People vs. Humans

Linus Torvalds said in a Ted interview he doesn’t like people that much — or just that he has a tough time with people. He said he likes computers more because a computer will do what you tell it to do.

I didn’t initially like him saying this. I like people! Thinking about it more, however, today while on a walk, I realize the truly tough thing with a person is the debugging process. If they say something that’s wrong or think something that’s wrong it’s very hard to really convince them they are wrong, sometimes, and really hard to understand why they came to this incorrect view. It’s especially troubling if an incorrect view becomes an ongoing issue for the functioning of their operating system.

Meanwhile, with computers, while it’s a nuisance to figure out what’s going wrong with a computer (whether you’re dealing with hardware or software) you can usually get to the source and be 100% confident you’ve found the solution because it didn’t work before and now that you’ve made a change it does! This is the nice thing about computers over humans: the effectiveness and relative speed of debugging.

I like them both!