Programming and Life: The Paradox

I first encountered the phenomena of Internet when I was a teenager. It was the days of 56Kbps connections, Intel Pentium 4, and big CRT screens. Back then I was very interested in discovering how computers work. I figured out it was something called programming. Since then I fell in love with this magical world of wonder and passion and discovery.

My longing for understanding how things work and making my surroundings better, brought me to the world of computer programming. Starting with QuickBASIC, Pascal and C languages, and then .Net and C#, and later on PHP and JS, I have discovered one important thing which is no matter what the programming language is, or how expensive is your computer, two plus two always equals four.

Although it is taken for granted, that is an internalized important discovery for every single computer programmer. We tend to look at the world through the universal and timeless logic of math and responsiveness of computers.

And then when we look around, at our life, our family, friends, coworkers and fellow citizens, we encounter this very bitter paradoxical situation where two plus two is not always four. Based on how much money or leverage someone has, or where s/he lives, or what religion s/he has, sometimes two plus two is five, sometimes three, maybe few times four, and few times has no result.

To me, this is one of the reasons that we, current or previous programmers mostly feel alone and misunderstood. When your mind is used to the logic of programming, algorithms and procedures, you can not easily and simply accept the irrationality of people and you would try to shy away as much as you can from confronting such bothering truth of the real life.

For a construction engineer, or a general physician or many other professions of that matter, life is much easier than a programmer because they are not very much involved in world of cordial communication with a heartless lovely machine.


Founder of, Co-founder of TAC Startup Accelerator, Software Engineer, JTBD & Lean Startup evangelist from Iran

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