Posts tagged Simplicity


Chapter 1: The Way Houyhnhnms Compute

:: Introduction, Point of View, Simplicity

Dear fellow programmer,

I used to think humans wrote software the way they did because they knew what they were doing. Then I realized that they didn’t really know, but adopted ways that seemed to work better than others. Or maybe rather humans were adopted by the ways that best knew how to survive, whether they actually “worked” or not. In any case, I trusted “evolution”, that is, ultimately, other people, to have figured out the best way that software could and should be written. But everything I knew about computing changed when one day I met a Houyhnhnm, who told me how things were done in his faraway land. He made me think in terms of computing systems rather than computer systems; and from my newly found understanding, I could see clearly how computing systems could and should be, that today’s (mainstream) Human computer systems aren’t. But mostly, he taught me how to think, by myself, about computing. And so let me take you through my story of computing enlightenment.