So prepared, let us proceed to the famous "cunts run Perl" discussion.
mircea_popescu Perhaps you don't appreciate how deep Perl goes, or how unaware Perl-people are of their Perl-ness.
gabriel_laddel Fuck em? I mean literally - steal their Bitcoin, hack their bank accounts, cause chaos.
asciilifeform 'Certain languages support serious programmers, and others don't. E.g., I don't think it is at all possible to become a serious programmer using Visual Basic or Perl. If you think hard about what Perl code will do on the borders of the known input space, your head will explode. If you write Perl code to handle input problems gracefully, your programs will become gargantuan: the normal failure mode is to terminate with no idea how far into the process you got or how much of an incomplete task was actually performed. On my view, serious programmers don't deal with tools that _force_ them to hope everything works.' -- herr Naggum, who else.
trinque Lotta derps out there that can be taught to better themselves. I'm fucking 28 and learning CL *now*
mircea_popescu I think the female reproductive system runs on Perl. What now ?i
mircea_popescu I see nobody wishes to engage the cunt problem. But yes, IT DOES RUN ON PERL. And here we are.
gabriel_laddel In what sense? That it'll accept all sorts of odd inputs?ii
mircea_popescu How familiar with the process are you ? Like, for instance, the simple (loliii) ShouldAbort() function ?
gabriel_laddel I've had sex with a female if that's what you're asking.
mircea_popescu Not at all. Think about it : foetuses are sometimes aborted. On the basis of reasons. When ? Why ? Pure Perl.
* asciilifeform tries to picture a variant where 'where, why' is accessible.
mircea_popescu It is, you can measure a lot about a pregnancy.
asciilifeform - with instruments. Sure, fella with microscope can sometimes say why eject button got pressed. But that isn't negating the 'perliness' of the basic apparatus, no ?
gabriel_laddel You're talking about the women in question purposefully aborting her pregnancy? Or miscarriage?
mircea_popescu No, no, we're talking about the reproductive system itself.iv Trisomies are usually aborted. Spina bifida usually not. Etc. Make sense of it, Nobel prize is yours.
gabriel_laddel Yeah, I don't see the analogy to Perl.
mircea_popescu Really ?!
trinque That nature is filthy hacks upon hacks?
asciilifeform Pretty sure the example you cited is immunological (trisomies trigger tumour response).
mircea_popescu Maybe. Some of them certainly do. IIRC they proved some of them actually abort through some oxygenation pathway.
gabriel_laddel The reason we build abstract machines is because people are not very good at repetitive tasks.
mircea_popescu This is cells. Cells are automatons.
mircea_popescu Humans don't enter into it, at that level. And it's Perl for exactly the specified reason, "the normal failure mode is to terminate with no idea how far into the process you got or how much of an incomplete task was actually performed". Many more similarities (like a pointed lack of sexprsv), but let's keep it simple.
gabriel_laddel People are machines - but computer programs are not people, nor cells. We know how to write computer programs such that you don't need regexes. If you're /ever/ using them, you're doing it wrong.
mircea_popescu So you're saying cunts are doing it wrong.
asciilifeform Basic idea, perhaps, is that systems designed 'step at a time' by 'practical types' without any clear line of reason - will converge to resemble meat. As per L. Lamport's essay.
mircea_popescu No, idea is that some people who can't even make dragonfly are in a weak position to teach grandmother how to suck eggs, as it were.
asciilifeform If we get the stochasticity of meat, we also need to have the wide functional state space of meat. One without the other - is drowning in shit.
mircea_popescu That may be. I'm just pointing out that biology offers a very significant challenge to theoretical CS, in the perl aspect of things.
gabriel_laddel This conversation bothers me.
mircea_popescu Does it ?
gabriel_laddel We don't understand how to make dragonflies, nor how the reproductive system works. We know how to write computer programs that work - the failing to do the latter correctly is a human failing. Analogy need not enter into the conversation. It isn't necessary.
mircea_popescu Generally when an analogy need not enter into a conversation, it's a sign the conversation's broken.
gabriel_laddel Der fucking nonsense.
mircea_popescu And mind you, at issue is not whether we do or don't understand how reproduction works. At issue is that we understand enough to know it runs on Perl. Which means that as long as you live, you will not live in a clean world.
gabriel_laddel It doesn't run on "Perl". "Perl" is a well specified computer program. Meat runs another separate well specified meat program. Select portions of humanity have, to varying degrees created "clean" computing.
mircea_popescu Take the simple fact that ethacridine lactate induces abortion in any trimester, and without exception. If this isn't a regex gone wrong, what is ? (And if it were so well specified, we'd prolly know a lot more of it than we do.)
