American in Spain

Enlightenment Dreams

September 25, 2009

Ever since recently being lured by the siren song of Lisp, I've been having some seriously bizarre dreams. Lisp, for me, is paralyzingly flexible. It allows for so many programming styles that when I sit down to start using it to tackle a problem, I have no idea where to begin. It's like sitting down at a restaurant and having a menu with 500 items on it. It's paralyzing. Choice makes humans miserable. What is particularly annoying is that, when I'm dreaming at night, I can see it! I can see how the entire application fits together beautifully and elegantly in Clojure (a new flavor of Lisp), with immutable data structures that enable super-efficient non-blocking concurrency. And it's gorgeous! But with consciousness comes the cold reality where there's no such thing as a perfect computer program. Or at least not one that does anything useful.

It's been a week or two now since I've looked at Lisp, but the "enlightenment dreams" haven't stopped. Last night, for instance, I was certain that I had a solution to perfectly and elegantly fix ...wait for it... the entire economy of Spain. I had it all worked out. Something-or-other would generate job growth, which would stimulate spending, which would generate more jobs, etc. in a perfect heavenly cycle of growth. And I don't even know what "leverage" means, but last night I was convinced I saw the answer to The Big Picture. I think it involved everyone taking a pay cut on Fridays or some silliness. Of course consciousness once again brought acknowledgment of total ignorance.

It's like I have a little miniature version of those nutcases that know a little algebra and claim that can prove that General Relativity is wrong living inside my subconscious. I hate those guys!

Holding the entirety of a complex system in your brain is tiring, too! I wake up exhausted.

I wonder what important problem will won't really be solved tonight. I'll accept requests. Cold fusion? Anti-gravity? Time travel?