Hello? David Brin? Are you out there?

This is the original Salon article, written by David Brin: Why Johnny Can’t Code

Someone needs to tell him about KPL and Phrogram, eh? 😀

Here’s Brin’s list of books at Amazon – he’s a pretty prominent SF writer.

All kinds of secondary linking and coverage is happening, and lots of people are mentioning KPL in that secondary coverage, so we’re enjoying a pretty good traffic spike around this, just exactly in time for that traffic to see the new Phrogram site. Nice!

Here’s the SlashDot coverage

Here’s the coverage at digg

And at Del.Icio.Us

Here’s the link and comments at reddit

And here’s a smaller grassroots example:


Much more to come about this, I’m sure. Whether he’s right or not, it’s great he’s raising the issue, and we’re certainly going to enjoy a bunch more visibility and traffic because he is.

Here’s a conspiracy theory- we all like those! Brin is in the Seattle area, as is Microsoft, and I happen to know that some very senior Microsoft people interested in Computer Science education are friends of his. Brin has spoken on campus in Redmond, for instance. And, of course, old-school BASIC is one of BillG’s babies, and he IS the richest guy on the planet, and also happens to still run Microsoft. So could this be a trial balloon from a prominent writer, sure to get lots of coverage and response, a trial balloon about the idea of the literal return of BASIC, as an emulator, running within Windows and/or Internet Explorer? Would Microsoft ship such a thing? Would it go any further than other emulators that let you run old school arcade games? As in, not very far? But would it be highly interesting from Microsoft’s marketing and buzz point of view, and thus worth doing, even if old school BASIC isn’t interesting anymore practically or pedagogically? I did say it was a conspiracy theory – as in: not very likely! 😀 And from the general reaction to his article, not likely to do much if it does?


4 thoughts on “Hello? David Brin? Are you out there?

  1. […] Hello? David Brin? Are you out there? […]

  2. David Brin says:

    Har! Cool writing. Nice blog.

    As for my essay on Salon, “Why Johnny Can’t Code”… alas, It was NOT about BASIC per se,
    Only a small minority seemed at all interested in even looking at my core idea, which was how to create a nice, comfortable starting point for millions of kids, so they could use their computers to do a little COMPUTING for mild classroom assignments, and so get a taste of this way of looking at the world.

    Indeed, the tiniest fraction seemed to grasp how valuable it once was (but no longer) for ALL kids to be able to easily type in little illustrative examples at the end of each math or physics chapters. Everyone seemed to think it could still be done. But it cannot. I repeat that. It cannot AND it simply, simply cannot be done.

    It does no good to preach what languages kids SHOULD have. Most don’t. Period.

    People who prais etheir specific beloved language, without noticing that millions of kids have no easy, quick, turnkey pedagogical access to ANY common computer language, are missing the whole point.


    With cordial regards,

    David Brin

  3. […] Hello? David Brin? Are you out there? […]

  4. theschwartz says:

    Wow, great to hear from you, David, thanks for taking the time! I posted a full and proper reply to your comment, with an example that I hope you’ll find hopeful.

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