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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sterilizing tomorrow's mothers

This comment from an Alpha Game reader should suffice to explain why all the efforts to push girls into technology careers are destined to fail:
Recently had an opportunity to observe an event specifically designed to expose high school girls to programming and coding. The event had corporate sponsors and top flight IT professionals. Workshops were designated for Code Divas and Design Duchesses.

A team of 20something women – ostensibly there to either relate and demonstrate how STEMMY girls wound up being successful or serve just to serve as relatable emotional conduit for the girls – were on hand. They primarily passed the time on phones checking Facebook or whispering about how living arrangements with Mr. So-and-So were frustrating them. Or so I overheard.

The high school girls with high SMV followed the basic directions in the workshop assignments, played with their hair, and generally looked bored. A couple of achiever girls actually thought outside the box and did some coding options that didn’t need hand-holding by the instructor.

When visiting information kiosks set up by local colleges and universities, the institutional reps asked the girls what their plans were for college. Of those I heard one-third didn’t know, one-third were entering health care (i.e. nursing), and one-third wanted to start their own business. Out of 60+ girls, less than 3 were actively interested pursuing anything programming or coding.

What could be taken from this event? The young women enjoyed the day, learned a few things, took the free stuff laid out to them, and less than 1% of them will become programmers or coders.
An effective use of resources, no doubt. The planners could probably get better results by recruiting from the stoners smoking behind the trash bins. The college plans indicate that 90 percent of these young women would be happiest becoming wives and mothers, as its the one profession that combines nursing with entrepreneurial activity. It's interesting to see that teaching, which was once a young woman's preferred form of ersatz motherhood, has become less popular as the schools become ever more vibrant.

This sick thing about our society is that we are actively dissuading these young women from doing what they want to do, what they are designed to do, and what society needs them to do, in favor of trying to coerce them into doing what they don't want to do, what they're not very good at, and what society has absolutely no need of them doing.

We're seeing more women, like the policewomen in the UK and the female marine in the USA, angrily pointing out that they were set up for failure. And that is exactly what is happening to these "Code Divas" and "Design Duchesses". Pushing careers they don't want on them isn't a way to empower or liberate women, it is a cruel means of turning them from the domestic queens they were meant to be into sterile, sub-par worker bees chiefly employed as office sex toys.

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92 Comments:

Anonymous Basement dweller April 23, 2014 3:35 AM  

I remember reading the essay (letter?) by the female marine, but I don't remember anything from uk policewomen. I'd love to read it if you have a link saved somewhere.

Anonymous Basement dweller April 23, 2014 3:43 AM  

Uh, it appears that female marine thing I was thinking of was something else entirely, I assume that

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fourteen-women-have-tried-and-failed-the-marines-infantry-officer-course-heres-why/2014/03/28/24a83ea0-b145-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html

is what you were referring to with respect to the female marine.

Blogger The Original Hermit April 23, 2014 3:56 AM  

My aunt was a computer programmer, recently retired. I don't know if she was any good, but at least competent enough to make a career out of it. She lived less than 5 miles from us my entire childhood (until I moved away at 18), and the only time I saw her was for 15 minutes when she dropped off Christmas presents every year. She was a nice person, but could not stand being around people and talking for any length of time. Married, but no kids. She is one of the few exceptions that weren't really meant to be moms. People like this are naturally going to self-select into that career. They don't need to be pushed.

Anonymous Luke April 23, 2014 3:59 AM  

I work in a petroleum geology field position, and it's the same here. I graduated with a B.S. in the 80s, with 1/3 the graduating students in my department female. Grad school less than a decade later was about the same ratio. Working in the field for more than 3 days at a time? Under 10% female in a double-digit # of years doing this, probably about 5%. They seemingly just don't want the field jobs (that, and they more easily get the office slots, between affirmative action/lawsuit fears/having still-attractive T. & A. in many cases to influence older male managers to WANT them in the office to look at).

Anonymous lurker April 23, 2014 6:17 AM  

"Chiefly employed as office sex toys."

And chiefly for management.

Anonymous Cranberry April 23, 2014 6:25 AM  

I attended a symposium at ETS several years ago, about closing the achievement gap between boys/men and girls/women at various academic levels. Many a thoughtful woman got up and talked about how it's only sexist perception that girls are less intelligent or capable in STEM fields. One statistician gave a dry and boring talk about how, when you adjusted for x, y, and z, women don't under-perform at all on math tests, etc...

After that talk, my thoughts were, why does this issue even need address? The real anxiety was Summers' statement on how women have less aptitude and desire to enter STEM; the entire two-day summit was a refutation of Summers, in Papers Both Working And White. And you end up with outreach programs like this.

The gap exists because of biology. I was told to go to college, not to settle down too early lest I make a mistake with the wrong guy, and to go live my life and get my career settled before I had a family. This was in the mid-90s when I was in high school and starting college.

It took forever for me to find anything resembling a groove, I was so aimless because deep inside I just wanted to get married and have a family, but whenever I told anyone that, I got the same spiel about living my life, getting a career...over and over.

Got an aimless 20-something female on your hands? Marry her off and get her pregnant. Nothing settles a woman down like a few kids. Honestly.

Blogger Manach April 23, 2014 6:27 AM  

Although in my experience women who do make a profession in the IT sector and are in coding teams, are amongst the very best in terms of technical expertise.

Blogger CostelloM April 23, 2014 6:36 AM  

"...chiefly employed as office sex toys." Which is exactly the point. High Alpha office CEOs can't be bothered to cruise the neighborhoods during working hours looking for strange so create a nation where the gals come to you. Beta boy hubby can't compete with captain CEO so it's easy pickings. If she's married you have your fun and Beta boy gets to raise your kid. If she's not you get an extra plate to spin. Bill Clinton's heaven and so what if civilization falls, you got yours.

Anonymous RC April 23, 2014 7:41 AM  

@Manach

Your experience must be limited to fantasy novels or your definition of coding must be very broad indeed. In my thirty years in the industry from undergrad, to grad school, to working in the software development side for one of the world's largest computer companies, to running my own software joint - working with literally hundreds of solid electrical engineers, computer engineers, and software programmers, I can count on less than one hand the number of women who could hold their own and even their skills were more suited to requirements development than the actual code stack.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 7:54 AM  

In our bizarro world, we essentially have reverse eugenics. The women who would most benefit society by reproducing are inventivized to not, and the women who would most benefit society by not reproducing are incentivized to reproduce.

