Sunday, March 30, 2008

More Python and Climate

Apparently my rants got linked by GravityLoss, who understands that I am saying something about Python and about modern methodologies, but apparently isn't sure exactly what.

Here's my reply:

Hi and thanks for the links.

Make no mistake, I am a Python fanboy. I really doubt it's possible to do much better than Python at our present level of understanding of how to control computers.

As Paul Graham explains, any assertion that a more advanced technology Y is better than technology X tends to fall on deaf ears on users of technology X, because what they think is doable is defined by technology X. It is perfectly possible to get no advantage from Y because it is always possible to do X-like things with it.

I am proposing to do somewhat different things with Y. I am not the greatest expert on Y, but I do see things to do relevant things with Y that are not entirely X-like.

I would like to have software managers more experienced than myself involved. Google are the folk with the disposable wealth and the farsighted motivation as well as some of the relevant skills. I sort of wish they'd do what I want to do rather than leaving me scrambling to do it. I retain enough hubris to suggest that if they tried they'd do well to get me on the team. Realistically I probably will not have their help nor the help of an experienced software manager, though any pitching in from JM or JM would be most welcome.

There's nothing magic about Google or Python that aren't summed up in Clarke's Law: any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The sad thing is that much of the academy, including climate science, is far enough behind the cutting edge of what is possible that comparable productivity would look magical.

1 comment:

Bryan Lawrence said...

I've got a similar amount of hubris :-) and as you know, agree ... to a point :-)