A second installment of “interesting stuff I came across this month” …
- A 1972 article in Rolling Stone magazine by Stewart Brand: “Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums”. If only the present had corresponded a little closer to the imagined future of the past, eh? :)
The hackers are the technicians of this science - “It’s a term of derision and also the ultimate compliment.” They are the ones who translate human demands into code that the machines can understand and act on. They are legion. Fanatics with a potent new toy. A mobile new-found elite, with its own apparat, language and character, its own legends and humor. Those magnificent men with their flying machines, scouting a leading edge of technology which has an odd softness to it; outlaw country, where rules are not decree or routine so much as the starker demands of what’s possible.
An excellent blog that was forced offline by vociferous commentors, but lives on in the depths of the Wayback Machine: “Surely I am Joking” by Yin Wang. All the posts are good, my favorites are the ones on the downsides of “pure” FP and “pure” OOP (and how the two are similar!), the one on “what is a program?”, and the one on the “dark age of programming”.
A 1987 article in “Computer Language” magazine: “Mutant languages from the LISP lab” – just for fun, and an insight into the pre-Common Lisp era.
A humorous blog entry from 2009: “A Brief, Incomplete, and Mostly Wrong History of Programming Languages”, with a self-explanatory title.
And finally, a “quote-of-the-month”. This one is short and succinct Perlisism:
Computer Science is embarrassed by the computer.