[IPython-dev] Musings: syntax for high-level expression of parallel (and other) execution control

Fernando Perez fperez.net@gmail....
Fri Sep 4 19:00:10 CDT 2009


On Fri, Sep 4, 2009 at 1:53 PM, Edward K. Ream <edreamleo@gmail.com> wrote:
> Imo, it is a capital mistake to second-guess or prematurely criticize
> excitement and invention.  There are plenty of inventions that can be
> simulated by other constructs, but that doesn't make the inventions
> useless.  Using decorators rather than functions is a change of view, and it
> is most unwise to underestimate the potential of a change in view.
>
> For example, Einstein did not invent the Lorentz transformation, he "merely"
> created a new point of view in which the transformations were something
> other than a mathematical hack to make c be constant in all reference
> frames.
>
> Also, it is in no way an abuse of decorators to use them in unexpected,
> unusual, creative ways, provided only that you are not relying on some
> undocumented accidental feature.

Many thanks for the kind words, which to a physicist sound particularly nice ;)

Though I do genuinely appreciate solid, critical feedback like
Darren's: an idea solidifies from contact with intelligent, if
respectful, criticism.  Continuing with the history of physics theme,
we can thank Einstein not only for his 1905 papers on the
photoelectric effect as giving birth to quantum mechanics, but much
more importantly, with his heated and passionate debates with Bohr et
al over the Copenhagen interpretation of QM, culminating in the 1935
EPR paper, as giving QM its most solid conceptual foundation.  By
relentlessly attacking QM with intelligence and creativity, Einstein
spurred a debate that helped clarify many ideas that were not well
stated at the time (though QM still to this day remains a surprisingly
subtle theory for all).

I think it's great that we can precisely have this kind of debate
here, where an idea is challenged to make it better, yet the challenge
is friendly, encouraging and respectful enough that it doesn't stifle
creativity or nip potentially good ideas in the bud.

I think both you and Darren have provided me today with the best kind
of feedback in this spirit, for which I am very grateful.

All the best,

f


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