[Haskell-cafe] Re: Can we come out of a monad?

Brent Yorgey byorgey at seas.upenn.edu
Fri Jul 30 07:11:08 EDT 2010

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 03:46:09AM -0700, Kevin Jardine wrote:
> When I plunged into Haskell earlier this year, I had no problem with
> understanding static typing, higher level functions and even
> separating pure functions from IO functions.
> The more I learn about monads, however, the less I understand them.
> I've seen plenty of comments suggesting that monads are easy to
> understand, but for me they are not.

Lies.  Monads are not easy to understand.  Anyone who says otherwise
is selling something (likely a monad tutorial that they wrote).  Or
else they are saying it out of a well-meaning but misguided idea that
telling people that monads are easy will make it so, because the real
problem with monads is only that people THINK they are hard.  So if
only everyone stopped freaking out and realized that learning about
monads is actually easy, perhaps helped by a playing a recorded voice
at night crooning to you in soothing tones that you can achieve
anything you like by just visualizing your success and realizing that
you have already had the power within you all along, then learning
monads will be a snap!


Even worse, this misguided but common insistence that monads are easy
to understand inevitably makes people feel stupid when they discover
that they aren't.

Monads are hard to understand.  But they are *worth understanding*.


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