Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Men of Cloth in Software Engineering (or Hardware)

Have I just not had enough exposure or is there truly a lack of Men of Cloth in IT?

I ask because for centuries, across nations and cultures, they have been the prime, and often times the pioneering group, to embrace technological advances and logical thinking. To the point of distraction, sometimes.

I find it odd that not many priests, brothers or monks are into software development, even in abstract research & development.

KayJay
Friday, July 02, 2004

Bayesian Spam Filtering is based in Bayes' Theorem. Thomas Bayes was a Reverend.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes'_theorem

Matthew Lock
Friday, July 02, 2004

I am speaking of recent times. Where really hard core and far reaching development took place in IT. Say from 1950 onwards.

KayJay
Friday, July 02, 2004

Has there been much of any research done by Men of Cloth since the 1950s?

Matthew Lock
Friday, July 02, 2004

I've heard of some monks and sisters in parts here and there putting up websites to sell their monastary made wine and stuff like that, but yeah, the only thing that really connects is that a lot of cryptography research at the NSA is done by a cabal of Jesuits.

Tony Chang
Friday, July 02, 2004

Along that line, we programmers do have a patron saint:

http://www.scborromeo.org/saints/isidores.htm

Bill Rushmore
Friday, July 02, 2004

Bill, that is so neat! (I'm honestly amazed :)

Alex
Friday, July 02, 2004

One of the significant digitization/information architecture vendors used by libraries and similar institutions is <a href="http://www.electronicscriptorium.com/">The Electronic Scriptorium</a>, which is run by monks.

E. Naeher
Friday, July 02, 2004

That Scriptorium has a pretty good client list. And they stick to what they know best! Document management.

KayJay
Friday, July 02, 2004

Looks like I'm taking April 4th off from now on...

joev
Friday, July 02, 2004

Do Rabbis count ?

I know quite a few ordained rabbis working in IT. About 15 years ago, my PM *was* a rabbi (although not "professionally").

There are some Jewish universities with standard computer science curriculums. Also, more than a few rabbinical seminaries have relationships with universities and technical schools so that their students can find the means to earn a living in addition to their religious studies.

Tom
Friday, July 02, 2004

Does being an Ordained Minister in the Universal Life Church count?

Rev Ken.

Ken Ray
Friday, July 02, 2004

My dad's a minister. He wrote books about the C64, ZX Spectrum and Amiga, and appeared on the front of the first ever Dragon User.

I just googled a bit, and found a screenshot of one of the book covers. We had the original on our wall at home. Weird.

Thom Lawrence
Friday, July 02, 2004

Good to see that the keepers of the fire are still on the ball. As I noted, I just did not look hard enough.

Nice knowing you Reverend.

KayJay
Friday, July 02, 2004

"to embrace technological advances and logical thinking"

Not to pick on any particular religion, but many of them in the US have been accused of embracing young boys...

Not This Time
Friday, July 02, 2004

>I ask because for centuries, across nations and >cultures, they have been the prime, and often times >the pioneering group, to embrace technological >advances and logical thinking. To the point of >distraction, sometimes.

Many great scientists or philosophers were men of the church, but saying that they have been a pioneering group is just plain wrong... Ever heard how many scientists in history had troubles with the church due to the too advanced nature of their work (Bruno, Galileo come to mind...) ?

history student
Friday, July 02, 2004

Yes, I have. But, I believe that the rule has always been a religiously inclined man to be more technically inclined than others.

KayJay
Saturday, July 03, 2004

Giordano Bruno was not a scientist.  He was, however, a Dominican priest.  He was executed for unspecified heresy, not for any scientific theories or discoveries.

Galileo's troubles came from trying to use his scientific discoveries to back theological arguments considered heretical in his day.  The church has never had any quarrel with his science: all his observations were verified by Jesuit astronomers during his lifetime and published under a Nihil Obstat.

Galileo has since been exonerated for heresy; Bruno has not.

Brent
Saturday, July 03, 2004

There was, in the early days of PC clones, a monk in Los Angeles who designed motherboards and was well regarded. His order allowed him to keep $20K a year for himself. That would be like about $30K today.

just an employee
Saturday, July 03, 2004

Does Thomas Bushnell (http://www.mit.edu/~tb/, formerly of the Hurd team) count? :)

DEBEDb
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home