[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Demystifying Continuations

Guy Steele wrote:

 > Okay, I need to 'fess up here. Indeed, I had originally intended
 > only this bit of humor about non-trivial concepts. But I did not
 > object when Anton managed to extract a deeper meaning from my jest.

I naturally assume that anything written by Guy Steele comes with an 
implicit "O grasshopper", and thus should be carefully studied, like 
unto the most impenetrable Zen koan, so as to extract maximum possible 
meaning!  ;^P

 > A laudable goal, but let me caution that we, like physicists,
 > should treat with some skepticism the assumption that one can
 >  find "*the* first principles".

In addition to this, is the whole issue of "emergent properties", which 
is part of what I was trying to get at earlier.  One can study and 
understand the components of a system without gaining full insight into 
the nature of its behavior above that component level.  This applies to 
all sorts of abstractions, and in fact is probably one of the important 
reasons that abstractions are useful: it would hardly be possible to 
understand any complex system based purely on the interactions of its 
lowest-level components.

 > So for computational science. Which is more fundamental,
 > procedures or data structures? Which is more fundamental,
 > lambda calculus or Turing machines?

Must... resist... obvious... wisecrack...   Ah, the heck with it  --  I 
thought Lambda was the Ultimate.... ?

P.S. I won't do it again!