weird computer science

11 Mar 2022 02:35 - 04 Sep 2023 02:36
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    • I have a minor goal of convincing the Weird Studies crowd that computation, properly understood, is fucking weird. But it also tends to be pretty rationalist and boring in its presentation, so there's a big culture gap. The weird resists definition and legibility, and computation tends to be about making things very explicit (OTOH, deep learning and related subfields seem to make a virtue of their uninterpretability).
    • Inventory

      • Here's a list of some of the more weird-leaning people or projects in CS.
      • Bret Victor ? Definitely revealing some of the magical side.
      • Carl Hewitt's Actor model of computation. Hewitt himself was a genuinely weird guy.
      • Abelson and Sussman are not really that weird, but they do feature magicians on the cover of their classic text SICP
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        • And the dedication of Sussman 's thesis is a mindbomb:
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      • AI is kind of verging-on-weird-but turning away. Of course there is a ton of SF exploring weird consequences of AI, but that's a bit different. And of course you can generate lots of surreal shit with deep learning models, but that seems a bit superficial.
      • cybernetics, which is sort of AIs dark-horse cousin, was kind of inherently weird, it was almost a science of the weird. Gordon Pask, who I met once, was a pretty weird dude.
      • Lisp languages are weird in that they encourage a certain reflexivity.
      • Andrew Hugill worked on computational version of 'Pataphysics
    • What's the opposite of weird in CS? Dijkstra? Logic weenies? IBM?