Why “computer science” is a bad term

I just orderd the book “Hackers and Painters” by Paul Graham after reading this article
In the example chapter is my quote of the day:

If what [hackers] are doing is called science, it makes them feel they ought to be acting scientific. So instead of doing what they really want to do, which is to design beautiful software, hackers in universities and research labs feel they ought to be writing research papers.

Luckily in German it is called “Informatik”, so there are people at our university, that still write real software 🙂

2 thoughts on “Why “computer science” is a bad term”

  1. That’s a bunch of BS. Who says research papers cannot contain beauty? Unless beauty and eye-candy are the same thing, in which case, you’re absolutely right. Not to mention that the assumption that hackers in universities are not doing what they *want* but what they are *supposed to*, is at best a naive generalization.

  2. There are several other appealing but questionable theses in the example chapter, that’s why I bought it.
    In this case he generalizes using his subjective definition of “beauty”. So what do you think? If we eliminate the idea of “publish or perish” would there be a lot less publications?

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