blarg?

February 3, 2004

A Weak Right Hook

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 12:53 am

From Belinda Stronach:

“As a business person and as a Conservative, I want to help build a country with the highest standard of living and the strongest possible economic foundation with strong job creation, high productivity, a competitive tax structure, as little debt as possible and a flourishing manufacturing sector.”

From Stephen Harper:

“I stand for a family-friendly tax system. I believe in the primacy of protecting our children, of fighting sexual exploitation and outlawing all child pornography. [ … ] I stand for a criminal justice system that protects law-abiding citizens and their property, and punishes criminal wrongdoing.”

Good for them. Just think, some people wonder why the Liberals have been racking up majority government after majority government with no end in sight.

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February 2, 2004

Linguisticism

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 6:47 pm

“Programming languages teach you not to want what they cannot provide. You have to think in a language to write programs in it, and it’s hard to want something you can’t describe.” – Paul Graham, ANSI Common Lisp, 1995.

It’s taken me quite a while to really understand what this means. For a long time I just dismissed this argument with the counter-argument of Turing-completeness. I think it’s a strong argument, too; if a language is Turing-complete, then in principle anything that you can express in one language you can express in another.

The thing is, Turing-completeness (and, I think, completeness proofs in general) makes no mention of how hard or how easy that mapping will be on the programmer. That’s why we actually have different languages – because once you’ve gotten past the trivialities, it’s an awful lot easier to express some things in one language than another.

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