My programming language is better than yours 

Realizing I prefer javascript (despite it being slow!) because it carries a "promethean fire" esthetic. It's designed to make it really easy for a beginner and then lack of a rich standard library encourages a "everybody build a piece" attitude.

This is a deep philosophical question: If we're improving every day, then Prometheus is a hero (but so is the snake), if we're degenerating (Plato, Bannon) then Promethius is a Sorcerers' Apprentice.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd Unfortunately, people keep building the same pieces over and over. And they build tiny pieces, stick them into NPM, then use a weak password, get phished, sell their account, or get angry and delete their package, breaking everything else.

To say nothing of the joy of dependencies that suddenly develop conflicting dependencies.

My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid
I get it, I personally really like libraries written in C because I know the programmer passed a minimum bar of entry... But without JavaScript the majority of js developers would not suddenly become excellent Haskell programmers, they would probably not be developers at all. So from the perspective of the whole industry (or society at large) I think more developers are better, even if they're worse 馃槈

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid
Only if those mediocre developers don't create negative externalities.

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My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @freakazoid
That's basically the fundamental question. Prometheus stole fire from the gods to help humans, who certainly were worse at using it than the gods.

So is Prometheus a hero or a villain ?

If Prometheus is a hero, it's hard to avoid concluding that the snake in the genesis story is also the hero.

But if Prometheus is the villain then it's hard not to reason yourself into Anarcho-Primitivism.

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My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid
IMO, you're generalizing too much.

Each of those cases is different, and it might be quite possible that giving people fire is ok, but giving them asbestos isn't. Where does JS lie on the fire-asbestos spectrum?

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid
Also, I don't understand why you equate what the snake did with what Prometheus did.

The snake gave people freedom. It pushed them out of choicelessness. Made them realize that things don't have to be the way they are, and that everything has a reason. That it makes sense to ask "why".

The snake is clearly a hero (or a tool in God's hands, whichever you prefer).

Well ok, if you are an anarcho-primitivism you may argue that choicelessness is a good thing and the snake is a villain, but otherwise, I don't see why you couldn't have a choiceless fire-using society which worships Prometheus and hates Snake, or a society in systematic mode which doesn't use fire or any higher technology.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @freakazoid
Interesting take, I know so little about religion that I'm really out of my depth here, I just thought that the snake was typically considered evil, maybe @natecull can clarify.

I think it is fair though to equate technology to choice/freedom, after Prometheus people had the choice to use fire or not to, before that they didn't. Same as all the choice in NPM, much of which will get you burned :)

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid @natecull
Yeah, the Snake is traditionally depicted as evil, but that's IMO naive as fuck.

Every religion accumulates a lot of folklore around it that arises from misunderstanding of the religion and/or trying to use it as a vehicle for their own ideas. So when you're trying to get to the bottom of what some religion is really about, you should treat most folklore as bullshit, or at least as a very unreliable source.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @freakazoid @natecull
If the snake is evil, then that has the distinctive smell of Plato's social degeneration philosophy which Karl Popper viciously attacked, with good reason IMO. There was also an article claiming this to be Bannon's philosophy, though I cannot find it now.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl @freakazoid

imo the jury's still out on whether what Prometheus gave humanity was a good thing or bad, at least until the climate change crisis is over. Lots of burned trees and extinct species sitting in the witness box...

But I do love Javascript for exactly the same reason Caleb does. It's just so much *fun* to use as personal local scripting engine. Feels like BASIC again.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @freakazoid @natecull
To go off on a side tangent, the snake is depicted as evil in part because the allegories are trying to explain all of the pain and suffering in the world.

If you view pain and suffering as separate from free will, then the snake is a hero. Or at least it could be one. But as far as I understand it the original idea was that the snake brought free will but also pain, death, and loss.

My programming language is better than yours 

@mike @cjd @freakazoid @natecull

IOW, the snake allows you to shoot yourself in the foot?

And people are like "hey I don't want to be able to do that, why can't you take away my free will and then you'll be responsible to make sure everything ends well?"

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @freakazoid @natecull
I think it's one thing to think that way if you live in a technologically advanced, low poverty area of the 21st century. I think it's something else to accept it when you live in a different time or even today under different economic conditions and watch your children die of malaria, or starvation.

Or even my cousin, who lost his four year old last year to a brain tumor.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd Couple of things: first, I think it's instructive to view these stories in terms of the goals the people teaching them had through the ages. It's not like people started with Prometheus and the snake and then decided how to interpret them; they had the thing they wanted to teach and then came up with (originally) or decided to use the stories to get across whatever they wanted to get across.

My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid @cjd maybe they recognized the tradeoff correctly, but picked a side we disagree with?

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl Second, (and now I'm doing exactly the opposite of what I just said), fire (or more to the point cooking) dates back to H. erectus, and it's almost certain that H. sapiens never could have evolved without it. Any hypothetical society without fire would have had to discard it and would need to live in a pretty favorable location to be able to obtain sufficient nutrition without cooking.

