Somehow or another, probably because I've been a pastor and have a degree in "divinity", I've been assigned the chairperson's seat on the Ethics Committee of our county Hospice. It happened, and I was informed of it in May. Last Monday was the first meeting of the committee since.
There were a lot of new committee members. So the first order of business was bringing the non-initiated up to speed with various ethical frameworks. That took most of the hour.
On Tuesday my friend and mentor, Tonya Mork, gave a talk for the WPSessions webinar series for WordPress Developers. I attended. She did great. The point of her talk was that writing programs isn't really about telling the computer what to do. It used to be, back in the days of assembly code and punch cards. But not any more. With higher level programming languages, programming is now about telling other people what you want the computer to do. With higher level programming languages, you're not writing to the computer. The compiler takes what you write and translates it into instructions for the computer. Your job is to tell humans what it's doing.
That being the case, good programming is like any other good writing. It communicates as clearly as possible, what you intend to say. Someone who knows and reads whatever programming language you're writing in should immediately know what you're talking about, be able to follow the plot, smile, cry, write a response to affirm or disagree.
When programming gets to that level, it's no longer about technology. It's about a human conversation. We can make the machines do almost anything. The question is what we should have them do. That's a conversation about ethics. The best programmers I know are experts in ethics. Following a conversation between Bob Martin (conservative) and Grady Booch (liberal) is like listening to Hamilton and Jefforson debate the Constitution. They know more about it than most clergy. They'd be great to have on a Hospice Ethics Committee. I hope I can represent them well while I'm there.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday the Southern Baptists invited Mike Pence to speak at their annual convention. I've often said that Southern Baptists have long ago ceased to be Baptists, but for the name. They've become a faction within the larger American Taliban. Fundamentalists across the religious landscape have more in common with one another than they do with the ideals of the faiths they have fallen from. It's what allows dictators and want-to-be dictators to get along so well.
Today, to bookend the week, Brooke is going to be all morning at an anti-racism training day for Methodist clergy. That there has to be an anti-racism training day for Methodist clergy speaks volumes in itself. That even the token black pastors in the area are required to come to it to be anti-racified, speaks to how clueless the denominational bureaucracy is about how to address it. Kudos to them for trying.