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Perl, the first postmodern computer language

24 Oct 2000

I’m not particularly prone to hero-worship, but every time I read something new by Larry Wall, my estimation of him goes up another several notches. He’s the synthesis of geek and poet that I want to be, when I grow up. Whether or not you have any programming experience, you’ll be edified by reading the transcript of his talk on “Perl, the first postmodern computer language”:

"True greatness is measured by how much freedom you give to others, not by how much you can coerce others to do what you want. I remember praying a prayer when I was very young, not much more than a baby myself. “God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for our food. Amen.‘’ Well, I’m here to say amen to that. God’s greatness and goodness are measured by the fact that he gives us choices. He doesn’t require us to thank him for our food. (In case you hadn’t noticed.) God is not a Modernist. He doesn’t view us as nails. God expects us to behave like carpenters. Indeed, he gave us a carpenter as an example.”

Go ye and read the whole thing. (and/or check out Richard’s critique (and/or share yours))