How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

Art and Computer Science

Here’s something most people don’t understand. Computer science isn’t. Algorithms, theory, coding, networks, databases, user-interface, all of these things wander the line between philosophy and art. Computing is an all pervasive way of thinking that tones our lives, and colors our perceptions.

Programming for example, programming is a poetry. More powerful, more forceful, more creative than the average poem- programs are poetry in action, poetry in process, poetry that acts, exists, and changes. Poetry that, in a limited sense, can think, can remember you, and change itself to suit you. Poetry as long and complicated as any epic; 5000 lines is nothing to a program.
Too few programmers realize this unfortunately; too few are aware of the harmony in the miles of well written code, the Zen simplicity that wraps itself around simple one line statements, the symmetry of a thought out, complete, and well executed design. The programming concepts involved in objects boil the world down into a terse sonnet of keywords and semicolons.
What is poetry? Language twisted around for effect. Usually it involves a long process of revision, struggle, and anguish to force those words around into the meaning the poet envisioned. How is this twisting of language different from the use of language for programming? How do those frustration filled, port soaked nights compare with the monitor lit evenings filled with pizza and Mountain Dew?
None of these statements are an attempt to add soul to the computer field- the soul is already there. All these words are doing are stripping back the veil and making it apparent. This is not just about programming either; that just happens to be my area of expertise.
Let us not forget the pupils of Arachne, who weave together silicon crystals called computers into patterns, creating tapestries we call networks. Embrace the Tao of hardware, the balance of cost, performance, and compatibility. Watch as DBAs use SQL as a brush to paint the world in database colors.
Pay no heed to artists that claim art must have no function. Beauty lies in function, in the efficient execution of function. Truly, how could people like that appreciate the difference between code that works and code that works elegantly? They will never see that line, because they cannot. Their aesthetic is not bred for it; few of them are willing to learn.

Write your code! Build your computers! Forge your networks! Always- always remember that this is art! Always design for elegance, simplicity, and beauty.

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