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Harold_Abelson

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   4 Harold Abelson

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1:Every reader should ask himself periodically 'Toward what end, toward what end?' -- but do not ask it too often lest you pass up the fun of programming for the constipation of bittersweet philosophy. ~ Harold Abelson, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs ,
2:Pascal is for building pyramids -- imposing, breathtaking, static structures built by armies pushing heavy blocks into place. Lisp is for building organisms -- imposing, breathtaking, dynamic structures built by squads fitting fluctuating myriads of simpler organisms into place. ~ Harold Abelson, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs ,
3:Computational processes are abstract beings that inhabit computers. As they evolve, processes manipulate other abstract things called data. The evolution of a process is directed by a pattern of rules called a program. People create programs to direct processes. In effect, we conjure the spirits of the computer with our spells. ~ Harold Abelson, Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs ,
4:[Computer science] is not really about computers -- and it's not about computers in the same sense that physics is not really about particle accelerators, and biology is not about microscopes and Petri dishes...and geometry isn't really about using surveying instruments. Now the reason that we think computer science is about computers is pretty much the same reason that the Egyptians thought geometry was about surveying instruments: when some field is just getting started and you don't really understand it very well, it's very easy to confuse the essence of what you're doing with the tools that you use. ~ Harold Abelson, Introductory lecture to Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs ,

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