Sorry, wealth doesn't work that way.

                This is a no-brainer both in theory and practice. Game theory talks about "positive sum cooperation between entities of unequal economic power" - basically an economic disparity can be leveraged to gain an exponentially increasing share of collective production.

                No, that's not true. I'm sure there are such games, but economics of the market sort works differently. You can't have more than 100% so there's no "exponentially increasing share" possible. Second, perhaps you refer to people who invest their money and hence are likely to have exponentially growing wealth versus people who don't try. That's a bad comparison. A more valid one would be comparing investors against other investors.

                This is particularly relevant since investments are often of dubious value. Too much is of a form that doesn't have much, if anything in the way of a cash flow combined with illiquid markets that make bailing out difficult (this gets worse with greater wealth). Nominal value of such wealth is notoriously fickle and hard to realize. Now compare that with the ability to pull a fairly predictable paycheck.

                Now for relatively low levels of wealth there is an obvious advantage to more wealth. For example, there seems to me to be a considerable improvement as one builds towards $100k from nothing and transaction fees are large enough that there are economies of scale to stock purchases in the tens of thousands of dollars. Among other things it allows one more control over their life and is an early filter between those who can figure out how to invest and those who can't. One sees further improvements into the low millions of dollars. But at some point, you go from investment being a thing that a single person can do to something that requires a group to do. While that gives the opportunity for hiring expertise which can improve yields of great wealth, it also creates the opportunity for great theft, fraud, incompetence, etc. People who have wealth for any period of time have to figure out how to keep from losing that wealth. And the more wealth they have, the more clever or powerful the people who are trying to take that wealth.

                the "winner" is just the last guy to realise the economy has crashed.

                While "crash" evokes a proper sense of disaster, it's broken in the sense that the economy routinely fixes itself after a crash. Imagine a car that fixes itself after you wrap it around a tree and drives better than ever in six months. That's what an economic crash means.

                Finally, once again, we see that Marx has nothing to say about modern economies. Once again, quoting Marx approvingly is a signaling that you are ignorant of such things.

                • (Score: 3, Informative) by deimtee on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:43AM (5 children)

                  by deimtee (3272) on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:43AM (#620864)

                  This is a no-brainer both in theory and practice. Game theory talks about "positive sum cooperation between entities of unequal economic power" - basically an economic disparity can be leveraged to gain an exponentially increasing share of collective production.

                  No, that's not true. I'm sure there are such games, but economics of the market sort works differently. You can't have more than 100% so there's no "exponentially increasing share" possible. Second, perhaps you refer to people who invest their money and hence are likely to have exponentially growing wealth versus people who don't try. That's a bad comparison. A more valid one would be comparing investors against other investors.

                  No, what he means is, for example :
                  If you and I do equal work on this project, we can realise a total profit of $1000. If we are otherwise equal, we will agree to split it $500 each.
                  But if I am under no stress because I already have $1000 in my pocket, and you desperately need $300 worth of medicine for your daughter, I can 'negotiate' my share up to $700 before you will refuse to participate.

                  The simple fact of my having more wealth allows me to take more than my 'fair' share.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:52PM (4 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:52PM (#620928) Journal

                    The simple fact of my having more wealth allows me to take more than my 'fair' share.

                    Except that it's supposedly iterative where next time you can take oh, $900, then $1500, then $2500, etc. That's what exponential means. But there's only $1000 to take and only so much that you can get me to give up before it just doesn't happen.

                    The simple fact of my having more wealth allows me to take more than my 'fair' share.

                    My lack of planning is not a lack of fairness nor am I an infinite resource. Even if you grew wealthy enough to exploit every kid on the planet with an expensive medical condition, you're only going to get so much. And at that point, you're out of luck, if you want to expand "exponentially" further.

                    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:40PM (3 children)

                      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:40PM (#620940)

                      Well, if you are going to be a pedantic about it, then 70%, 85%, 92.5%, 96.25%, 98.125%, 99.0625%, etc. would be an exponentially increasing share. (share ratios of 2.33, 5.66, 12.33, 25.66, 52.33, 105.66 to 1)

                      Good way to miss the point though.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:04PM (2 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:04PM (#620945) Journal

                        Well, if you are going to be a pedantic about it, then 70%, 85%, 92.5%, 96.25%, 98.125%, 99.0625%, etc. would be an exponentially increasing share.

                        Ratios are not shares. It's sloppy language in a sloppy argument.

                        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Sunday January 14 2018, @12:45AM (1 child)

                          by Pav (114) on Sunday January 14 2018, @12:45AM (#622020)

                          So what does an exponentially increasing share of eg. the world economy mean to you then?

                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 14 2018, @05:00AM

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 14 2018, @05:00AM (#622095) Journal
                            It's a nonsensical phrase that doesn't mean anything to me.
                • (Score: 2) by Pav on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:34PM (5 children)

                  by Pav (114) on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:34PM (#621077)

                  Hate to be condescending, but you mustn't know many wealthy people. I've known a few, both domestic (Australian) and from elsewhere (UAE, China, Singapore, Saudi etc...). The ones that have family businesses eg. grocery store chains, multi-ranch cattle companies, construction companies, cotton growers (didn't know there was that much money in cotton) etc... seem to be the most motivated, and either have some intelligence or have been made aware of their own lack of intelligence (often by the previous generation) to the extent that they know they need trustworthy competent people around them. These people need some attachment to reality because they aren't THAT wealthy in the scheme of things. I have also known literal "trust fund babies" who can't waste cash fast enough to stop accumulating. And they can waste a lot of money - there seems to be a culture of "keeping up appearances" with some. Anecdote : before 9/11 a Sri Lankan friend (who wanted "in" to the wealthy crowd) went on a shopping expedition around Australia with a Saudi (who I wasn't allowed to meet as a friend because I was too "western"). In the Sri Lankan guys haul he had bought the most expensive pair of nikes he could find, and the Saudi payed him double so he could burn them (apparently because he found them religiously offensive. A secondary reason was to signal to the Sri Lankan guy his "wealth" was insignificant, which, although he was wealthy enough not to have to work, was comparatively true). These trust fund babies are often of below average intelligence : I've even known one who was literally retarded, and another with schitzophrenic delusions - they're the definition of pointless waste, have many "friends" helping them to spend their money, and they were STILL accumulating because they couldn't spend their trust fund stipends fast enough. Those with some intelligence are often so unmotivated and depressed that it's strangely sad - wealth seems to be somewhat isolating, at least for some. I know a Chinese woman who is depressed, and buys realestate to pep herself up. She doesn't rent the property because that's too much hassle, and she has so much cash (her portfoliio is managed and she doesn't know or care where her cash comes from) that she can buy properties outright on a whim.