Anonymous CrisisEraDynamo April 23, 2014 8:12 AM  

VD, what do you make of the argument that "hate speech" should be banned because it creates negative impressions of minority or disempowered groups and thus harms their ability to sustain themselves through finding employment? I can see someone banning any talk of women in the workplace on this basis.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 23, 2014 8:15 AM  

It's the triumph of the Soviet Union; the Soviets were brilliant; they recreated themselves in the United States. The Soviet thinking was that there was exactly one relationship that should matter to somebody - serf to government. The professional educators who were trained at teacher colleges by true believers brainwash the children in the public schools to value exactly one thing - rendering service unto the government. What's that old line - "he seemed like a good guy, paid his taxes on time"? America has run out of other careers where the proles can make money, so now it's onto the STEM ones, with programming being the lowest barrier-to-entry and also where most STEM is converging, in a cynical short position of trying to cram as many into it as fast as possible so as to hit the trifecta of maximizing the tax payments those women make to government, further alienating the non-governmental traditional structures that made society work, and paying off the victimization hustlers who are, surprise surprise, in the front rows of government supporters.

Blogger Manach April 23, 2014 8:16 AM  

@RC - presumiale you are a type of coder who know doubt yearns for the good old days of manually punching cards via mallets. My own experience is in the Solaris/Oracle DB side with 15 years expereince and the two persons I'm thinking of wrote excellent code in Java/C++/Shell script that met and in cases surpassed internal standards.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 8:22 AM  

MrGreenMan,

It appears we have outdone the soviets and established the relationship of the individual to big business, both as human capital and as market segment, as the most important relationship.

Unlike the communists, the corporatists didn't need to use as much coercion to do so.

Anonymous Baseball Savant April 23, 2014 8:22 AM  

If you wanted to learn coding on your own and had no experience with it, how would you go about it? what would you learn first? what are 2-3 books worth reading?

Blogger Eric Wilson April 23, 2014 8:23 AM  

Cranberry: Got an aimless 20-something female on your hands? Marry her off and get her pregnant. Nothing settles a woman down like a few kids. Honestly.

My 26yo sister and 24yo cousin live with me and I would love nothing more than for this to happen to both. (I've even told them this.) At this point they are just going through the motions of wanting to have a career blah blah blah. Of course my dad hasn't helped. He is very conservative but very career oriented which makes for an interesting dichotomy regarding his daughter where he really wants her to be able to find a good job. At the expense of using up her most valuable MMV and SMV years. He's a weird blue pill alpha if ever there were such a thing. So it's almost been up to me to really try to push my sister towards finding a husband.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 23, 2014 8:25 AM  

@Josh

We should be proud of American innovation. The world can't say that Yankee Ingenuity doesn't take an idea and push it further, harder, faster, and better toward dubious ends.

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 23, 2014 8:32 AM  

@Baseball Savant

Although this is a perennial question, I've found that the advice to start with a high-level language leads to the "magic box" phenomenon, where a programmer hits a wall because he doesn't know how the machine actually works.

I'd probably suggest tinkering for a short period with C, because I'm inclined over time to the view that there are only two real languages, C and Fortran, and, from Fortran, you'll be stuck in a VB mindset.

You should view all that tinkering as absolutely not applicable in any immediate term. C's portable assembler. It will force you to understand memory allocation, reading input, writing output, etc.

Although I haven't looked at it, from a hardware perspective, I like the Raspberry Pi and related ideas of throwback, simple systems - because there's no way a kid today is going to have the same experience of popping open a //e and putting in an 80 column card and memory expansion unit and see the wires on a Mac Book Pro where the unit is sealed from the factory with soldered-in-place memory and disk.

I think the reason we get crappy programmers is that these "get people into code" programs teach languages that were immediately marketable 5-10 years ago, without any base, and so you get things like - I was talking to somebody who said he'd spent all this time learning JavaScript, and then I asked him to write out some plain old HTML and attach the events, and he explained that he only knew JavaScript, not HTML, since the class he took focused on JavaScript, and so, if somebody else provided him the HTML with the JavaScript already loaded, he could maybe fill in the function definitions.

Blogger  Trust Ted get misled. Gamma secret kings reddit April 23, 2014 8:32 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Thomas Malthus April 23, 2014 8:32 AM  

“Got an aimless 20-something female on your hands? Marry her off and get her pregnant. Nothing settles a woman down like a few kids. Honestly.”


YES, Cranberry! Let us take it one step further--ban compulsory schooling for females in particular. All they learn at the state run asylums is how to swear like a drunken sailor and get STD's. Keep the girls at home where they can start having children at the tender age of 16 or 17, and then when their kids reach puberty, MAYBE they can entertain the thought of employment outside of the home, so long as they obtain permission from Father.

The libertarian “benefit” that enables a person the freedom to live their own life of their own volition is ONLY reserved to males. Of course, one could request to men, rather foolishly I might add, if they favor placing severe limitations on what they should be allowed to do in society, and if they would to be denied by “civilized savages” from the liberty to pursue their own schooling or career decisions. Only kidding, mind you! In a nutshell, freedom of association is only under the domain of the superior gender...MEN. Females need not apply. Their citizenship rights ought to be stripped to the barest of minimums.

Although one must be concerned about the white gene pool needlessly being diluted by the undesired offspring of vibrants when they engage in coitus at a record pace, the desired course of action is to vociferously remind whites of their duty to pop out kids like a Pez dispenser as a counter to niggers and spics breeding like rabbits.

Regardless if couples have a steadfast belief they are not financially ready to have children, or have serious reservations to bring Bobby or Susie into a world of Cultural Marxism, for the benefit of humanity, they must be brought into submission. After all, today's young people lack the intellectual capacity and political liberty to make their own decisions on this important matter.

What about single men who are simply interested in the “pump and dump” strategies of such prominent Gamers like Roissy, and less inclined to bear children with whiny females because they ruin everything? Tough, instant fatherhood it is!

