Computer Scientists Folklore
Folklore involves the study of traditional popular culture, in the past and in the present. Long ago, breakthrough products of the computer industry could still be created single-handedly, or by very minute teams. Folklore encourages the study of any given society through its culture and language, providing an array of choices for drawing on various disciplines in computer science. Focusing on computer scientists’ folklore involves understanding how computer scientists define the industry through folktales, folk poetry, proverbs, riddles, jokes, myths, legends, folk music, and folk ballads (Pierce, 6). Folklore scholars ensure that their legendary jokes, songs, myths, and riddles add validity to the truth of its occurrence. Without any element of validity, the folklore legends could adopt the old way of jokes, lurking forgotten on the sidelines of society. The essay presents folklore collections about computer scientists analyzed from the individual, social, cultural, and comparative viewpoint. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Take for example “The Computer Scientist and the Burning Room,” this is a famous joke accessible to only computer science students. The joke frames a computer scientist waking up in the middle of the night and finding a building on fire. Next to the faucet is a bucket that he fills up and pours it on the fire and the fire goes out. A few months later, the computer scientists’ wakes up and experiences the same instance and does the same thing he did for the first time. This joke was meant to make something that is very formal and stressful with slight more fun to students. In the cultural context, the joke is inaccessible to students who are not computer scientists and could only draw fun between two computer scientists who both understand the joke (Shapiro, 376). The joke teaches students that whenever something is done in computer science, the first step in reducing the process to the absolute starting point even if repeating the already completed step is the only sure way of doing it.
The “Robert Drop Tables” is another folklore joke or pun collector by Scott Magnuson. A college student pokes a fun on “SQL injection” creating a room for those students lacking knowledge of MYSQL but possess advanced knowledge of the joke where users can hack into the program and steal information. The joke relies on MYSQL programming language whose item is passed down from professors to Dartmouth College students. The joke is a pun on words for it utilizes programming lingo to ensure something abnormal happens when it should not happen. The student had the myth that computer science was not concerned about software applications knowledge but on its applications development. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Aside from the above folklore jokes, most computer scientists’ tales are merely myths. There are intense battles between professors and students who try to outsmart each other. Some students think that computer science is mathematics, mathematics, mathematics! Computer science is mathematics, mathematics, mathematics. However, professors hold that computer science and mathematics are interrelated and that mathematics in computer science is taught from the zero point. The importance of doing mathematics in order to establish soundness and correctness of the applications is known to all students. However, believe that mathematics guarantee concept skills of computer science are a myth. Stating mathematics makes it science is a myth, thus computer science folklore.
In “The Archives of Compsci Folklore,” professors teach students that there was once a DECWRITER III in Vuft who comfortably sat contently minding his own business to extend that he never suspected any dramatic events unfolding in software. The folktale meant that college students trek across the college on rubbish and debris activities hoping for salvation to come from the air. With much agony, the professor scorned the students to restore their civilization of getting concerned about what goes on in the class and the college at large. Other disciplines such as management, politics, and music; although unrelated to computer science impact on its programs. Students state that this is boring. However, the professor explained how this was a myth and misconception by emphasizing that when computer science professionals spend all time in front of computers, this creates a wrong impression from the general public.
In another interesting folklore story by Seymour Papert in 1966, the computer scientists wrote a proposal that sought to build a computer vision system as a summer project in their master’s degree studies. There was a conflict of ideas between the students and the professors about “The Summer Vision Project”; prompting Seymour to document his tale that could significantly challenge the professor. The student believed that computer vision was a crucial project for a summer student unlike the professor’s discouragement about the same (Patterson, 41). Since then, computer vision has taken off as a significant and booming field in computer science. While such legends keep evolving from time to time, it is such students who end up outsmarting the knowledge hold by the professors about computer science concepts.
Upon interaction with professors and other computer science legends in class, many students end up researching further to prove the authenticity of the taught folklores. As a result, conflicts arise between the two parties as they try to outsmart each other. The reality and possibilities of computer science make most students nervous. However, all of these professors and students end up being legends of folklore in a funny, frightening, and astonishing manner by the messages and ideas they share about computer science conceptions. It is interesting how students challenge and try to challenge the myths and misconceptions they hear from horror legends. ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW
Patterson, David A. “Offshoring: finally facts vs. folklore.” Communications of the ACM 49.2 (2006): 41-42.
Pierce, Benjamin C. Basic category theory for computer scientists. MIT Press, 1991.
Shapiro, Fred R. “Etymology of the computer bug: History and folklore.” American Speech 62.4 (1987): 376-378.