Quite a while ago the way computers got programmed was by feeding one a stream of binary numbers.
You know: 01101000 11110100 10001101 etc. etc. etc..
After a while a lot of people pointed out that that was tedious to the point of being a pain in the ass.
To ameliorate that situation somebody came up with Assembly Language.
It involved lining up all the functional clusters of ones and zeros with an English description of what it was that each did and then assigning a brief code – called a mnemonic – (I can’t remember what the underlying Greek means) that consisted of a few sort of meaningful roman characters – in upper case, of course.
For example BXLE was the mnemonic for “branch on condition low or equal”.
Somehow they got the computer to make the link between those four capital Roman letters and its corresponding machine understandable binary origin.
I think they called that, generically, a compiler.
In the case of Assembly language they might have called it the Assembler.
I don’t know.
I just think that is probably true.
But who really cares in the era of fake news?
After I got out of the Air Force in the late 1960s I was lucky enough to get hired by IBM.
That involved a first year employment where they paid me a nice salary to go to classes all the time so I could learn what it was that I needed to know to be a successful and productive IBM employee.
I think I am hearing gasps of shock that there ever could have been such an employee-centric system in America; but there was once.
Anyway, in the first 12 week class I went to – CST it was called; you can probably figure out what the letters in that acronym (I can’t remember what the underlying Greek means) involved learning a lot of basic computer skills, including several programming languages.
The first of these was Assembler.
One of the mnemonics in that language was – and still is – NOOP.
That was an instruction that did nothing but reserved space in case you ever wanted to go back and make the computer do something different or additional at the point in the program where you coded “NOOP”.
Which gets us to donnie (I know it’s tempting to call him a NOOP, but I’m going somewhere else with this).
This morning I heard Sarah the Vicious say that donnie would probably exempt Canada and Mexico from his new tariffs; on the surface of that assertion is a thick veneer of absurdity: Canada is our major source of steel; so if we need a tariff to avoid unfair competition why are we exempting our major source of steel from the tariff?
She went on to say there would probably be a lot of “other carve outs”.
My first picture was Swiss Cheese.
But almost immediately I remembered the NOOP.
So donnie is doing tariff policy that takes up space but does nothing?
“I guess so”, I thought I heard somebody say.
Immediately next, from Erie PA. I thought I heard “damn right; that donnie is just doing a great job!!! Now we need to get going with that wall and nuking North Korea”
But why would he do something irrational and stupid like that?
But other than those reasons, why would he do such a thing?
Here’s a thought.
After Hope the Confessor, the teller of little white lies resigned, donnie was so Hopeless that he just threw a tantrum; and now he’s trying to back out of the mess that his little tantrum is about to make.
He really is a NOOP.