We ALL have a moral duty to hit the road as traveling salesmen to pitch the idea to the unwashed masses how their utter stupidity will undeniably result in catastrophic demographic turmoil unless they “properly” live their life. I humbly submit, “for the societal price for replacing children with semi-civilized immigrants [is] too high.”


This is no joke, there is no punchline, what I offer to you, dearest readers, is my truth.

Anonymous Baseball Savant April 23, 2014 8:44 AM  

@MrGreenMan,

So I'm coming at this from being a complete idiot. Do you have a book or 2 on C that might be worthwhile?

Anonymous N5 April 23, 2014 8:48 AM  

I'm living this. One twin is in a top 3 Chem E program and doing well. Te other is in a top 10 music school and doing well. My mantra since they were 8 has been "go to college if you must but you need to find a good man get married an have him provide for you while you have lots of kids. Don't believe the lies." I still preach this. Maybe it's not too late.

Blogger buzzardist April 23, 2014 8:52 AM  

Oh, but how are we possibly going to have authentically feminine software unless women are programming! Women can't possibly be expected to understand or use software written by men. Teaching women how to code is the only way to ensure that women get a next Candy Crush Saga that is truly woman-friendly!

Blogger Hazim April 23, 2014 8:59 AM  

Being a technophobe and ignoramus of higher math and engineering, I feel strongly that more feminine influence will bridge the gap between me and technology. Girls do it better because fairness is their guiding light, and I wouldn't mind seeing what the other side of unfair looks like for once. You go grlz!

Anonymous MrGreenMan April 23, 2014 9:01 AM  

@Baseball Savant

The best C book is still O'Reilly's pink book, Practical C Programming. You'll get a really good, fast view of how the things at the bottom of the stack work that will make it easier to grok any higher level C-family language, and, if you then proceed to look into anything object oriented, you'll see that, at bottom, the von Neumann architecture model is a sequential execution of instructions, no objects, no abstractions, all of that is handled by compilers and interpreters to get down to assembly (and C's really portable assembly).

Blogger Unknown April 23, 2014 9:32 AM  

Reminds me of this

http://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/1vuho8/the_documentary_that_made_scandinavians_cut_all/

Blogger Desiderius April 23, 2014 9:46 AM  

"go to college if you must but you need to find a good man get married an have him provide for you while you have lots of kids. Don't believe the lies."

The lion's share of the resources that used to go to producing good men now go to nonsense such as the subject of this post. Out-of-control affirmative action is literally strangling your grandchildren in their crib.

Anonymous A Visitor April 23, 2014 9:49 AM  

why does this issue even need address?

This statement is so true. I'm just at a loss for words how stupid our society has become.

@BaseballSavant

Though I haven't coded since undergrad, I taught myself Java in the 6th grade using this. It's probably heavily outdated now and, much to my dismay, CodeWarriror (my IDE of choice) has not been in use since the mid-2000's; Metrowerks no longer exists either.

I'd recommend a similar book like that. Java was the first language I learned (self-taught), then QBasic and C++ in high school along with the latest incarnation of Java, and then finally C (for Engineers) at a very well known Midwestern university my freshman year.

@Thomas Malthus re female learning to cuss like a drunken sailor at the state run asylums...granted, they aren't exactly paragons of femininity in high school either. Universities do have a way of amplifying it though. More of a topic for AG I suppose but nothing pisses me off faster than women who cuss. You're not men; you sound like whores. STOP IT! Frankly, it's like a cackling hyena but more annoying.

What about single men who are simply interested in the “pump and dump” strategies of such prominent Gamers like Roissy, and less inclined to bear children with whiny females because they ruin everything? Don't forget Return of Kings on that bit. We see this phenomenon alive and well in the blek community (sorry, I could resist, that scene is hilarious). I agree...tough, instant fatherhood! How far our society has come from the societal shame of illegitimate children, I mean, children born out of wedlock.

Oh, but how are we possibly going to have authentically feminine software unless women are programming! Like the fembot in the "Amazonian Women in the Mood" episode of Futurama, "You have no idea what it's like, being a fembot in a man bot's world." Indeed.

Blogger Desiderius April 23, 2014 9:54 AM  

"He is very conservative but very career oriented which makes for an interesting dichotomy regarding his daughter where he really wants her to be able to find a good job. At the expense of using up her most valuable MMV and SMV years. He's a weird blue pill alpha if ever there were such a thing."

That's why this is such as tough nut to crack. Of course the progs are doing their usual nonsense, but they always have. Its the ostensibly conservative/traditional parents, especially fathers, who are funding/promoting it now who are doing the damage. My guess is its a combination of smaller family sizes and Boomer solipsism driving it, but the first step is identifying the source of the problem.

Progs you'll never influence, they can only be defeated. Those men should be reachable.

Anonymous Mike M. April 23, 2014 10:08 AM  

Vox, you raise an interesting line of argument. Don't push the girls into fields they have no particular interest in...pull them into areas they ARE interested in. Including motherhood.

I'll add that it may be possible to push a young person (of either sex) into low-grade computer programming. But that's not where the real money is. Not all STEM fields are equal. Engineering, in particular, pays well...but it's a hard row to hoe. A calling, not a job.

Anonymous Mike M. April 23, 2014 10:10 AM  

I'll add that if a young lady has a real interest in the STEM fields, they can be the Happy Hunting Grounds for a spouse. Come to someplace like NAS Patuxent River, where eligible professional men outnumber women three or four to one.

Anonymous Bozu April 23, 2014 10:14 AM  

BaseBall Savant, here are a few free ebooks. The above suggestions are all good.

Github link

Anonymous CLK April 23, 2014 10:16 AM  

@baseball savant

While I agree with general statements regarding C and Fortran -- C is bit too losey for a beginner and getting a good fortran tool is hard nowadays...

I would recommend starting with Justbasic (http://justbasic.com/) --- the funny thing about BASIC is in the early days it was pretty non structured but over the years it became a more structured language and quite mature (structured is really a combination of the language design as well as the programmers approach) -- nobody would admit using BASIC because of the old joke "no one over 13 ever uses basic" -- but it was my go to for years for quick scientific programming when I didn't want to deal with other languages - Just basic is free and has some tutorials that will get you understanding basic program structures pretty fast --- there a lots of cheap books on "structured basic" you can get on amazon for < $1.

