I have just finished two 'poitical books' - The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right and Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle - which are continuations, obviously, of my usual Politico-CogSci Space - since I am still impressed with the basic issues raised in Political Mind - since how do we tie back the mind to the brain.
That space gets messy - since most of us got into coding because of the cleanness of the idea that we would not get bogged down in semantical games, or emotional hijackings, or all of the other human behavior that has made "My coding language beats your coding language!" such the sport of... oh dear.
All of which gets more fun for me personally as I am working with other things along the way - like Beyond Java that I think is doing a lovely job of it's initial work - laying out what was the way that Java became the cool. How the progressions may not be as cool as we all thought, since there are things that failed to go forward... and some things are getting all bound up... I find it interesting that Beyond Java offered a snappy explanation of why EJB is getting replaced with the spring/hibernate dialectic! And there are the discussions about which were the problems with servlets and applets, and what are the real lessons we should be learning about these.
What if this would be a good time to return to the questions of whether or not philosophical systems were ideas that had not passed away? That we had not just climbed up some Wittgenstinian ladder, torched it, and all was bliss with the world!
Well gosh, we might once again look back into the questions about what sort of go forward strategies do we want to engage - at the political level of organizing the nation states, and their sub componentry, as well as that professional stuff about code monkeying, and well, the rest of the messy bits that makes being a part of the primate train of neural synaptic snappers, well, the sort of monkey business that we do.
Or put another way around - there is the irony that at one time the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis was viewed as a part of the reason that we had to have a white man's burden, since of course those underlings were, well, underLings - and not quite as sophisticated. While on the other end of the same Linguistic Relativism is that whole Head First Design Pattern in which we have to deal with the naming of ideas, and concepts, that are discovered and not made.
Thus there is an important problem about how to go about bearing the white man's burden that sometimes some Ideas really are Anti-Patterns. Not to mention that some of yesterday's really cools, are today's Suckage.
How are we going to resolve that crisis, gosh, just like the social-darwinism crisis that Hofstadter raised in Social Darwinism in American Thought that took the strange look that there was not merely the radical right wing vision of the theme - but there were some interesting liberal versions - which argued that Progress was Inevitable, that it was all going to be upward and progressive, and positive, and good.
The generalized notion of Liberals hold a moral imperative is based in this anti-spencerianist manifestation of Social Darwinism. There is most like a similar strain in the 'open source' communities, where there is that 'internet optimism' that things will all work out for the good in the end.
So IF we really want things to work out for the good in the end, it may be very important to look at how we look at things - what we take for granted, and what needs to be, well, left on the side of the road. It would be so great if there were a 'fad detector' that would help us understand that Foo is the new fad, and we should get on it, make the big bucks until the 'fad detector' goes off and we all change partners again.
What if the core of the memewar remains which parts of reasoning are reasonable - and which parts require a broader context to understand? I am starting to wonder if a part of the learning process that we see wandering around in the software space, is that one may never fully appreciate design pattern FooBar until one finds one's coded cringing in the corner yearning to breath free! That this problem is driven not by the language about FooBar but the emotional and existential angst of a problem yearning to be named and patterened.
So how are we going to go on organizing thots? Since clearly they will not organize themselves on their own. How do we sort out when it is truly useful to work out the correct language constructs, and when is it time to accept that some idea is going to be in maintenance mode until we can all collectively forget it....
I keep wondering.