We are the Scribes of our times


I'm a professional programmer. Whatever else I am, programming pays my bills. Me and my fellow??purveyors of the Source currently enjoy the bounty of an increasingly tech centric economy because we speak Computer.

Something similar went on a few thousand years ago. Records needed keeping, letters needed writing, and only a handful knew the ways of the stylus. Scribes, they were the programmers of their times.

You may think that the world is going to shit. But it's not. Despite what the rants of newspapers and the smartphone bearing 99% would have us believe, these are times of unprecedented peace and abundance. The human condition has steadily improved, will continue to do so in the foreseeable future, and it's all thanks to widely adopted basic literacy.??Literacy multiplies the value a person can add to the world.??Teach everyone how to read and write, and in the blink of an eye donkeys on the street become jet planes in the sky.??

Machines being effort multipliers, programming is like literacy on steroids. Elementary schools everywhere are adding programming classes to their curriculum.??Soon, software will stop being something you have to get a Scribe to write.

There are two conclusions here:

1. Even in a world where everyone knows how to code, quality will matter. A good programmer will always be like a best-selling author: rare and valuable. But generally speaking we're going the way of the Scribe.

2. The world of widespread computer literacy is going to be awesome.

This has not gone well


Last week I attempted to change my daily routine, waking up and going to sleep much earlier than usual. The objective was to consolidate my at-home time, working on personal projects first thing in the morning rather than in the evening. This makes sense because I'm rarely in the mood to be productive after a long day at the office.

I pulled it off for a while, and it was great. Days were much simpler: wake up, work on my stuff, work at the office, relax, sleep. Much better than wake up, work at the office, fret about not having the energy to work on my stuff, don't relax at all, sleep. Knowing that each day I could get work done on my own projects greatly improved my mood, which had a positive impact on my demeanor and productivity at the office too.

Sadly, going out of sync relative to one's significant other is not easy. Readjusting sleep patterns is hard enough, trying to go to sleep while someone still roams around the house is harder still. By the end of the week I found myself??somewhat sleep-deprived. I was also missing my quality time with her.

So now I'm back to old slightly chaotic routine.