After this, I would try C and then Visual Basic -- - I would also buy a cheap book on digital logic and processors so you will get an idea of how computers work...

Anonymous The other skeptic April 23, 2014 10:31 AM  

The lion's share of the resources that used to go to producing good men now go to nonsense such as the subject of this post. Out-of-control affirmative action is literally strangling your grandchildren in their crib.

It might be a strategy on the part of a particular tribe to reduce the population of their host.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 10:40 AM  

Oh, I don't know that it's as nefarious as that, skeptic.

Getting women out of the home and into the workforce creates new demand for consumption and new source of labor. So big businesses have both cheaper costs and more markets to sell things to.

Blogger buzzardist April 23, 2014 10:42 AM  

I'll add that if a young lady has a real interest in the STEM fields, they can be the Happy Hunting Grounds for a spouse. Come to someplace like NAS Patuxent River, where eligible professional men outnumber women three or four to one.

The problem being that women are generally uninterested in the kinds of men found in STEM departments. Those men just don't tend to get their lady parts humming.

A decade or more out of college, yes, maybe women will be more attracted to the now-successful STEM majors. Age may have erased a little bit of the youthful nerdiness for some men, and their wealth will certainly have compensated for a lot of what made them unattractive before. Of course, by that time, the women are past their primes, so the men have lost interest in the women by about the same amount as the women have gained interest in those nerdy men. Oops.

Women will flock to wherever the hottest men are, and the hottest men don't tend to be in science and engineering departments.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 11:08 AM  

Susan Walsh has assured us that women really do find nerds attractive and the nerds just need to relax and be themselves.

Anonymous dh April 23, 2014 11:17 AM  

Perhaps the greatest little joy in my life is talking to my kids friends parents about college planning. I only refer to the kids college fund as a "dowry/college fund". I have three girls. And they all know that they can either have the cash value of the fund upon their marriage or go to college, but not both.

They REALLY ask me: "wait, you'd give them an investment account worth $XX,XXX on their wedding day? won't that just encourage them to get married as soon as possible?"

Of course, the kids don't know yet that I have ultimate veto over the choice of spouse.

Blogger GK Chesterton April 23, 2014 11:18 AM  

Cranberry's comments are sad and hopefully my own children don't fall into the same trap and have happy married lives.

But I have to object to the 16/17 year old brides that some on the 'sphere are so keen on. _If_ they are mature enough for it so be it. I've met 17 year old guys and gals that would be great fathers and mothers with a little bit of family help. However, most won't. They're body may be ready to go but their heads, as Darlock's statistics show, aren't. Marrying a gal that young is most likely a quick ticket to a divorce.

In undoing the collapse don't swing the pendulum so far back the other way.

Anonymous automatthew April 23, 2014 11:30 AM  

Baseball Savant,

Here's an online book that guides you through learning C "the hard way", which (in part) means thoroughly exploring how to break it, what it looks like when it's broken, and how to troubleshoot when you're lost. I haven't seen any other books with similar approaches.

I'm mediocre in C, and I can tell from a cursory reading of the book that it would force me to become more rigorous in learning.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 11:32 AM  

Per Gregory Clark via Steve Sailer, the average age of English brides was 24-26 for six hundred years.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 11:34 AM  

"Won't that just encourage them to get married as soon as possible?"

The horror!

GKC, there's no doubt that, as part of the rehabilitation of marriage, we also need to stop encouraging endless adolescence and get back to treating kids like adults in training. I know people (homeschooling traditionalists) who are doing that, and their 16-year-old kids are easily more mature and responsible than I was at 25.

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 23, 2014 11:47 AM  

I also think that "C' is too much for a newbie. Decide what type of programming you want to do, "desktop" or web application, database or whatever.

And, while ducking, do flow charts as a learning tools. Use the main symbols (squares and diamonds) and a combination of English and math to describe the process or decision branches.

But, the most important thing, IMO, is to have an end product mind. Otherwise, the possibilities of what to learn next are almost without limit.

I have programmed in BASIC, Fortran, Pascal, PL-1 and C-language (including using C-terp), among others. I used to hear how VB (I learned VB with version 1.0) was not a real programming language from Powerbuilder and C/C++ programmers. Barely remember Powerbuilder now.

Bottom line, the proper tool for the job.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 11:51 AM  

I'll second the recommendation to at least dabble in C if you're interested in programming, since most high-level languages these days are C-style. However, I'd also recommend that you dabble with Lisp. Even if you never use it for work, it will encourage you to think in different ways about solving problems. More functional, less procedural, which will help you later in any language.

I've said this before, but I'd also recommend that you install a Unix-type operating system to work in while you dabble. If you run Windows and don't have a spare computer, you can install Linux or *BSD inside a virtual machine or dual-boot. (If you're not capable of that, consider that your "weeding-out course.) Underneath the modern GUIs, Unix is still an operating system made by programmers for programmers and power-users, more so than for consumers. Just by using the shell you'll be experiencing shell programming, and you'll brush up against different languages and techniques as a matter of course. Just a few days ago, I had to blow the dust off my C and Makefile skills to get an old game to compile that hadn't been updated for over a decade. At least half the languages I'm familiar with, I first learned because I wanted to fix something.

And again, if that kind of tinkering for tinkering's sake doesn't appeal to you, that's your sign that you might want to try a different line of work. I wouldn't recommend that someone who doesn't enjoy tinkering with software become a programmer any more than I'd recommend that someone who doesn't like animals become a vet. It might pay well, and you might be capable of doing it, but why?

Blogger Fenring April 23, 2014 11:56 AM  

Baseball Savant,

Several posters have given some good suggestions about languages to use as a launch point for learning software development. Rather than add to the list, I thought I'd link you to an essay that I've suggested to several others interested in programming: Peter Norvig's "Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years":

http://norvig.com/21-days.html

Norvig captures the essence of software development - and I think this is germane to the current discussion - namely that you have to be willing to immerse yourself in the domain; have to have the passion for it; and, have to be willing to spend years at it.

Like all things in life worth pursuing, it's a sacrifice worth making; but only if you're willing to make the sacrifice.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 12:06 PM  

Bottom line, the proper tool for the job.

If you have a job in mind, yes. But if you simply want to try programming and see if you have some aptitude and affinity for it, which seemed to be the original question, then there's no job to guide your choice.

