Monday, August 11, 2008

A plea for sanity ...

There has recently been a lot of discussion about "evolutionary" concepts in the cloud computing world.

As an ex-geneticist who trained at Cambridge University, I would be very grateful if all those wishing to use evolutionary theory as part of a PR exercise would actually read something about the subject matter before mangling it.

I know it is tempting to simply combine half misunderstood concepts like "gene mutation" and "survival of the fittest" into your own grand unifying theory of evolution, but please try and do some background reading first. That's the annoying thing about science, it does require some hard graft and learning.

Whilst an in-depth understanding of a few computer based languages makes the learning of other computing languages a relatively trivial task, this logic does not hold for other systems. Just because I can make a reasonable hack with C++ & SQL, does not make me a master of the universe, a great philosopher and omniscient about all other fields.

It sometimes seems as though some within the IT industry can get a bit carried away with their own abilities ... cure for cancer, no problem, I can already create entire universes in smalltalk.

If you're going to start discussing a field, have the courtesy to read about the subject matter before making your pronouncements.

P.S. On the subject of smalltalk and virtual worlds, I think the work being done at the Croquet Consortium is worth a look.