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 12 2018, @07:25AM (4 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12 2018, @07:25AM (#621296) Journal

                    I've known a few

                    In other words, you don't know many rich people. Back at you.

                    I have also known literal "trust fund babies" who can't waste cash fast enough to stop accumulating.

                    They're still wasting the trust fund. And probably heavily limited in how much access they have to said fund, meaning they're not that rich. Finally, we just have your uninformed hearsay as to what sort of damage they're doing to the trust fund.

                    • (Score: 2) by Pav on Friday January 12 2018, @09:54AM (3 children)

                      by Pav (114) on Friday January 12 2018, @09:54AM (#621322)

                      *sigh* My mothers partner was a tax lawyer. He created trust funds, tax minimisation schemes, assisted in "succession planning" ie. passing business assets to the next generation etc... The intellectually disabled guy and the schitzophrenic I mentioned WERE limited in that their funds grew despite allocations to their drawings accounts, but that's standard practice for large trust funds. Perhaps you're referring to power of attourney issues or something ie. they don't have the power to liquidate their funds?

                      I did think of a name I could drop - someone a US person might know, but I forgot his name as I only met him once. He was an Australian rodeo rider who became #1 in the US, and wanted to repatriate funds to Australia in a tax efficient manner.

                      You're right in that it's dangerous to have that much money though. A brother and sister (Indians - friends of mine from university) were shot with a single crossbow bolt... the sister hid behind her brother in a confrontation with someone known to them who'd been sneaking their plastic and spending enough money for even them to notice.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 13 2018, @03:36AM (2 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 13 2018, @03:36AM (#621676) Journal

                        *sigh* My mothers partner was a tax lawyer.

                        Thought so. Hearsay isn't a better foundation than knowing a few rich people is. FWIW, I have experienced directly the effect I speak of in an experimental market (Foresight Exchange [ideosphere.com], I'm currently first place on that list and have been at least third place on that list since a few months after its creation in 1996). That market had three features which exaggerated the effect of greater wealth resulting in lower yields. First, playing field was very level, it's nearly zero sum, and number of market participants was relatively low. I noticed that it grew steadily more difficult to find credible investments. For example, I had to shift from market making and short term opportunity buys to long term investments (time frame 5-15 years), because my wealth had increased greatly (almost a factor of ten increase in net wealth).

                        Sure, real world markets are different. They are larger with extremely rich people having some ability to manipulate the rules of the markets and society to their advantage, but you still have the problem that it's far easier to find good investments of a given high yield at $1 million than it is at $10 billion. And you don't have to involve large numbers of people or bribe a bunch of politicians in your schemes for the smaller amount.

                        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Sunday January 14 2018, @12:38AM (1 child)

                          by Pav (114) on Sunday January 14 2018, @12:38AM (#622016)

                          So what you're saying the size of the world economy (or the part thereof one limits themselves to) is an upper constraint on wealth? That's both obvious, and isn't an argument against the fact that wealth disparities (when unconstrained) lead to an ever increasing share of the economy.

                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Sunday January 14 2018, @04:59AM

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Sunday January 14 2018, @04:59AM (#622094) Journal

                            So what you're saying the size of the world economy (or the part thereof one limits themselves to) is an upper constraint on wealth?

                            I'm saying a lot more than just that.

                            and isn't an argument against the fact that wealth disparities (when unconstrained) lead to an ever increasing share of the economy.

                            It is however an argument against the claim that such wealth disparities can be exponentially increasing.

                • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday January 12 2018, @01:26AM (6 children)

                  by urza9814 (3954) on Friday January 12 2018, @01:26AM (#621217) Journal

                  No, that's not true. I'm sure there are such games, but economics of the market sort works differently. You can't have more than 100% so there's no "exponentially increasing share" possible. Second, perhaps you refer to people who invest their money and hence are likely to have exponentially growing wealth versus people who don't try. That's a bad comparison. A more valid one would be comparing investors against other investors.

                  That's a terrible comparison. You're just talking rich fucks vs slightly less rich fucks. How about investors against *people who don't have any money to invest*? Some people are born with millions in the bank, and no matter how dumb they are they can hire someone to manage their money and be fine for life. Others are essentially born into debt. They could literally have a magical gift for predicting the stock market and it still wouldn't help them any because they wouldn't have a dime to invest in the first place.

                  The average American salary will barely keep you housed and fed. There's not much left to invest after basic expenses. But those basic expenses don't increase at the same rate as salary. The more you earn, the greater percentage of those earnings you can invest, and the greater return you'll achieve. Hell, if you're rich enough you can hire someone else so you don't even need to have any particular skill at investing; while if you're poor you've gotta be smart yourself to do well. But below a certain limit, you can't invest at all.

                  Average *household* income in the US is $75k/yr. Average cost of living -- excluding housing -- for a small family is $50k/yr. Rent for even a one bedroom apartment could be $20k-$30k, putting you in debt already just trying to meet basic expenses. Where's the money to invest? You've gotta be above average from the start to have any of that...

