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Normal Considered Harmful

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Alan Kay's ECOOP 2011 Banquet Speech

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Normal Considered Harmful

  1. 1. Lancaster, July 28th, 2011 Alan Kay Viewpoints Research Institute Normal Considered Harmful ECOOP 1968 2008
  2. 2. 50 th Anniversary of Objects?
  3. 3. Bob Barton - 1961 “ Systems programmers are high priests of a low cult”
  4. 4. 50 th Anniversary of Objects? Future ˆ 50 th Anniversary of Objects?
  5. 5. Ivan Sutherland - 1962
  6. 6. “ News” can be told in a few minutes “ New” = learning, longer & change New s
  7. 7. Most people can only experience the present in terms of the past Which means they can only conceive the future in terms of the present
  8. 8. Human Learning & Memory
  9. 9. Paradigmatically Challenged? What we learn first, we might learn too well!
  10. 10. 3. A NY SUFFICIENTLY ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY IS INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC What did we think we were doing? But ... So ...
  11. 11. Which is more important? Outlook? IQ? Knowledge?
  12. 12. Point of View = 80 IQ Points! Outlook? IQ? c Knowledge?
  13. 13. Outlook? IQ? Knowledge? Our Field From The Peanut Gallery # of Outlooks 1971 Today General K 1971 Today Abs amount of K 1971 Today Rel # 1971 Today Abs # of 4 σs 1971 Today General Outlook Today 1971
  14. 14. FORTRAN LISP ALGOL PLANNER SIMULA SMALLTALK PROLOG VISICALC EURISKO LLL HLL VHLL UHLL 1950 LLL 1956 1950 1950 1961 1967 1972 1978 1983 ??? ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE (Facetious) Sunspot Theory Of Programming Language Improvement (Scientific American 1984)
  15. 15. Present Past Future The Present is the least important time we live in!
  16. 16. “ Normal” Means “ Almost Asleep”
  17. 17. Coping Social Language Culture Fantasies Stories Tools, Art, Technologies Goals, Plans ... Play & Games Fixed Rules, Flexible Strategies Case based learning Case based reasoning Superstition Religion/Magic Theater Differences over Similarities Quick Reactions To Patterns "The Other" Supernormal Responses Vendetta Value Shortages **Loud Noises & Snakes Human Universals About 300 of these have been identified
  18. 18. Coping Social Language Culture Fantasies Stories Tools, Art, Technologies Goals, Plans ... Play & Games Fixed Rules, Flexible Strategies Case based learning Case based reasoning Superstition Religion/Magic Theater Differences over Similarities Quick Reactions To Patterns "The Other" Supernormal Responses Vendetta Value Shortages **Loud Noises & Snakes Progress Writing & Reading Deductive Abstract Math Model Based Science Thought, Thought, Thought Equal Rights Democracy Similarities over Differences Slow Deep Thinking Legal System vs Vendetta Perspective Drawing Theory of Harmony Agriculture .... Human Universals And Non-Universals About 300 of these have been identified
  19. 19. Dealing with the “New” as “News” is just “ Automating The Pleistocene”!
  20. 20. Technology The “Arts” Tinkering Engineering Mathematics Science
  21. 21. Yikes! The “Arts” Tinkering Engineering Mathematics Science Computer Software
  22. 22. ? What is Science?
  23. 23. ? Computer Science?
  24. 24. ? ?
  25. 25. Present Past Future The Present is the least important time we live in!
  26. 26. Present Past Future
  27. 27. “ The destiny of computers is to become interactive intellectual amplifiers for all people universally networked worldwide” 60s: Romantic Vision J.C.R. Licklider ADVANCED RESEARCH PROJECTS AGENCY Washington 25, D.C. April 23, 1963 MEMORANDUM FOR: Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network FROM: J. C. R. Licklider SUBJECT: Topics for Discussion at the Forthcoming Meeting If we succeed in making an Inter- galactic Network, then our main problem will be learning to com- municate with Aliens.
  28. 28. 70s : Models, Views & Controllers with “Aliens” “ Disney multiplane animation 'in 2s' ” Can “Ants” Be “Induced” To Do More Interesting Things? Ted Kaehler, Yoshiki Ohshima, Alan Kay Viewpoints Research Institute Glendale, CA 91201 Ants are a “distributed hive animal” whose “cells” communicate by a variety of means including laying down trails of chemicals which can help ants without food to get to discovered food sources. We want to investigate whether the “particles and fields” style of distributing messages as intrinsic parts of environments can work well for some programming problems. Figure 1: Ants swarming around food Figure 2: Simulation showing diffusion If we ask 5 th graders to help us think about this and act it out by wearing letters on their T-shirts, they quickly discover a good way to do this. For example, could we program a text layout and editing system just using a “field of messages” that individual text characters can sense and respond to? Laying out a “paragraph” of “ants” seems like a good place to start because it will have to work continuously while the editor is being used. It's really just “follow your leader” (and if you have no leader, then just go to the upper left hand corner. This works until the right margin is exceeded, so all the characters have to notice when this happens and pass this knowledge along to their leader. This happens until a leader's leader can be separated (for example, it might be a space). Then the leader can start a new line. We can make this look fast by doing it in between frame times – but it's also fun to watch!
  29. 29. 80s: Distributed Self-Balancing Virtual Machine Computing Heterogenous Physical Computers on Physical Network ... … act as caches for Virtual Computers on Virtual Network Gerry Popek
  30. 30. 90s: Migrating Computer Processes are Integrated Via User Interface Physical Computers on Physical Network ... … act as caches for Virtual Computers on Virtual Network Physical Computers on Physical Network ... … X-Windows Almost Did This ... What About Scaling Across The Internet? W W W
  31. 31. 20 Years Later: This is still a good idea and still needed Physical Computers on Physical Network ... … act as caches for Virtual Computers on Virtual Network Physical Computers on Physical Network ... “ Applications” Become Mashups The Web can be simple, much more useful, and scale … If only we could communicate with Aliens!
  32. 32. Functionality Service Interface ? Objects are “Aliens”!
  33. 33. Functionality Service Interface Functionality Service Interface ? And to each other!
  34. 34. We are “Aliens”!
  35. 35. Functionality Service Interface Functionality Service Interface Exact term agreement doesn't scale
  36. 36. Normal + ∆ Normal Won't Do It! Keyword: Intergalactic!
  37. 37. Eurisko-Heuretics — Lenat CYC — Lenat HEURETICS THEORETICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL STUDY OF HEURISTIC RULES Represented in: • First Order Logic • Higher Order Logic • Context Logic • Micro-theories GameMaster — Genesereth Simulator Problem Specs & Rules Simulation Environment Agents Maker Agents Maker
  38. 38. If Normal is considered “ Sane Reality” Then what is Normal ?
  39. 39. Major Technical Contributors To This Work iewpoints Research Institute
  40. 40. iewpoints Research Institute www.vpri.org www.vpri.org/writings STEPS Project

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