A Call for Advice
The folowing is ultimately a plea for assistance, guidance and a ‘how to proceed’ if you will. I graduated from the MA Interactive Media in Goldsmiths with a cursory competency of software languages and a hazy understanding of art practice, and I think 2012 is my time to level up a notch or 2 (my existing work is available to peruse here http://www.thereisnowetware.com)
Area in need of Remedy # 1
I am a pidgin programmer who mostly uses Perl and I understand how that works for
- regular expressions, if/else constructs, automating system calls
- how to interface to a DBI and Arduino
but not much else. Pidgin programming and glueing together the bountiful resources on the internet (to which I am eternally grateful and indebted) have seen me through thus far (a glance at the chimera code that is Data Mining Divination ought to illustrate this to anyone morbidly curious enough to glance)
I think I would benefit from learning code from scratch* to the level where, when I have an idea I can sit down, write the pseudo code and be possessed of enough competency that I can work through each step, or at least now which sort of code structure I should be enlisting (i.e. not have to look up how to reference one subroutine to another). Is perl the best language to persist with learning or should I look elsewhere to languages like Ruby or Python.
*In some ways I can see that learning code this way is problematic: myself and Alexandra Jönsson discussed this last year, how we enjoyed learning Perl while in the process of problematizing an area (i.e. through a practice – driven investigation of a research area) rather than learning code as we imagined one might through a computer science lens: i.e. a solution or ends driven application of code.
…However I am determined to get past struggling with the medium this year
Area in need of Remedy # 2
I am someone who is possessed of a long term interest in how technology is altering our consciousness (yes, that hoary old chestnut) and also more recently interested in the anti-anthropocentric position of understanding how technology, as an assemblage or otherwise shapes us at a level beyond (or below) our conscious recognition.
Where does one need to start to actually understand and appreciate data mining rather than occupying the exoticised perspective I feel I have from considering the process from a distance. How solid a grounding in statistics is required?
If you can help, or suggest routes to pursue I would be most grateful.