The Mortal Coil of Smalltalk
written by Peter William Lount
version 1, 20050214 4:29am PST.
James Robertson, in More History
"The Smallpox book is fascinating and terrifying all at the same time. I haven't gotten that far with it yet, but
I've learned a few things I didn't know. Apparently, one of the reasons that Smallpox spread so rapidly in the native
population was their genetic homogeneity - once the virus adapted to a given victim, it was ready to spread
to any other native. It spread amongst unrelated natives as well as it spread amongst related
Europeans. That's why it killed so many."
Taking poetic liberties the above can be rewritten and extended so:
"Smalltalk is fascinating, educational and usefull all at the same time. I haven't gotten that far with it yet, but
I've learned a few things I didn't know. Apparently, one of the reasons that Smalltalk spread so rapidly in the programmer
population was their genetic homogeneity - once Smalltalk adapted to a given host, it was ready to spread
to any other. It spread amongst unrelated systems as well as it spread amongst related
programmers. That's why it infected so many. Pure Dynamic Objects rule."
"Then a coffee flavored plague plus plus a sharp pungent odour arrived to sweep the land, and cause, what is now the wasteland.
too shall pass due to their own mortal coils
(i.e. when the majority of those infected realize the waste inherent in using those systems). Choose dynamic freedom as it's the Future of IT now!"
- The Prophet Small talks
Lately Smalltalk has seen an epidemic of sorts, well really an explosion in the numbers of versions adapting
to new "local environmental" niches. Check out Smalltalk.org/versions
. It's spreading!!!
James continues with:
I'm not sure why I have such a fascination with such dark material, but there it is.
The facination with dark materials seems natural enough considering the mortal coil and all.
It's interesting to note that systems seem to exist with similar issues facing them.
It's worse actually as they are dependent for their very existance upon us.
Now that's spooky. Maybe that will change with self replicating bots
that are "Pure Object Digital DNA" endowed.
Thinking about it, Smalltalk's Mortal Coil can be visualized as a mobius strip or DNA strand that "coils" back upon itself.
This is illustrative of systems that represent themselves with themselves.
Since some Smalltalk's are written in Smalltalk this means that Smalltalk is a Mobius System.
Other systems such as the List Processing Language (LISP) also are elegant in this manner.
Systems that last the test of time must be capable of "rewriting" not just themselves but the applications to which they are applied by
all levels of users. We're not there yet but we're headed in the "Self Replicating Pure Object Digital DNA" direction.
Over the past half year there's been an excellent wave of horror films of the low gore spine tingling variety.
The best have at least three to six plus spine chills each:
(one scene filmed in
Vancouver's famous Granville Book Company
(order a book from them to support small independent book shops).
A couple of others in the pipe also seem potentially creepy fun. Enjoy. ;--)
His Dark Materials
, by Philip Pullman,
are an excellent series of books.
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