[Haskell-cafe] Mozart versus Beethoven (was: Writing "Haskell For Dummies ...)

Patrick Mulder pemulder at yahoo.de
Tue Dec 12 04:07:37 EST 2006

Not sure whether this is the right place to discuss
computers and programming in general: But Dijkstra's
metaphor is suggesting, that while Beethoven learned
by experiment and debugging compositions, Mozart did
not have a need for reflection while writing down
music ? 

The observation above sounds to me more as a
difference between youthful enthousiasm (= allows few
time for reflection but a lot for action) and old
wisdom (= no risk taking but few action for the
young). Also this difference has already been
documented in Aristotele's Rethorics. It is of course
difficult to transmit the characteristics of old age
to young age, or vice versa.

Furthermore about Dijkstra's quote on computers and
telescopes which I like more. Telescopes are indeed
not saying anything at all about the laws of the
universe, as computers themselves don't say anything
at all about complexity. But I wonder if we would have
concepts as gravity or general relativity if we would
have never had observed the movement of planets and
light with telescopes. Equally, what can parallelity
in computers teach us about the concept of monad ?

I also find the approach of the designers of
telescopes (= computer architects) interesting to
understand parallel processes:


I think they use the name "dwarfs" for monads.

PS  I like the idea of a book "Hakell for Hackers"

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