Swiss Ephemeris

Rick Johnson rantingrickjohnson at gmail.com
Sat Apr 15 00:56:56 EDT 2017


On Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:39:38 AM UTC-5, Rustom Mody wrote:
> Quote from Peter Landin, one of the precursors of modern
> functional programming:  Most papers in computer science
> describe how their author learned what someone else already
> knew  [And this dates from 60s/70s]  Applies beyond just
> CS…

There are very few truely orignal ideas. Most of what we
say, do and know are derivative works. For example; the
kernel of Python was formed in the mind of Guido from his
observations of another language called "ABC" -- he saw many
good ideas in ABC, but also, many design flaws (kinda coming
full circle now, eh?). The key to success in evolution is to
propagate the good traits whilst discarding the bad ones.
And like most other languages, Python is simply an evolution
of many likable traits with a few new features sprinkled on
top to "sweeten the pot".

Much is the same in any field of study. There are countless
examples of theorists and experimentors who knew the answers
long before the "named discoverer" was given credit for the
supposed discovery. In the reams of the historical record,
many times, good communication skills and friends in
academic/political circles can be the difference between a
Nobel laureate and a nobody.


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