April 08, 2006

I'm groping for a term
here, something like                 The CSG is mathematically
                                     oriented, in the traditions
  "computer science geeks".          of the academic discipline
                                     of "computer science".
("Computer Scientist"
isn't good enough: that              Many programmers come
would imply someone with             out of this discipline,
a PhD in the field.)                 but many others --
                                     like myself -- don't.

                                 The perl culture is 
                                 happy to take ideas    THE_PERL_AFFAIR
                                 from the "computer     
                                 science" culture when
                                 they seem useful,
               Larry Wall's      but is not itself a
               technical         part of that culture.
               background is         
               in unix systems      There's no
               programming,         end of            
               and he often         criticism of    The computer science       
               cites the            perl that       geeks like to pretend      
               influence of         arises out of   that their objections      
               linguistics          the CSG         to perl are rooted in      
               on his design        culture         the hard-edged             
               of perl.                             mathematical knowledge     
                                                    that lies at the heart     
               An artificial                        of their discipline.       
               language using                                                  
               some concepts                        My contention is that this 
               from natural                         isn't so, and can't be so, 
               languages.                           and it's best to think of  
                                                    it as a cultural mis-match.
                  Steve Yegge dismisses                     
                  this as a "non-argument",        
                  and reveals much about           COMPUTER_SCIENCE_PROOF
                  his own biases in the
                     He can't perceive it as
                     an argument, because
                     it's an argument at a
                     more fundamental level
                     than he's used to: it
                     challenges things he
                     believes can't be   
                     challenged, but isn't
                     really sure why.