I used to start my lecture on dictionaries in Python by explaining how hashing worked and why the differences between mutable and immutable data types mattered. None of that mattered to my actual audience at their actual stage of development. Looking back, I realize that my real purpose was to reassure any “real” programmer wandering past the room (and myself) that I was one of the faithful. The same was true of some of the political causes I was involved in as a student. Nobody was ever going to read the statements flyers we agonized over; their real purpose was to provide an arena in which we could one-up each other’s insight and zealotry.

Soup, Then Prayers
from The Third Bit favicon