Max Gerber] I am often asked whether I agree with the new group selectionists, and the questioners are always surprised when I say I do not. After all, group selection sounds like a reasonable extension of evolutionary theory and a plausible explanation of the social nature of humans. Also, the group selectionists tend to declare victory, and write as if their theory has already superseded a narrow, reductionist dogma that selection acts only at the level of genes.
Want to start a startup? Get funded by Y Combinator. We managed to drag a lot of them about halfway to Lisp. Everyone knows who the pointy-haired boss is, right? I think most people in the technology world not only recognize this cartoon character, but know the actual person in their company that he is modelled upon.
The pointy-haired boss miraculously combines two qualities that are common by themselves, but rarely seen together: Suppose, for example, you need to write a piece of software.
He thinks you should write it in Java.
Why does he think this? Java is a standard. I know it must be, because I read about it in the press all the time. And that also means there will always be lots of Java programmers, so if the programmers working for me now quit, as programmers working for me mysteriously always do, I can easily replace them.
The pointy-haired boss believes that all programming languages are pretty much equivalent. If that were true, he would be right on target. If languages are all equivalent, sure, use whatever language everyone else is using.
But all languages are not equivalent, and I think I can prove this to you without even getting into the differences between them.
If you asked the pointy-haired boss in what language software should be written in, he would have answered with as little hesitation as he does today. In fact, why should the developers of Java have even bothered to create a new language?
So there you have it: James Gosling, or the pointy-haired boss? Not surprisingly, Gosling is right. Some languages are better, for certain problems, than others. And you know, that raises some interesting questions. Are there situations where other languages are better than either of them?
Once you start considering this question, you have opened a real can of worms. If the pointy-haired boss had to think about the problem in its full complexity, it would make his brain explode.
As long as he considers all languages equivalent, all he has to do is choose the one that seems to have the most momentum, and since that is more a question of fashion than technology, even he can probably get the right answer. But if languages vary, he suddenly has to solve two simultaneous equations, trying to find an optimal balance between two things he knows nothing about: But the advantage is that it makes your life a lot simpler.
It is a comfortable idea. We know that Java must be pretty good, because it is the cool, new programming language. If you look at the world of programming languages from a distance, it looks like Java is the latest thing.
From far enough away, all you can see is the large, flashing billboard paid for by Sun. But if you look at this world up close, you find that there are degrees of coolness. Within the hacker subculture, there is another language called Perl that is considered a lot cooler than Java.
Slashdot, for example, is generated by Perl. But there is another, newer language, called Python, whose users tend to look down on Perl, and more waiting in the wings. If you look at these languages in order, Java, Perl, Python, you notice an interesting pattern.Dear Twitpic Community - thank you for all the wonderful photos you have taken over the years.
We have now placed Twitpic in an archived state. Feb 17, · Claims to the throne. It all began with the death of Edward the Confessor, in January The Bayeux tapestry depicts Edward on his deathbed, offering the English crown to .
My Seventieth Birthday Speech “The seventieth birthday! It is the time of life when you arrive at a new and awful dignity; when you throw aside the decent reserves which have oppressed you for a generation and have stand unafraid and unabashed upon your seven .
Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich Some of the wealthiest people in America—in Silicon Valley, New York, and beyond—are getting ready for the crackup of civilization. I. Eliezer Yudkowsky’s catchily-titled Inadequate Equilibria is many things. It’s a look into whether there is any role for individual reason in a world where you can always just trust expert consensus.
INTRODUCTION by Edward Waterman. Presented here in its entirety is Don Herron's famous essay, "The Dark Barbarian." This essay first appeared in the book of the same name, The Dark Barbarian, and was first published in This book, and the excellent essays within, were the first to take Robert E.
INTRODUCTION by Edward Waterman. Presented here in its entirety is Don Herron's famous essay, "The Dark Barbarian." This essay first appeared in the book of the same name, The Dark Barbarian, and was first published in This book, and the excellent essays within, were the first to take Robert E. Howard and his work seriously and to consider Robert E. Howard a major literary figure. INTRODUCTION by Edward Waterman. Presented here in its entirety is Don Herron's famous essay, "The Dark Barbarian." This essay first appeared in the book of the same name, The Dark Barbarian, and was first published in This book, and the excellent essays within, were the first to take Robert E. Howard and his work seriously and to consider Robert E. Howard a major literary figure. Essay Ordinary People by Judith Guest is the story of a dysfunctional family who relate to one another through a series of extensive defense mechanisms, i.e. an unconscious process whereby reality is distorted to reduce or prevent anxiety. The book opens with seventeen year old Conrad, son of upper middle-class Beth and Calvin Jarrett, home after eight months in a psychiatric hospital, there.
Howard and his work seriously and to consider Robert E. Howard a major literary figure.