C is simple enough that a newbie can quickly start building some loops, taking input and putting things on the screen, and stuff like that without needing to learn a GUI API reference or a bunch of OO stuff. On the other hand, it has a couple things like pointers that are genuinely hard for the newbie, which can serve him well as "Do I really enjoy this that much?" tests.

I wouldn't object to the suggestion of BASIC; many programmers my age started with BASIC on 8-bit machines and went on to better things. As I recall dimly from my C64, BASIC 2.0 had string and integer variables, FOR loops, IF/THEN/ELSE tests, and subroutines; so shell and C-type languages weren't entirely foreign after that. I have no idea what BASIC looks like today, though.

Anonymous ThirdMonkey April 23, 2014 12:09 PM  

"Marrying a gal that young is most likely a quick ticket to a divorce."

Yet, the age group with the lowest overall divorce rate is males who get married under the age of 20. Cailcorishev hit it on the head. We need to abolish the concept of adolescence. My wife and I were 18 and 19 respectively, and will celebrate 16 years of marriage this summer. By the time our fourth, who is a month old today, leaves home to be an ADULT, we'll be in our early fifties, still young enough to have fun and wise enough to not waste time doing stupid shit. My wife's best friend, a programmer turned homemaker, regrets delaying motherhood for her "career." We have no regrets because we "grew up" before most our age. A young woman has a choice: "fun" on the alpha carosel, career, eventual beta marriage, increased chances of post-wall divorce, and spending out the final years with cats (or dogs now, so I'm noticing). Or young marriage, kids, and having fun with someone you love for the rest of your life. Option one is a setup for failure. Option two is a setup for fulfillment.

Blogger Eric Wilson April 23, 2014 12:27 PM  

Desiderius: My guess is its a combination of smaller family sizes and Boomer solipsism driving it, but the first step is identifying the source of the problem.

Yeah, I think my dad is being very solipsistic about this. My sister will be gainfully employed but unmarried. I think I'm getting her to come around to the idea that she should really be looking for someone to marry, which is good. Of course he's not opposed to her marrying, merely passive or just a little hands off. I'm not sure how to affect this with him specifically or if it would make any difference as she is my only sister.

Blogger buzzardist April 23, 2014 12:31 PM  

But I have to object to the 16/17 year old brides that some on the 'sphere are so keen on. _If_ they are mature enough for it so be it. I've met 17 year old guys and gals that would be great fathers and mothers with a little bit of family help. However, most won't. They're body may be ready to go but their heads, as Darlock's statistics show, aren't. Marrying a gal that young is most likely a quick ticket to a divorce.

Why do people always assume that pushing women away from careers will lead to teenage weddings? That was never the case historically in Europe. Upper classes might marry their daughters off young in some cases, but the general consensus was that mid-20s was a good time for marriage. Back when death in childbirth was a huge risk, women understood that the risk was dramatically higher during teenage years, so they generally avoided marriage and childbearing until their bodies were more mature.

And one needn't look farther than Chaucer to find dire warnings against taking a youthful bride for various other reasons closer to yours.

Given that the current average marriage age is much closer to 30 than it is to 20, I think we can all agree that we're not going to see a rash of teenage girls getting married any time soon, and with good reason. But some women age 22-24 getting married wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 12:35 PM  

Nothing wrong with teens marrying if they are mature enough to form a household. We did and we are blessed with children and grandchildren. What more can you ask for?

Anonymous BioShock Jock April 23, 2014 12:40 PM  

Not a surprise really. The girls who were bored and playing with their hair sound like the hot girls who get all the attention in college and high school and later after college. What do they give a crap about programming when they're more interested in the endless amount of attention eager young (and older) men give them? Sounds like these chicks' biggest concern are being hot and remaining hot, as that's their ticket to a good and easy life. And are they wrong? The frumpy, homely chicks are the ones who have to buckle down and study hard since no one's paying attention to them, while the pretty girls are off having three hundred dollar dinner dates.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 12:44 PM  

If you wanted to learn coding on your own and had no experience with it, how would you go about it? what would you learn first? what are 2-3 books worth reading?

Since this question seems to come up on a reasonably large percentage of programming threads, I'm sensing a Castalia House opportunity...

I'd suggest starting with Python (2.7, not 3). The interpreter makes it really easy to try concepts and get a feel for what's going on (plus, assuming Baseball Savant indicates an interest in baseball, Python's pretty good at manipulating stats...). https://www.python.org/about/gettingstarted/. They have some decent tutorials there.

Then move on to C/C++/C# when you are comfortable with the basics of variables, control flow and functions.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 1:00 PM  

Thing is, even if the average age of first marriage was 25, there would have been some marrying older and some marrying younger. Some would be more mature than average, the man more established financially, and find each other at a young age and marry at 18, while others would take longer. But kids generally were raised to start considering marriage and taking on the responsibilities of an adult as soon as they were able, instead of extending recess into their 20s and 30s.

Nowadays we tell them to stay in school and not even think about marriage until their late 20s, but because sex feels really good and there's a biological drive to procreate that we haven't managed to get rid of yet, many stumble into (and out of) marriage earlier than that anyway, completely unprepared because they thought they'd get ready for that later. Better to have them prepared young, and then if it takes several years to find the right person and get the knot tied, no harm done.

Anonymous Don April 23, 2014 1:02 PM  

Women should be encouraged to do the one thing no man can. Marry and have children and raise them with a husband. Society should reward married couples with children by providing safe streets with low, low crime, decent communities where wholesome activities organized by profamily groups allows for proper association, and strong churches that look across the street and around the block first and sends missions out not brings 'refugees' in.

In short we need a 1950's America. Not going to happen any time soon. Why do we want our women in combat arms anyway? What possibly can they bring to the game? Sure there is a place for WACs, WAVs etc, police matrons, etc but that place is not in harms way. Three jobs no woman should do, combat military, fireman, patrol officer. It is harming women to set them up to do jobs they cannot do properly and it harms everyone else as well.

I had a conversation on G+ back when the whole James Watson, Summers thing came out. One woman was adamant that if the facts showed that women were not as intelligent as men at far right end of the bell curve or that they did not preform as well at math no matter what help they were given the information should be suppressed. Suppress science to get more girls into science where they will fail. Makes sense to me.

