Thursday, September 18, 2014

Program or be Programmed: The Language of the Future isn’t English

Programming Language

The history of communication and education dates back to prehistory. It is only when we came together as tribes, cultures, and nations that we really began to advance. Yet, with education comes division. People naturally begin to separate themselves from other groups.

Through it all there was usually an upper and middle class, even from the earliest points in civilization. Now today in America, with the middle class continuing to shrink, I look to history for an explanation of the current state of affairs.

Which Side Are You On?

In every major culture there have been those who were rich, and those who were poor. As I searched for early forms of writing, I came across cuneiform from the 30th century BC.

Most of the examples I could find were mentions of the wealthy, symbols of wealth and precious commodities owned by wealthy members of the culture. Another great example of early writing, Egyptian Hieroglyphs were only mastered by the very wealthy.

Royal families sent their children to school to ensure they had mastered the art of communication.

In a much shorter scale, there have been major developments in the field of telecommunication in the past few centuries. Communication is changing rapidly, and the need for changing education is coming with it.

When you study the history of education, you’ll see that students studied subjects relevant to their time period. Education was based on the standards of communication, and the needs of the community at large.

Here in 2011, the way we all communicate is far different than even 10 years ago. Yet we continue to study the same subjects as students have for centuries, with only a few technology courses added to keep the critics at bay. How do people communicate in 2011? Mostly via email, text messages, and cell phones.

The New Language is Code

Some use social networks and video teleconferencing as well. Yet our students study the English language as their sole form of communication for more than a decade during school

I believe students should be able to read and write, but what if they could read and write HTML upon graduating as well? Students learn things like the periodic table in science, but wouldn’t computer science be more relevant?

Once again I’m not arguing against education, I think all those things are very useful. Just having some interesting thoughts tonight, so I’m going to run with it.

When people learned speech they also learned to listen and understand each other. When people learned to write they also had to learn how to read. Learning to communicate and understand that form of communication seemingly go hand in hand right? At least they did until the age of the internet.

Today millions of people access websites across the world, and most of them have no idea how that technology works.

Communication Has Fundamentally Changed

We communicate via wireless networks and sms platforms, but couldn’t fix those very same networks to save our life. We are dangerously dependent on the assumption that those forms of communication are free and easily accessible.

Take Social Networks for example. Facebook has hundreds of millions of active users, yet only a fraction of a percent of them know how that network functions. Websites, video, and mobile phones continue to grow at an exponential rate.

What grows along with those numbers is the technology gap, the wealth gap, and I would agrue the education gap. Your children may be doing well by American standards, but I wouldn’t place much stock in that.

The language of the future isn’t English, it’s code. The science of the future isn’t biology, it’s programming language theory.

These are fundamental pieces of our future. Pieces that sadly most students are largely unaware of. I don’t really care if a kid can tell me the stages of mitosis if he can’t debug a database table for optimal performance.

Education Is Our Future

I guess my words are stronger than they should be, but I’m just passionate about people being educated. Most people don’t realize how fast the gap is growing, and how high the stakes are.

Educating the next generation correctly is absolutely essential for America to maintain it’s place as a world leader.

What do you think? Done with my rant. To sum it all up I guess I just believe that it’s either Program or be Programmed.

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© 2014 - Keith Brown - Bot Food

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.