Reading through transcripts of internal conversations at RAND Corporation (big cold war think tank) back in 1958 about the future of computers and programming and this.... it's too real


In 1958 the consensus among experts was that programming languages were very soon going to get so good that the profession of computer programmer would become obsolete!

literally all I want to do is read the collected RAND Symposia on Computing

@darius 🎵​And I've got a feeling / I'm not the only one 🎵​

@darius lol at the sharpie'd on seven, I want to read the book on how that happened.

@darius Your threads/toots on this history of computing stuff and archives is making my day, pls continue

@darius How ironic that, somehow, the exact opposite has happened.

@danielcassidy Personally I think languages have actually gotten better, but we now have more use cases for computing. In 1958 they were narrowly interested in the programming of "expert systems" where a computer is given the parameters of like a big simulation and then makes decisions about like, how to regulate a nuclear plant or some such

@darius I was joking, of course. But I believe there’s a kernel of truth in it. For example, we’ve known since at least the 60s that most of the common problems that we have writing software today could be eliminated with pure functional programming, but we’ve only started to seriously do something about that in mainstream programming in the last 5 years or so. In the intervening time mainstream programming languages went in the exact opposite direction. That’s pretty embarrassing.

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