On the Shoulders of Giants!
“We build on the shoulders of giants!” A quote that one of my instructors at C4Q(http://www.c4q.nyc/) Accesscode 2.1 used recently after showing me a demo of what raspberry pie can do. A quote paraphrased and reused by many a philosopher/writer/teacher which I thought was pretty cool the first time that I heard it in high school. However, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve fully come to respect this very true statement. I’ve gone through most of my life using things that were built by other people without giving much thought to how those things came to be.
This week in my java coding class we discussed methods, objects and classes. Without going into much detail, I understand these to be like blueprints(classes) and the pieces(objects) used to build something with those blueprints. Thinking on a larger scale, this seems to be true about everything around us, including us. People are made of the same stuff that is produced in stars in space. That’s pretty cool!
When I think of all of these moving pieces and how long they last and how they can be seemingly endlessly reused by the universe, I’ve wondered how we as people have managed to understand what we do in our relatively small lifespans. I think the answer to this is that human beings have built quite an impressive library of compiled knowledge over the course of our existance. Our ability to effectively gather information, record it and then leave it behind to newer versions of humans through shared speech and literature allows us to evolve in a very different way from many other species on this planet. If you think of each contribution made by people of the past as another building block to add to our overall understanding, you start to realize how humans create these giant libraries of classes for descendants to use objects that either exist or that can be created to build upon and create these awesome new improvements to our lives that we see all the time.