gabriel_laddel Regexes are regexes - nothing elese is. Not everything is the same thing.
mircea_popescu So you dispute that there's ready biologic equivalents of a regexp match ? You are aware organic molecules are actual strings.
gabriel_laddel I wouldn't dare draw that equivalence without agreeing on a formal definition for regexes and the process in question.
mircea_popescu How do you define a string ? (This, incidentally, would be the Lisp/Perl difference IMO. Lisp does not have strings, Perl does not have sexprs. In spite of pretending on each side.)
gabriel_laddel WTF is this. Lisp doesn't have strings?
mircea_popescu If you think about it, you said so yourself. "If you're /ever/ using them, you're doing it wrong."
gabriel_laddel My first pass at a definition for a string: A string is a collection of characters from an alphabet.
mircea_popescu Organic molecules pass this.
gabriel_laddel Nah - if you're using regexes you're doing it wrong.
mircea_popescu That's what strings are. "Stuff you use regexps on".
gabriel_laddel Nonsense. I use strings all the time, don't use regexes.
mircea_popescu You're using fake Lisp strings. Perl people think they're using "structured data" too. It's all strings, but w/e.
gabriel_laddel They can't do tree traversals on their "structured data"
gabriel_laddel Therefore they suck c0cks.
mircea_popescu And you can't do regexp on your "Strings". Therefore...
gabriel_laddel Ah, but I can.
mircea_popescu Well, "can".
gabriel_laddel I don't because it's stupid.
mircea_popescu Right. Why do you think THEY don't ?
gabriel_laddel Because they're mentally defective.
gabriel_laddel (I'm assuming you're saying "why don't you think they don't - do tree traversals")vi
gabriel_laddel I should note that "they" (Algol programmers) try to add the tree traversal properties of Lisp to their languages. In every single language. They all have failed, and will continue to fail
mircea_popescu So ?
gabriel_laddel So they waste a lot of effort doing it.
gabriel_laddel This conversation is going in the direction of "heat death of the universe" so I'll note that companies that use e.g., Scala have to hire a lot of people to regin in the complexity inherrent in ALGOL. Hence, they waste money. Hence they'll be beaten in the marketplace by yours truly.ix
mircea_popescu This is a very minor point. The chief point, still standing, is that cunts still run on Perl. There must be a reason for this. But even if there isn't a reason for this : it's so deeply baked into the structure of the world, you'll never be free of it. (Because cunts obviously aren't free to choose what they use, so the need for Perl must be way deeper than that.)x
mircea_popescu That's all, no more. You'll never be entirely free of idiots.
gabriel_laddel That doesn't mean I should stop "butchering slugs".
mircea_popescu Hey, splay that slit! no argument here.
decimation How can anyone even make statements about what the female reproductive/baby system is doing without examining the results in each case, in molecular detail?
mircea_popescu [It's been examined] enough to say "it's doing regexp".
gabriel_laddel What aesthetic do you wish to live in?
trinque Fast and loose is fine if the product is somewhat disposable?
mircea_popescu Except the product of reproduction is perhaps the most expensive thing there is, if you look in the proper context.
trinque Yes, very expensive to the host body while it's being made
trinque Seems like systems where there are a variety of ways to solve problems accept that they don't know the "perfect" way, if there is one. Assuming lack of perfect knowledge having multiple things to try seems appropriate
mircea_popescu The main problem here is that for a large number of solid considerations, Lisp would actually be a much better choice. Moreover, the space alf referred to is indeed vast, but the processes narrow. In many spots the whole tree converges to a very very narrow bottleneck. Consider the ridiculous happenstance that all foeti have a god damned lizard tail two weeks in.
trinque Mhm, and gills at some point, or proto-gills. Little blockchains themselves.
asciilifeform I must confess, that I am at a loss as to which aspects of meat we should like to replicate in machines: intransigence? toe fungus? pneumonia? schizophrenia? Seems like we've achieved a great many of these, in the computer...
mircea_popescu I wasn't going nearly as far as any of that. Anyway I should like to see a schizo computer.xi
asciilifeform "there must be a reason for this." << same reason eagle doesn't have jet with afterburner in his arse.
trinque I wonder if we'd have done the one with the afterburner having never seen a bird.
mircea_popescu Nah, it's not energetically efficient. Try and power the jet off the bird's diet.xii
asciilifeform "it's so deeply baked into the structure of the world, you'll never be free of it." << Johnson noise, shot noise, etc. are intrinsic to electrical circuit. Yet we have to sweat and build whole other box to get PC to cough up random bits. Because designers did practically nuke the analogue soup. (Yes, RAM failures, etc. exist.)
