Stanford students are widely known to possess a sense of intellectual vitality. Tell us about an idea or an experience you have had that you find intellectually engaging. [250 words]
Ubiquity is a beautiful piece of software. With constant use, it becomes part of you. All the world’s knowledge resides in your fingers. It’s the extension of a man’s mind, the slow but inevitable fusion of the brain and the computer.
But, sitting on a soft couch at a Starbucks in central Singapore, my visions of technology are not so romantic, at least not at the moment. An “Exception: Ubquity.translate() is undefined” annoys me. As I sip the hot chocolate and ignore the constant chattering, I try not to be consumed by this error. For two years, I have written this same program but each time, I have failed by forgetting the bigger picture, by getting bogged down into the details. But it’s not that details are bad. Had Da Vinci spent all his time on the smile, would the Mona Lisa be as enigmatic? The folds of her clothing may seem insignificant but they sum up to create the overall harmony. In the same way, every line of code must be perfect.
But, right now, I just need to get past “Exception: Ubquity.translate() is undefined”. Engrossed in the screen, I look through 100s of lines of code trying to fix this issue. Is the software architecture completely faulty? Or is it just the parser module? Maybe, it’s just an undiscovered bug in the language itself. As these thoughts engulf my consciousness, I buy another cup of delicious Frapucinno.
I scratch the table in frustration.
I call my mom.
I take a toilet break.
I reply to a few emails.
And then, a couple of mind-numbing hours later, I realize that “Ubquity” is actually spelled “Ubiquity”.
How. Fucking. Trivial.
At exasperating times like this, I feel like screaming out loud. I absolutely hate coding. I will never program again. But even in these moments, deep down, I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
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