To David Musick and assorted co-conspiritors (sic),
I was very impressed and pleased by your education post to the list. So important is the subject to me that I set off to compose a responding post before finishing even the first page of yours Then I returned to finish reading about your experiences with programming. I strongly agree that the reliably unambiguous connection between cause and effect--you do a thing, you get a thing--that is the essence of successful programming, is a terrific basis for precise and valid analytical thinking. Gadgeteering with mechanical objects in the material world has a similar accurate feedback training potential, but requires a variety of material objects. In programming the variety is a more fundamental property of the medium.
I hope and suspect that the existence and ubiquitous presence of programming in the lives of all people from here on out will improve human intelligence significantly.
IF THIS IS TRUE, THEN AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL TO INTRODUCE KIDS TO PROGRAMMING AT THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE AGE WOULD BE A MAJOR, MAJOR BREAKTHROUGH--AN EXTROPIAN BREAKTHROUGH--IN HUMAN ADVANCEMENT.
A real creative coup would be to find a way to make it accessible to the very youngest minds--I think of the baby in the crib looking up at his mobil, with the bright dangling objects, objects which when pulled on could be the input device (no way this is a new idea), with a video screen and speakers higher up and behind. Imagine the music and movies that could come out of that!
Best, Jeff Davis
"Everything's hard till you know how to do it."