Computer programmers don't do it either. Ellen Ulmann:

"When you are programming, you must not let your mind wander. As the human-world, knowledge tumbles about in your head, you must keep typing, typing. You must not be interrupted. Any break in your concentration causes you to lose a line here or there. Some bit comes, then--oh no, it's leaving, please come back. But it may not come back. You may lose it. You will create a bug and there's nothing you can do about it.

People imagine that programmers don't like to talk because they prefer machines to people. This is not completely true. Programmers don't talk because they must not be interrupted.

This need to be uninterrupted leads to a life that is strangely asynchronous to the one lived by other human beings.

It's better to send e-mail to ta programmer than to call. It's better to leave a note on the chair than to expect a programmer to come to a meeting. This is because the programmer must work in mind time while the phone rings and the meetings happen in real time. It's not just ego that prevents programmers from working in groups--it's the synchronicity problem. Synchronizing with other people (or their representations in telephones, buzzers, and doorbells) can only mean interrupting the thought train. Interruptions mean bugs. You must not get off the train."

From "Out of Time: Reflections on the Programming Life" by Ellen Ullman, within Resisting the Virtual Life, edited by James Brook and Iain Boal, City Lights Books, San Francisco. Quoted from Harper's Magazine, June 1995, p. 15.

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