In the crime epic film New Jack City (1991), Nino Brown is a legitimate entrepreneur in his own right. The movie follows his rise to power in the 80’s as leader of the CMB drug cartel. He builds an empire that yields over $1M a day using modern business practices and revolutionizes the drug game by managing his finances, inventory, and bookkeeping with computers.
Almost midway through the movie, one of Nino’s lieutenants promotes Pookie, a former junkie, to oversee product packaging. Jokingly, Pookie is asked if he “…can code pascal?” Pascal is a computer programming language released in the 1970’s to develop software systems and apparently became the language of choice in NYC trap houses. Naturally, the nerd in me decided to try to learn some pascal. But I thought, how the hell would Pookie have had to learn pascal? The first website wouldn’t hit the internet for a few years and Google wouldn’t launch for another decade. Sure he could have went to the library and read a couple of books on it, but how could he have practiced it? Computers were extremely expensive in the 80’s, he surely wouldn’t have been able to get his hands on one to compile his code. So in all likeliness, given Pookie’s economic status, history of drug abuse, and the price of computers at the time, he couldn’t have possibly known pascal. But it’s important to acknowledge how far education has come at the hands of technology. Today we can learn nearly anything from the internet so it surprises me that libraries are still even around. I’m even more surprised at how overpriced college textbooks are. Side note; don’t go learn pascal. I don’t think drug kingpins are requiring it anymore, and besides, it’s mostly a dead language.