The best job my wife ever did was give birth to our two children. We tried for more but simply could not have more and it nearly killed her and we lost our third at birth. She has the brains heart and guts to do many tasks but she's a mother and grandmother first. Without her I wouldn't be alive (I've outlived all the men in my family by a couple years) and I put it down to her love and caring for me. If we hadn't had kids early, I'd probably never had seen my grandchildren. My grandfather died at 48 his brothers before 52, my father died before I was born and my brother died last year two months short of his 50th. I hope to get to 100 and see my great great grandchildren but if I do not, I am still contented because I know my family and name will live on and I owe it to my wife of 30+ years.

Blogger Matamoros April 23, 2014 1:09 PM  

Around 1990 a Russian study found that Russian girls most wanted job was "hard currency prostitute."

If prostitution were legalized in the U.S., I could see the same being true for American girls as a job of choice.

Blogger Matamoros April 23, 2014 1:11 PM  

Whoops, wrong thread.

Blogger JDC April 23, 2014 1:12 PM  

Like the fembot in the "Amazonian Women in the Mood" episode of Futurama, "You have no idea what it's like, being a fembot in a man bot's world." Indeed.

Femputer: What? Did you explain how the women's good fundamentals make up for their inability to dunk?
Ornik: Yes. They still laugh.
Femputer: The men must die.

Anonymous N5 April 23, 2014 1:18 PM  

"I'll add that if a young lady has a real interest in the STEM fields, they can be the Happy Hunting Grounds for a spouse. Come to someplace like NAS Patuxent River, where eligible professional men outnumber women three or four to one."

This is what I'm hoping will happen to Chem E daughter. Music daughter may be tougher, but she is a keen shot and not shy about mentioning it. This tends to be off- putting for the run of the mill commie musician. Vamos a ver.

Blogger Marissa April 23, 2014 1:27 PM  

Women should be encouraged to do the one thing no man can.

Reminds me of this sermon I listened to recently, titled "True Feminine Dignity: Spiritual Motherhood to Priests". The preacher starts off saying that yes, women can't be priests. They can also do the one thing men can't, which is be mothers. These types of things would have outraged me, perhaps even a year ago. Today, it makes perfect sense: http://www.audiosancto.org/categories/interior-life.php

Don, I'm sorry to hear about your family tragedies. Family men dying at young ages is never good. Though I'm happy to hear your wife could be such a good helpmate to you.

Blogger James Dixon April 23, 2014 1:45 PM  

> I'd suggest starting with Python

Well, IANAP by trade, but based on what I know I'd second that recommendation.

Anonymous Doug Wardell April 23, 2014 2:36 PM  

Python is a scripting language. If your goal is just to get a basic understanding of what coding means, Python is where I'd start.

If you want to pursue software development as a serious career or hobby, I'd recommend starting with C until you have a solid understanding of things like malloc, pointers, recursion, the stack, etc. Next, I'd recommend looking into assembly, computer architecture, microcode, etc. for perspective, and then switching to C++ or C# depending on whether or not you want to focus on Windows development (or Java if you must) to focus on object oriented programming, managed code, error handling, etc.

Data structures and algorithms should be studied along-side all of the above -- remember, programming languages are just environments where you can solve problems, not ends in themselves. Also, learn about coding standards and best practices as these things will become very important if you ever want to maintain what you've written or work as part of a team. If you gain a reasonable understanding of all that and know how to go research things you don't already know, you're doing better than the average CS college graduate and shouldn't have any trouble figuring out what you want to pursue next.

Anonymous Shut Up, Josh (and his pals, too) April 23, 2014 3:20 PM  

“the corporatists didn't need to use as much coercion to do so.”

You do realize you are linking “coercion” with freedom of association and free market principles, right?


“Getting women out of the home and into the workforce creates new demand for consumption and new source of labor.”

Those commie bastards!


“In our bizarro world, we essentially have reverse eugenics. The women who would most benefit society by reproducing are inventivized to not, and the women who would most benefit society by not reproducing are incentivized to reproduce.”

You are completely sterile in your assertion. Define “most benefit society”. What “women” ought not reproduce? How do you propose, from a libertarian perspective, to deal with this scourge known as “reverse eugenics”.


“Out-of-control affirmative action is literally strangling your grandchildren in their crib.”

Please cite evidence that lil’ David or Josephine is indeed being asphyxiated through affirmative action. This I gotta see!


“He's a weird blue pill alpha if ever there were such a thing. So it's almost been up to me to really try to push my sister towards finding a husband.”

“I think my dad is being very solipsistic about this.”



It is abundantly clear you learned NOTHING from your father. Shut your mouth and do what you are told. Do not interfere with your dad’s decision regarding the family, it is HIS to make. Have you no concept of patriarchy?


“Marry her off and get her pregnant. Nothing settles a woman down like a few kids. Honestly.”



Tell you what, why don’t you live your life and women live their own life.


“Of course, the kids don't know yet that I have ultimate veto over the choice of spouse.”



And when they do find out, I’m sure they will thank you for it (rolling of eyes).


“We have no regrets because we "grew up" before most our age. A young woman has a choice: "fun" on the alpha carosel, career, eventual beta marriage, increased chances of post-wall divorce, and spending out the final years with cats (or dogs now, so I'm noticing).”

Overgeneralize much?


“Or young marriage, kids, and having fun with someone you love for the rest of your life.”

59 percent of marriages for women under the age of 18 end in divorce within 15 years. The divorce rate drops to 36 percent for those married at age 20 or older. 60 percent of marriages for couples between the ages of 20 and 25 end in divorce.

You beat the odds. Congratulations (seriously, no snark here).


“In short we need a 1950's America.”

Right, because divorce, infidelity, and delinquency were negligible compared to today. Ah, memories.

Anonymous Josh April 23, 2014 3:27 PM  

Shut up Tad

Anonymous Concerned Rabbit Hunter April 23, 2014 3:40 PM  

A call to arms to tech women?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sramana-mitra/talented-women-please-do_b_4282066.html

Blogger Ingemar April 23, 2014 4:17 PM  

Concerned, I read (rather, glanced) at that article just now. Needless to say, I take it with a grain of salt. I find this excerpt very telling--

"My friend who killed herself had no sense-of-self left.

