[Haskell-cafe] Better writing about Haskell through multi-metaphor learning

Ben Franksen ben.franksen at online.de
Mon Oct 4 11:26:12 UTC 2021

Am 18.09.21 um 04:56 schrieb Michael Turner:
> Or, you can tell them, "Just learn lambda calculus, then study monads
> algebraically, and here's a side dish of category theory while I'm it.
> Bon appetit." How's that working for you, guys? It doesn't work for
> me. And I don't think it's because I can't do the math. It's that I
> often write code to see whether I'm thinking about a problem the right
> way.

Same here.

> I'm no star hacker, but "workflow" feels like it will make my
> fingertips smarter. "Programmable semicolon" feels like it will make
> my fingertips smarter. You think top-down mathematically?

I'd venture that most mathematicians don't use such a purely formal 
top-down approach when thinking about a problem. Intuition about 
concepts is very important. Mathematical writing often gives the wrong 
impression that in order to understand a new concept, you just have to 
read the formal definition and then make logical deductions. This is not 
how it works in practice and those who are honest will readily admit 
that. You need to study concrete examples, and you need to work through 
exercises to develop true understanding.

As for monads, even though I do like the "overloaded semicolon" 
metaphor, the crucial point is not the sequencing as such, but rather 
how to express capturing and referencing intermediate results *in a 
statically typed fashion*.

I would rather have questions that cannot be answered, than answers that
cannot be questioned.  -- Richard Feynman

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