[Edu-sig] The fate of raw_input() in Python 3000

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 16:32:05 CEST 2006

On 9/15/06, Arthur <ajsiegel at optonline.net> wrote:

> I keep thinking that your analysis here  is  confounded with  your
> Fullerism, which is  why  I come at it a bit and  try  to  encourage
> you  to  separate it from your  interest in  programming/math
> synergies.   Not asking or expecting you to compromise your Fuller
> crusade. Just separate the crusades a bit.  The fact is, despite how I
> might sound, my general associations with Fuller are positive -  as a
> freewheeling intelligence, as an "adventurous explorer".  Caution to the
> wind. But if  we  take  someone  like Kay  - who I think I can see more
> clearly - as a similar spirit, I think we tend to get some who,  out of
> lack of caution , will be  the most right  in  some cases, the most
> wrong in others.
> Like you and like I, on edu-sig.

Sure, I'm happy to look at two different campaigns.  The Fuller thing
is going well, and so is CP4E.  Both campaigns have teeth, get work
done.  We win some and we lose some, but the overall trends are, from
my perspective, in a healthy direction.

> Separate the fact that Fuller has not gotten the recognition you feel he
> has earned within the academic community, and I think your analysis
> would be different.

And it may follow that your analysis of my analysis will change, as
name recognition stops being a problem.  Fuller's namespace is
difficult, but so was Heidegger's.  Philosophy was never advertised as

> I'm all for conspiracy theories.  There is little else to fall back on
> when one feels that things have gone terribly wrong.  We seem to share
> some feelings that things have.
> I guess I fall back on the simplest possibility - follow the money.

I have no quarrel with that.

> The possibility that the Python prompt might be the kind of tool most
> effective in an educational setting is a tremendous threat.  It's not
> only the fact that it is free, it is the fact that is not even software
> in the sense that the software industry wants us to believe is necessary
> for this kind of assignment.  The are many billions of dollars at
> stake.  Much else follows from there.

And in sounding this note, I think you and Alan Kay are in perfect
harmony.  He's sung that tune for years, and not even often key.

You detest money grubbing software companies polluting academia for
selfish ends.  Me too.  But I also see independent sources of
pollution in academia which private companies sometimes effectively
fight, by offering that valuable "real world" reality check.

> It is for others to decide whether my incautious statements along these
> lines might have some ring of truth.
> Art

I appreciate your nothing to lose attitude and willingness to take
what you think might be difficult positions for some to take.  It used
to bother me more, when I felt your positions difficult.  Nowadays,
I'm in a generally positive stance (winning my war), except I prefer
sports metaphors to war metaphors, just like I hate killing birds (and
eat chicken).


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