[Haskell-cafe] Haskell's "historical futurism" needs better writing, not better tools

Douglas McIlroy douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu
Sat Sep 18 01:47:34 UTC 2021

> Lambda calculus is an excellent place for beginners to start.
>  What could be easier to learn? It's certainly easier than grokking
> a Turing machine; and much easier than Haskell: less than a
> handful of primitives yet can compute anything computable.

There's a category error (in the sense of logic, not algebra) here.
Learning a language is not comparable to understanding a program.
The concept of lambda calculus is far more subtle than that of
Turing machine. But if you know both, a program is likely to be
much easier to understand when presented in lambda calculus
than when presented as a Turing machine.


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