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This also feels right to me. Someone who applies the wrong rules consistently just needs to learn what the right rules are. People who don't consistently use the same rules are in much worse shape.
GCC and static analysis
Posted Apr 24, 2012 21:32 UTC (Tue) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359)
I actually suspect a strong correlation here with enjoying Science Fiction, which can often seem quite meaningless to outsiders and requires serious suspension-of-disbelief.
To enjoy SciFi (and fantasy, and probably D&D is a good predictor too) you need to immerse yourself in a world that has clear rules (mostly) but very different rules from the ones we are used to. So you cannot use your "intuition" to understand what is happening, you must reason from the stated rules. This is exactly the attitude that you need to bring to computer programming.
The people who were consistent made up rules and followed them. The people who were not consistent simply couldn't find any rules and their intuition failed them (as you would expect it to).
The paper also recalls previous reports of a correlation between programming ability and and ability with native language (already noted by Dijkstra). I think this fits the pattern. Meaning in language comes through use and people who depend on meaning will simply copy the usage they are exposed to which will be a/ limited and b/ erroneous (Like people using "Bob and I" as the object of the verb - I hate that!). People who are finding meaning in "meaningless" rules will understand the grammar (often seen as meaningless by people who haven't 'got' it) and other aspects of the language that they are not so often exposed to and thus have a richer language model to speak from.
Now I just need to convince some academic to test my brilliant hypothesis.
Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:02 UTC (Tue) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Sounds like something down Hofstadter's alley to me.
Posted Apr 24, 2012 23:32 UTC (Tue) by neilbrown (subscriber, #359)
Yes - just to the left of the 'l'. :-)
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