Perl turned 10 on the 17th of October. I’ve still got a fondness for the language even though I haven’t programmed in it for years. An internet course I developed around 1998 had Perl as the core, and I had great fun teaching it to people who’d either never programmed, or had limited programming experience. Quite scary how little I knew at the time, but they say the best way to learn is to teach, and I’m glad to say some of them are now much closer to Perl-guruhood than me. One particular student used to mail me often with Perl problems. At first I could help him with a quick glance at the code. But sure enough to me his queries soon came to resemble an unreadable mystery, and he was on his own.
I’ve been thinking, as many new bloggers seem to, about why people blog, as I mentioned briefly yesterday. I haven’t got around to formulating my own views (perhaps I don’t have one), instead I’ve been reading some others. Most discussions aren’t very satisfying, but here’re a few that are:
- Riba Rambles:`MORE Musings of a Mental Magpie
Jennifer’s weblog, which turns into a discussion on blogs versus wikis
Another reason for me is to keep in shape. I used to write a lot, from late evening to sunrise, long manic ecstatic sessions exploring all sorts of aspects of myself. Since I have a child and an ‘ordinary’ job, that’s been difficult, though just how ordinary is a 3-day working week, and a 4-day weekend?. The 4-day weekend started about a month ago, so it’s time for new things, and reconnecting with old.
Finally, I have set up my blog, and am making my first post. As is my wont, I’ve thought about this a long time, and delayed, wanting to do it properly. I tend to find reasons to delay things forever.
Blogs fascinate me. One part sees them as egotistical, unimportant waffling written by insignificant people. But I’ve realised I still attribute to much energy to controlled forms of media. The recent case of indymedia being closed down again shows the danger of central control. Most of our newspapers write nothing but corporate and political press releases. Much of what is ‘important’ is what others believe is important. Blogs let us make up our own mind. And having started reading more of them recently, I’ve been impressed by the jewels in the mud. Blogs, Open Source, Open Content such as Wikipedia are rapidly changing the way we see the world. Most bloggers are under 25 – there’s an older generation of people who don’t understand the tremendous social changes we’re witnessing. Misunderstanding Open Source software where their understanding of business is that intellectual knowledge must be kept secret and used for enrichment. Not grasping how encyclopedia content in Wikipedia can at times be more enlightening than that in Brittanica.
I have ordered this blog in quite an artificial way, according to the Chinese 5 elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Metal for technology, Water for personal, Wood for spiritual, Fire for social and political, and Earth for anything else that doesn’t quite fit, perhaps humour. My interests include literature, technology, in particular open source and its effects upon society, tai chi, spirit, environment. Hmm, I could go on – in a good space, like a child, everything should be fascinating. My difficulty has always been choosing what to focus on. Let’s see what happens!