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I have spent most of my career as a French professor and a research librarian, and have been reinventing myself as a writer. I’m...

Debugging the Program

Somewhere in the future of my class (and I’m still about 4 weeks behind the class – started late and so forth and so on), I’m going to learn about debugging the program. After an amazing realization the other day, I understood that we humans have the SAME PROBLEM!

See, this is how it is. There are operators called Boolean Operators, which create loops and conditions for those loops. The program will run this loop over and over again UNTIL or IF or ELSE, and such as this. We do the SAME THING! It works a little differently in human beings. Here’s an example. Let’s say your mother tells you to do the dishes. You reply, “NO! I am busy playing War of the Zombies on my iphone!” Then your mother says more loudly, “DO THE DISHES!” You reply, “OK, OK, JUST A MINUTE.” Mom hears “ZING! CRASH! BOOM!” and so forth. She shouts, “JUNIOR GET IN HERE THIS MINUTE OR I”M GOING TO TAKE YOUR iphone BACK TO THE STORE!" Suddenly, Junior is in the kitchen doing dishes. Every night it’s the same thing….

UNTIL DAD COMES HOME! Suddenly, when Mom says, “Come do the dishes,” there is an amazingly prompt cooperation, and the dishes are done without any complaint.

OR ELSE, the next night, as Junior is arguing, MOM CONFISCATES THE IPHONE! Now the dishes are done on time every single night!

These are simple uses of the Boolean operators. But sometimes the program does not work properly. When you begin the loop, something goes wrong and you get the wrong response. Then you have to go into the code and figure out what went wrong and do a little more programming. (Moms do a lot of this, while sometimes Dads crash the system.) This is what is known as debugging.

So this is how that may work in humans. Let’s say you are experiencing a problem with a certain situation, which keeps occurring. You develop a standard response, which may have worked for that situation, even though the situation is ridiculous to begin with. Now you leave that situation to go to another situation (UNTIL), but though the situation has changed, you do not perceive that it has changed, and you keep responding the way you did to the PREVIOUS situation. This program has a BUG! Sufferers from PTSD experience this kind of bug. They have a set of responses based on old information. They have responded this way for so long that they cannot shift gears. The UNTIL operator has not kicked in. So what you must do is to go into the program and rewrite the code…DEBUGGING.

OR, let’s use an example of gossip. When you use Boolean operators, you look for a value of true or false. With gossip, it’s easy to see that the true operators may not be WORKING. So when the Booleans are used, the program does not work. It has to be DEBUGGED! It becomes necessary to redefine the values of each character, as they have been skewed and do not work when applied. The program must be redefined using proper values, and that can be undefined in more ways than one! Yet, the human brain is more complex than a computer program. Nevertheless, we can take some lessons from computer code and programming and debugging.

When your until operator does not kick in, you can have some pretty messy situations. Let’s take a young person dealing with bullying and mockery every day at school. The kid develops a set of responses which include things like hypervigilance, watching for the bullies, guarding against the usual harassment. Then the same kid goes to a different environment, let’s say to church, with a different set of people. He may mistake the reactions of some for the usual bullying, as his until operator has not kicked in, (though it may kick in AFTER church, and he realizes, “OH! That wasn’t the same thing as before.”). Perhaps with a little debugging, he can come to terms with the fact that this is an UNTIL situation, and he can leave the hypervigilance behind him…or maybe not. Perhaps the bullies have followed him to church. So the human component of programming and debugging can be much more complicated, with more VARIABLES than can be apparent. Sometimes, the best solution is to return to the parent directory: cd..
and start over.

For adults, it can be more difficult, and no one should underestimate the difficulties of people suffering from PTSD, bullying, and all of the crazy things going on in our society these days. Today I spoke with a friend of mine in the hood, and I asked her if she was going to the Fourth of July parade tomorrow. She said, “Oh, NO! With all the sudden shootings these days, and all the violence? I’M STAYING HOME!” We are all having responses to the crazy actions in our society. It’s sad, because it limits our lives and it takes away so much pure, joyful, wholesome fun. Debugging these fear responses and what causes them is everybody’s job. But gun control is not the solution. That’s the disaster, the takeover, waiting to happen. That’s when the program crashes. WE’LL ALL BECOME SLAVES OF AN EVIL EMPEROR!

Gee, I never realized how many things debugging can solve! I’m going to keep practicing! Maybe I can use it to save the country, and THE WORLD! Wow! I never knew you could do so much with computer programming! Sigh! I’m learning so much!

YAWN! WOW! Gotta WAKE UP! That was an awesome dream! I need to finish This C Programming book! Oops! It fell on the FLOOR when I fell asleep! Back to the chapter on Boolean operators. Did I already READ THAT?

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