~e; electronics knowledge

From human being <human@electronetwork.org>
Date Sun, 1 Dec 2002 16:47:11 -0600

// an interesting short essay below on a person's
// life-path to and through electronics & computing.

Speaking Mind to Mind

By RAY OZZIE Written with Glenn Rifkin


// something which has interested me for a while has been
// trying to learn programming, and my absolute inability
// to conceptually understand it, as i always have one more
// question before i can grasp how it all works. maybe there
// is a leap that needs to be taken, whatever it is, it has
// been something i've not figured out. and my latest approach
// is focussing on trying to learn programming through working
// on basic electronics, with an educational electronics kit.

// this, because electrical engineering and programming seem
// to have gone hand-in-hand for awhile in Universities, and
// there appears (from the outside, at least) to be a lot of
// crossover, how much so, an expert would know. then again,
// it makes me curious why electronics are not widely taught,
// if there is a conceptual and other cross-over of thinking
// and skills. for electronics the mathematics and use of
// physics may be different than those for programming a
// device, and yet with electronics one can program a circuit
// to perform non-microprocessor tasks, though i'm not sure
// what the label is to differentiate a programmable embedded
// microchipset from a non-programmable one.

// in any case, electronics as a foundation for computing (from
// software and hardware to inventions making its development
// possible) seems detached from its programming/media aspects,
// and this also is a mystery. with electronics one might know
// about electricity, electromagnetism, lasers, basic properties
// and dynamics of materials, with an ability to think/act in
// both hardware and software worlds. it makes the intangible
// aspects of 'cyberspace' grounded by a more tangible physicality,
// where photons and electrons are like nails to an electronics
// person, whose is in a role similar to that between a carpenter
// and an architect, or in this case, an electrical engineer.

// and maybe this literacy might become necessary if everyone
// has to have some basic understanding of electromagnetism
// and its related phenomenon, its core principles, its reality.
// and maybe this type of learning could be integrated with
// computer programming at a young age, incrementally, so as
// to allow more children a basic knowledge and aptitude test,
// to see who might flourish in such a setting, instead of
// having to wait until later grades to approach such areas.
// for instance, someone may know in 3rd grade that they want
// to be an architect, today, and still have to wait another
// twelve years to take one credited class in the field. not
// so for self learning, but an example of how even for young
// people today have to wait years for access to basic knowledge.

// in addition, it is my guess that many who find interest in
// computer servers and both the design and technical aspects
// of digital media skills (which are becoming more common for
// a wider range of people, from blogging to webwork) may in-
// fact create a first- or renewed- interest in electronics
// skills, to reach into the realm of hardware design and
// experimentation. there has been a lot of discussion on the
// lack of engineers (at least in the USA) and it is no surprise
// given how knowledge systems interact with unique individuals.
// if there was a softer approach to new knowledge, built up
// over years, where the first experience with programming is
// to be told to do calculus equations in C without conceptual
// instruction on any of the special characters is unsurprising.
// so, an adventure into electronics, seeing where it leads...

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