Friday, March 15, 2013

Programming languages that alter your mind

Today I went to Perl 6 site.
I left.
I can remember in details what brought me there.
I still shocked by the new world that opened before me.
Butterflies..

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NOTE: This is a not very positive post `about life`. Don't waste you time if you don't like such stuff.

The text below contains depictions of deaths by coding, too much letters, biased speculations, insight into psychedelic culture and a long way to the conclusions you're may not be ready to face with. You've been warned.


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Let's face it - programming languages alter your mind. They affect the way people think and solve problems. It creates problems in life and relationships. Languages are addictive, they provide a lot of fun to entertain one's brain well beyond solving simple crosswords and moving sprites of monsters on the screen through the means of other sprites guided by the mouse-type manipulator. And while programming languages are fun, they are also harmful and even toxic.

A language is toxic when it doesn't match your expectations, such as were mine that resulted in filling Python bug #17426 (which I called the subzero wart, but that doesn't really matter). A language is harmful when it requires you to remember yet another thing from its "funny" behavior, and for that purpose you need to sacrifice a mem cell that was dedicated to store the name of your girlfriend's favorite flowers. It is harmful if it affects your mood, and you get butthurt when you read bad things about it.

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Programming can be fatal for a girlfriend, relatives and the person in general. Much like eating mushrooms. I was only at two funerals of people below the age of 25. Both of them died of pneumonia, because both were not attentive enough to the symptoms of the cold they got, and that's because their attention was completely absorbed by tasks they needed to complete for their jobs. Their body failed, because their brain was unable to dedicated resources to timely response to the alerts of life sustaining system.

That's why people quit programming. That's why salaries are so high. But that doesn't mean other jobs are not harmful either. Low salary can be much more harmful in many ways leading to low self esteem and to even more complicated problems with relatives, friends and society. Did I say mushrooms can do this too?

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Programming can be fatal even for the people with positive strong attitudes to pursue their own goals in life. If taken without prescription or without negative sides of the daily jobs in bad companies, programming becomes addictive - fun for one who practices and a loss for the human society. Ignoring everything around, being busy with developing your own _____ (framework, game, startup, social network, ...). A loss that happens when a person is leaves the job to pursue its virtual dreams about programming. Dreams disconnected from reality. And reality is something that you've completely ignored and skipped while being buried under the pile of daily tasks at your big corporation. Did I say that mushrooms can cause this too?

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Real life is tough. It requires interaction with people, responding to signals and basically you start to forget your ideas, dreams and become more far away from your goals. New ideas are less likely to visit you, because maintaining a business requires a mindset of a library with shallow functions, not a scientific library with modelling algorithms. Maintaining a business is reinventing the bicycle. Over and over, day after day. Pursuing your dreams is reinventing the bicycle. Over and over, day after day. That keeps people busy, and the progress slow.

Programming languages can make the world less harmful and more close to the reality. Programming languages that are accessible, that save time and don't have a tough legacy. Enabling people to adapt them, discuss them and invent their own. If people can not invent ideal programming languages by themselves, by calculating, by using maths and inductive reasoning - they should try genetic algorithms. Did I mention that mushrooms can mutate?

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The more experience I gain, the less I want to learn the peculiarities and differences between the languages. I just want them to work and I'd gladly outsource the task of inventing such working language to genetic algorithm. Algorithm where I involved as a social actor that makes selection based on shared experience with other actors. Genetic algorithm is where you have a set of parameters written into one long line. Mutation is a change of some or all of these parameters - sometimes completely random, sometimes guided. If your programming language has parameters - syntax, functions, modules, features - you can describe it using this long line called DNA.

To apply genetic algorithm you need a selection method - this is a shared user experience. You need an identification for the language a DNA sequence, but also a registry of names for and versions for human consumption. You need to abandon backward compatibility excuses and start building reusable components that will become new parameters in the language DNA sequence.

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It starts to get late. Tomorrow there will be a new day, new karma and new ideas, so I need to finish this today. If programming languages can alter you mind, you can use this mind to alter the language. It is well known that when you look into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you, but it is less known that it is an iterative process. Did I mention that shrooms can give you powers?..

Let me say goodbye and wish you all the best, dear reader. I hope you had a good trip, and now enjoy the expanded state of your mind and consciousness. Did I mention mushrooms? Right.

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