As one example, consider agile development, the manifesto of which was published in 2001. Even Wikipedia traces its origins back through the 1970s, but the epistemological ideas involved —the role of falsification especially— are not new. They recall very directly the work of Karl Popper, whose philosophical corpus can be read as a jeremiad against “waterfall” methods of historical development —namely Marxism— in favor of methods that permit creative conjecture, evidence-gathering, and improvements of theses, which recalls nothing so much as the experimental agility of a contemporary startup. Popper wrote many of his works in the 1940s and 1950s. But he looked even further back, all the way to the ancient Greeks, who he thought could teach us a great deal about the role of explanation.
But Did You Learn to Program? …
This is the important question that a CV can’t answer. This is an important question that rifling through the small subset of my professional work that’s on Github or the CPAN won’t tell you. They won’t tell you about all of the mistakes I made that you don’t see, if they exist. They won’t tell you about all of the thrashing around that I did or didn’t do which Git let me squash out of existence. They won’t tell you if I churned out 1400 lines of code one afternoon in a marathon coding session and it compiled on my second try and hasn’t been touched since, because it just works and no one needs to touch it.
Then again, asking me to write a sorting algorithm on a whiteboard won’t tell you much either beyond “Does this person actually seem like he knows how to program at all?” and that’s still a thing in interviews.
But you know, I like the idea of getting lost or confused in a video game space and finally figuring out where to go, because the amount of time you spent in that space confused is time you spent building a relationship with the space. It hasn’t really been pleasurable at all, but because of the way that the market for games work the worst that you could do – or at least this is what the research says – the worst thing you could do is confuse someone to the point of them quitting. And if that happens they get frustrated, they won’t like it, they won’t pay for it, they’ll get mad. So it’s this self-reinforcing loop, where people can’t take any degree of pain when they’re playing a game or watching a movie or listening to music. They are reacting to this initial pain. …
Not everything is meant to be understood or appreciated right away. It can be a lot easier if you’re prepared to go into something with that mindset. This is why I don’t like the idea that you have to keep players entertained, because that way there’s this constant revenue source. I think it’s really important to have a beginning and an end. Because in the end “this did value my time”: regardless of whether it took a long time to play through, it didn’t just keep putting the carrot further and further away.
In 1975, volunteer programmers and the nonprofit People’s Computer Company (PCC) developed an alternative BASIC for the Altair 8800. … He discussed it with Dennis Allison, who taught at Stanford, and Allison began to develop a specification for a limited BASIC interpreter called Tiny BASIC. In a collaborative hobbyist spirit, Allison’s documents were published in three parts by Albrecht in issues of the PCC newsletter, a serial that had been running since October 1972. At the conclusion of this series of specifications, Allison called for programmers to send in their implementations and offered to circulate them to anyone who sent a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
The first interpreter written in response to this call was by Dick Whipple and John Arnold and was developed in December 1975. To disseminate it, Albrecht and Allison started a new serial, initially photocopied and originally intended to just run for a few issues. This was Dr. Dobb’s Journal of Tiny BASIC Calisthenics and Orthodontia; it printed the code for the interpreter in octal machine language, ready for hobbyists to toggle in or, even better, key in on their Teletypes. It is an understatement to call this publication a success. By January of 1976 the journal title was made more general by removing the explicit mention of Tiny BASIC, an editor was hired, and Dr. Dobb’s was launched as a newsletter offering code and articles on computing topics. … The journal ran as a print periodical until 2009, with a circulation of 120,000 shortly before that. It still exists as an online publication.
Dr. Dobb’s has been a fixture of computer sciencing (for example that Alan Kay interview). It was around the CS department at university and I read some of it, and if I ever wondered why it was called “Dr. Dobb’s” I don’t think I ever looked into it, and then last week I read this.
I wish Kumazon (Amazon.com for Bears?) was real.
I know this sounds like a big production. It is. It’s worth it. This game is a quiet Star Wars: a piece of pop culture so vivid and unexpected that it triggers the reconsideration of a whole genre. The twist is that experiencing Gone Home demands the application of significant skill. It’s as if watching Star Wars required you to actually pilot an X-wing.
But this is not insurmountable. There are X-wing pilots out there.
Chewing gum and typography, great collection via PastPrint.
I am a tooth