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Bill Thompson (@billt) on two cultures: those literate in code and everyone else

Bill Thompson, well-known for the BBC World Service programme Digital Planet, and his pieces for the BBC (e.g) gave a  version of his ‘Two Cultures’ speech [which he first made in Cambridge on May 27] at OpenTech in London last Saturday. It was billed like this:

“It’s fifty years since CP Snow’s famous lecture on the Two Cultures – science and literature. We seem to have a different divide these days, between ‘people like us’ and the rest. What might be done about this?”

Thompson (@billt on Twitter) believes that computer literacy should mean more than word processing, a sentiment that seemed to go down well in the hall. You can read more about his views in this BBC article: “We don’t need a nation of programmers, but we do need to be confident that everyone knows what programmers do and what programs look like.”

Richard Elen (@Brideswell) filmed it, and has helpfully shared this video on the Bridewell Associates Blog. So if you weren’t there, sit back and enjoy some glorious geekery; even the intro includes a joke about writing in binary (his title for his speech is the ’10 cultures’)…

Bill Thompson on “The Two Cultures Problem”: OpenTech 2009 from Richard Elen on Vimeo.

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