Coding is not ‘fun’, it’s technically and ethically complex by Walter Vannini (Aeon)

Coding is seen as fun and glamorous, but that’s a sales pitch. In reality, it’s complicated, both technically and ethically

It’s better to admit that coding is complicated, technically and ethically. Computers, at the moment, can only execute orders, to varying degrees of sophistication. So it’s up to the developer to be clear: the machine does what you say, not what you mean. More and more ‘decisions’ are being entrusted to software, including life-or-death ones: think self-driving cars; think semi-autonomous weapons; think Facebook and Google making inferences about your marital, psychological or physical status, before selling it to the highest bidder. Yet it’s rarely in the interests of companies and governments to encourage us to probe what’s going on beneath these processes.

Clear well explained short and powerful article. via both Scripting News and Memex 1.1.

Perhaps we need another term for the coding like activity than can be a lot of fun for folk that have the skills that Walter Vannini explains coders need. I have a lot of fun dabbling in AppleScript, bash and JavaScript without the discipline and study necessary to be a coder.

Kids in school can have this sort of fun too, perhaps helping in maths and in skills like problem solving, working together and practical skills. Scratch and micro:bits can be a a lot of fun in a primary classroom.

Bookmarked Schools in England told not to use anti-capitalist material in teaching (
The government has ordered schools in England not to use resources from organisations which have expressed a desire to end capitalism. Department for Education (DfE) guidance issued on Thursday for school leaders and teachers involved in setting the relationship, sex and health curriculum categorised anti-capitalism as an “extreme political stance” and equated it with opposition to freedom of speech, antisemitism and endorsement of illegal activity.

Words fail

Replied to a tweet by Athole (
Definitely part of it. But I think it’s also the culture of these digital tools. Free to use for teachers. And they offer and promise a lot. But, ethically, this is incredibly problematic. Says the man currently tweeting on an iPhone! Feels like there was more open source before

Personally I like open source & I like paying for software (hopefully I pay for FOSS by using, bug reporting & sharing). I’ve no problem tweeting from an iPhone I paid for. More problematic ‬Is how I “pay for” twitter.

Liked Read Write Review – Voices from the Village in 2017 by Aaron Davis (Read Write Respond)
Maybe there were some things that I would have changed, however considering the current state of things, I was again pretty lucky this year. Personally, our children have continued to grow up. The youngest has progressed from learning how to climb the ladder to get on the trampoline to now utilisin...

A great read and review of Aaron’s year. Just following the links from his newspaper will take some time, but it will be well spent. Aaron’s take and his pull quotes make fascinating reading.