Exuberantly, Arrogantly Useless

Earlier tonight I was accosted by a stranger for failing to finish the excellent book Software Foundations:

I think whoever recommended it to you had a common, bad idea… burnout with nothing to show

Hear that Tyler? That time you alighted on a branch with cloudstuff in your beak and illuminated us, tugging on the golden thread separating meaning and method, brought down the lambda calculus, gave us all the Formal Languages curriculum our professor wouldn't dare and couldn't dream—apparently you had a bad idea and that's why all your students "burned out with nothing to show for it."

What a lack of imagination—yet, there I was on HN and I got to see it again:

I'm not sure I agree with the rationale for the dynamic typing. The designer says it means the language supports an arbitrary degree of polymorphism, but obviously it means it accepts invalid programs with undefined behavior

Fun fact you may not know: every character I am typing right now, flowing through my computer to my blog, over HTTP to be rendered on your screen, is being handled at every step by an unverified algorithm in a language that accepts invalid programs with undefined behavior. EVERY FUCKING CHARACTER.

Do not be so preoccupied with your interests that you cannot tell when you're following a fad. Is Haskell really awesome? Yes, definitely. But there are a ton of really cool things out there that do not have an HM type system, and yet, we remain alive. Safety is important, but it's not so important that we should rush to burn down every other language that doesn't prioritize it. Prolog is also weakly typed, and if you run a nuclear reactor on it, Prolog's weak typing is not your first problem. A lot of software just isn't that important—yours, for instance.

I could be learning J right now, but it's hard, so instead, I'm checking my mail and reading Hacker News. Programming is hard. I think if you look at Control.Unification you'll see a totally amazing thing, something that can do things Prolog will never dream of. But… try to write a 10 line Prolog program with it, and you will suffer. It's just not the same thing. Programming will always be hard. I'm absolutely not convinced that strong typing makes it easier. It's just another thing in the eternal technology treadmill, something for you to worry about other than "am I writing a useful program?" or "do I have a problem worth solving with code?" which are impossible questions to answer by applying fads.