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Jul 23, 2018

As I listen to Paperhouse by Can I’m reminded of the time that OOP started to really take off. Believe it or not, the rise of OO was driven by a real need for larger abstractions to represent increasingly larger and/or more complex systems. Likewise, the rise of Agile was a response to a real drawback in the way that systems were created nearly independent of the people tasked with eventually using them. More recently, the “rebirth” of functional programming has coincided with the advent of and inherit complexities in composing semi-congruous mini-systems into a whole. These are only three examples of potential solutions springing forth from perceived industry shortfalls and need.

However, in every single case — OOP, Agile, and now functional programming — the motivations for use have transmogrified from means to an end, to ends in themselves. This is a failing in the software industry and indeed one that points more to its pop-science facet than its computer-science underpinnings.

Tools for Thought contains tales that harken back to the halcyon days of computing when fashion sense took a backseat to furthering the human condition.

Speaking of furthering the human condition, there was a time when programs had names like Knowledge And Mind Amplification System.


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