Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility
Ach - don't let anybody tell you that philosophy has no practical use. It is enormously useful for all manner of things. I use the things I learned all the time in my work. I've found philosophy useful in dog training, in doing science research and in being able to stand my ground with medical professionals.
Very useful and practical subject in my opinion.
Very useful for thinking, but not practical, hands on stuff. It is the dog training itself or the science research itself that is the practical side of it.
I didn't get into it beforehand. When I started working in IT, I had used computers for typing up essays with and that was it. I didn't even use the internet or e-mail back then.
But - one of the things I spent time on in my philosophy degree was the philosophy of language. For years and years before computers were around philosophers have looked at language. One of the ways they used to think about meaning was to consider what a language might be like if it operated fully on logical statements and had no ambiguity of meaning.
Philosophers called these things formal languages - and that's exactly what computer programming languages are.
Ever heard of Lojban? It's actually one thing I'm working on at the moment in learning. Again, no practical use to it [yet], but a great thing to think about.
.i mi lo zanfri ku lo tavla ku logji bangu
[I enjoy[some] talking[some] logical language.]
Very basic and not well-thought-out Lojban, but the great thing about it, being that it still makes perfect sense, even if it does look ugly in this example. If I knew the language a little better, I could probably cut down the sentence to two thirds the length, with much more pretty wording and grammar. =P
EDIT: I believe ".i mi lo nelci ku tavla bau la lojban." would be a little more pretty. =]
[I like talking in the language of Lojban.]
But it it thought that Lojban would make for a fantastic language to put into computing, because of its complete lack of ambiguity.
I went into my job interview and talked about having learned formal logic and spent time studying formal languages.
I passed the aptitude test and interviewed fairly well and they took me into the graduate training program.
The company I worked for then wanted their IT staff to have good social skills and be able to talk to customers. They believed that it was easier to teach programming than social skills so there is a bunch of us with no IT background at all working away as systems analysts and programmers.
That's a pretty cool way to have got into it. I think I'd enjoy computing, myself. If, or once, I get around to learning how to do useful things with a computer language, I may have to see about maybe careers in using them.