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Subject:The Programmer's Stone
Time:10:54 pm
A project in the UK, initially meant to explain why some people are good at programming and some not, developed into a psychological classification of individual mindsets. This article is well worth reading and really exposes the idiocy of our current education system in the US.

The two classifications are "packers" and "mappers". The following is a brief description of both:

Packer-

An individual that treats information as unique and disparate facts, and "stacks" them like plates in their head. Packers are good at trivia and social etiquette, but cannot connect these facts together and treats information as either right or wrong.


Mapper-

An individual that treats information as part of an always evolving mental world view. Mappers are good at designing systems (ie, architecture, programming, writing, philosophy) and simplifying existing ones but have issues with memorization and following orders (especially when those orders are not understood or considered unjustifiable).


The article clearly indicates that both packer and mapper mentality are needed in the world, but all too often, packer mentality is encouraged and mapper mentality discouraged. Instead of encouraging imagination (a mapper trait), often conformity (a packer trait) is encouraged. So that the emphasis in mathematics, for example, is more on memorization and not the concepts behind the math. What is the result of "5 * 2" instead of "there are five people who each have two pencils."

Are you a mapper or a packer? How do you know?
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