Re: Storing data and code in a Db with LISP-like interface

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: 1 Apr 2006 00:38:53 -0800
Message-ID: <>

dawn wrote:
> Marshall Spight wrote:
> >
> > The question of what kind of mathematical structure is best
> > suited for a particular task is a good one. The question
> > of which one is most like "the Real World(tm)" or "the
> > way the Human Mind works" is not useful,
> I'll agree with the first, although using such terms can be a shortcut.
> I definitely disagree with the latter. When we are talking about
> humans modeling data or any aspect of software, it makes a lot of sense
> to ask how the human mind works.

I think I know what you mean, but I have to disagree with what you said. We just don't *know* how the mind works. We have scratched the surface, but we don't really know anything substantive.

> It is a good idea to ask whether we
> are using an approach that renders an obscure specification that is
> likely to be misinterpreted by another software developer in the
> future, for example.

Sure. But what you're describing is usability, user interface, whatever. It's categorically not "how the mind works."

There are people who will assert things as crazy as saying that their brain is object-oriented, by which they mean not that they find it easy or useful thinking in object oriented terms, but that they actually believe there are representations of objects inside their heads. Or lists, or imperative code, or whatever it is. Not just metaphorically, but actually. There are also people who will assert that physics or the natural world is implicitly imperative, or ordered, or unordered, or whatever. They are the CS equivalent of biblical literalists.

They are nuts of course.

Looking at good design, usability, etc. is a good thing. Believing that one's thoughts are *implemented* in one's favorite programming paradigm is a mild form of mental illness.

Marshall Received on Sat Apr 01 2006 - 10:38:53 CEST

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