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States#Median_inflation-adjusted_(%22real%22)_household_income [wikipedia.org]
                  https://transferwise.com/us/blog/cost-of-living-in-the-usa [transferwise.com]

                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Friday January 12 2018, @07:39AM (5 children)

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 12 2018, @07:39AM (#621299) Journal

                    How about investors against *people who don't have any money to invest*

                    Why would I do that? What's the point of comparing people who invest against people who do not or who are in net debt? Recall that someone with not a penny to their name still has more wealth than the collective 30% least wealthy of the world do (including debt).

                    Average *household* income in the US is $75k/yr. Average cost of living -- excluding housing -- for a small family is $50k/yr. Rent for even a one bedroom apartment could be $20k-$30k, putting you in debt already just trying to meet basic expenses. Where's the money to invest? You've gotta be above average from the start to have any of that...

                    If you can't afford to live in the absolutely most expensive places in the US (you can find a few places in the US that are routinely more expensive than $30k a year in rent, but you really have to look), then move some place you can afford to live. If you're going to have a family, then learning how to reduce your cost of living is an important skill to have. Spending every penny of $75k on your small family's living expenses shows you haven't learned that skill yet. No point to getting worked up over the rich when they're not the problem.

                    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Friday January 12 2018, @11:32PM (4 children)

                      by urza9814 (3954) on Friday January 12 2018, @11:32PM (#621607) Journal

                      How about investors against *people who don't have any money to invest*

                      Why would I do that? What's the point of comparing people who invest against people who do not or who are in net debt? Recall that someone with not a penny to their name still has more wealth than the collective 30% least wealthy of the world do (including debt).

                      Yes, why indeed would you want to discuss the original topic of conversation without continuing to shift the goalposts?

                      We weren't talking about if people can survive; we were talking about accumulation of wealth by those who haven't necessarily earned it. About the prospects of a genius born to poverty vs a fool born to wealth. My point being that if you're born poor, you don't have many opportunities to invest, and you aren't going to become a millionaire putting away $10k/year or whatever you can manage on that $75k salary. If you're born a millionaire, you have plenty of spare cash to invest and hire fund managers and such to make sure you stay wealthy. It's much, much easier to keep wealth than to earn it.

                      In particular, if you think it is normal for a fool to increase his wealth by a factor of several thousand, you should do it yourself.

                      That is your own statement; my assertion is that it's easier for a wealthy fool to do it than an impoverished genius. Of course some counter-examples exist...the population is such that even with billion-to-one odds, it would have happened a few times. But studies show it isn't common.

                      There have been studies into wealth vs IQ. There's no real correlation. Being smart doesn't make you rich:
                      https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2008/02/06/correlations-of-iq-with-income-and-wealth/ [thesocietypages.org]

                      But you know what wealth *does* correlate with? Having rich parents:
                      https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/07/rich-people-raise-kids-family-wealth/399809/ [theatlantic.com]

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 13 2018, @03:59AM (2 children)

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 13 2018, @03:59AM (#621684) Journal

                        Yes, why indeed would you want to discuss the original topic of conversation without continuing to shift the goalposts?

                        It's foolish to compare those who are trying to accumulate wealth against those who are not. Is it more unfair that an expert golfer improves their game even more or a scientist learns more about their research field than the layman who doesn't even bother to learn anything about these things in the first place?

                        Let us keep in mind that there's a huge number of people out there who have pretty much renounced the accumulation of wealth even to the point of declaring those who are interested in becoming more wealthy to be sociopaths and such. So why does it matter to us that they aren't wealthy, when it doesn't matter to them? What is supposed to be unfair about this?

                        • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Monday January 15 2018, @11:07PM (1 child)

                          by urza9814 (3954) on Monday January 15 2018, @11:07PM (#622831) Journal

                          Yes, why indeed would you want to discuss the original topic of conversation without continuing to shift the goalposts?

                          It's foolish to compare those who are trying to accumulate wealth against those who are not. Is it more unfair that an expert golfer improves their game even more or a scientist learns more about their research field than the layman who doesn't even bother to learn anything about these things in the first place?

                            Let us keep in mind that there's a huge number of people out there who have pretty much renounced the accumulation of wealth even to the point of declaring those who are interested in becoming more wealthy to be sociopaths and such. So why does it matter to us that they aren't wealthy, when it doesn't matter to them? What is supposed to be unfair about this?

                          I never said anything about people who aren't trying to invest; I was talking about people who *can't afford* to invest. There's a difference, which I highly suspect you're ignoring intentionally because you don't actually have any response to that.

                          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 16 2018, @10:28PM

                            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 16 2018, @10:28PM (#623334) Journal

                            I never said anything about people who aren't trying to invest; I was talking about people who *can't afford* to invest. There's a difference, which I highly suspect you're ignoring intentionally because you don't actually have any response to that.

                            While I agree that there are people who can't invest, I don't agree that they are sufficiently numerous to throw off wealth statistics.

                      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday January 13 2018, @04:00AM

                        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 13 2018, @04:00AM (#621686) Journal

                        my assertion is that it's easier for a wealthy fool to do it than an impoverished genius.

                        Except of course, the impoverished genius experiences infinite increase in wealth, when they manage to save anything at all.

            • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:14AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:14AM (#620819)

              the rich are damn smart. Many are geniuses.

              And you are a brown-nosing cocksucker desperately hoping you can impress the rich just enough for some crumbs to be dropped on you.

              Keep begging for scraps under the table, you pathetic little fucking dog.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:29AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:29AM (#620822)

              In particular, if you think it is normal for a fool to increase his wealth by a factor of several thousand, you should do it yourself.

              I'm not sociopathic enough to scam millions of people just I can become rich. That's what people like Zuckerberg are really good at: Since they don't care about others, they can freely use and abuse them until they make their fortune. Many rich people also had massive head starts via inheritance, which aids them immensely. This idea that all - or even most - of these rich people are geniuses is completely unsubstantiated.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:40AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:40AM (#620824)

                Bitcoin, bro! You can scam millions of people just by selling Bitcoin for huge profits! And the best part is, you don't even need to think about the nameless faceless losers who invested their savings in Bitcoin! Your hands are clean because Bitcoin is like totally anonymous!

