> Throwing rocks instead of thinking, the "them and us" social pattern,
> and, above all, vast emotional investments in something so incredibly
> trivial that I don't even have a word for it. Death to baseball. Teach
> the kiddies how to program a computer. (My little brother just wrote
> his first function! In Python, BTW - it really is the best language for
> learning these things.)
A kid who has played baseball is far better prepared to face the realities of life than one who has done nothing but write code.
The latter, for example, will have a very deterministic controloriented view of life: write the code correctly, and it will produce the right result, and you have complete control of that. In baseball (and life) even if you are the best batter in the league, you will fail over 60% of the time because of blind chance and other inputs beyond your control. Yet your long-term success will still depend on your own talent and how you deal with those external influences.
A programmer always has time to consider choices. A ballplayer must often make decisions in the instant: when that comebacker reaches the mound, you must decide in the time it takes to turn around whether to throw to second to get the lead runner or take the safer play at first. Your decision may well affect the outcome of the game, and you may not have time to even look at the runners before you make it. And the result of that choice will be recorded for history. Developing instincts--and the ability to change those when conditions change, such as when the runner is slow or fast--is vital to succes in baseball and life.
When that kid is done hacking games and wants to get a job--do you think ey'll be prepared to contribute to a company, work with marketers, managers, lawyers, salespeople, and others on eir team if ey has never experienced those dynamics?
I chose software as my primary career, but I know I learned more about life on the baseball diamond and the poker table than I will ever learn from the net, even with full-blown VR.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC