2010-07-11

emacs vs MS Word; top 20 computer scientists

On Jul 10, 4:25 pm, "B. T. Raven" wrote:
> Xah Lee wrote:
> > 2010-07-10
>
> > On Jul 8, 3:36 am, David Kastrup wrote:
> >> I think the point was that the manual was not deficient concerning the
> >> information it provides, but in not making Xah Lee want to read it.
>
> >> In a way, it is a losing battle.  People expect software to just work
> >> without reading manuals.  95% of all Word users, for example, create
> >> their documents by mostly visual manipulation of their text without
> >> having a clue about underlying structures like references, style sheets
> >> and so on.
>
> > that's called progress.
>
> Maybe at the end of that "Road Ahead" there is the final Borgesian data
> base that contains all possible compositions. Then if you want to write
> a piece of expository prose arguing for the healthfulness of Twinkies,
> you can just pick the document from a menu. Voila! Magnum opus
> determined, dared, and done.

you mean like this?

• World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics???
http://xahlee.org/comp/WMSCI.html

and Larry Wall's post-modern stuff? like the following chantable quote?

“The difference between theory and practice in theory is much less than the difference between theory and practice in practice.”

• Perl: Theory vs Practice
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/theory_practice.html

and “The three principal virtues of a programmer are Laziness, Impatience, and Hubris.”, right?

• Larry Wall and Cults
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/larry_wall_n_cults.html

and the unix philosophy KISS right?

• The Nature of the Unix Philosophy
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/unix_phil.html

> Some are, some aren't. From what I can informally grok, RMS for example,
> displays a significantly higher level of general culture than the
> average sociology or psychology Ph. D.

so, you are saying, that some non-professionals actually have opinions or insights that turn out to be more correct than the common theories of the experts in particular field? I agree, and also agree that sometimes cherry can be mistaken for banana, and female for male. Though, what's the point?

My point that you were replying to, was about how tech geekers ignorantly attribute laziness or stupidity to non-tech-geekers. And my method used to convey this, is by a analogy, that indicates that computing tech geekers are in general too idiotic about everything other than computers. That, when you sneer non-techies for their cluelessness about using emacs or applications, you should look at the mirror and think about how at this very moment those business people, lawers, politicians, are laughing at you about how eternally-clueless you are of basic social matters.

the reason i wrote in such a style and comparison, is due to, a reaction from the idiotic style widely purveyed by the tech geekers, as, if you will, a retaliatory refutation, which, mirrors and puts a dagger right in the heart of matter. Did you enjoy reading it?

> If Gauss or Goedel dared to sneer at someone like Donald Knuth they
> would be shown up as fools.

What about Einstein or Newton or Archimedes? How they fit in?

did you know that your dropping of names is not scholarly smooth? For example, if you meant to mention what's considered the greatest, then Godel and Knuth would not be up there. If you want to go by tech geekers's fashion, then Gauss shouldn't be there.

y'know? we can turn this section to be more fruitful. Alas, whenever i give it a start in that direction, tech geekers quickly drop out of discussion, for lack of knowledge when dicussion gets a bit valuable.

For example, let's ask the question, of which we can have mutual education: Who would be considered the top 20 computer scientist and or programer? I don't really know the answer at all... but let's take up the computer scientists case. At best i could maybe come up with 5 names off hand... and if pressed can come up with 10 names, but would have no idea if the names would be say top 20 or so off that some of them might be within top 100 instead.

however, this is certainly a valid question albeit non-scientific one. And for a computer scientist (thousands of people quality), they easily know the answer. So, let's grok... who among us can give us a ball park list of people that might be roughly agreed among majority of computer scientists that are the top 20 in the world in the past 100 years?

ok, let me try to pull off the top of my head as fast as i can type without thinking or thumbing the web.... ok there's Knuth, and Guy Steel of Scheme fame might be on it (after-thought: probably not (and with Guy, there's probably the other 2 Sussman & co who co-write of the Structure & Interp of Comptuer Programs books)), then Edsger Dijkstra i think, then i think Haskell Curry (though not sure to what degree logicians should be counted as computer scientists here), hum ok probably a number of folks from the functional programing community would get on the list, Dana Scott or something, and there's the logician Quin something, and of course there's Turing who is gay and got forced to eat a poisoned apple; here Alan Turing to tech geekers is like Britney Spears to teens, every sophomoron knows and loves to cite (same with Knuth), and with him there's Church... thinking of this, then my fav author of all times B Russell. With Russell mentioned, then Whitehead might deserve consideration. Humm, so the train of thought quickly runs to the idea that the list of possible names can easily be gotton by thinking with the math subjects of functional lang's foundations, then grab the associated names of that field, e.g. lambda calculus, symbolic logic, combinator theory, recursion theory (recursion theory reminds me of Wolfram and Gospel and Smullian and a gaggle from Martin Gardner circle
(• Martin Gardner (1914-2010) http://xahlee.org/math/Martin_Gardner.html )
), ... and broaden
it we can start to think of names associated with any finite/discrete
math, e.g. game theory, computational geometry, ... with game theory there's the famous Conway... (and again the Martin circle Penrose, Hofstadter... Rudy Rucker)