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:27PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:27PM (#620934)

                  Some of us have increasing misgivings about the utility of the US dollar as a currency for all but the very rich. Some of us aren't interested in speculation but in having currency that isn't controlled and manipulated for the benefit of the very rich. If I want to buy from a merchant that Visa and Mastercard do not want me to buy from, well, I'm fucked if all I have is US dollars/Euros/Pounds/etc.

                  People used to be able to write checks to each other to transfer US dollars. While it's definitely time for something better than checks to come along, Visa and Mastercard are not democratized systems like people writing each other checks. Cash, of course, is only useful in person.

                  Some of us may be getting interested in cryptocurrencies because we're interested in secession from the new aristocracy. (Look at the train wreck the convergence before November 2018 between the Fear Encryption Narrative, the Misogynerd Narrative, and the Literally Hitler Narrative will prove to be. It won't go well for the D-team, but that fits the pattern of the past few emperors of the USA. Always in years 2-4 congress is controlled by the emperor's team. The reliability of this pattern should concern you.)

                  But yeah, if the only thing you can see looking at bitcoin is a capitalist investor shark feeding frenzy or if all you see is a get-rich-quick scheme, then yeah, I would highly suggest staying away from cryptocurrencies. It will be mutually beneficial that way.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:57PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:57PM (#620929) Journal
                It must be really comforting to you to put down others who are more successful, but I can't live that way. Zuckerberg didn't get wealthy because he was the only sociopath who thought to scam millions of people. There are plenty of such and they don't all have billions of dollars in wealth. He got wealthy because Facebook provided something that a billion people wanted and it evolved into the dominant player in its niche.
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by tangomargarine on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:07PM

              by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:07PM (#620956)

              In particular, if you think it is normal for a fool to increase his wealth by a factor of several thousand, you should do it yourself.

              Hey Skippy, there's this thing called inheritance and paying other people to manage your money for you.

              --
              "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by ilsa on Monday January 15 2018, @04:08PM

        by ilsa (6082) on Monday January 15 2018, @04:08PM (#622590)
    • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:41AM

      by legont (4179) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:41AM (#620756)

      And yet, Computer Scientists are allowed to mess with the people life without a proper license. Such a criminal oversight from our government.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:25AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:25AM (#620808)

      Computer Scientist? Your platform only serves ten thousand people?

      Does SN even have ten thousand users? SoylentNews is people! Where are the people?

      Your C10K number is antiquated bullshit and you are a fucking idiot since Facebook raised the bar to ONE BILLION USERS.

      If you haven't coded an app yet that has ONE BILLION USERS then you're not in the tech industry and you should kill yourself now.

  • (Score: 2) by Justin Case on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:34PM (11 children)

    by Justin Case (4239) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:34PM (#620644) Journal

    Science "builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe" (Wikipedia).

    Is "computer science" a science? Does it follow the scientific method? I suppose P=NP counts as a potentially falsifiable hypothesis.

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM (#620653) Homepage

      Is "computer science" a science?

      Computer science is, strictly speaking, a branch of applied mathematics, and uses the techniques and standards of mathematics. That said, computer science also can be tested out via experiment. This leads to Donald Knuth's classic line: "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it."

      Computer programming is to computer science as construction is to the study of engineering.

      --
      A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of bad gravy.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:52PM (#620655)

      Computer Science is a science.

      Programming (which is often confused for CS) not so much.

    • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:53PM (6 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:53PM (#620656)

      You should also mention software developers who use the term "Engineers".

      First, Engineers get certified in their skill.

      Second, the piles of crap that most developers write is not worthy of the term.

      • (Score: 1) by Crash on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:58PM (3 children)

        by Crash (1335) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:58PM (#620661)

        Sounds like the typical Slashdot mantra that disparages all web-developers.

        Color me surprised when I visited Hacker News to see there were actual professionals that could discuss the web on a professional level.

        • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:25PM (1 child)

          by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:25PM (#620923)

          typical Slashdot mantra that disparages all web-developers.

          No, DannyB was quite clear: the piles of crap that most developers write is not worthy of the term. Quite right too.

          • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:16PM

            by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:16PM (#621065)

            That sentence also included but was not limited to web developers.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:04PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:04PM (#620953)

          Parent never said anything about webdevs. Is somebody a bit insecure in their profession?

          typical Slashdot mantra that disparages all web-developers.

          Not all web developers, just the ones who design shit interfaces. And bloat stuff up. But obviously that applies to desktop things like Microsoft Office as well.

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:00PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:00PM (#620662)

        You should also mention software developers who use the term "Engineers".

        First, Engineers get certified in their skill.

        Some "engineers" need a dictionary, not certification!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:10AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:10AM (#620795)

        Does driving a train really take that much skill? Isn't driving a car more difficult? I guess if you still had to watch pressure valves and keep the fires fed properly, but are such old trains still used?

        There are tons of software certifications, but I agree with your dung heaps.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by TheRaven on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:27AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:27AM (#620854) Journal

      Is "computer science" a science? Does it follow the scientific method?

      In systems research, at least, it tries hard to. You observe a problem (network has low throughput, distributed system fails due to this cause, whatever) and hypothesise the root cause. Then you construct an experiment that addresses what you hypothesise the root cause to be and measure whether that affects the issue.

      The big problem is not that we don't follow the scientific method, it's that a lot of people conducting this kind of research lack even a basic understanding of statistics. You can win the best paper award at CGO, for example, with no error bars on your graphs. The better papers have error bars but use a completely inappropriate method to calculate them (e.g. standard deviation without looking at distribution at all, or Student's T-Test when they know that it's not a normal distribution).

      Even when they get the statistics right, they don't look at other sources of error. For example, you can have a widely cited paper describing a 5% speedup from the compiler, except the variation from random changes to linking are around ±20%, so your entire measurement is in the noise and you've presented no evidence that your change does anything other than perturb code layout. This is starting to change, but slowly.

