[Chicago] List revolution

Clyde Forrester clydeforrester at gmail.com
Sun Sep 11 18:03:40 CEST 2011

You have to know where to look. Humans love to deal with ordinal numbers 
(1st, 2nd, 3rd,...). Programmers work with offsets (from zero).

So where do humans find offsets? Well, I've got three stops to make, and 
then it's back to the warehouse. So where is the "zero"? The warehouse, 
the starting point, the point of origin.

Another example, then? Yeah, well, I'm drawin' a blank. Sorry. Maybe 
someone else can help.

But the point is: when you are standing on the 1st whatever, your 
distance to the 1st whatever is zero. That's the reality when you are 
programming. And that's where the worlds of zero-offset and 1st come 


Sal Lara wrote:
> Okay this is pretty embarrassing for me, as I totally didn't get that it 
> was a joke. Aware of the fact that I am speaking to a group of much more 
> experienced people, I humbly submit to you all that I still think 
> starting at 1 makes more sense. From a "natural semantics" perspective I 
> mean, not from a mathematical one. Zero is not a natural concept for the 
> human mind. You don't say "Well, I flew on an airplane for the zeroth 
> time today!" or "Bachelor number 0, what's your idea of a perfect 
> date?". Back to the Future, Back to the Future I, Back to the Future II? 
> Nope.
> Sal

More information about the Chicago mailing list