humm, of course there's a bunch of lang inventors, e.g. inventors of java (gosgling and co), perl (Larry charlatan), python (Guido dummy), tcl (the John something), c (3 or so major idiots with their “unix philosophy” fuck ((Dennis co.) one particular i vaguely think is a fuckface idiot from the unix gang is Rob Pike, with is unix KISS my ass!)), c++ (bjormine moron), but these dumb asses prob won't even make it to top 100. With that, i am thinking of all unix protocols and tech and or before that, e.g. inventors of many networking protocols e.g. the tcp/ip suite... but again prob i don't think any would make it to top 20. (oh and there's the Ruby japanese guy M something, and of course the lisp guy McCarthy i think he might make it to top 20, then going on we can think about the Fortran, Pascal, Logo lisp, Cobol, Ada, Basic... guys)

wheew.... my spade of typing is quite impressive! i think given a day of web checking, i can probably come up with at at least 40 of people who should be in the top 100.

do we have a working computer scientist here familiar with most field of comp sci and can quickly give as a list? am sure such topic might be brought up in computing journals or hist of comp sci books.

> The poster's point is that there is no hardwired repertoire of
> thinkables and that any design template that posits such state of
> affairs is doomed to become a strait-jacket. M$ is trying to please the
> lowest common denominator, same as the pornographers.

my point is that this train of thought is bullshit, in particular always just to mention something about Microsoft Word, and like the way you did in a disrespectful way of writing Microsoft as M$.

let me repeat, the “point” is meaningless chant. For example, what you mean common denominator?? So, Pine, Pico, isn't common denominator? How about BBEdit? and Linux's GUI Knight and Kate? hum? are they supposed to be this common denominator?

also, why tech geekers always pull up a word processor to compare with? What about Apple's X-code, tms's Visual Studio, and Java's NetBeans and Eclipse? Mathematica's Notebook system? and there also was Thick C, Code Warrior, etc on the Mac in the 1990s, and speaking of that, on Windows there's Delphi IDE and quite a few others. Are these, also idiotic, dumb, a vicious cycle of idiot begetting idiot? What's a example of a editor that's not a idiotic viscous cycle? is it vi and emacs?

if any tech geeker has pain in his ass and must mention that proper IDEs shouldn't be compared to emacs, then there's BBEdit, Notepad++, Notepad2, Textmate, NEdit, JEdit... quite a few. Are these, then, belongs to the common denominator reposible for idiocy in society?

does non-idiotic practically mean something crass and incomprehensible? So, unix, C++, and speghetti mudball are good, right? Visual Basic, Python, JavaScript, are kid's fuck that damage society and idiot generating crap, right?

are the world's top 100 programers, am sure 95% of them don't use emacs and will adamantly refuse to, are they, considered as idiots? that they are too dumb to sit down and consume a beautiful manual as emacs?

> > (personally, i have struggled with a quest to become a machine-like
> > being, e.g. like those of mister Data or Spock in the StarTrek scifi.
> > Been fret with this for some 20 years. Part of it is inborn
> > personality, a inclination towards what's called a schizoid
> > personality, and part of it is a quest to have the most powerful,
> > logical, mind without emotion. It'd be a booklet to write about my
> > experiences in this. (most tech geekers will probably think if it can
> > done then wow that'd be great... (it's not what you think!)) (and
> > besides a personal tale, there's also many scientific aspect of this.
> > On the computer science side: can machines think? why yes or no? when
> > circuits becomes sufficiently complex, will it develop emotion?
> > Emergent phenomenon, complexity theories, cellular automata... and on
> > the psychology/neuro-science side: is it possible for a human animal
> > be totally emotionless? (note that many Hollywood movies depict such
> > (fascinating!) character to various degrees.)) )
>
> This sounds like a bad attack of ADD. What's fascinating about Keanu
> Reeves? Lieutenant Ripley is fascinating; Bishop is not.

well the characters i had in mind are... the top 2 that portrait the gist is of course Mr Spock and Mr Data. Then, there's Dr Lectur in Silence of the Lamb, e.g. who can do things that threatens his life without raising a heartbeat,... there are many many such chars in films, i think i can easily list 20 off hand in 10 min but requires too much typing and description... from psycho freaks to actors who pull great heists to womanizers, liers... etc. The key is that these mostly fictional characters has the ability to perform a action without any emotional baggage that normal human beings have (fear, anxiety, nervousness, cold heartedness... so on), and to various degrees. (007 for example, usually have chars that fits such description too ...)... serial killers, serial marriage money grabbers, ...

> How good (adjective) is the grammar? The nub of the matter here is the
> question of who will evaluate the measurer.

when you measure, say, a dick, once the rules and methods are agree upon, the question of the measurer isn't a question. Because, that can be easily resolved in many ways.

> Or maybe even entirely rethink your position. "Cleaning" it up, as you
> say, might just further implicate you in the "viscous" ...

hum? what is your point? that i am wrong? that i might be wrong? or, are you indicating in anyway which side of argument you are on?? Or, is the whole point being that i should reconsider?? If so, what are the reasons?

Thanks.

Xah
∑ http://xahlee.org/

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