Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Jul 2012 10:15 UTC
In the News Andrew Binstock interviews Alan Kay, and there are just so many fantastic quotes and insights in there I have no idea what to pick as the OSNews item. This one? "Pop culture holds a disdain for history. Pop culture is all about identity and feeling like you're participating. It has nothing to do with cooperation, the past or the future - it's living in the present," Kay argues, "I think the same is true of most people who write code for money. They have no idea where [their culture came from] - and the Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs." What about this gem? "I was never a great programmer. That's what got me into making more powerful programming languages." Or, my personal favourite: "My interest in education is unglamorous. I don't have an enormous desire to help children, but I have an enormous desire to create better adults." Read this. Now. That's an order.
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No it isnt
Member since:
2005-11-14

Funny. I've got a book with the subtitle "Pop culture's addiction to its own past" right here on my desk. If anything, pop culture since 1990 has been a long series of revivals.

Reply Score: 2

kokara4a Member since:
2005-09-16

If anything, pop culture since 1990 has been a long series of revivals.

Maybe because the consumers don't remember it! So it feels new and wasn't too much of an effort to come up with. Just a thought..

Reply Score: 3

No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

In my experience, it's rather a constant nostalgia for a time when those things were fresh. Band t-shirts from specific tours are collectors items, souvenirs from the history of rock'n'roll.

Then again, talking in general about "pop culture" is a bit like generalising about women or Europeans or colours or books: it's a fairly broad and diverse spectrum, and a constantly changing one at that. Whereas punk in its heyday certainly could be said to "hold a disdain for history", it's now reduced to trite nostalgia for a time when revolt still seemed possible, and had a specific aesthetics.

Reply Score: 3

I have a new God.
by l3v1 on Wed 11th Jul 2012 11:58 UTC
l3v1
Member since:
2005-07-06

So extracting patterns from today's programming practices ennobles them in a way they don't deserve. It actually gives them more cachet.


You couldn't imagine how many debates I've been through in that topic. And how good it felt reading the man.

I mean, look at it: The job of an operating system is to run arbitrary code safely. It's not there to tell you what kind of code you can run.


He should be crowned. Really.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Radio
by Radio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:00 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

This interview was awesome. Really.

"A lot of people go into computing just because they are uncomfortable with other people. So it is no mean task to put together five different kinds of Asperger's syndrome and get them to cooperate. American business is completely fucked up because it is all about competition. Our world was built for the good from cooperation. That is what they should be teaching."

Reply Score: 2

The guy is an Elitist
by lucas_maximus on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:07 UTC
lucas_maximus
Member since:
2009-08-18

TBH, the whole "you must first appreciate the history before you can enjoy something". I don't know the whole history of classic music but I do like the Four Seasons.

It is elitistism, just another form of intellectual snobbery.

Edited 2012-07-11 13:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: The guy is an Elitist
by Radio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:27 UTC in reply to "The guy is an Elitist"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

TBH, the whole "you must first appreciate the history before you can enjoy something". I don't know the whole history of classic music but I do like the Four Seasons.

It is elitistism, just another form of intellectual snobbery.
The four seasons... You mean the hotel chain?

Reply Score: 5

RE: The guy is an Elitist
by Soulbender on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:40 UTC in reply to "The guy is an Elitist"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I feel strangely compelled to agree. Is this one of those watershed moments?

I consider jazz to be a developed part of high culture. Anything that's been worked on and developed and you [can] go to the next couple levels.


Uh, right. The stuff I like is better than the stuff you like, mainly because your stuff is more popular and mine is, you know, better. Because I say so.

That's why I never use PowerPoint. PowerPoint is just simulated acetate overhead slides, and to me, that is a kind of a moral crime.


Sometimes a slide is just a slide and it is all you need.

It solves a thorny problem that the other churches haven't touched in 2,000 years.


Uh, is getting Socrates into heaven some sort of major theological issue that I've never heard of?

To be honest, it sounds not all unlike "damn youngsters, get off our lawn".

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: The guy is an Elitist
by sergio on Wed 11th Jul 2012 18:34 UTC in reply to "RE: The guy is an Elitist"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, but Alan Kay is the youngster and We are the grumpy old men.

This guy was ahead of his time and still is. Awesome.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: The guy is an Elitist
by Soulbender on Thu 12th Jul 2012 02:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The guy is an Elitist"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, but Alan Kay is the youngster and We are the grumpy old men.

No, not really.

This guy was ahead of his time and still is. Awesome.

That doesn't make everything he says unquestionable gospel.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: The guy is an Elitist
by olefiver on Wed 11th Jul 2012 18:41 UTC in reply to "RE: The guy is an Elitist"
olefiver Member since:
2008-04-04

Uh, is getting Socrates into heaven some sort of major theological issue that I've never heard of?

It's not specifically about Socrates, but Socrates is often used as an example of a non-christian that should be admitted into heaven, but since he was not baptized, he can't.

