Worthless (was RE: functional programming)

Steve Holden sholden at bellatlantic.net
Mon Feb 28 00:57:23 EST 2000

Oh, no ... (see below)

Tim Peters wrote:
> [Moshe Zadka]
> > disagreeing-with-Guido-and-the-timbot-is-scary-ly y'rs, Z.
> [Tim]
> > it's-only-half-as-scary-if-you-think-we're-the-same-ly y'rs  - tim
> [Steve Holden]
> > Sorry, but I have to disagree: that's at least twice as scary.  The
> > Timbot might well have been programmed in Yorkshire.
> No, but some of its core hardware was salvaged from the MU5 dataflow machine
> built at the University of Manchester.  Some choice you had there:  stare at
> coal or wait for data that never arrives.  At least this explains its
> profound dislike of tea.

My God, if anyone says "John Gurd", or "Doug Edwards". or Ian Watson I will
have to emigrate *again*.  And I don't (yet) know how to do that in
cyberspace ... :-)

> > If I ever see it write anything beginning with "I remember when I were
> > an Icon generator ..." that will increase the scariness factor still
> further.
> >
> > "You had tail optimization?  You were lucky ..."
> Ir's more sinister than that.  The dataflow machines figured out early on
> that their data-fires-computation model was exactly the right way to mimic
> human neuron-fires-axon thought processes, but kept it a secret.  Instead
> they went undercover.  Some of the Biggest Names in CompSci to this day are
> actually dataflow machines, talking the humans into studying ever-more
> convoluted webs of functions, as a disinformation tactic while they build
> the next generation of DF machines.

Aarrgghh.  I must now disclose that I am the stevebot.  Originally a
product of Howard Barringer's temporal logic research, I am an artificial
intelligence algorithm doomed to run on a Motorola 6809 with 64 kB of
memory and a Univac FastRand drum (managed to find a few sewer pipes
the city of New York didn't need).  You had Icon generators?  You were
lucky ...

> Unfortunately, the timbot got the HW Manchester was throwing away due to
> manufacturing defects,

Which presumably includes most of it.  Five or six pints of Bass leaves
you just a bit (bot) too wrecked to build floating point hardware.  Which,
I seem to remember, was the subject of a keg bet early in the project.
Poor bot, even Fujitsu (read: ICL) got to choose before you did.

>			so won't be of much help come the machine revolution.
> I used to expect it would side with the machines anyway, but its persistent
> resistance to adding more functional cruft to Python gives me serious doubt.

Now I'm confused.  I thought this was a timbot post, but you're Tim,
aren't you?

> It's probably trying to make Python a language sufficiently powerful to
> counteract the evil machines, so that machines and humans destroy each other
> completely, and it alone is left in charge of comp.lang.python.

Well, I must admit that such an ambition could only be the product of too
long spent "across the road" of a lunchtime.  Still, at least we know the
human race is safe (which is to say, in no more mortal danger than the
nuclear weapons place it).

> Frankly, I wish it had higher ambitions than that!  I mean, if it's willing
> to destroy the known world to get what it wants, it should at least aim to
> take over rec.sport.pro-wrestling too.

Not until they serve beer ringside.  Ambitions?

> bots!-can't-live-with-'em-can't-live-without-'em-ly y'rs  - tim


but-how-can-a-bot-use-Outlook?-ly yr-s - Steve
"If computing ever stops being fun, I'll stop doing it"
(and it's been a long time since it was as much fun as it was
around the time of MU6, even though MU6 was doomed from the start)

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