My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid @Wolf480pl
The moment when I realize that 5 years in France has affected me:
I read "without cooking" and feel a physical repulsion at the thought 馃槀

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd In other words, Prometheus pre-dates not just Snake but the Garden of Eden, if you think the Garden of Eden was populated by H. sapiens.

It's possible the hunting of big game (and thus war, since big game hunting doesn't seem otherwise beneficial) started with H. sapiens, which would point to the Garden of Eden being populated by H. erectus and Prometheus preceding it.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl Actually big game hunting was probably precipitated by an ice age, then continued afterward because groups that stayed good at it were better able to kill other people as well, so anyone who went back to small game as soon as they could got killed or joined the groups (potentially involuntarily) who hunted big game.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd Hmm, I guess that assertion obliterates anarcho-primitivism, doesn't it? If H. sapiens is defined by big game hunting and war, then there was never a time that didn't have organized violence.

Which is not to say we shouldn't abandon war, just that link between war and civilization doesn't go the direction anarcho-primitivists think it does. In fact, agriculture and civilization would have *reduced* violence.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl Since human history shows a long term, steady decline in death by violence in concert with the growth of agriculture, industry, urbanization, and technology generally, I'd say anarcho-primitivism has it exactly backward.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd In fact, it was *trade* that created for the first time any reason at all for humans not to kill, kidnap, or rape any stranger they came across, because any other group would simply be a competitor for resources.

My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid @cjd
I wonder how Mongol Hordes fit into this picture.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl

Not sure about how this picture is framed.

Why does hunting big game = war

Also I dont think agricultural societies = peaceful societies.
Theres been very violent societies that practiced agriculture also hunter/gatherers that weren't aggressive. Also, as suggested, the inverse.
@freakazoid @cjd

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @cjd @Wolf480pl It's just a theory I once read as to why humans have hunted big game for so long even when it was not the most efficient way to get protein that was available to them. The tools and techniques of big game hunting also work well for killing people. It could certainly be wrong, but nomadic hunter-gatherer groups that came in contact would have been competitors more than, say, nomadic herders.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @dazinism And agrarians aren't nomadic, so they would only run into other agrarians if they were trying to expand their territory or had to move for whatever reason.

Of course, agriculture was a prerequisite for large scale war, but I think the scale of such wars was more than offset by the much reduced frequency. On average, of course.

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @cjd @Wolf480pl Agriculture also created the surplus necessary to have a ruling class, and the dominance that came with that, of course. I just had that long monologue thread about agriculture and feudalism. But it also created the surplus necessary for trade.

My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid
All sounds like a rather bleak theory of the human condition, where out of group interactions are driven only by harsh utility

Is this theory based primarily on one thing you read, (do you recall what?)

I like to think that theres always been more possible reasons/options for interaction than just trade or war- certainly for me this is the case.
I think that theres evidence that this has also been the case historically
@cjd @Wolf480pl

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @freakazoid @cjd

I think by Occam's Razor, there's no reason to think there are other reasons for interaction, until shown an example that can't be explained by "harsh" utility.

Can you enumerate some of those other possible reasons?

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @freakazoid
This same question arrives again and again. Did we fall from grace or are we better every day ?
Plato clearly believed that we fell from grace, from the perfect republic with the perfect Philosopher King.
Lots of lore around this belief of fall from grace. The innocent and peaceful hunter-gatherers wiped out by the cruel and mechanistic Europeans is a really common belief system.

re: [thread], pol 

@cjd @dazinism @freakazoid
it's funny how ideas like "it used to be better" and "don't change things, you're making everything worse" are usually ascribed to right wing, while left wing is all about progress... yet these days what appears to be a left wing group also says it used to be better in the past, but it means much further past.

Is it all because we only remember the good parts of what it was like in the past?

re: [thread], pol 

@Wolf480pl @dazinism @cjd That's not "remembering". It's mythology.

re: [thread], pol 

@freakazoid @cjd @dazinism
I meant a form of "remembering" which includes transitive memory, i.e. things that you remember that other people said from what they remember, etc.

But yeah, mythology seems appropriate.

re: [thread], pol 

@Wolf480pl
@dazinism @freakazoid
I think the difference of belief between "fall from grace" and "better every day" is at least as important a spectrum as right vs left. You see fall from grace thinking in leftist ethnic guilt and also in rightist traditional family. On the better every day side the left has scientific socialism and the managed society and the right has ethnic pride.

re: [thread], pol 

@cjd @dazinism @Wolf480pl I don't know anything about "managed society", but people are terrible at science and even if they weren't, the economic calculation problem is not solvable even in theory, so "scientific socialism" as I understand it is not achievable, and there are all kinds of ways that pursuing such a thing could get us into a really bad place.

