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brian_jaress comments on Recommended reading for new rationalists - Less Wrong

27 Post author: XFrequentist 09 July 2009 07:47PM

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Comment author: brian_jaress 12 July 2009 08:16:38AM 0 points [-]

I can't tell whether I don't understand you, you don't understand me, or both.

I suppose it's theoretically possible for someone who hates programming to enjoy a book on how to program, but I don't think it will happen. I don't see what being analytical has to do with it.

If you don't hate programming, you might or might not like SICP for a whole bunch of reasons. How analytical you are might be one of them.

Comment author: djcb 12 July 2009 09:20:13AM 0 points [-]

i actually agree with the points you made, and also with the point that Douglas_Knight made. I don't think those points are incompatible.

The nature of Scheme as a 'idealized' programming language enables one to focus on the actual problem rather than the language (after some practice at least). And that way of looking at problems is what makes it interesting in the context of LW -- which is not about programming perse after all.

So yes, the book teaches you to program -- but also yes, it does that in a somewhat abstracted way, which will be less interesting for people who want cookbook-style solutions. It's about training the mind.