      --
      sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:23PM

      by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:23PM (#620922)

      Is "computer science" a science?

      Kinda. It's a famously bad choice of term. At best it's as bad as saying 'telescope science' to mean astronomy.

      Some of what a computer science undergrad learns, really does count as science. Much of it is arguable more engineering, though. Networking technologies and databases, for instance.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM (20 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @09:46PM (#620651)

    We don't realize how hard learning to program is

    We do, we realise that when done well, programming is a creative endeavour. Without creative flair, source code is dull as dog shit.

    you get emotional complexity that is unlike any other STEM discipline

    "Muh feelz!" Perhaps students who underwent basic eduction emphasising logic and rational thought instead of "no child left behind" neo-marxist bullshit would not have such problems?

    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Crash on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:01PM (4 children)

      by Crash (1335) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:01PM (#620664)

      The wife, to this day will still ask me opposing "OR" questions.

      "Do you want to go see a movie? Or stay home tonight?"

      "Yes."

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:12PM (1 child)

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:12PM (#620671)

        Are you Greedy or Lazy ?

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:28PM

          by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:28PM (#620683)

          Are you Greedy or Lazy ?

          Just async

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:31PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:31PM (#620685)

        I do the same exact thing to my wife LOL

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:48AM (#620868)

        That's why there are so few female programmers.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:14PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:14PM (#620673)

      neo-marxist

      The absolute state of the American proletariat.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:06PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:06PM (#620702)

        That's "lumpenproletariat", you petit bourgeoisie! If only there was American education.

    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:40PM (2 children)

      by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:40PM (#620690)

      Maybe this explains how surreal trying to read "why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby" was. Probably 2/3 of the book was weird regressions and offtopic philosophy, and the author sounded like he was about to burst into tears at any moment.

      Not really sure programming is supposed to be *that* sort of transcendental experience. Although I sort of understand the catb "hack mode" [catb.org] thing.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:35AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:35AM (#620736)

        There was an old fortune quote "deep hack mode, that place where mere mortals fear to tread".

        I developed an interest in computers because I'm an introvert, rare to find an extrovert who'd enjoy locking themselves away in a dark room for a weekend to play with a new language. Is it that CS used to be a self selecting group, then people who aren't naturally drawn to the subject were drawn to the degree and careers?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:44AM (#620813)

          The tech purge is complete and the nerds are replaced by the tech bros.

          The tech bros are extroverted social climbers and they don't spend long weekends learning anything. Extroverts don't need to learn. Tech bros drop questions on stack overflow and expect to be given answers by the same unemployed introverts who they replaced because unemployable losers obviously have nothing better to do.

          Introverts who are foolish enough to waste their lives getting degrees will never, ever, ever find careers in tech. They can learn whatever they want but they will never get paid. They will die lonely deaths in their isolated dark rooms.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:49PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:49PM (#620721)

      Perhaps students who underwent basic eduction emphasising logic and rational thought

      That 'species' has been declared obsolete long ago. One can get only second hand specimens now

      • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:43PM

        by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:43PM (#620949)

        I agree with the broad sentiment that thinking skills should be emphasised more, but: no, philosophy is still there to be studied.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:15AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:15AM (#620798)

      Without creative flair, source code is dull as dog shit.

      But far more robust, usable, and cheaper to produce. Programming competitions are the only places where code is written for the sake of itself. Code creativity should be left out of everything else.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:01PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:01PM (#620951)

        The old saw that you can have an amazing rockstar programmer whose fingers produce source code of breathtaking efficiency, and yet when he leaves the company/retires/dies and nobody else can understand what he wrote it all gets thrown out or fucked up by his successors.

        Better to have a team of good but not spectacular developers who get the job done and document everything with less-imaginative source code.

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by TheRaven on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:01AM (2 children)

      by TheRaven (270) on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:01AM (#620875) Journal

      We do, we realise that when done well, programming is a creative endeavour. Without creative flair, source code is dull as dog shit.

      I hear that a lot, but you can substitute pretty much anything that isn't trivially automated for programming in the sentence, so I'm not sure that the observation is particularly valuable.

      The big difference between computer science and physics is that no one actually expects to learn (or teach) all of physics in a single undergraduate degree. Everyone knows that physics is a huge subject and students are encouraged to specialise fairly early. The course aims to give you an overview of the whole field and then drill down a lot. Computer science courses, generally, still try to teach you all of computer science, but end up giving more detail than you need for an overview and less than you need to be an expert. There are enough things that people say 'you can't be a computer scientist if you don't properly understand X' that we leave specialisation too late.

      There's a related problem that most of the world sees computer science as a degree that's closely tied to a particular career path. You don't do a physics degree expecting to be ready to work in a nuclear power plant or designing car engines without any further training, yet people expect to hire fresh computer science graduates that have detailed knowledge of things that have little relevance to an academic subject.

      --
      sudo mod me up
      • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:41PM (1 child)

        by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:41PM (#620948)

        Computer science courses, generally, still try to teach you all of computer science

        Disagree. I had to choose my optional modules. I chose some topics, and necessarily didn't study the others. I have a passable grasp of computer architecture and compilers, but know little about, say, real-time systems, or video processing. I don't how it could be otherwise. CS isn't a small field of study.

        people expect to hire fresh computer science graduates that have detailed knowledge of things that have little relevance to an academic subject.

        There is in practice relatively little difference between a computer science degree and a software engineering degree, sure.

        • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:05PM

          by TheRaven (270) on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:05PM (#620981) Journal

          Disagree. I had to choose my optional modules. I chose some topics, and necessarily didn't study the others.

          When did you have to choose? In the UK, most computer science degrees only have optional components in the final year. In contrast, most places don't offer general engineering degrees, they offer electrical engineering, civil engineering, and so on. Physics and mathematics are often offered as a single degree course, but you have optional components from the first year and by the second you may be doing a completely disjoint set of courses to other people taking nominally the same degree. Two people with mathematics degrees will both know algebra, but beyond that they may have taken completely different paths. Two people with computer science degrees will almost certainly have done courses in databases, object-oriented programming, functional programming, graphics, sorting and searching algorithms, and various bits of discrete maths.

