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Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters

From: David Kastrup
Subject: Re: FSF : lackeys of their corporate masters
Date: 07 May 2004 10:55:16 +0200
User-agent: Gnus/5.09 (Gnus v5.9.0) Emacs/21.3.50 (Snuffelluffogus) writes:

> Rui Miguel Seabra <> wrote in message 
> news:<>...
> > On Thu, 2004-05-06 at 08:24 -0700, Snuffelluffogus wrote:
> > > > It is unethical for me to help a little old lady across a busy road
> > > > without demanding she pay for the service?
> > > 
> > > Helping little old ladies across the street is not a PROFESSION
> > > that requires YEARS of EXPENSIVE TRAINING, you idiot.
> > 
> > You don't specifically train to be a programmer or a system
> > administrator. You learn the basics, and experience improves.
> I have seen much code written by self-taught programmers.
> It most sucks.
> Writing computer code should be left to engineers.

You are cute in your naivety.  For your record, I am a self-taught
programmer.  I assembled my own computers myself, I wrote their BIOS
and other firmware, I wrote compilers, runtime systems, assembled and
designed the hardware.  I still can recite most of the clock cycles
taken for various assembly language instructions from processors I
used by heart.  I acquired fluency in probably a dozen computer
languages, before getting any formal education.  Any curriculum that
would enforce the skills I have acquired would be thrown out: no
chance for people to learn all that in the course of an education.

The computer code written by my engineer coeds sucked in comparison to
what I wrote.  Small wonder: engineers are not trained to be

However, I also replaced code written, maintained and "optimized" by
computer scientists with a complete education by my own code because I
was not able to understand their stuff, particularly after
"optimization".  Their optimization cut a mapping problem from several
days of runtime (medium size maps) down to about one day.  That was
code by computer scientists, so I knew the problem was not easy.  I
designed my code very carefully for that reason.  After the initial
bugs were out, I still had the problem that the program quit after
running just for over a minute.  I debugged for hours until I finally
got the clue to compare the results.  They were correct.

Don't talk to me about the inferiority of self-taught programmers as
opposed to professionals with an "education".  A few years of
education can't make up for skills acquired and honed over decades.
At best, they can supplement them.

David Kastrup, Kriemhildstr. 15, 44793 Bochum

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