Thursday, August 14, 2014

Interview with a Bored Goddess: Minerva

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we stray from our mission more than we serve it! (This makes us human.)

I've been thinking lately about how stupid I am when it comes to computers and their technology. I'm old enough to remember the first word processors that were sold for use -- first in universities, then in business. Back in the day, I was one of the first to use the computer that was installed at the company where I worked. Alas, my ground-breaking days are long gone. Computers have moved far more swiftly than my ability to understand them.

This is the moment when I have to get my arms around computers. "Woe is me," I thought. "There's no bored deity who understands web design and coding!"

BAMP! Wrong.

Please give a warm, wonderful "Gods Are Bored" welcome to Minerva, ancient Goddess of Wisdom, who has come here today for a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, muffins, and local blueberries!
Anne: Oh, you brought an owl!

Minerva: It wants to visit with Decibel the parrot.

Anne: Have at it, owl! Steer clear of Decibel's beak.

Minerva: Anne this is a wise owl. Can I have some blueberries?

Anne: Help yourself! Minerva, I have a problem. This whole computer technology has eluded me. I want my students to be able to use their smart phones in class, but I'm so stupid with my phone that I hesitate to try it. I read all the time in the newspaper that coding is the latest and greatest job-creator, and I would like to help my students learn it. But I myself know next to nothing about coding.

Minerva: Ha! Coding is a snap! Can I see your computer?

[Minerva taps a few keys on Anne's laptop. The machine leaves the table and starts to do the breakfast dishes.]

Anne: How did you do that?

Minerva: I'm a Goddess of wisdom. These days, wisdom includes computer technology. Do you know how much time I have on My hands in this desperately dark era? Enough to hang out at MIT -- and in the basements of geeks looking for vulnerabilities to exploit in software applications. By the way ... that weird Russian message in your email inbox? Change your password.

Anne: So, will you teach me coding?

Minerva: What, do you want Me to wave some magic wand and make you a geek?  Slacker! Teach yourself! How do you think your students got way ahead of you? They weren't praying to Me, that much I know. They were working. Experimenting. Sharing knowledge. Want to be humbled? Ask your students to teach coding to you.

Anne: Wise Goddess. I was looking to cut some corners, I'll admit. Coding is complicated.

Minerva: Start here. Get up off your duff and stop moaning about how much better the 20th century was! You know what century was great? 24 BCE! Now there was a century!

Anne: Yes. That puts it in perspective. You deities kind of have to move with the times, don't You?

Minerva: It's that, or be twice as bored as We already are. If the only language I knew was Etruscan, I wouldn't even be able to talk to you. Are you going to eat that last muffin?

Anne: It's all yours, Great Goddess. Oh, I wonder if you would grant me at least a small petition?

Minerva: It depends.

Anne: Can you keep the dishwashing program in my computer? Look at the job it's doing on that bacon grease!

Minerva: Done, darling.

[Conversation is interrupted by a loud bout of squawking in a nearby room.]

Minerva: Your parrot is a menace to society. You know that, don't you?

Anne: Yes, Goddess. This is one wisdom I have acquired through long observation. Some jam for Your muffin?

Minerva: Thanks ever so much.


Maebius said...

I am rather rusty at my own programming, but I can pseudo-code like a champ still, and would be glad to be a sounding board for your audible aggrivations towards Code. I will say it takes a certain kick0start to get your brain thinking like code, but once that's set, it's only syntax. :D

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Love this, Anne! And I'm not surprised to hear that Minerva is the patron goddess of computer technology. After all, She was an awesome weaver who was so jealous of Arachne's weaving skills that she turned her into a spider. Now Arachne serves Minerva and we have the World Wide WEB. Coincidence? I think not.


oh I'm so screwed..I have no idea what coding is or means.

Anne Johnson said...

JS, coding is giving the computer instructions so it will do stuff. Like, this blog, and yours, have bewildering stacks of codes.

Anonymous said...

I had an Aunt Minerva (we called her Minnie or Min)

Anne Basso said...

I may not remember when word processors were brought into universities. But I remember when floppy disks were floppy, when the Apple IIE was the coolest thing ever, and when the internet was logging on at 2400 baud to your local BBS.

And coding blows.

But I should still learn more. /sigh

Anne Johnson said...

I agree, coding does blow. What little coding I have done was the WORST. Unfortunately, I'm told that's where the jobs are right now. I'll try to make it as fun as possible. *sigh*

Davoh said...

erk. Is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUV .. and some bits .. Anne .... it's all a "code". The tricky bit (or byte) is DECODING!!

Dunno about yer Northern Hemisphere Gods and Goddesses - but down here in ignorant land ... quite a lot can be achieved with a mere "grunt".

Anne Johnson said...

Davoh, almost everything that is really worth doing can be accomplished with a proper grunt. All else is excess.

Davoh said...

(on the other hand .... can you ask Minerva where i can find re-fills for my ancient fountain pen?)

Anne Johnson said...

Can't help you with that. The store where I used to buy mine closed when the big Staples store opened in the neighboring suburb.

Anonymous said...

The things you come across on the internet... lol