strangest systems I've sent email from

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Apr 28 08:40:54 CDT 2016

On 27 April 2016 at 20:50, Noel Chiappa <jnc at> wrote:
>     > From: Liam Proven
>     > There's the not-remotely-safe kinda-sorta C in a web browser,
>     > Javascript.
> Love the rant, which I mostly agree with (_especially_ that one).

Thank you!

The JS line is the one that's attracting particularly harsh criticism
on FB, incidentally.

>  A couple of
> comments:
>     > So they still have C like holes and there are frequent patches and
>     > updates to try to make them able to retain some water for a short time,
>     > while the "cyber criminals" make hundreds of millions.
> It's not clear to me that a 'better language' is going to get rid of that,
> because there will always be bugs (and the bigger the application, and the
> more it gets changed, the more there will be). The vibe I get from my
> knowledge of security is that it takes a secure OS, running on hardware that
> enforces security, to really fix the problem. (Google "Roger Schell".)

I have and will read up on this before I comment.

>     > The Lisp Machines and Smalltalk boxes lost the workstation war. Unix
>     > won, and as history is written by the victors
> Custom hardware for running LISP lost (not sure about Smalltalk, don't know
> much about it), I am quite sure, mostly because 'mainstream' CPUs got so much
> faster/cheaper, because of the volume. I saw this happening in the AI Lab at
> MIT: when you could run LISP on a workstation with a vanilla CPU much faster
> than a specialized LISP processor, that's all she wrote. (That effect killed
> all sorts of things, not just LISP machines, of course.)

Yes, so I've heard.

But the thing, the big thing, is that computers aren't organisms.

We can study dinosaurs and work out what they were good and bad at,
but Jurassic Park will never happen. Absent time machines, we cannot
bring them back.

But we could build new computers using the lessons of the past.

But nobody much is doing it.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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