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beroal

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letters and symbols instead of words [Jun. 20th, 2018|09:08 pm]
beroal
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Discussion.

With time, I came to appreciate mathematical convention of writing letters and symbols instead of words. First, it is easier to comprehend a formula if it is compact, fits into a view. When learning mathematics, at least abstract mathematics, understanding is much harder than remembering meanings of letters. I spend more time pondering than remembering. IMHO, letters are actually more efficient than words, and names composed from several words will make mathematics unreadable. BTW, mathematicians use words, but abbreviated (for example, “lim”, “ker”, “dim”). Compactness is the key.

Second, as was pointed out, it is really hard to invent names for abstract entities. Our words come from everyday life which does not contain abstractions. At the end, “x_0”, “x_1”, “y_0”, “y_1” seem like really good names, especially if you write the same index for corresponding values. The real issue is that entities are abstract, not names. Example. When stating associativity, what variable names are better than (x_0 x_1 x_2), (x y z), or (x x' x'')? What “meaningful” names would you propose?

This does not mean that I do not see defects in mathematical notation. The drive for compactness led us to notation where some things are omitted and a symbol mean different things. “×” is omitted even in schools. Parentheses are used for grouping terms in expressions, tuples, GCD, permutations… Sometimes it really hinders understanding.
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Social aspects of MLRISC [May. 21st, 2018|10:38 pm]
beroal
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Social factors determine programming landscape no less than technical ones. Ideas, “technologies,” or programs enjoy different popularity even if they have equal technical merits. I think this may be a fruitful field of study for social scientists. PHP is a good example. How has the shitty programming language PHP become so popular? There are many technically better programming languages (PLs). So this phenomenon has to be explained by social factors. (And I actually think that the obscene word is a correct scientific term in this context.)

to be continuedCollapse )
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investigation of the meanings of programming terms [May. 17th, 2018|08:07 pm]
beroal
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Any discussion on the foundations of computing runs into severe problems right at the start. The difficulty is that although we all use words such as ‘name’, ‘value’, ‘program’, ‘expression’ or ‘command’ which we think we understand, it often turns out on closer investigation that in point of fact we all mean different things by these words, so that communication is at best precarious. These misunderstandings arise in at least two ways. The first is straightforwardly incorrect or muddled thinking. An investigation of the meanings of these basic terms is undoubtedly an exercise in mathematical logic and neither to the taste nor within the field of competence of many people who work on programming languages. As a result the practice and development of programming languages has outrun our ability to fit them into a secure mathematical framework so that they have to be described in ad hoc ways. Because these start from various points they often use conflicting and sometimes also inconsistent interpretations of the same basic terms.

Christopher Strachey. “Fundamental Concepts in Programming Languages.” (Written in 1967.)
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электроника противоречит науке [Apr. 29th, 2018|12:22 am]
beroal
Википедия с академической точки зрения не является источником надёжной информации. Это можно понять и принять. Однако я видел борца за чистоту академических стандартов, который против электронных книг. ☺ Не смущает, что скоро все книги будут публиковаться только в электронном виде. Бумага ≠ наука.
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the CookieSwap extension for Firefox [Nov. 26th, 2017|11:07 am]
beroal
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I am a long-time user of Firefox and CookieSwap. I love Firefox because it is extensible. There are many small extensions that help me in my daily work. This is one of the reasons I do not want to switch to another web browser. Unfortunately, several years ago the programmer team of Firefox began to update the API of Firefox so often that extension writers were not able to update their extensions fast enough. One by one, extensions begin to fall into oblivion. Nevertheless, I remain faithful to Firefox. It is still not beneficial for me to switch to another web browser. CookieSwap is crucial for me. CookieSwap is not compatible with the recent version 57 of Firefox. According to the author of CookieSwap Steve Tine who responded to my donation, CookieSwap will not be updated until January. If you use CookieSwap, please, support its development (well, updating) with your donations.
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слишком много информации [Oct. 20th, 2017|11:21 am]
beroal
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Кажется, интернет окончательно перешёл из стадии, когда не достаточно информации, в стадию, когда информации слишком много. Нет полезной информации. Не хватает инструментов для фильтрации информации.
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proof theory [Sep. 29th, 2017|06:34 pm]
beroal
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I have started reading a textbook (Negri and von Plato 25) on proof theory. I would say, it is an easy read. My impression is that the theory is very meticulous. Check an inference rule, then check another inference rule, then check another inference rule… IMHO, it would be more productive to find common properties of inference rules and reason from those properties. In the textbook, it is not justified why we study specific inference systems. How do we know that those inference systems are correct and useful? I guess that the authors should prove that inference systems are deductively equivalent to a gold standard like natural deduction in sequent calculus style.

Works Cited

Negri, Sara, and Jan von Plato. Structural Proof Theory. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
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бесплатный интернет [Sep. 29th, 2017|01:38 pm]
beroal
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Задача для историков. Разобраться, откуда взялась идеология, что всё в интернете должно быть бесплатным. Эта идеология простирается от радикальной «платить запрещено» до либеральной «ладно, платить можно, но так, чтобы никто об этом не знал». Почему платежи могут быть только пожертвованиями? Почему платежи надо скрывать?
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social proofs and formal proofs [Sep. 2nd, 2017|08:39 am]
beroal
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to be continuedCollapse )
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естественный яп [Aug. 6th, 2017|02:41 pm]
beroal
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Насколько я понимаю, рассуждать логически не естественно для людей. Ассоциативное мышление более естественно. Поэтому оно легче. Если смотреть шире, для людей более естественно бегать и прыгать, а не думать. Люди должны делать то, что естественно, во многих случаях, но не в этом. Ну, так устроена цивилизация. Сообразительность, а не физическая сила, есть условие выживания для людей. Программистам, который ищут естественные япы, нужно в первую очередь бросить программирование и вести простую жизнь. Программировать не естественно.

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