She did not do anything with her talents. She had raised two great kids.

Once they left, she had no identity of her own."

Apparently, it takes no talent to raise two "great" kids. I wonder how those now-adult kids feel about being sort-of blamed by this perfect, vibrant stranger for the death of their mother. The whole story sounds sickeningly self-centered (solipsistic)?

One is reminded of Fredo Corleone's rant to Michael about not being good enough to be Godfather. Of course Fredo was perfect at what he did but that sense of entitlement (or a case of the "shoulda's") ended up destroying him.

What Fredo and Suicide Super Mom never learned was that "Godliness with contentment is great gain."

Anonymous Alexander April 23, 2014 4:29 PM  

I will not speak for the Ilk, but I think the trolls are a step behind on the 'libertarian' retort to everything.

I am no longer libertarian. It is clear that your side will not tolerate my freedom of association, my freedom of speech, my freedom of *thought*, or my freedom to spend the fruits of my labor as I see fit.

So I don't really give a damn about the 'libertarian' way to solve problems anymore. The boot is now an inevitable end game, so my focus is making sure that it lands on your throat, not mine.

Anonymous hygate April 23, 2014 4:32 PM  

I am working with a woman (in India) right this second. My boss tasked her to update a shell script so that if variable was set to 64bit then a link would be made to ${apath}/bin/sparcv9. If not then the link would be made to a different directory. I am sure the boss must have given her the if/else statement because she couldn't have written it in a million years.

I want to stress that she is simply altering an existing script. She needs to update it and then use a tool which will create an install package that utilizes the script to install java.

She contacted me because it is failing testing and she can't figure out why. So I am dropping what I need to be getting done because we aren't going to get anyone any better and spend time looking at the script. Its not working because she didn't take out the original link statement, she just appended the new if/else statement to the end of the file. And now she is arguing with me about how she didn't put in the already existing link statement.

And she wants me to proof read the script, which will be wrong because she hasn't the slightest idea about writing a scrript in Unix or on any other OS.

And I ended up just doing it cause it was 2 minutes of work vs 2 days trying to educate her on something she is just never going to get.

Anonymous hygate April 23, 2014 5:10 PM  

and she is arguing about cleaning up the test environment

Anonymous Varenius April 23, 2014 6:40 PM  

Jack Amok: I'd suggest starting with Python (2.7, not 3).

Why not 3?

Anonymous Discard April 23, 2014 6:46 PM  

For most of history for most societies, women have been subject to male authority. Marry this man, and have his babies. Cook and clean. This system works. It will come back. Sexism (and racism) are normal and healthy.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 6:50 PM  

Libertarian? Oh, I'm still of that general persuasion, but I'm also pretty firmly convinced libertarian vs totalitarian something akin to civilized vs barbarian. You can't treat people in the second category as if they were people in the first without undermining the system.

It's the inverted Golden Rule - treat other people how they treat you. If someone behaves like a gentleman towards you, then treat him like a gentleman. If someone behaves like a barbarian towards you, treat him like a barbarian, because if you treat him like a civilized gentleman, you will just empower him to barbarize you and those around you.

If someone behaves like a libertarian, accord him liberty. If he behaves like a totalitarian, put a boot on his face.


If you want to pursue software development as a serious career or hobby, I'd recommend starting with C until...

I disagree. If you're new to it, still start with Python. The rapid turnaround of an interpreted script language will help you understand basic concepts faster and probably more cleanly than C.

Once you're comfortable with loops, functions and basic logic, then yes, if you want to do serious work in the industry, dive into C as Doug suggests.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 7:06 PM  

Why not Python 3?

Python 3 is to Python 2.7 as Windows 8 was to Windows 7. Gratuitous changes that broke a lot of stuff and set the whole environment back a few years.

I suspect 3 has gotten better, and might even be close to "okay" at this point. But as a general philosophical point, I dislike it. For learning, there are a lot of great examples and tutorials that don't work in 3 because of the broken backwards compat. Unfortunately, the 3.x specific tutorials don't work in 2.7 either, so the dumbasses created a problem.

But the 2.x tutorials were generally written before anyone realized they were going to ditch compat with 3.x, so the authors didn't know to include any warning. The 3.x tutorials are more likely to warn you about needed 3.x. That means you're less likely to have unexplained problems running tutorials (or libraries) against 2.7 because the compat issues will be mentioned up front.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 7:33 PM  

I'd have a hard time recommending -- for a first language -- one that uses indentation as syntax, since that won't translate to any other language he's likely to use next. In the same way, I wouldn't recommend Perl (my personal favorite) because of all the sigils and syntactic sugar like postfix modifiers, which won't work in similar languages. Those both seem to me like better second languages than first ones.

Anonymous Shut Up, Josh (and his pals, too) April 23, 2014 8:12 PM  

“Shut up Tad”--My name is Foghorn Leghorn, not Tad.


“It is clear that your side will not tolerate my freedom of association, my freedom of speech, my freedom of *thought*, or my freedom to spend the fruits of my labor as I see fit.”

“You can't treat people in the second category as if they were people in the first without undermining the system.”

The essence of libertarianism, as the vehicle of neo-feudalism, succinctly put forth by the above quotes and highlighted by this example. Assume Group X states that only Group X, based on specific arbitrary criteria, ought to have the ability to exercise the franchise because Group Y, over a set period of time, has “proven” that it cannot be trusted with this right. These standards include the provision that Group Y has limited
redress of grievances. When the means to carry out this objective are put into place, Group X has simultaneously imposed their will upon Group Y AND prevented Group Y from imposing their will on Group X. Because, of course, Group Y = MPAI. Because Group X intrinsically and inherently “knows more” than females or vibrants. Basically, libertarians claim absolute freedom of association for themselves, but claim power to limit freedom of association to others.


“The boot is now an inevitable end game, so my focus is making sure that it lands on your throat, not mine.

Your move, ”

“Civilized Savage”. e4 e5


“If someone behaves like a libertarian, accord him liberty. If he behaves like a totalitarian, put a boot on his face.”