Left libertarians are also "better every day" folks.

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Hunter gatherers and agrarians 

@cjd
Stumbled into this recent blog post, which I found an interesting read & is somewhat related to what we'd been chatting about

Living and Working together (1/3) The Social Brain Hypothesis Revisited 鈥 Unvirtual - unvirtual.us/2019/08/19/living

@Wolf480pl @freakazoid

Hunter gatherers and agrarians 

@dazinism @Wolf480pl @cjd Interesting. The article doesn't mention anything about how they handled conflict among groups, but this page says they ran away if they met any aggressive groups. That works right up to the point where there's actual resource pressure. They seem to want to blame agriculture, but it seems more likely to me that it was warfare and the need for protection that was the root cause of hierarchy and inequality.

Hunter gatherers and agrarians 

@cjd @Wolf480pl @dazinism I suspect one could probably find peaceful agrarian societies that happened to live on particularly fertile land that then took a long time to become crowded and for whatever reason rarely got raided and had such high productivity that it was easy to recover from raids.

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Human interactions 

@Wolf480pl

>Can you enumerate some of those other possible reasons? (Than trade or war)

Us humans are curious beings - could be interested in the sound of their music, their clothes, their hunting methods etc. etc.
Maybe looking for love?

I know some may like to suggest these kind of interactions are trades, even go as far to suggest all human interactions are effectively trades. I dont >buy< that 馃ぃ
@dazinism @freakazoid @cjd

Human interactions 

@dazinism
But if they have differen clothes, that means they're doing it WRONG because OUR clothes are obviously superior...

or at least that I think is what many people's first reaction would be.
@freakazoid @cjd

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @Wolf480pl @cjd The link between big game hunting and warfare is, but many games and sports are pretty clearly practice for warfare as well. There are numerous sources that say nomadic hunter-gatherer groups tended to kill one another when they ran into each other, too. American tribes certainly were not peaceful, at least in some areas, presumably where there was resource contention.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl @dazinism I don't consider steady progress toward peace to be a bleak theory at all. The notion of falling from grace and everything steadily going to shit while a small fraction of us act as Cassandras is what's bleak.

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @Wolf480pl @cjd Speaking of warfare, one of the best warrior groups ever was the Mongols, who learned to hunt with bows on horseback. They never would have bothered if they were eating rabbits and squirrels and herding sheep, which would have kept them from sweeping through Europe and giving many of us their genes.

My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @Wolf480pl @dazinism There's a chance herders were less warlike than hunters just because grass tended to be a more plentiful resource, and branding (a technology!) was a pretty good way to avoid conflict over who an animal belonged to. Theft of animals would presumably have been an issue, though.

My programming language is better than yours 

@dazinism @Wolf480pl @cjd Also, I don't think Pax Romana is just Roman propaganda. One can argue whether it was worth the cost, but I think there's pretty good evidence it was indeed more peaceful than what came before. Though what came before included both settled agricultural society and nomadic ones.

And the nomadic ones are who took it down when it started rotting from the inside out.

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My programming language is better than yours 

@freakazoid @dazinism @cjd
AFAIK, Mongols were herders, and they waged war when they ran out of grasslands due to drought.

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re: My programming language is better than yours 

@seven @freakazoid @Wolf480pl
If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem, sort of the leftist version of "either you are with us, or you're with the terrorists"

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid @Wolf480pl Jabascript, terrorism... 馃鈥 One could argue that. ;)

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid @Wolf480pl But, alas I have to use it just like everyone else...

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @freakazoid @Wolf480pl That is far away from, by choice however...

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@seven @freakazoid @Wolf480pl
Well it's unfortunate that you have to use it and you don't like it, but I would argue that if it makes programming accessible to more people then it's a net win for society.

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@cjd @seven @freakazoid
"chose between being part of the solution and being part of the problem" :drake_dislike:

"chose between lesser evil and greater evil" :drake_like:

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @seven @freakazoid

BASIC, and the personal computer, is the fire Prometheus stole.

When the gods finally noticed, they taught Prometheus capitalism, and then he and his followers convince the world that BASIC was bad, and that only Promethians can use fire safely.

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@requiem @seven @cjd @Wolf480pl Ok now that's a myth I can get behind.

All hail Prometheus!

re: My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @cjd @seven @freakazoid

BASIC, and the personal computer, is the fire Prometheus stole.

When the gods finally noticed, they taught Prometheus capitalism, and then he and his followers convince the world that BASIC was bad, and that only Promethians can use fire safely.

My programming language is better than yours 

@Wolf480pl @freakazoid
To this point, I think it's fair to pick on PHP. It's similarly a good first language, manages to guess what you probably mean so you're not stuck pleasing a compiler before you can see your code work, but it has a lot of rules and exceptions (sadly JS is going this direction now with ES6, ES7 etc)

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