Computational Thinking and Open Source Data

I find your comparison of computational thinking and journalism to be very interesting. It seems that computational thinking is just a more modern term and view on analytical thinking that incorporates today’s rapidly changing, technology-focused world. I have always generally thought there were two camps of people: the left brain, logical math and science people, and the right brain, creative writers and artists. Myself being the former. And this is actually partially why I went into communications, to challenge myself and force myself to learn to be more divergent, look outside the box. But we are who we are, and I naturally found patterns to guide my writing and use formulas to generate new ideas. I’m curious to see how this semester shapes my thinking (or my way of thinking shapes how I learn web development?) and whether it changes the way I approach my job in public affairs and future career path. 

I was listening to a TEDtalk podcast recently on open source data and how the concept has changed the world, and will continue to do so. The possibilities are limitless… I particularly liked two talks: one about open sourcing the design and functionality for an underwater diving robot, and the radical notion of an open source democracy where citizens vote on each issue before Congress. The host of the podcast talked about Linus Torvalds and his novel idea to open source his operating system Linux. ‘Free software” leads to new ideas and innovation, but also allows for people all over the world to get more affordable smartphones like the Android. I also heard a talk by Tim Berners-Lee on creating the World Wide Web and his, some would say insane, decision to demand the web be open source for all to use (aka. no charge.) But if he had not chosen that path, the WWW might not exist today, but instead would be millions of databases that don’t talk to each other.

I appreciate the other programming philosophies and guidelines, and look forward to a great semester putting it all to action!

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