          There's a lot more material that is taught to every computer science student than pretty much any other STEM subject that isn't a narrow specialism.

          --
          sudo mod me up
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:17PM (#620920)

      "dog shit"

      Hey! don't call Java bad things.

    • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:32PM (1 child)

      by Wootery (2341) on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:32PM (#620925)

      Without creative flair, source code is dull as dog shit.

      'Dull'? This is a petri-dish example of the sort of thinking that makes other engineering fields view 'software engineering' as a bad joke.

      'Engineering' isn't about making sure the engineers find their solutions to be aesthetically pleasing. It's about rigorously getting the job done. Is this news to you?

      Fortunately, at least a small number of software professionals really do understand this:

      the culture is equally intolerant of creativity, the individual coding flourishes and styles that are the signature of the all-night software world. “People ask, doesn’t this process stifle creativity? You have to do exactly what the manual says, and you’ve got someone looking over your shoulder,” says Keller. “The answer is, yes, the process does stifle creativity.”

      And that is precisely the point — you can’t have people freelancing their way through software code that flies a spaceship

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @10:18PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @10:18PM (#621142)

        'Dull'? This is a petri-dish example of the sort of thinking that makes other engineering fields view 'software engineering' as a bad joke.

        Nobody said it should be difficult to understand or undocumented. Creativity and mindfulness are part of writing clean code. [medium.com]

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Entropy on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:48PM (3 children)

    by Entropy (4228) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @10:48PM (#620694)

    Most disciplines are a mix of art, and science. We call it Computer Science, and of course there is a large science component but there is also in my opinion a larger art component than most science disciplines. This is why we teach it differently, and why we need to teach it differently. This isn't algebra where there is one correct answer, this is an art where they are tons and tons of correct answers each with their own drawback and weakness.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:51PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:51PM (#620722)

      Sorta like any engineering solutions?

      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:36AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:36AM (#620755)

        This is a tangent of computer programming and engineering ("I want to make a program where you can click a button and an image of a smiling cat appears") rather than computer science ("is P = NP?" and "Is there any way to sort a list of N objects in faster than N(log N) time?").

        However, taking the bait...

        Sorta like any engineering solutions?

        Compare...

        Civil Engineer: "If this bridge cannot carry 20 tons of weight, then it will potentially break when if 5 trucks cross over it."

        Software Engineering: "If the homepage of Google loads 0.1 second slower, then... uhh... what?"

        Agreed that all engineering has trade spaces. I'd suggest that Computer Programming has fewer hard requirements and thus a much more sophisticated and harder trade-off discussions than most fields of Engineering.

        It also hurts that software is so much more abstract, so harder to relate to for untrained people. Everybody can relate to "put fire onto chemical and it blows up." They'll get details wrong, but they intuitively grasp it, the advantages and risks of this effect. Few people without special training can think of "this abstract mathematical construct causes this other abstract mathematical construct to transform, which causes this secondary effect and this tertiary effect." It's part of why mandatory XKCD [xkcd.com].

    • (Score: 2) by fyngyrz on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:23AM

      by fyngyrz (6567) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:23AM (#620752) Homepage Journal

      It's also an art where no tint of science need pollute the fingers flailing at the keyboard, or the corporate bottom line. As an art, I would liken many (perhaps most) of its practitioners as flingers of finger-paints at the wall.

      All too often the case.

      --
      The eyes are the windows to the soul.
      Sunglasses are the window shades.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:14PM (#620708)

    Guy in The Association says The Association is special and needs more monies or other resources.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:28PM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:28PM (#620714) Journal

    Emotional components aren't science, nor are they engineering. The teams in the Manhattan project, and later at Los Alamos had a few "emotional components", but they don't seem to be asking for engineering recognition based on any of that. Their stories are available, if you care to look for them. Those stories are interesting, in that some of those emotional components added some degree of difficulty to a nearly insoluble problem - but no one is awarding medals, prizes, or money for those emotional problems.

    --
    On the plus side, I am completely immune to flash-bang grenades. - Helen Keller
  • (Score: 2) by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:29PM (10 children)

    by All Your Lawn Are Belong To Us (6553) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:29PM (#620715)

    .... Like when you click TFA and it gives you a 502 Bad Gateway Error? Aside from that...

    And I can create three reasons for thinking that learning ${ANY_STEM_FIELD[@]} is different from other STEM disciplines.

    One will deal with the educational infrastructure and how it's relatively unique.
    The second will illustrate that learning sub components of the skill is hard, and nobody ever thinks about what an RN, for example, must know.
    The third will reveal how humanity changes from having that discipline around.

    We'll conclude by saying that one's emotional commitment to a competitive degree field is a key variable to success in ${ANY_STEM_FIELD[@]}, and how the emotional complexity of ${ANY_STEM_FIELD[@]} would be different from any other... because it's different (duh!). And apparently the author never had to take a Physics 101 or Chem 101 or Bio 200 class? How many science majors don't end up taking math classes through at least Statistics? And the author doesn't think the math majors are affected by that?

    I wish I could read TFA, but I fear that I'd pull it apart even farther as snowflaking....

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by HiThere on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:54PM (9 children)

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:54PM (#620724)

      Thank you. Thank you. There actually is one difference, though....

      Kids at a ridiculously young age are pushed to study programming without the necessary background, and the teachers are so ignorant of programming that they don't even realize what they're doing. Give them Legos with a computer control and have them build robots. That should be doable.[1] Or let them play with Scratch and build active cartoons. That *is* doable.

      1. I'm not sure Legos come with a computer controller, but a simple one should be possible, and if they don't sell it this year, they will next year. The Logo turtle robots were possible a long time ago.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 4, Informative) by looorg on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:56PM (1 child)

        by looorg (578) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:56PM (#620725)

        https://www.lego.com/en-us/mindstorms [lego.com]

        It has been around for a while now.

