Learn how to code and be change resistant, or prepare to be automated

Do you know how to code?

-Good, keep at it! As you were, soldier.

 

No?

-then read on. Your life depends on it:

code for your life

Skills, it’s all about skills these days. Forget about education and get yourself a few useful skills, preferably an unusual combination of skills

These are some of the skills you’ll acquire while actually doing something quite stimulating (i.e. learning to program, both low level and high level):

  • math, algebra
  • logical thinking
  • focus
  • combining big picture strategic thinking with focus on details
  • patience, being thorough (debugging, or avoiding having to debug [super human])
  • for a young Swedish person: learning English

All these skills are of course useful and valuable even if you don’t actually code.

 

However…

 

…as if that wasn’t enough, you’ll learn a trade too:

enabling you to be your own one-man construction company, plumber, electrician, alchemist, magician, money printer and God in the digital era. Make your own apps, use them or sell them – perhaps trade them as a currency for other apps or knowledge. You might stop at making simple games for your children or just polishing your web site, or you just might go all the way to unlocking more horse powers in your car or optimizing your energy bill or fooling burglars with a smart lighting schedule when you’re away. Why not construct and sell virtual stuff for money in the many game worlds?

Oh, did I say the IT industry is screaming for skilled coders? Knowing how to code or program isn’t just change resistant, it’s here and now as well. Modern people are too lazy to focus, too lazy to learn real skills. Don’t be one of them. Don’t be the “I want to be on TV” person. Be the one editing TV, programming special effects, integrating media systems, inventing smarter information flows. Be important and change resistant, not just another replaceable warm body.

 

You want to be in control of the robot overlords as long as possible

Which skills do you think will be the most change resistant, the coming 10-25 years, as our robot overlords start to take over? I’d bet on programming, coding, controlling the first primitive software and hardware robots. I also think apps, or coding hours or something similar might partly replace fiat currencies. Okay, that might be taking it a step to far. Might.

One thing is for certain though, almost everything will be automated sooner or later, and you would want to be than one doing the automation. (This guy says no to coding, and actually expresses a couple of valid points. In my opinion, however, he misses all the skills you acquire while learning programming. He also implicitly assumes we should all be either top level management or blue collar workers. In practice most of us are in between; at risk of being automated but capable of becoming self-sufficient through coding)

 

Your choice

-to hide and pretend until all is lost, or take action? Which is it going to be?

choice

 

The bitter red pill of enlightenment, truth and discipline (as well as subscribing to my newsletter)

Or the sweet blue pill, leading to continued blissful ignorance – but also eventual enslavement and doom

 

WHAT kind of code?

It depends of what you want to do with it. If you have a tangible goal, research what code others are using in that area, be it java, javascript, perl, ruby rails, python one of the C’s etc. If you’re looking for a job, check out ads and ask friends or prospective employers what skills they are looking for. If you simply want the challenge, see what your favorite online resource has to offer, e.g., Codecademy or Khan).

 

10 Print “I won’t give in to ”

20 Print “our robot overlords. ”

30 GOTO 20

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21 Comments

  1. Let’s say, hypothetically, that I wanted to upload my consciousnes into cyber space, locate a hostile AI, build a firewall around it, and delete it – what kind of coding should I look into?
    Psyched!

    • Well, C++ is always a good place to start, but look into Python, BotLang and Pop-11 as well :)

      Even MatLab and Java+Clojure would work. Choose the broadest ones (C++ and Java) so you can use it for other stuff as well, in case strong AI never develops…

      LOL

      • All right, noted. Thanks! Broad seems nice. I have, however, before I read your (although swift) answer already sorta-merged with khanacademy.com, become a green droplet-avatar in the process, and started the Javascript route. Some promises about making games with smiling characters lured me in.

        I’ll circle back to the whole broad (C++ and Java) AI-wrestling business!

        • You’ll find me at Khan under the name “Sprezzaturian”, including my 16 simple javascript programs (Newton’s Cradle e.g.), 179 000 points (mostly from completing 162/923 in World Of Math)

          I haven’t done anything at Khan since summer 2014 though

          • I can’t find you at Khan… are you a teacher there? I just created an account there so I am relatively new.

          • I’m an ordinary user. Look for @Sprezzaturian or mikael.syding

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