"It is practically impossible to teach good programming to students that have had a prior exposure to BASIC: as potential programmers they are mentally mutilated beyond hope of regeneration."
For what it's worth, I have written over 1 million lines of BASIC for over 100 customers, most of it still it production, and all of it doing important work producing goods, services, and jobs in so many uncool industries we couldn't live without.
Maybe I'm an outlier, but I have gone on to learn algorithms, dynamic programming, database theory, client/server, and web development. I believe the elegant simplicity of BASIC and database theory, although limited in application, has provided an excellent base upon which to build.
I know that ewd is a giant to be respected, but I think it's a red flag when a teacher mutters "practically impossible to teach", even in jest. IMHO, that says more about the teacher than the student.
Thoughts like this are great for a laugh, but when you stop to think about it, all they really do is further amplify the perception of a huge gulf between theory and practice. Academics whine while those of us in the trenches are too busy to notice because our sleeves are rolled up while we build that which must be built.