"COMPUTER POWER TO THE PEOPLE! DOWN WITH CYBERCRUD!" - Theodor Nelson
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas From The Computer Age by Paul Graham
Well, I just finished reading this book. I was hoping there would be some additional articles that are not on his site, but I had read them all before. No problem. It was great to read them again. One thing about Paul Graham is his writing energizes you into action. He simply reiterates that the direction that I have taken to run away from the mainstream is justified and the right thing to do. He has a lot of subtle java slams and why you want to go down the dynamic programming path (of course, he wants you to go down the path of Lisp, not a bad path at all). His writing is very passionate and a lot of fun to read. I highly recommend this book and his articles on his website.
Here's some cool quotes:
"We need a language that lets us scribble and smudge and smear, not a language where you have to sit with a teacup of types balanced on your knee and make polite conversation with a strict old aunt of a compiler"
"Argue with idiots, and you become an idiot"
"Plans are just another word for ideas on the shelf. When we thought of good ideas, we implemented them."
"The top 5% of programmers probably write 99% of the good software"
"If we were all using the same language, it would probably be the wrong one."
"Lisp's power is multiplied by the fact that your competitors don't get it."
I think Smalltalk's power is the same.
"I suspect few housing projects in the US were designed by architects who expected to live in them. You see the same thing in programming languages. C, Lisp, and Smalltalk were created for their own designers to use. Cobol, Ada, and Java were created for other people to use.
If you think you're designing something for idiots, odds are you're not designing something good, even for idiots."
"Morale is another reason that it's hard to design something for an unsophisticated user. It's hard to stay interested in something you don't like yourself. To make something good, you have to be thinking, 'wow, this is really great,' not 'what a piece of shit; those fools will love it.'"
Anyway, do yourself and BUY IT NOW! It's one of the best book I've read in a long time. I hope Paul Graham publishes more. I love all of the books he has (his Lisp books are classics).