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RE: Emacs benchmarking suite

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs benchmarking suite
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 09:13:46 -0700 (PDT)

> It used to be weird - I wouldn't get it while reading it, and after
> a few hours, all of a sudden it made sense.

Funny about that.  That's the way something new hits us sometimes.

We rarely start from a blank slate, and our initial understanding
can only be modified, built upon, and adapted, never really ignored
or escaped.

The result can be that when a quite-different view is grasped, that
seems to happen in a quantum leap and does not seem to be the result
of a logical or historical progression.  Paradigm shift; cf. ye olde
quantity-leaps-into-quality thingie.  We often cannot see any bridge
that got us from there to here.  We see only a discontinuity.

Recursion, higher-order functions, abstract data types, infinite
data structures, unification,... can be just such weird eye-openers.
The first time I saw a declarative (e.g. Lisp/Prolog) definition of
`append' I'm sure I stared at it like a deer in the headlights for
a few minutes, before it registered.  Or maybe, as you describe, it
suddenly hit me later.

Like staring at a SIRDS for the first time, trying hard to see
something 3D in it to no avail, and then drifting off, paying less
attention, staring past it vaguely, and suddenly having a 3D
dinosaur pop out of the page unexpectedly.



"It will flame out, like shining from shook foil"
- G.M. Hopkins, 1877 http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173660

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