Digital Switchover

Stunned (but not sure why) by the inability of some people to understand three years of intensive advertising and public service messages, the following rant got sent to the Evening Standard:

Sirs,

Jesus H Christ!

From tonight’s Evening Standard: “As analogue brodcasts (sic) of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 stopped, angry Londoners took to Twitter. James Jones said: “Mum woke up to NO channels on TV this morning. She’s so angry with the digital switchover thing.” ”

Well James, either she’s bloody stupid or you are or more likely both of you are. Three f*****g years of advertising telling the pair of you about it and it STILL surprises you. I bet Jeremy Kyle’s viewing figures were well down this morning…

(Note to editor: you probably can’t use this, but I had to get it off my chest. Sorry!)

Paul Harper

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Teaching Coding to Children

Letter to The Observer supporting their campaign to get computer programming, or coding, taught in classrooms:

Sirs,

I agree wholeheartedly with your campaign to get coding taught in classrooms – as a programmer of 35 years’ standing, this is probably unsurprising. However, it has nothing to do with wealth generation or our high-tech industries.

I want to see children taught to code because of the impact it will have on their ability to properly analyse problems and situations. Being able to break down issues into their constituent parts makes them far easier to understand and solve. This is a fundamental part of coding, and is something not taught anywhere else.

Questioning assumptions and deconstructing are vital parts of avoiding being fooled by those who would seek to influence, defraud or profit from us, whether through media ownership, political means or other potentially corrupt mechanisms.

Having a population that is less easily fooled might not suit “those in power” like Murdoch, Dacre, Cameron, Clegg, Livingstone and the like, but society will be much better informed and empowered as a result.

It could even spell the end of Britain’s Got Talent, the X Factor and The Jeremy Kyle Show…

Yours,

Paul Harper

… which got published: