[Edu-sig] class notes (post facto)

Mark Engelberg mark.engelberg at gmail.com
Fri Jul 16 04:26:53 CEST 2010

On Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 10:54 PM, kirby urner <kirby.urner at gmail.com> wrote:
> FP promises to free us of state.  The Great Lambda
> tribe to the north of Python Nation, sees our little
> iconic lambda, and thinks about rescuing us from
> ourselves.  "Liberate them from state" think our
> would be rescuers.

This bit cracked me up.  I definitely see a bit of myself in that parody.

I've been heavily influenced by the essays and presentations by Rich Hickey:
so now I mostly perceive OO as a land in which people are woefully
confused about the distinction between identity and state, because
their languages don't allow them to make a distinction.  Thinking
along these lines, your story could be extended as follows:

Rich from the Great Lambda tribe was visiting his friend Guido down in
Python Nation.  At the end of his vacation, he pulled out his camera
to take a photo of Guido as a memento.  Guido shook his head,
"Cameras don't work properly here.  You can't take a snapshot of me,
it won't work."

"Why won't it work?" asked Rich.

"Because the photo will continue to change as I change.  Tomorrow, if
I grow a beard, your photo will show me with a beard.  If I get sick
or die, your photo will disintegrate."

"So what do I do if I want to remember you as you are now?"

"Hmmm," thought Guido, scratching his chin.  "I suppose you could make
a clone of me and take the clone back with you."

"But the clone isn't really a snapshot of you," retorted Rich.  "It's
another living, changing being with its own identity, and it will
continue to have its own experiences and diverge from you over time."

"Well, maybe you could keep my clone in a dark closet, and isolate him
from having any new experiences...."

Rich returned home to the Great Lambda tribe, and told everyone about
the absurd state of affairs in Python Nation.  Everyone had a good
laugh, followed by a sense of pity for their oppressed neighbors.

But the Great Lambda tribe knows it would be fruitless to launch a
full-scale liberation mission -- the population of Python Nation
wouldn't know what to do if liberated from their state oppressor.  For
now, the Great Lambda tribe has decided that the best course of action
is to make frequent flyovers in propaganda-loaded planes, dropping
educational pamphlets which enlighten the populace about the freedom
that exists in other parts of the globe.  :)

More information about the Edu-sig mailing list