Subject: Re: Computer Science Education
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 07:54:00 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (Software Scavenger)
| The nervous system is massively parallel.  When will we have computer
| hardware with the same advantage to the same degree?

  When humans are willing to accept that a computer may be smarter than
  they are.  We have a situation today where the opposite willingness
  manifests itself in how people respond to a computer that has "insulted"
  them by pointing out that they are factually wrong about something or
  have made illogical arguments or committed fallacies.  A simple statement
  of fact that would make nobody defensive in the real world, tends to make
  some people massively irritated when their computer is the messenger, and
  even simple error messages or failure to do what the user wants, however
  stupid or irrational, does not infrequently lead to the untimely demise
  of the hardware.  If the computer were ever to _volunteer_ criticism to
  your average user, even in the form of actually helpful suggestions, you
  can be certain that it would be among the very last things it performs.

| Such as making it easier to program the computer by making the computer
| do a larger share of the work of programming.

  When I first believed that it would be feasible to write an Emacs on top
  of a commercial Common Lisp system (and hoping the non-commercial ones
  would catch on as necessary), part of the rationale for wanting to
  undertake this herculian task was that it would afford intimate ties
  between the Common Lisp world and the source code in progress.  Doing
  this today, even with Allegro CL's Emacs-Lisp Interface, would drown in
  interprocess communication, reading and writing Lisp objects.

  The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture
  has taught you.  Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are
  more important to you than those in your past ever will be.  The world is
  changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.