On Ruby, Basecamp, and Lisp

I have finally drank the kool-aid, and started reading on ruby, rails, information architecture, lisp and all those (soon to-do) SCIP ideas. As it happens, everybody is doing that, and there is no first in market advantage here, but it does not really matter: I will be an enlightened individual, I hope.
With Ruby, though, the purpose is to make life here at the office: too many of the analysis have to be made on gigantic databases, and a big series of easy improvements could be implemented through the use of a nice, customizable solution, and I would like the idea of managing my data separated from the presentation of same, say, in a general purpose database linked to some sort of web application that would allow me to manipulate, modify and further drill into the meanings and implications of the 5 gigas that I might receive every day.
Furthermore, I like two things: that Ruby looks like the child of Hello Kitty and Godzilla, both cute and powerful, and with similar backgrounds. Also, no other programming language – no other product out there – even beings with the promise of making your professional life happier.
And of course, I like happiness.
Finally, where else could I get an introductory course like the Poignant Guide to Ruby? I feel guilty browsing through that, so entertaining it is. It also reads as a manic rambling, but as manic ramblings, this actually has a point to it, and foxes.
Now, basecamp. Why? Because it is there. Reports will come soon on its ease of use and general appeal. Weel, yes, but slackermanager mentions it. Let’s wait and see.
It is interesting to make the jump from being an all-purpose economist-finance guy, to become some sort of ai-ruby-oo thing. And thing it is, because before I have a decent amount of knowledge on those subjects I will be simply an amorphous entity, without discernible shape or form. The Thing That Came From The Southeast.
But there is really one more fundamental reason to take this accelerated courses in ruby and rails and ai all that: information processing.
That we are surrounded by data is a truism; that we receive tens of gigas everyday, and have to act based on the information that those Gs provide marks the complexity of the problem. We do not have the time to become experts in a field, the time that would allow rapid action on an item based on insufficient information. Furthermore, our fields change in such a way that new information must be incorporated, and marginal improvements and benefits rapidly identified. Even so, with computational access so widely distributed, any advantage provided by expert knowledge becomes substantially less, since the playing field is as level as possible. So, programming (actually, computer science) becomes a basic survival tool: in a very general sense, programming becomes something that any information or knowledge professional should be able to do – akin to reading, or performing advanced statistical analysis.
Besides, I like foxes. Redhead foxes.

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