It’s me again. But, who else would it be? It’s always me when I speak, I think it should stay that way. As a fledgling student scraping off the digital rust of programming languages from my previous go at the university, I find myself getting excited at the prospect of my future.
“Hello World” is pretty much the first thing that any programmer learns in any language. Sure there are exceptions and getting a program to simply post those words on a screen is no large feat, but it is the most basic step towards understanding. Many teachers and professors will still include this, if for nothing else, then for tradition. It’s also kind of beautiful I think. Look at the simplicity and motivation of saying “Hello World”. When you learn a foreign language, probably one of the very first things you learn is how to say hello or greet someone. You know, usually before the “me llamo Guillermo” (USUALLY).
As an aside, I thought it was weird that sometimes in learning Spanish my teacher went out of the way to explain things were not direct translations or that we had to practice talking to each other after assigning ourselves more Spanish like names, hence my Guillermo. I can’t tell you how hard my teacher reinforced “me llamo” is not “my name is”, it is “I call myself” though it is of little consequence because we use them exactly the same way in Spanish, maybe the distinction was just there because she wanted us to verb better. Additionally I was proud that I irritated the teacher so much that I got to miss the Justo Lamas concert because even though I didn’t get to go on the school field trip, no one was at school for the rest of the teachers to do anything so it was just board games all day. Anyway…. I accidentally switched rails there. Let me find where I was again.
Hello World, I lost you for a second. Maybe you were just compiling. Hello World, I can’t wait to see what I can do. Hello World, it’s time for me to imagine and create. Hello World, I’m going to work to solve your problems. Hello World, this is me, discovering my place in you. Hello World, I just found you and found something inside me.
I’m going to be a programmer. Hopefully work in cyber-security, saving the world or you know, some irresponsible man’s identity so he doesn’t get his life ruined. My mom needed someone like that. Maybe if she had one that heart attack wouldn’t have happened so soon. So I feel like I have a personal vendetta against these people who brick businesses for hostage situations. Many of them hide under the guise of thieves with anonymity so tight they won’t be traced. Maximum profit for minimum effort. These hackers start off with small things and work their way up believing they aren’t really hurting anyone. They rationalize that money can be replaced and that attacking businesses is better than harming individuals. Then there are those who outright will sell individuals information to people who will take advantage of medical records to fill prescriptions or make claims to fill their own pockets, and somewhere along the line all these people sort of shrugged at the thought of people’s lives being ruined.
I wonder what they would think. The people who bricked the business where my mom worked. It was just her for the office staff. The other person owned and ran it. But she relied on my mom to be able to stand straight in the morning and keep her life together, even sometimes after work. My mom helped. She was loyal to a fault. So when all of their files became encrypted and held hostage, she was incredibly upset. She didn’t have any offline backups either, so it seemed like a dire situation, very stressful for her. But I really wonder, if I somehow met those people what they would say if I told them they effectively killed my mother. Would they plead ignorance? Maybe rationalize how it wasn’t their fault? Assuming they moved past my confrontation, would they do anything different with their lives? Does their anonymity allow them to simply shrug and believe that people don’t really matter on the other ends of their attacks because they never see them?
Hello World, I’m learning about you, I’m building skills to engage you in a way to protect others. Hello World, maybe you can help me build a better you. Hello World, thanks for getting me started.