Except the definition of “totalitarian”, like “raciss”, has been twisted and turned and is essentially meaningless in today's society. Because what you THINK are totalitarian acts may be, in reality, something completely different.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 8:16 PM  

Akin to "you can't tread barbarians as if they were civilized people", you also can't treat trolls as if they were people with reasonable arguments.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 8:20 PM  

I'd have a hard time recommending -- for a first language -- one that uses indentation as syntax, since that won't translate to any other language he's likely to use next. In the same way, I wouldn't recommend Perl (my personal favorite) because of all the sigils and syntactic sugar like postfix modifiers, which won't work in similar languages. Those both seem to me like better second languages than first ones.

Nah, the indentation thing only seems weird to you when you're used to something else. Granted it can be frustrating if you end up mixing tabs and spaces, but to someone new to programming, grouping by indentation seems logical enough.

I mean, the first thing I do when I come across some new code that uses {} for grouping is to get the indentation level right for readability.

The first language I learned was BASIC on a TRS-80. It had line numbers fer cryin' out loud!

Anonymous CLK April 23, 2014 8:32 PM  

"..... I have no idea what BASIC looks like today, though."

www.justbasic.com . its free, it comes with a tutorial, simple interface.

Blogger Bob Loblaw April 23, 2014 8:36 PM  

Out of 60+ girls, less than 3 were actively interested pursuing anything programming or coding.

5%. Seems high to me.

As I've mentioned here before, out of the hundreds of programmers I've worked with over the years I met exactly two women who were good at it. One is my sister, who, having no tolerance for men less intelligent than she, will never actually find a man.

Anonymous CLK April 23, 2014 8:37 PM  

yeah ..good times ... TRS-80 model 4 -- the 5.25" single sided floppy was a big improvement over the cassette tape.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 9:00 PM  

Nah, the indentation thing only seems weird to you when you're used to something else.

True, but that's why I assume it would be equally weird for someone going the other direction. Maybe not.

Line numbers were kinda cool, in that it was easy to insert/replace lines simply by typing them in with the right numbers. Pretty much necessary on those systems where we were entering programs directly, without any real editor other than the interpreter itself and the arrow keys to move around the screen.

Anonymous Anonymous April 23, 2014 9:08 PM  

Thanks, CLK. Looks like there are a few implementations in the FreeBSD ports tree, too. Might have to install a couple for some kids I know to try out.

Anonymous Doug Wardell April 23, 2014 9:29 PM  

Jack Amok April 23, 2014 6:50 PM

I disagree. If you're new to it, still start with Python. The rapid turnaround of an interpreted script language will help you understand basic concepts faster and probably more cleanly than C.

Once you're comfortable with loops, functions and basic logic, then yes, if you want to do serious work in the industry, dive into C as Doug suggests.



I don't completely disagree, but there are a few issues. First, moving from a scripted language to a procedural language is likely to feel like a step down and I could see that becoming a barrier. Second, if you're using a modern IDE such as Visual Studio, I don't think the hurdle for C is particularly high anymore -- it's not like when I started and we were using command-line compilers with practically nonexistent debuggers.

That said, if C is too intimidating to being with (it's hard for me to say, I taught myself how to code in GWBASIC starting at age 8), Python isn't a bad place to start. I just wouldn't stick with it for long as I'm not sure there's a lot to be gained there long-term.

Anonymous The other skeptic April 23, 2014 10:45 PM  

I don't always write software, but when I do, it's full of bugs.

Blogger JaimeInTexas April 23, 2014 11:14 PM  

Line numbers are great, and greatly appreciated, especially after dropping the deck of cards.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 11:16 PM  

TRS-80 model 4

Model 4? I had the Model 1. But yeah, the cassette tape... yikes. You didn't have the Midway game by any chance did you?


Line numbers were kinda cool, in that it was easy to insert/replace lines simply by typing them in with the right numbers

But man did it suck when you ran out of interstitial numbers and needed to add a new line... A whole bunch of re-numbering. Better than dropping a tray full of punch cards though, I assume.

Python isn't a bad place to start. I just wouldn't stick with it for long as I'm not sure there's a lot to be gained there long-term.

I see a two-fold value to Python. First, as I said before, you get pretty quick feedback by typing stuff into the interpreter prompt. I think it encourages doing things in a step-by-step manner, and the easiest way to get lost and confused in programming is to have a whole bunch of moving parts and not know where the problem is.

Second, you can actually achieve some useful results fairly quickly, which I think contributes to the joy of learning and hopefully keeps the desire to continue learning alive. For example, Baseball Savant could probably - within a few days - be a the point where he could come up with his own Python script to go through a bunch of csv files downloaded from baseball-reference.com and create some sort of custom leaderboard based on more complicated criteria than the website itself allowed, or that you could easily do in excel.

Anonymous Jack Amok April 23, 2014 11:20 PM  

I don't always write software, but when I do, it's full of bugs.

Everybody's software is full of bugs. At least until you've spent the time to find and fix them. The surest sign of a noob is the guy who doesn't account for debugging time or think about how he's going to test and debug what he writes.

Blogger James Dixon April 24, 2014 7:02 AM  

> It's the inverted Golden Rule - treat other people how they treat you.

The Golden Rule as stated by Christ: "Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself". But then the questioner bothered to ask "And who is my neighbor?". Some people don't.

Anonymous Robert Mixon April 24, 2014 8:13 AM  

The Golden Rule as stated by Christ: "Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself". But then the questioner bothered to ask "And who is my neighbor?".

Your neighbor is a "vibrant"--gainfully employed, law-abiding citizen. Do you still follow the rule...or polish your jackboots?

Blogger James Dixon April 24, 2014 8:53 AM  

> Do you still follow the rule...or polish your jackboots?

The parable answers your question, if you had bothered to read it. Here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-37&version=AKJV

Anonymous Robert Mixon April 24, 2014 9:32 AM  

YOU actually haven't answer the initial inquiry, you simply deferred to a passage in the Good Book that offers a possible answer.

So, fellow Christian, I ask again a direct question, do you still follow the rule...or polish your jackboots?

Blogger Marissa April 24, 2014 10:07 AM  

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him.

Blogger James Dixon April 24, 2014 11:18 AM  

> ...you simply deferred to a passage in the Good Book that offers a possible answer.

A direct command from Christ isn't a answer to the question?

> So, fellow Christian, I ask again a direct question, do you still follow the rule

Christians are commanded to follow the rule. Your actual question is Is he your neighbor or not? And that's determined by his actions.

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