[Haskell-cafe] Re: [Haskell] Newbie : How come that cyclic recursive lists areefficient ?

Benjamin Franksen benjamin.franksen at bessy.de
Tue Jan 25 17:00:17 EST 2005

On Tuesday 25 January 2005 14:11, David Barton wrote:
> Benjamin Fransen writes:
> > There *is no* difference between the two if one views them as pure
> > mathematical values. Questions of run time speed or memory usage, i.e.
> > efficiency (which your original question was about) are clearly outside
> the
> > realm of pure values, and thus we may perceive them as distinct in this
> wider
> > setting.
> >
> > My favourite analogy for this is the old joke about a topologist being a
> > person who cannot see any difference between a cup and a doghnut.
> The engineer's response, of course, at the thought of ignoring questions
> about run time speed and memory usage, is that a topologist is a person who
> doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.
> (I was told this quote was actually from abstract algebraists, when
> confronted by the famous description of a topologist, but what the heck.)

Hey, I'll remember that one.

BTW, I'm glad you added this last remark, otherwise i would have been provoked 
into ranting about many an engineer's inability to apreciate abstraction, in 
spite of the fact that nothing they ever do would be possible without it.


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