La Haskell Land

It’s Monday evening again, which means I sum up my personal highlights from last week. By the way I assume most of you are mostly interested in programming or technology, that’s why these topics come first. If that is not the case, you can scroll to the end and read about my experience as a costumer of someone, who did not act like a professional.

By the way I’m really thankful for feedback or/and questions. Maybe you are reading my weekly posts, because you are waiting for me to talk about something you think I’ll write about? Or maybe you like the current format? Yes, I write these posts to train my writing skills, but mostly I write them for you. I’m aiming for a win-win situation here! 😅

Enough meta comments. Let’s start with the main content now:

#Why Haskell is not mainstream

I enjoy thinking and reading about what programming is or what it could be. One of these things, that could change how we write software is Unison, “a next-gen programming platform”. Its author Paul Chiusano has released a very interesting post last week, which tries to answer the following question:

If Haskell is so great, why hasn’t it taken over the world?

Paul’s answer to that basically is Unison solving the problem: “The reason I’ll give is that Haskell’s otherwise excellent composability is destroyed at I/O boundaries, just like every other language.” Maybe he is right. We will see.

Also interesting to me are his thoughts on what programming is (managing complexity) and in which stages we tackle this problem.

📃 Read Paul Chiusano’s post: If Haskell is so great, why hasn’t it taken over the world? And the curious case of Go.

#Technology in Education

I had this video in my twitter stream thanks to Bret Victor (someone you should definitely follow). It’s from 1995 and shows Seymour Papert and Alan Kay talking in front of the American government about how they see the future of technology in education. The link below is a clip from it, but you can also watch the whole 3 hours if you like.

Both criticise the lack of a vision for where education is going. One thought from Papert, that stuck with me is this one:

We know that a child, which struggles learning French at school would learn it easily, if it grew up in France. Why do we think then, that some people don’t have a head for Mathematics?

The problem is to create a “Mathland”. This is the great contribution of the computer. It’s a mathematic speaking being, a medium, an instrument.

📺 Watch 16 minutes of: Seymour Papert and Alan Kay on technology in education

#Signs of nonprofessionalim

Before Christmas I noticed, that I needed to get new lenses for my spectacles. So I googled for the closest optician and found one, that also had a discount during this time. The price was 10 pound.

I remember, that during my first visit I already had a bad feeling. Although the test was 30 minutes, it felt as if he was in a hurry and compared to other opticians his equipment looked dated to me. Nonetheless during the test he agreed, that I needed new glasses and gave me my new prescription.

Since I only have one frame, the time to replace my lenses needs to be as short as possible. Unfortunately they said it would take about a week. I decided to visit another optician to ask how long it would take them. To keep it short: I found one, I payed less and they replaced the lenses on the same day they received them from the laboratory.

Now the bad part: After wearing my prescription for a while I noticed that my view was worse in some aspects. At first I asked the optician, which replaced the lenses, if they could do another eye test. He denied and said he does not mess with another optician’s prescription. So I went back to the one, that did my eye test.

At the end of the test, which had the same result, I asked him what he thinks I should do. He said something no professional would say:

You are a very analytical person. I did the test very thoroughly. Everything is okay.

🚨 This was a huge red flag. He thinks that his perceived personality of an unsatisfied customer is the problem rather than his work.

To sum it up, watch out for these things and avoid them on your own:

I did the only thing I could do: go somewhere else and forget about the money I just lost. On the positive side I had a very good experience with two other opticians in London: CrossEyes and Cubitts. It’s still a week until I get my new glasses and I repeat myself, but if you live in London and want to buy new spectacles: visit Cubitts.

All of their frames are handmade, available in different colours and sometimes sizes. They are very reasonable priced and look amazing. Even their website is well made and they have a hipster instagram account. 😄

These were my highlights (and “lowlights”) from last week. If you have a bad mood because of something from your last week I have the solution: go watch La La Land and listen to its soundtrack. 🕺💃

See you next week!