I would say it is a theological problem, but not major one, so I'm not surprised that you haven't heard about it.
Although I've not heard about this in relation to not being baptized.
I remember it as all good men that hasn't heard of Jesus and his word can't get into heaven, but instead of hell those get dropped into Limbo (or something like it) where they shall live out the afterlife not in eternal damnation, 'cause they haven't heard the good word, but also not in the presence of God, 'cause they haven't heard the good word...

Anyhoo, I kinda liked the solution the mormons came up with. Which is the reason Kay brought the whole thing up, as an analogy to Bob Barton not getting a Turing 'cause the Turing isn't awarded posthumously.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The guy is an Elitist
by robertson on Thu 12th Jul 2012 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The guy is an Elitist"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

"Uh, is getting Socrates into heaven some sort of major theological issue that I've never heard of?

"

From the interview: "It solves a thorny problem that the other churches haven't touched in 2,000 years."

It is simply not true that the other churches have not touched this "problem" in 2,000 years. Here's a good article to read on the topic:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/bishop-hilarion-alfeyev-on-the-d...

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The guy is an Elitist
by Nth_Man on Thu 12th Jul 2012 16:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The guy is an Elitist"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

It is simply not true that the other churches have not touched this "problem" in 2,000 years. Here's a good article to read on the topic:

http://fatherstephen.wordpress.com/bishop-hilarion-alfeyev-on-the-d...

You're right. That 'have not touched this "problem"' that Kay said wasn't true. Also, another example is in
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a5p1.ht...

They talk about it and give those references:
Cf. Council of Rome (745): DS 587
Benedict XII, Cum dudum (1341): DS 1011
Clement VI, Super quibusdam (1351): DS 1077
Council of Toledo IV (625): DS 485
Mt 27:52-53.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The guy is an Elitist
by zima on Wed 18th Jul 2012 23:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The guy is an Elitist"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

It's not specifically about Socrates, but Socrates is often used as an example of a non-christian that should be admitted into heaven, but since he was not baptized, he can't.

I would say it is a theological problem, but not major one

A small detail, really - the number of those who'll get to Christian seems to be set at a very low level... ( http://www.nobeliefs.com/heaven.htm :p ...also http://www.luciferianliberationfront.org/borg.html )

So, we are all extremely unlikely to be among such minuscule group, almost certainly among the 100+ billion of other Homo sapiens (100+ billion already dead, who knows how much more there will be - but probably still a lot; plus, why count only Homo sapiens, why not Neanderthals? They also had death rituals, so can be safely assumed to be pretty close to us)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by ShadesFox
by ShadesFox on Wed 11th Jul 2012 13:50 UTC
ShadesFox
Member since:
2006-10-01

You can't order me around :E
Though I'm going to click the link anyways.

Reply Score: 1

Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

From the article:

Interview with Alan Kay

By Andrew Binstock, July 10, 2012

The inventor of object-orientation,

No. He is not. The computer language "Simula" was made in the 60s and it was an object-oriented language. Prior to what Alan Kay did to Smalltalk (in the 70s).

"A disdain for history"? :-)

"Dr. Dobb's" isn't what it was.

Edited 2012-07-11 14:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Maybe it is you that needs to learn from history.

Alan Kay was already speaking about objects in 1963,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Object-oriented_programming

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

Maybe it is you that needs to learn from history.

Maybe it is you that needs to learn from history.

> Alan Kay was already speaking about objects
We don't even know if that was true. And if it was true, then are really "objects" what he talked about? Even if it was also true, that doesn't demonstrate that he was "The inventor of object-orientation". And as we know, a Wikipedia page is not a valid reference (there have been a big amount of Wikipedia pages that simply told what it wasn't true. They have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Criticisms but, that, also, is a Wikipedia page).

About software (and many other things) a working implementation demonstrates that the concepts were really thought because they are working there.

Edited 2012-07-11 16:30 UTC

Reply Score: 3

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Ok, I have to conceed that after searching for better references, I've found one where he acknowledges the Simula inspiration.

http://vpri.org/html/people/founders.htm

While at the ARPA project at the University of Utah in the late 60s, he invented dynamic object-oriented programming[2]...


with [2] being
Inspired by Sketchpad and Simula
.

Sorry about the Slashdot effect.

Edited 2012-07-11 17:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

In "The Early History of Smalltalk" ( www.smalltalk.org/smalltalk/TheEarlyHistoryOfSmalltalk_I.html ), Alan Kay wrote:

- "a language called Simula [...]. Another graduate student and I unrolled the program listing 80 feet down the hall and crawled over it yelling discoveries to each other"

- "It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that most of my ideas from then on took their roots from Simula--but not as an attempt to improve it."

Anyway, giving credits and researching is a good thing.

Edited 2012-07-11 21:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

a Wikipedia page is not a valid reference (there have been a big amount of Wikipedia pages that simply told what it wasn't true [...]).


Graphically said :-) :

http://dilbert.com/dyn/str_strip/000000000/00000000/0000000/000000/...

http://www.freesoftwaremagazine.com/columns/bizarre_cathedral_97

Reply Score: 3