One of the most unsettling feelings is applying yourself to learn something only to be met with failure, confusion, and frustration. Taking intro to computer science this past semester was one of the first times in a while that I resided in a constant state of puzzlement. I cannot recall the number of nights spent blinking to keep myself awake in front of a computer screen trying to understand how you’re supposed to use words and syntax to construct something digital. The end of each assignment left me left exhausted with the line System.out.println( permanently marked on my eyes. Despite the professor’s overtly abridged attempt to put programming into layman’s terms, it may as well have been attempting to learn a second language.
Somehow I managed to make it out of the class with an A-, but this week’s readings reminded of the ruthless effort it took. However, learning about coding’s applications in the world of organizing and accessing stored information is a lot less tolling or troubling. The section from Blown to Bits put this concept into perspective, by highlighting the complexity and grandiosity of digitally stored material. Strangely, whenever you’re interested in researching something, it’s the most important thing in your mind, but is merely a microscopic speck in the eye of all the information that exists. The second major concept of this week’s readings was the actual topic of programming in terms of composition. In the introduction of The Role of Computational Literacy in Computers and Writing, this idea of a “logocentric” past is brought up. Its interesting that even being apart of the millineal generation, I could be left in the past by not understanding and being able to apply computational literacy. While this is a daunting thought, its strange to think of algorithmic writing in the light of growing importance.