[Edu-sig] Around again

Arthur Siegel ajs@ix.netcom.com
Sat, 16 Sep 2000 11:06:39 -0400

Jason -

First thanks for your reply and the information it contains.
The Flash lead is something I do intend to pursue. I would
not know to give it a serious look were it not for your
advocacy - and I expect I will find something of interest
for myself, though whether I see it as CP4E relevant is
a slightly separate matter to me.

>Maybe create a sort of super-Alice.
>Is this not already happening..?
>What can Alice learn from Flash and vice-versa?

Here you're talking to the wrong guy.

I am the anti-Alice.

Would be sensible of me to leave this as a question of competing
and equally valid sensibilities.  Can't do it. But don't want to
continue to repeat myself.

More generally, people in this community are perhaps more technical
than I, and first look to a technological solution.  That perspective
is at its apex at this moment, culturally. So particularly here,  I'm quite
sure I sound off key.

But while I am the anti-Alice, and have tangled almost personally
with Guido on the subject, I am a definite pro-Python.

I have been of the position that Python itself is the "breakthrough" that
was missing. It's here. Now let's stop fretting about technology and start
talking about the specifics of curriculum - a decidedly non-technological
pursuit, which some folks are in fact pursuing in various creative ways.

>What is the blank slate.. no keyboard, noOS, no mouse, no printer, no
>floppy, no ethernet....? Linux 1991 ?

The answer to me is again Python.  Python out-of-the-box is a legimate blank
slate starting point because it is in fact a real world, industrial strength
programming language, as distributed.  There is no theoretical justification
for this as a dividing line.  It's just real world, and education is (should
be) real world.

I don't know it you were around for it:

A thirty line Python chat program was posted up by
David Scherer.  Meaty. Annotated well - semester 1 curriculum finished.

The most interesting question surrounding CP4E to me at the
moment is the business decision to back-burner CP4E.

The world of business is one in which I am not a beginner.

I can't say for sure, certainly. Don't have enough of the background
or facts. But on the surface I question it, simply as a business decision.

Educational spending I think is an X% of the economy that dwarfs
much else. Python is looking for unique niches. Among the
answers to what you can do with Python that you can't do with Perl
and C++, is learn it. Great niche.

Whom do I call?