Python and Ruby

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Fri Feb 5 22:03:15 CET 2010

On 2010-02-04 17:46 PM, Ethan Furman wrote:
> Robert Kern wrote:
>> On 2010-02-04 14:55 PM, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
>>> On Feb 3, 3:39 pm, Steve Holden<st... at> wrote:
>>>> Robert Kern wrote:
>>>>> On 2010-02-03 15:32 PM, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
>>>>>> I can explain all of Python in an hour; I doubt anyone will
>>>>>> understand
>>>>>> all of Python in an hour.
>>>>> With all respect, talking about a subject without a reasonable
>>>>> chance of
>>>>> your audience understanding the subject afterwards is not explaining.
>>>>> It's just exposition.
>>>> I agree. If the audience doesn't understand then you haven't
>>>> explained it.
>>> On the contrary, that explanation would have everything you need. It
>>> would take an hour to read or listen to the explanation, but much more
>>> than that time to truly understand everything that was said.
>> Like I said, that's exposition, not explanation. There is an important
>> distinction between the two words. Simply providing information is not
>> explanation. If it takes four hours for your audience to understand
>> it, then you explained it in four hours no matter when you stopped
>> talking.
> And if it takes six months? Would you seriously say it took you six
> months to explain something because it took that long for your audience
> to understand it?
> At some point you have to make the transition from person A explaining
> and person(s) B understanding -- they don't necessarily happen
> synchronously.

Then it's exposition and understanding, not explanation and understanding.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
  that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
  an underlying truth."
   -- Umberto Eco

More information about the Python-list mailing list