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

Peter Gammie peteg42 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 27 22:25:58 EDT 2009

On 28/07/2009, at 11:35 AM, Richard O'Keefe wrote:

> It's true that the abstract speaks of "a more biological
> scheme of protected universal cells interacting only through
> messages that could mimic any desired behavior", but that's
> basically _it_ for biology, if we are to believe Kay, and
> even then, "its semantics are a bit like having thousands of
> and thousands of comptuers all hooked together by a very fast
> network" and "Philosophically, Smalltalk's objects have much
> in common with the monads of Leibnitz" (bringing us neatly
> back to Haskell (:-)).

But Richard (or am I arguing with Kay?) - monads don't interact.


I'd take that to be their defining characteristic - Leibniz is trying  
to overcome Cartesian mind/body dualism here.

Perhaps Smalltalk objects are regulated by pre-established  
harmonies... and have no need to talk to each other. Or perhaps that  
is the part that lies outside Kay's identification, in which case one  
might say the ontologies of monads and Smalltalk have superficial  
similarities but the deeper structure diverges significantly. (I think  
my point is well-defended by the above wikipedia article - the OO  
insights are thin on the ground, and are at least quite tangled.)

How are you going to relate Leibniz's monads and Haskell's? I can't  
find my way, neatly or otherwise. :-P

Ah, I see, Haskell has an interface to the best of all possible  
worlds... :-)



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