A World Without Doubt

16 July, 2012

Mark Guzdial and Georgia Tech used to be boosters of Squeak and Smalltalk. This article explains why they dropped Smalltalk. It comes complete with a post from Alan Kay:


It’s clear that Georgia Tech feels it is being both practical and prudent. They have made their world smaller. They aspire to live in a world without doubt. They would have their program provide certainties, not questions. Somebody in a board meeting likely said that students should get a better “return on investment” on the tens of thousands they pay. That is certainly true if the students aspire to be ready-to-fit employees in a corporate programming environment.

Real money is made in innovation. Doubt is an ingredient of the creative process. Innovators aspire to live in as large a world as possible. To shrink one’s world is to shed possibilities.

If Georgia Tech actually told its Reddit-reading freshman students that they will only ever be employees – never owners of a business built on fresh ideas – how many would cheer?

One Response to “A World Without Doubt”

  1. Predictable and depressing. If students don’t aspire to anything more than low level code monkeys, they’ll save a lot of money by going to a 2-year tech school and learn Java syntax just as well.

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