Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Monkeys vs. Shakespeare

Google's golang was designed for mediocre programmers that aren't “capable of understanding a brilliant language”. It omits features that are hard to understand or hard to use, like conditional expressions, macros, exceptions, and object systems.

Lisp, on the other hand, was originally designed for smart programmers in order to research artificial intelligence. It contains language constructs like conditional expressions, a powerful macro system, a highly customizable error handling system, and a sophisticated object system.

A million monkeys typing on a million keyboards will eventually produce the works of Shakespeare. Lisp is a language for Shakespeares, while golang is a language for monkeys.

What is the fundamental problem we are solving? If the problem is simply an insufficient amount of software, then we need to write as much software as possible as rapidly as possible. Hire more monkeys. If the problem is gainfully employing all the monkeys quickly, give them crude tools that are easy to use. But if the problem is lack of quality software, then we need the tools to write the best software possible. Hire more Shakespeares and give them powerful tools.

Hiring monkeys is easier and cheaper than hiring Shakespeares. So why not just keep hiring monkeys until you have a Shakespeare equivalent? Experience shows how well this works. Just think of all the projects that were brought in on time and under budget when they doubled the number of monkeys. Just think of any project that was brought in on time and under budget when they doubled the number of monkeys. Surely there must be one?


Anonymous said...

I'm not a developer, just this guy who's looking for the right tools for writing technical papers, scripting, web stuff, etc.

Those thoughts you articulated so well came to me soo often during the last few years, and I never said anything public about them. Thank you for having the courage of your opinions.

Do you happen to have a account?

Joe Marshall said...

No, I am unfamiliar with

Anonymous said...

Like reddit but you have to be invited by an insider.

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of famous "Worse Is Better" text

Anonymous said...

the only prominent lisper there I know is vindarel, so you can get in touch with him and i'm sure it'll be a pleasure for him to add a fellow traveler.

Paul Steckler said...

Take your stinking paws off my keyboards, you damn dirty apes!

Illuminatus said...

“Languages designed for smart people" (LFSPs) versus "languages designed for the masses" (LFMs):