mircea_popescu I have no doubt you have still hope, alf :)
trinque mircea_popescu: Right, so we're talking about the difference between systems which try to be general solutions to (not sure how to articulate it) vs specific tools which live in a given niche? Tools vs general meta-tools or something.
mircea_popescu I'm not even sure.
asciilifeform I just can't help but recall Kreinin's piece re: how folks who are asking for meat-like architecture 'whether they want a tool, or electronic best friend or sex partner' and asked whether 'they had tried the selection of naturally-occurring ones first'
mircea_popescu Mind that I am not proposing any change here. I am merely pointing out that the Perl-bashing has some serious problems in front of it.
asciilifeform Nature's criterion of 'works' and mine, I will say, are not at all alike. I don't want to buy the office chair that is successful in cheaply making infinite copies of itself into the aeons. Not unless it also parks my arse well. One observation of mine is that the abstraction that most determines the shape of a program is the unavailable one(s). Think this way - if the problem were entirely contained in an -available- set of abstractions of the language, the program would not need to be written! (Best program is no program.)
gabriel_laddel While we're here, I'll note that being tied to text (perl) is quite limiting. On CLIM today I can tell any object how to "present" itself, i.e., how to draw itself on the screen. Such a thing is unthinkable in a language based around regexes.
asciilifeform It is a mistake to describe Perl as 'based on' anything in particular. It is soup, consisting of the entire contents of a crashed delivery van. Soup reflective of what is to be found in the author's skullcase. This appeals to some people for a variety of reasons. Partly because it makes a convincing simulacrum of problem-solving, as (per Naggum) Hollywood special effects 'may as well be the real thing'. Partly because it allows imbeciles to feel as if they are 'sticking the finger' to those boring 'squares' who actually take the time to think things through. Partly because Perl proggies tend to be 'throw-aways' and absolve the author of the burden of actually carrying anything through to completion or (horror) supporting. But also for many other reasons, which i will not waste readers' time on.
mircea_popescu Nature's cheaper. You might not get a voice.
asciilifeform In the end, the amoeba get the voice.
mircea_popescu That's the thing.
asciilifeform But engineers who take an intense interest in 'in the end' tend to build autoguillotines. Rather than computers.
To make things really unpleasant to my friends (as per tradition) : the conversation above is directly homologuous to the following, shorter, simpler, scarier horror :
A : The problem with welfarism is that for all its theoretical benefits and superiorities, it's not how molecules work.xiii
B : This conversation really bothers me. We have such good discussion of said benefits and superiorities! Let's rehash that instead!
C : Maybe it's different at that low a level ? [Maybe it is. Why would it be ?]
D : If you spend your time thinking about this you'll eventually go hang yourself.
A : Nevertheless.
Sucks, huh. And after it sucks... we die.———
- Yes, this was the conversational bomb of all time. [↩]
- To quote Marius : "The next morning,we walked over the hill toward Lut Gholein. I had no idea then... of the horrors that were in store for me there." [↩]
- It is only simple in the sense PHP is self-explanatory. [↩]
- Technically, spontaneous abortion (failure of the foetus) and miscarriage (failure of the womb) are different things, but this may be too pointed a distinction for the context. [↩]
- If the coincidence that S-expressions abbreviate into this particular double-entendre is not definitive proof God is laughing at you... [↩]
- The fact that he correctly followed the implicit symbol there pleads muchly in favour of his intelligence. The discussion is very complex, layers are numerous, the emotional temperature is high - exactly the sort of situation where lesser intellects drop the reference count and start garbage-collecting the kernel space. [↩]
- He's exhausted and heading for familiar terrain because wtf is this shit already! [↩]
- I doubt anyone was prepared for the MP cavalrly charge straight out of left field in a conversation that has been had repeatedly to the point of ritual by generations of systems and otherwise engineers. I did commit the equivalent of showing up with a flamethrower at a figure skating competition, "what move is that! IT LITERALLY MELTED THE ICE!11" [↩]
- Here's me wishing him best of luck with it! [↩]
- Think about it : the space of possibilities for system engineering of sexuate reproduction is very well explored in practice. [↩]
- If you recall the Eliza stuff... [↩]
- Really, the extremely cheap, stable and concentrated energy soup that's gasoline has spoiled engineers. Go spend some time contemplating just how improbable the thing is, gaze upon its outlier characteristics and wonder. [↩]
- Molecules are utterly capitalist, with energy serving the role of capital. [↩]