I produce and usually host a somewhat weekly radio show and podcast called An American Atheist, discussing news and topics in atheism and religious criticism.
This week’s episode features an interview with Upright Citizens Brigade comedian Matt Besser, conducted by my friend Colin.
I attended CodeConf this last weekend in San Francisco, excited to see a number of the slated speakers. I did not know who Jeremy Ashkenas was, and having enjoyed literary theory classes in college, was skeptical when I read the topic of his talk, “Can code be literature?”
Ashkenas walks us through his reasoning of what is not so much a proof or argument, but a very thoughtful perspective involving the ideas of Edsger Dijkstra and Donald Knuth. Ashkenas received the strongest applause of CodeConf, and I even saw one programmer so moved, he gave a standing ovation.
Available below is the audio from that talk. The quality is not great though not terrible. I was able to mostly seamlessly stitch together my own higher quality recording, which is missing the first 10:45, with another attendee’s recording, to give you the complete talk. It’s worth the half hour.
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A very good case for demanding open source in public schools:
Educators have been called upon throughout history to combat censorship imposed by various powers over the flow of information. The censorship being applied today comes in the form of licenses that lock away the tools to build the information age and laws that limit fair use in ways that are unprecedented in the modern era. The powers imposing this censorship attempt to create an artificial scarcity of information and the tools to work with that information to feed their greed. Where would education be today if, for example, the mechanism and idea of the Gutenberg press were not only hidden, but protected by threat of dire punishment under the law if anyone dared to attempt to “reverse engineer” it?
The rest of the article is just as good and contains dozens of links to similar resources.
(The quote above is Copyright 2001-2007 Terry Vessels.)