“The best book on programming for the layman is ‘Alice in Wonderland’; but that’s because it’s the best book on anything for the layman.”
I’ve had a number of people tell me that they don’t understand my blog posts about programming. Ok, don’t read them. I won’t be insulted. If you aren’t a programmer they aren’t for you. I really don’t want to hear about it everytime I talk to someone who’s not a programmer who reads my blog. I’ve felt a bit of a need to hold back on the more technical sort of posts due to this, but I’ll be getting back to them soon.
I’ve also had a few people who didn’t understand these posts remark that I must be very smart. Please, don’t ever, ever, EVER assume someone is smart because you don’t understand what they’re talking about. It would be much safer and more reasonable to assume they’re a blathering idiot. Yes, I’m asking you to assume I’m being a blathering idiot when I write those sorts of posts. I hope that what I’m saying is smart but for the good of society, you should assume it isn’t. Not only will you be less easily taken in by unsound but fancy sounding arguments, but you’ll be in a better position to understand correct complicated arguments. A lot of people see something complicated and psych themselves out of even trying to understand it. If you think you’re too dumb to understand something it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, so assume you’re smart and the argument seems complicated because the person trying to explain it is too dumb to explain it properly. Now, like anything this can be taken too far the other way and if you get intellectually arrogant and assume you know everything, you’re just as closed off as if you assume you’re too stupid.