the future of code isn't code13 Aug 2018
the other day i saw an article that made me feel validated in something i’ve been saying for a while. i’ve felt quite… frustrated isn’t the word, but it’s the only word i can come up with right now, with initiatives that take the “teach [insert oppressed group of people] to [insert profession of someone from the owning class]” approach.
article: the future of software is no code
i’m actually not against teaching and education, but often these initiatives seem to believe that if we can just teach oppressed folks to do the high-income earning work that wealthy folks do, we’ll help move them out of oppression.
unfortantely, this, as far as i’ve read and understood, has never worked as a long-term strategy. it usually just indoctrinates some oppressed folks into oppressor status. and it while it does sometimes give oppressed folks more income, as we’ve seen time and time again, even poor folks suddenly making a lot of money doesn’t end their oppression. this happens with athletes who get rich quick (did you something like 80% of athletes leave the industry in a similar economic state to when they went in?) as well as with basically all dimensions of gender, race, and class oppression.
the bigger framework, imo, has to be one in which the rules of society change. it’s not enough to just give oppressed folks the things oppressors have. it’s about the system of control that defines these outcomes to be more or less likely. if we had a society that didn’t want anyone to be poor, coding (or whatever work/jobs) would be secondary to that.
all that said, i know that this is just what freire means at the end of chp 4 of pedagogy of the oppressed. he talks about that if what the people/poor/oppressed want is jobs with higher wages, to ignore that and only push for overthrow of the class system is to be like the oppressors, is to have the revolution “on behalf of” the people and that is not a true revolution. the revlutionary leaders must work alongside the poor for jobs with higher wages while making it clear that higher wages alone won’t end their oppression.
so i guess that means don’t stop teach [blanks] to [blank], but i hope those programs aren’t thinking that it’s only that work that’s going to end oppression/poverty/sexism/racism/etc.
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