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Hello Worlds

01 Apr 2020

echo "print('Hello World')" > helloworld.py

If you’ve ever taken an introductory course in computer programming, chances are your first assignment was named Hello World, and it consisted simply of displaying or printing out Hello World. In writing this, I find that it’s a fitting greeting; at once you are both introducing yourself to the programming world, as well as opening up the world of programming to yourself. It’s the beginning of a relationship in which we can learn about the power of programming, and the world of programming can learn about us. In the context of finding meaningful work, establishing and really caring for this relationship is a really important step of the process. Of course, computer programming is just one of impossibly many worlds. From physics, to culinary arts, to linguistics, to economics, to architecture, there is an incredible number of worlds that humanity has explored and used to improve the human condition worldwide. Being at Berkeley has made me realize how vast our intellectual space is, and just how narrow my view of this is space has been. Although there are too many things in the world for a single person to discover, I want to explore some of these different worlds to satisfy my curiousity, and hopefully understand how people outside my intellectual space are influencing the world. I’m using this space to push myself to keep pursuing this goal, help me reflect on what I’ve learned, and frankly to improve my writing (since it usually takes me a while to translate thoughts from neuron firings to actual words - this paragraph took over half an hour to get out). I just finished Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and am going to start Blink, another one of his books, and have made it a goal to read more this year. I’ve been learning about the stock market recently, so I may starting writing about what I’ve learned from these.

See you next class,

Prof M.