In article <33545E78.email@example.com>, Graham Matthews
+No its not irrelevant. The question was why did JO chose the "everything
+is a string" paradigm, when he could have chosen the "everything is an
+integer", or "everything is a list" paradigm? This correspondence shows
+the stupidity of the "everything is a string is so powerful" argument.
Sorry, but that does not follow. Bijections are all very well (hey, I'm
a topologist by training :-)), but human predispositions are relevant
here, and most people are more intuitively at home with "reading" a
string "1.0 + 3" as a sequence of characters than, e.g., processing a
text into a Goedel enumeration, (or more directly to the point, going
the other way, from the integer to the text.)
Simplicity and uniformity *are* relevant. One might argue that it matters
not *what* primitive representation is used, but I would laugh at anyone
who seriously thought that non-string representations were "simpler" than
Try representing the _Iliad_ as either an integer or a list. Just try;
I want to see what kind of idiocies you will commit. That it is possible
I willingly acknowledge; that it is sane, I seriously doubt.
Humans reading strings which *happen* to contain conventional represent-
ations of numbers are happy to make mental conversions. The converse is
*not* true -- "reading" an arbitrary integer as (by some abstruse mapping)
a text string is utterly weird and non-standard. It is quite hopeless for
documentation, for training, and for maintenance. And in case you were a
bit out of it, LANGUAGE is what humans ordinarily use in communication.
It is human readers (and writers) who matter, when we are talking about
Michael L. Siemon firstname.lastname@example.org
"Green is the night, green kindled and apparelled.
It is she that walks among astronomers."
-- Wallace Stevens