Está en la página 1de 4

Nick Montfort Reading The Paradoxes of Coding

by Antriksh Bali
Right off the bat, I feel that the kind of political and cultural significance
attributed by the author to the code, while having a certain amount of
value seems to be overemphasized. Reading the first few lines of the text
reminds me of an article I once read about the question is coding an art?
You can find it here
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119215/geek-sublime-vikramchandra-review-coding-art
Perhaps, to me the question seems like an oxymoron, a question that is
hardly resolvable. While looking at it simply from the perspective of a
watcher/outsider, it definitely does not seem to be an art or something
that people usually would give the same respect to as, say drawing a
painting or writing music.
At the same time, there is a very important functional value to the
process of coding and it also has to deal a lot with finding solutions to a
wide variety of problems. Some people prefer to approach code or
programming from a very methodical point of view, but at the same time,
I believe even programming/coding to a certain extent does require a
certain kind of creativity, albeit not the same as writing poetry. But it is
definitely a different kind of thinking. Perhaps, its like solving a physics
problem.
However, there are a number of parallels that I do draw between creative
works and the way coding is approached. Say for example, the concept of
inheritance. Over the period of the past few hundred years, there have
been works of art that were influenced or drawn by artists who took a
considerable amount of inspiration from already existing works.
Inheritance does not seem to me, to be very far off from that looking at it
very generally. Reusable code is a lot more extreme example of it, but
nonetheless similar, I feel.
It is interesting to read the authors perspectives on 10 PRINT simply
because it was the first computer language I learnt when I was in third
grade on a really old-fashioned Windows 3.1/DOS-based computer. It is

definitely shocking to realize the amount of progress and development


that has happened simply over the course of the past twenty years.
The dissection of singular components of a BASIC statement would
probably be something that people studying computer science of learning
difficult programming languages would have a slight scuffle and a giggle
over, but I feel that it definitely brings about an interesting new
perspective on how different things can be perceived by different people
in different ways. I, in no way declare this approach to the analysis of a
computer program statement wrong or of any less merit than other
possible ways. But at the same time, perhaps it is more about the culture
and the context.
I would say studying program statements in this fashion would be similar
to if someone studied English and decided to learn grammar, they could
learn it in one way. But if they went into etymology and into how the
words really came about, what contexts and what other languages had an
influence that led to these changes, it would definitely seem to be a much
more rich and fulfilling experience.
At the end of the day, I believe its up to each one of us Whether we
want to stay inside a box and follow rules to gain knowledge in a
systematic way and then break the rules, or whether we want to analyze
everything that is outside the box and then let that guide us in finding our
own way. how we really want to perceive things.
To drink the wine and revel in the art or to bite the dust and do things the
hard way. That is the question, albeit a paradoxical one.

10/04/15 1:04 PM

10/04/15 1:04 PM