Subject: Re: Programming languages for the very young
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2004 03:57:19 -0600
Newsgroups: comp.lang.scheme,comp.lang.logo,comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>
Joe Marshall  <> wrote:
| (Brian Harvey) writes:
| > I'd rather hire someone who has *real* literacy and teach him how to
| > use a computer than hire someone who's a whiz at computers and try
| > to teach him English and critical thinking skills.
| Certainly there are many computer whizzes that could use a little help
| with their English...

I see it's time once again to drag out a few of my favorite Dijkstra[1]

	"Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good
	mastery of one's native tongue is the most vital asset of
	a competent programmer."

Note that he said "one's native tongue", not necessarily "English".
[Dijkstra wasn't even a native speaker of English, although when
writing in English he wrote with great precision.]

	"The tools we use have a profound (and devious!) influence on
	our thinking habits, and, therefore, on our thinking abilities."

As any Lispnik could tell you!  ;-}

	"About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil
	with a blunt axe. It is equally vain to try to do it with ten
	blunt axes instead."

And of course:

	"Programming is one of the most difficult branches of applied
	mathematics; the poorer mathematicians had better remain pure


[1] Edsger W. Dijkstra, "How do we tell truths that might hurt?" (1975)