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I still don't understand what you mean. How are they designed for the "top 5%"? And how does that mesh with the fact that I am certainly not in the top 5%, and yet program in haskell for a living? Ocaml in particular is very simple and easy to learn and use, haskell is only more difficult in the sense that it is a higher level language than say, python, so obviously you need to learn higher level abstractions. That's like saying python is written for some elite class of programmers because it has "strings" and C doesn't.

I would posit that you are in the Top 5%. Can you imagine your average PHP web dev trying to grok monads? In the at-times echo chamber around here it's easy to forget just how many people make a living righting VBScript macros, Java, or Cold Fusion, or whatever non-sexy language you want to name.

"Cargo cult" programmers don't grok strong typing or lexical scoping either, but that's not a good argument for a weakly typed, dynamically scoped language.

>Can you imagine your average PHP web dev trying to grok monads

Your average PHP web dev is not the cutoff for the 95th percentile. But yes, I can imagine them trying to understand monads. I have also observed them succeeding at understanding monads. They aren't hard to learn, just something you need to learn. Being able to learn simple things doesn't make you the top 5%.

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