        • (Score: 2) by Hyperturtle on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:57PM

          by Hyperturtle (2824) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:57PM (#621034)

          I bet it is almost 18 years since the first guy got a mindstorm responding to pings (look for mindstorm ping in a search engine for the details).

          Of course that was all his custom IP stack could do...but at the time it was cool because typically getting anything that small online was not really possible. They were peripherals, dependent on a master/controller. Even though it was tethered, that had to be the first mindstorm on the net that responded by itself.

          The IoT of today may have been born back then! But his is arguably more secure because it couldnt do more than what he could get it to do. Now our stuff does way more than many of us want.

      • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:33AM (6 children)

        by TheRaven (270) on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:33AM (#620858) Journal
        What is too young an age? I was taught BBC BASIC and Logo at school when I was 7. If anything, it seems that people who started later found it more difficult, just as it's much easier to learn a foreign language if you start very young. The problem is that we've thrown away all of the languages that were good for teaching programming and force people to use really terrible tools. No one wants to learn Smalltalk, because industry uses Java, but I'd much rather hire someone who was taught Smalltalk and then picked up Java than someone who only knows Java.
        --
        sudo mod me up
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:02PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @01:02PM (#620914)

          Python?

          • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:55PM (2 children)

            by TheRaven (270) on Thursday January 11 2018, @04:55PM (#620977) Journal
            I'd argue that Python is bad as both a teaching language and as a language for real-world use. As a teaching language it has baroque syntax and far to many syntactic elements and odd semantics. As an implementation language, it has some stupid limitations and is almost impossible to use for software that requires long-term maintenance. About the only thing that Python does well is integrate with C/C++ code, but with C++14 or later it doesn't give you denser code than C++ and so you may as well just write C++ for anything more than about 4 lines long.
            --
            sudo mod me up
            • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday January 12 2018, @12:04AM (1 child)

              by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday January 12 2018, @12:04AM (#621185) Journal

              And I'd argue that we still don't have _any_ programming language suitable for either teaching or serious work. One reason for that is CS is still a relatively new science, and a lot of early work was done in a big hurry and lots of things still need refining and improving.

              C/C++ is okay, one of the best we have, but it still has lots of shortcomings. Of course there are die hard fans of LISP, Python, Ruby, etc. Java? Java doesn't play nice with others. That goes for most languages, but Java was supposed to be exceptionally portable. Also, I have not heard that Java has improved much on resource usage. It was such a pig of a language. Perhaps that gets noticed less now because hardware capacity has continued to grow so much even Java can't easily thrash a phone let alone a desktop computer system any more. I haven't heard that anyone is a big fan of JavaScript, it's main point is that unlike Java, it's native to browsers.

              I really like the idea in Python of using position to indicate programming structure, think that's a winner for maybe making programming teachable to elementary school age students. Lot of people fiercely doubt that idea, think using spaces is crazy, but that's not Python's fault, that's the fault of that legacy encoding, ASCII. ASCII is terrible at positioning text, that's why things like HTML evolved. Consider that there is not any programming language that is just as readable in a nice, flexible, variable width font. All programming is still done with monospace fonts. In the level of maturity attained so far, programming languages today are about the equivalent of Bronze Age written language technology. Sumerian Cuneiform and Egyptian Hieroglyphics were so hard to learn that few could. It took the arrival of Phoenician a millennium later to simplify writing systems. Now we know that nearly universal literacy is possible.

              Programming languages still stink at modularity at scale, though things have improved. Sure, most are great at small scale modularity, but their systems get ugly at larger scales. It's why "namespace" was added to C++. Does the thought of trying to link together functions written in different languages make you cringe and whimper? It shouldn't be like that, but it still is.

              • (Score: 2) by Wootery on Friday January 12 2018, @01:50PM

                by Wootery (2341) on Friday January 12 2018, @01:50PM (#621363)

                Does the thought of trying to link together functions written in different languages make you cringe and whimper? It shouldn't be like that, but it still is.

                What about the way functions work in fundamentally different ways in different languages?

                For instance, in Java, int is defined to be a 32 bit integer. In C, it can be just about anything, as the language is intended to morph to fit the target architecture. You could insist on using int32_t instead, but it's not the ordinary C way of doing things. There are related issues such as that int64_t isn't guaranteed to exist.

                What about different object models? What about garbage collection? Availability of unsigned primitive types? Lazy vs strict evaluation? Dynamic types vs static types vs untyped? Existence of null? Some languages don't even have explicit parameters in the first place (Forth).

                Writing a good binding isn't always trivial busywork; resolving a genuine impedance mismatch is going to take real work. Where there is little impedance mismatch, binding-generator tools have been around for years (SWIG).

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:32PM

            by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:32PM (#621022)

            Python should not be used for most children before high school. Smalltalk is much better, if still not good. Logo and Scratch (a subset of Squeak Smalltalk) are much better...but you need to pick a good dialect of Logo. And you need to pick an interesting problem.

            The thing is, errors in Python can be obscure. You want a language where the errors are clear. Scratch is superior here, and there are Logo dialects that are also good. Neither of those languages are exactly toy languages, Scratch can be expanded all the way to full Squeak Smalltalk, and Logo has a version that was for awhile used to teach computer science at MIT. It's also true that neither is a really good language for a professional...there's too much overhead, even for the extended versions. But most children learn to ride a tricycle before they ride a bicycle.

            --
            Put not your faith in princes.
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:26PM

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:26PM (#621018)

          My point was you need to use appropriate languages (I mentioned Scratch and Logo) and projects that they find fun (I mentioned building robots out of Legos and animating cartoons). That isn't how programming is usually being taught, and most of the teachers have no idea how to do it (not to mention not being given appropriate resources).

