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Gods of perl

by throttle (Beadle)
on Nov 04, 2004 at 16:58 UTC ( #405220=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

First of all, sorry for my typing and syntax errors.

Last year i read an article on an italian magazine (L'Espresso) that said that maybe the whole universe is a program and God is a programmer. This involves tw consequences:

1)(the silly one) Maybe god wrote
tar -xzf universe.tgz

2)(the semi-intelligent one) Maybe all programmers are Gods, in a certain way.

Now, what i think is that maybe is this that makes hackers and programmers love computers. You can make it do (almost) anything you want. It can wake you up instead of the alarm clock, it loves all the music you listen to and it doesn't get offended if you neglect it.
This doesn't mean that we must forget the real world and live only in a computer-related world. What i meant to say with this node is just that for someone (or something) we aren't useless and we are a sort of god of what at the moment is in front of us or on our knees. Computer is a great friend, but not the only one you have.
Think about it. We are gods...

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Gods of perl
by erix (Prior) on Nov 04, 2004 at 19:06 UTC
    tar -xzf universe.tgz

    Then, on the fourth day:

    perl -MCPAN -e "install Bundle::BioPerl"

    and God saw that it was good.

Re: Gods of perl
by tinita (Parson) on Nov 04, 2004 at 17:05 UTC
    1)(the silly one) Maybe god wrote tar -xzf universe.tgz
    then she certainly forgot the -v switch.

    update:
    and where's the README file?

    =)

      then she certainly forgot the -v switch.

      I realize your reply was a joke, but the -v switch is not necessary. It only turns on verbose mode. In some cases, using -v is actually detrimental.

      For example, when unpacking any modern Linux kernel, there are so many small files that it takes longer to print their name to the screen than it does to unpack them. Turning on -v causes it to take longer than it does otherwise.

        Actually, even on very fast connections, the time to download dwarfs the time to decompress, untar, or print the names. The best way is tail -f -n+0 linux-n.n.n.tar.bz2|bzcat -vv|tar -xv.


        Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

        Indeed. When the first Exabyte tape drives came out (like Hi-8 video tapes for those who don't remember,) it was recommended not to use -v on the particular platform I was using at the time because it caused some weird timing problem on the SCSI bus (probably due to a bug in the OS but that's another story.)

        /J\

      Well, someone could consider the bible as the README (personally i don't).
      BTW, why 'she' (or why not...)?
        BTW, why 'she' (or why not...)?
        why 'he'? =)
        Then it must be the worst written README ever. READMEs ought to contain clear, unambigious instructions. In the bible, it isn't even clear what's an instruction and what's a fairy tale.

        Considered by kutsu: Delete: Flamebait

        Unconsidered by Arunbear - enough keep votes; Keep/Edit/Delete: 8/0/14

        Though the Bible is my readme, I find it odd that you didn't think to meantion any of the other "holy" books: I Ching (Book of Change), Quran, Tora, the many writtening of the Zen Roshis (and yes I could keep adding to this list). Though I don't wish to open this topic to a broader discuss (that would be inappropriate for perlmonks), I did wish to meantion that others might think of a different "readme".

        "Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum - I think that I think, therefore I think that I am." Ambrose Bierce

        Tao te Ching is my README.

        - apotheon
        CopyWrite Chad Perrin

      (I'm replying to you because the OP has not been here in 30 weeks)
      >It's because the universe was programmed in C++. No, no, it was programmed in Forth. See Genesis 1:12: "And the earth brought Forth ..." - Robert Israel in sci.math, "Why numbers?"
      This is now one of my .sigs!
Re: Gods of perl
by tilly (Archbishop) on Nov 05, 2004 at 03:31 UTC
    I've thought about it, and think that that's a dangerous attitude.

    If you go into programming because you enjoy the complete control that you have over the computer (and I've known people who have), then how will you deal with working in a cooperative work environment where more than one person works on code - and others like to work differently than you? How well will you handle users? How well will you handle situations where your users are senior to you in the company hierarchy?

    More subtly, if you feel yourself to be a god, then you're likely to wind up with ego tied up in how good a programmer you are. Which will get in the way of improving, and ironically means that you stagnate wherever you are. (Which is certainly a lot worse than you could be.) I talked about that at What you refuse to see, is your worst trap.

    Personally I view programming as a skill - sort of like being an auto mechanic. It is an interesting skill. It is a rewarding skill. It is a rare skill. But it is a skill.

      According to you, I think programming is a skill. Disaccording to you, I don't think it's only a skill, but an art.
      BTW you are right when you say that what I said could be a dangerous thing, but when I say 'we are gods' i don't mean we are perfect, but I mean we control something (in this case our computer). I didn't mean that other users are subjected to our wishes. They are only other gods (if they are good), or only users (if they are like my grandpa). There isn't a hierarchy, only root and users, and everyone has the right to mange his own workspace. If you are working in team, (as they say in GTA2) 'respect is everything'. Never try to show how good you are only for pride. Be humble. But don't let others overhanging you.
Re: Gods of perl
by Ytrew (Pilgrim) on Nov 04, 2004 at 18:48 UTC
    What i meant to say with this node is just that for someone (or something) we aren't useless and we are a sort of god of what at the moment is in front of us or on our knees.

