What is Web Development? Important Points and Takeaways

Disclaimer The following is a reflection on my reading from Chapter 1 of Fundamentals of Web Development (2nd Edition) by Randy Connolly and Ricardo Hoar. All credit for illustrations and "Key Point" bullet points go to the authors of this book. Bullet points labeled "Takeaway" are my own thoughts and are in my own words. This post is serves as a commentary and reflection on the chapter, not as a summary or a publishing of the contents of the book. It is meant to help other JMU CS students by highlighting what I thought was important so that they can reflect after they read the chapter themselves.

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Reflecting on MIT's Moral Machine

Several weeks ago I wrote a walk-through of MIT's Moral Machine, which aims to gain a human perspective on the decisions that self driving cars may have to make in the future. You should read that post here before you read this post. This reflection contains my thoughts on the moral machine, and what I would change about it. What is the Moral Machine? The website presents us with a scenario where the brakes on a self driving car have gone bad. The vehicle is careening towards a crosswalk of pedestrians, and the car has a decision to make - to switch lanes, or not to switch lanes. You are presented with 13 different scenarios in this context, but there are various parameters that will change between them. Each scenario has different numbers of people in the car and pedestrians on the crosswalk. In some scenarios, you have to choose whether the car will crash in to a concrete barrier, which would kill all passengers in the vehicle. In some scenarios the pedestrians are jaywalking…

the moral machine - a walkthrough

This summer, I am working on a project that will be used as a educational tool for computing ethics. Exciting stuff. It actually is pretty sweet, and I'll detail that project in a later post.

Educational tools for computing ethics already exist; MIT made one called "The Moral Machine". They describe it as "a platform for gathering a human perspective on moral decisions made by machine intelligence, such as self driving cars." So, this tool is not only educating you on the decisions self driving cars may be expected to make, but also collecting your data as research in the process. In this post, I'm gonna judge scenarios in the moral machine and walk through my decision process.

If you have not completed MIT's Moral Machine yourself, please do so before reading the rest of this post. You can judge moral dilemmas here.

In each of the following scenarios, we will view a self driving car that is careening towards a cross walk and has suffered from a sudden b…

my origins in code

Most real geeks will scoff at you if you have HTML or CSS listed under programming languages on your résumé. Learn a real programming language, you simp. In all fairness, they're correct; HTML is really a markup language (along with things like XML and LaTeX). CSS is a "style sheet language", basically meaning that it is used to style and perfect the look of your HTML documents. I will have more on this distinction in later posts on this website.
Starting Out With HTML For me, HTML was the first thing I had ever worked with that looked like code. Keep in mind, I never wrote a line of Java until my sophomore year of college. It didn't matter if I was actually writing actual computer instructions or algorithms with my HTML; I had no notion of what these things actually were. What mattered is that working with HTML made me feel like some sort of elite hacker 👨‍💻, or like I had transcended onto a higher plane of the internet 😇.

The first time I ever started using HTM…