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by looorg on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:38PM (3 children)

    by looorg (578) on Wednesday January 10 2018, @11:38PM (#620719)

    He isn't really making a very compelling argument at all. He identifies a problem, gives example(s) of another, then offers solutions for something else. Then blames the problem on something different. Then goes on a little rant about how they so special normal teaching techniques apparently doesn't apply to them. No wonder his students are confused if they can't even seem to grasp the problem or issues in a proper manner.

    It's a young field so we have not developed the teaching techniques yet. Is not a valid excuse. You don't have to reinvent the wheel every time. There are valid generic teaching tools that are cross topic. CS is not some kind of unique little snowflake topic that nobody could understand. How it is taught might in large depend on where it is associated with as a subject -- if CS falls into the maths, physics and engineering departments it's taught as if it was that. Somehow they have managed to train multitudes of people during the last decades. If things are more complex now it's cause they have created a shit system of complexity. They have made it harder on themselves then it has to be then.

    The "rainfall problem" hasn't become harder. It has not been redefined or anything. If you are still trying to figure out how to teach a 40ish year old problem today and can't figure that one out there probably isn't much help we can offer you. When you get data from students trying to solve it over and over and over again, and apparently failing, you should note where the failure occurs and solve that problem. Clearly you are not explaining something very well, or you fail to take note of a waste amount of failures as experience to improve your teaching methods.

    This makes the affect of teaching and learning in CS classrooms different than other STEM classes. Students want CS skills, but they don’t want be CS professionals—but there are lots of people in the room who do want to be CS professionals. That creates tensions and challenges.

    So you have not yet figured out that you should be teaching two different classes? As an example one doesn't teach the same Statistics introduction class to mathematicians as to econ-students as to social-science students. Why? Cause they are different and have different needs and you adapt to them. If one hasn't figured that one out yet one is somewhat beyond help really. From personal experience I can tell you that with the given three groups of students the tolerance for abstraction goes down sharply -- with the maths students you can talk quite abstract and with formulas and the further away from maths you come the more real world examples you have to use. No special snowflake teaching tools are going to put all these different students in the same class and they will all be happy in the end. There will be differentiation between or in the groups to (say all not econ-students are the same). But some will either be crushed by how hard it is, while others will laugh at what a shit course this was and how easy it was and how retarded some of the other students must be. There just isn't a way around that, most likely.

    That said there just isn't some magic-CS-teaching that will resolve all these issues and make everyone a good little code-monkey.

    We are increasingly finding that the emotional component of learning computing (e.g., motivation, feeling of belonging, self-efficacy) is among the most critical variables. When you put more and more students in a high-pressure, competitive setting, and some of whom feel "like" the teacher and some don't, you get emotional complexity that is unlike any other STEM discipline. Not mathematics, any of the sciences, or any of the engineering disciplines are facing growing numbers of majors and non-majors at the same time. That makes learning CS different and harder.

    But this just isn't a very compelling or unique argument at all. That argument is so general it's true for learning pretty much anything. It's pretty much impossible to teach someone something it they are not motivated or want to learn something. Thought just don't get transferred with feelings or osmosis just being in close proximity to the source. That isn't true for any subject matter. If what they have to teach is so hard then perhaps their students are just weak or idiots or what or the way they teach it is all wrong. Buhu my subject is so hard ...

    But to make things worse then apparently this wasn't what the author wanted to convey at all. He responded to one of the comments. He isn't talking about the mental complexity, or abstraction, issues of the subject, or probably not even how to teach the subject. What he is actually wondering is why so many students are dropping CS classes. Best guess? Programming requires a certain layer of abstract thinking and planning that some people just can't grasp. There might also be more students that want to try out this "CS" thing and see if they understand. Not a lot of students apply the the maths program just to see what it's all about. Students that apply there know what they are getting, they where good at maths in all the previous levels of schooling. So they usually know what they are getting. That might clearly not be the case with computers then if people are failing and dropping the course at an alarming rate. Perhaps those students actually drank your cool aid about how CS is for everybody.

    Hi Mark! That's interesting -- I've noted several other people on Twitter interpreting the question differently than I did. Evidence that CS is harder is that our withdraw-or-fail rate (students who drop out or fail) is higher in CS than Physics or Calculus. More people give up, fail, or don't even try CS than other STEM subjects. That's the "harder" that I was trying to explain. Why don't students succeed in the first class? Other people interpreted that you did -- if you can succeed at both CS and another STEM subject, which is more cognitively challenging? I'm more worried about the people who can't succeed at CS, not the cognitive complexity. I don't know how to measure that latter, between fields.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by crafoo on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:03AM (2 children)

      by crafoo (6639) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:03AM (#620759)

      Students come to university level science, math, and computer classes armed with unrealistic and absurd notions of what it will take to succeed.

      Learning a real science (or computer science) amounts to sipping expensive coffees in swank environments while smooth jazz plays lightly in the background. You and your snowflake friends gossip about the professors hairdo and then get down to business of booting up your new macbook pros and picking just the right background image. It needs to convey "smart, sexy, but hardcore hacker-in-training". Everyone high-fives and then goes back to the dorm to work on their super-secret business plan to be the next Amazon/Google/Paypal/SpaceX.

      Then you fail and bitch about your fee-fees. Surprise. No one gives a fuck.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:12AM (1 child)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:12AM (#620818) Journal

        Then you fail and bitch about your fee-fees. Surprise. No one gives a fuck.

        I was totally with you till you got to that point. That never happens!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:32AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:32AM (#620823)

          No. This is what happens. You pass. And you go out into the real world where THERE ARE NO JOBS IN TECH.

          Then you go back to your former professors and you ask, why does anyone bother going to university when THERE ARE NO JOBS IN TECH.

          And your professors will reply, oh well it's a gamble, and such a shame that THERE ARE NO JOBS IN TECH.

          And finally your alumni association will beg you for donations from some of that big money they heard you would be making. Except you don't have any money because THERE ARE NO JOBS IN TECH.

          THERE ARE. NO JOBS. IN TECH.

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