[Haskell-cafe] Re: [Haskell] Re: 20 years ago

wren ng thornton wren at freegeek.org
Sat Jul 18 18:45:00 EDT 2009

Richard O'Keefe wrote:
> On Jul 15, 2009, at 5:25 PM, Benjamin L.Russell wrote:
>> it interesting that you should use the biological term "disease";
>> according to a post [1] entitled "Re: Re: Smalltalk Data Structures
>> and Algorithms," by K. K. Subramaniam, dated "Mon, 29 Jun 2009
>> 11:25:34 +0530," on the squeak-beginners mailing list (see
>> http://lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/beginners/2009-June/006270.html), 
>>> Concepts in Squeak [a dialect and implementation of Smalltalk] have
>> their origins
>>> in biology rather than in computational math....
> That posting is wrong.
> Smalltalk's roots are very firmly planted in Lisp,
> with perhaps a touch of Logo (which also had its roots in Lisp).
> The classic Smalltalk-76 paper even contains a meta-circular
> interpreter, which I found reminiscent of the old Lisp one.
> The "biological" metaphor in Smalltalk is actually a SOCIAL
> metaphor: sending and receiving messages, and a "social"
> model of agents with memory exchanging messages naturally
> leads to anthropomorphisms.

Also of note, the social metaphor is also very mathematical. It has its 
roots in process calculi like the pi-calculus, petri nets, the 
join-calculus, etc. The "original" OOP metaphor of Agents is also 
strongly aligned to this process calculus interpretation.

(And any anthropologist will defy that sociality has more than a 
primitive connexion with biological systems. Animal behaviorists may 

Live well,

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