    English isn't a boolean language.

    There's a vast continuum between being utterly powerless (or "useless") as you put it, and being completely omipotent (as gods are purported to be). Humans are somewhere in between.

    Most perl programmers are humans. Tom Christiansen is the only AI I know of that programs perl. :-)

    --
    Ytrew

      Gods in general are not purported to be omnipotent, maybe you are confused by the monotheistic stupidity rampant in our society. Apollo wasn't omnipotent (he got beaten by Rocky) and nor was Thor.

      Edited Steve_P - unconsidered for deletion

        Apollo wasn't omnipotent (he got beaten by Rocky)
        For the record, he also got killed by Ivan Drago :(
Re: Gods of perl
by hardburn (Abbot) on Nov 04, 2004 at 19:33 UTC

    Think about it. We are gods...

    While many fundamentalists would charge you with blasphamey with that statement, it isn't so far from many biblical uses of the term. In some cases, the bible calls human rulers "gods", because they have so much power over people. It even calls the idols of pagan nations "gods". It makes a clear distinction between these lesser "gods" and the high almighty God.

    "There is no shame in being self-taught, only in not trying to learn in the first place." -- Atrus, Myst: The Book of D'ni.

    A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
Re: Gods of perl
by stvn (Monsignor) on Nov 04, 2004 at 19:37 UTC

    I have always viewed programming, like all creative endavors, as an act of creation.

    And if you take that a little further (with maybe a few bong hits to help you along), you could reason that as programmers/painters/writers/musicians we are all trying to become god in some way.

    But, are we gods? I doubt it, when was the last time you wrote a 'perfect' program?

    -stvn

    NOTE: I no way do I mean to imply that god's creation (if you believe that to be the truth), and in particular humanity, are 'perfect'. One only needs to look back to yesterdays US election to see the obvious flaws ;-)

      I have always viewed programming, like all creative endavors, as an act of creation. And if you take that a little further (with maybe a few bong hits to help you along), you could reason that as programmers/painters/writers/musicians we are all trying to become god in some way.

      Sure, but there's fundamental differences between wanting to be something, trying to be something, and being something.

      Note that the two arguments below both rely on the same logical fallacy. The following is clearly false.

      "I am mortal."
      "Socrates is mortal."
      "Therefore, I'm Socrates!"

      The next one is also false, and for the same reason. It seems to be the unstated argument that sparked this meditation

      "God creates things"
      "I create things".
      "Therefore, I am God! Oh, wow! I'm so cool!".

      Unfortunately, to actually be a god, you need to possess all of the defining attributes of a diety. These traits vary depending upon who you ask, but usually include one or all of omnipotence, omniscience, and immortality.

      I really doubt any or even all of us really meet those divine standards, combined threelite perl haxor skills notwithstanding. :-)
      --
      Ytrew

        Your syllogisms are wrong. A correct one would be<br
        Everyone who creates things is a God
        I create things
        Therefore, I'm a God

        or

        All men are mortal.
        Socrates is a men
        Socrates is a mortal

        You syllogisms don't follow Aristotele's teachings.

      > But, are we gods? I doubt it, when was the last time you wrote a 'perfect' program?

      Your premise assumes that whatever your $ENV{DIETY} is, it created a 'perfect' world. Think about that carefully for a while, before continuing that line of reasoning.

      Of course, this whole argument suffers from the usual deficiency: it lacks a common definition of "god". What one believes "god" to be depends largely on their options to use Diety. For example, use Diety qw/Christian/; results in an infallible father-diety, while use Diety qw/Greek_pantheon/; results in many fallible entities.

      I believe combinations like use qw/Christian Greek_pantheon Native_american/; cause segfaults. Perhaps this is a bug, but it might be by design. It's a shame the module author is so hard to contact...

      radiantmatrix
      require General::Disclaimer;
      "Users are evil. All users are evil. Do not trust them. Perl specifically offers the -T switch because it knows users are evil." - japhy
Re: Gods of perl
by CloneArmyCommander (Friar) on Nov 05, 2004 at 16:42 UTC
    1. We can all assume he or she's on some form of a UNIX operating system.

    2. This also brings to mind the whole idea of the Matrix, where we are all in a complex program.

    2.5. I'm sorry, but I can not resist this one "There is no spoon" (just forks :), hahahahaha :)).
      1. We can all assume he or she's on some form of a UNIX operating system.
      Almost certainly not! The universe flagrantly flies in the face of POSIX in many places. The universe is far to old to have it's ctime held in a time_t among many other violations of POSIX.
Re: Gods of perl
by DrHyde (Prior) on Nov 05, 2004 at 10:06 UTC
    Bah. Any deity that uses GNU tar doesn't deserve our worship.

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