Wednesday, November 5, 2014

E. W. Dijkstra

"If academic research is often astonishingly successful, it always is because the researchers had the wisdom and the opportunity to avoid both the trivial and the impossible, and to follow the very narrow path in between. It is that narrow path in between that defines the intellectual autonomy of successful scientific research."

"The second reason is that what society overwhelmingly asks for is snake oil. Of course, the snake oil has the most impressive names —otherwise you would be selling nothing— like "Structured Analysis and Design", "Software Engineering", "Maturity Models", "Management Information Systems", "Integrated Project Support Environments" "Object Orientation" and "Business Process Re-engineering" (the latter three being known as IPSE, OO and BPR, respectively)."

prof.dr. Edsger W. Dijkstra

Going back to origins

Here is a poem that describes the future shock felt by we lucky few who first encountered the phenomenon that would become the world wide web:

World Wide Web

Robert Thibadeau 
November 30, 1993

I never thought I would see the day
When books looked superfluous.
I saw, the day before yesterday,
The world.

I leapt about, from Japan, to Here, to
To Finland,
To Italy.
Like it was nothing.

And I got deep
Into people
What they were thinking and doing
What they wanted and thought
I might like.

This is what a book
Was supposed to be.
But this was much better.
I made up the plot,
And I discovered the real story.

All right there. Right then. And,
Like the world,
It would never repeat again.

I really would like to have books
With their tree paper
Go the way of the dinosaur.
This is nearly it.
It is a place to really learn.

Will Internet become the dragon?
You know, the house dragon.
The oldest dragon. From China.
You know, the
Dragon of Peace holding
The Pearl of Everlasting Life.