Keynote: Collective Problem Solving in Music, Science, Art, and Software

(originally titled: “On the Origins of Opera and the Future of Programming”) Blog write-up Abstract There’s a story to tell, about musicians, artists, philosophers, scientists, and then programmers. There’s a truth inside it that leads to a new view of work, that sees beauty in the painful complexity that is software development. Starting from The …

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Learning as becoming

businesses… need a new worldview… that shifts the emphasis… from success as accomplishment to success as learning. Jeff Sussna, in Designing Delivery “Success as learning” doesn’t mean learning lessons. This is not learning as facts. This is learning as becoming. It is learning that bakes into who we are and how we do things, bakes …

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Every action has two results (Erlang edition)

Every action has two results: a set of side effects on the world, and the next version of ourselves. I learned this from Erlang, a purely functional yet stateful programming language. Erlang uses actor-based concurrency. The language is fully immutable, yet the programs are not: every time an actor receives a message, it can send …

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Human, or Person

Sometimes I think about, what if aliens kept humans as pets? Raised them from babies in isolation, without human language, without society. What would a human be like, outside of other humans? Not a person. As Abeba Birhane points out beautifully in her talk at NCrafts and article in Aeon, we aren’t people alone. We …

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