Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

Great stuff as usual: inverse vandalism, confusing means to an end with an end, system programmers are high priests of a low cult, if you're not failing 90% of the time then you're not trying hard enough, science is a set of heuristics to get around buggy brains, etc.

Agreed. Just finished watching this. It's definitely worth spending an hour of your morning on listening to what these two giants (mostly Kay) have to say.

I love his work, and the ones that worked with him.

After learning Smalltalk, Oberon and Modula-3, I started a journey into the world of Xerox PARC and their influences into ETHZ and DEC research labs and became amazed how computing could have looked like already by the mid-90's.

To the point using UNIX stopped being fun, I wanted one of those environments, not a PDP-11 replica.

Have You used Pharo Smalltalk?

Not really, just installed it a few times to play around with it.

I actually used Smalltalk before Java was announced to the world.

We were using Smalltalk/V and VisualWorks for some university classes.

Luckily our university library had all the Smalltalk canonical books available and I spent quite a few long nights reading them.

How ironic.

All these are "slogans" aimed at lightning up broken minds.

And "we" resonate with them i.e. we really have broken minds.

Taking this talk seriously means getting together, working hard at making computer science a... science. Finding problems worth solving not solving problems we can solve (or worse, that we do not/should not have).

How hard it is to do that with broken, insulting, narrow minded (autistic to some degree) and violent minds (think of high priests of lower cults)?

The fact that these ideas did not take off (or wrongly: Java, "modern" GUI that initially targeted 8yo children, iPad which is a lying Dynabook) makes you wonder: despite the obvious and useful function that computation could satisfy, i.e. infusing the most powerful ideas into young children & advancing these ideas: What in the world is holding us back? Can we break loose?

Well that is the default state of human affairs in general. Even Kay mentions that he was in a funk and hearing these great ideas from others and then putting them into slogans is what helped him repair part of his brain damage. Inventing the future is hard work, not everyone is cut out for it.

I don't think having a negative spin on having a buggy brain is the constructive approach. Avoiding the pop science is really the key point Alan Kay keeps going back to. Learn from the elders, there is much wisdom in the history of computing.

> "I don't think having a negative spin on having a buggy brain is the constructive approach."

I disagree. Having a "negative spin" is precisely what we need. We mostly do not even understand that we are stuck in a "Pink plane" (see Alan Kay videos for Pink|Blue plane definitions). Result: stagnation with more or less identical "paradigms" (see [1]) for more than 50 years (FORTRAN?).

Computing can do much better than Facebook or Google... where is my Dynabook?

[1]: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/concepts-techniques-and-model...

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact