I read the ‘PHP is fractally bad’ article, and it’s crap, of course.

Look, that article is just a subset of the larger problem of abstraction sickness. When abstractions become not only the cudgels of power that they have evolved to be for us to do battle with other people, but also alienated things with their own authority apart from the will of their host, then they are problematic. Try telling people who make $100k and better a year on PHP-based systems that PHP is horrifyingly bad. Try telling the people who use and find what they seek in said systems that they are stupid for being satisfied. No, it’s the know-it-all CS student who is great at abstract thought and ignorant about his own mind and its foibles in the face of alienated abstractions who puts first things like having all the tools he’s read about associated with this or that paradigm of programming. The person who is focused on solving real problems in any domain apart from computer science is not going to share the same priorities. As the house painter who taught himself how to program using PHP (yeah, I said “program”), I have seen and written sloppy code that just happened to work well enough for my purpose. But then I fucked around and taught myself C++ and OOP and functional programming, too, and I am telling you, for sure, it is the personal insecurity of programmers who have made it through a CS education and have put in the hours using C++ who want to preserve “programming clout” to their own group/self.


As one who, walking in the twilight gloom,
  Hears round about him voices as it darkens,
And seeing not the forms from which they come,
  Pauses from time to time, and turns and hearkens; 

So walking here in twilight, O my friends!
  I hear your voices, softened by the distance,
And pause, and turn to listen, as each sends
  His words of friendship, comfort, and assistance. 

If any thought of mine, or sung or told,
  Has ever given delight or consolation,
Ye have repaid me back a thousand-fold,
  By every friendly sign and salutation. 

Thanks for the sympathies that ye have shown!
  Thanks for each kindly word, each silent token,
That teaches me, when seeming most alone,
  Friends are around us, though no word be spoken. 

Kind messages, that pass from land to land;
  Kind letters, that betray the heart’s deep history,
In which we feel the pressure of a hand,–
  One touch of fire,–and all the rest is mystery! 

The pleasant books, that silently among
  Our household treasures take familiar places,
And are to us as if a living tongue
  Spice from the printed leaves or pictured faces! 

Perhaps on earth I never shall behold,
  With eye of sense, your outward form and semblance;
Therefore to me ye never will grow old,
  But live forever young in my remembrance!

Never grow old, nor change, nor pass away!
   Your gentle voices will flow on forever,
When life grows bare and tarnished with decay,
  As through a leafless landscape flows a river. 

Not chance of birth or place has made us friends,
  Being oftentimes of different tongues and nations,
But the endeavor for the selfsame ends,
  With the same hopes, and fears, and aspirations. 

Therefore I hope to join your seaside walk,
  Saddened, and mostly silent, with emotion;
Not interrupting with intrusive talk
  The grand, majestic symphonies of ocean. 

Therefore I hope, as no unwelcome guest,
  At your warm fireside, when the lamps are lighted,
To have my place reserved among the rest,
  Nor stand as one unsought and uninvited!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


From low to high doth dissolution climb,
And sink from high to low, along a scale
Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
A musical but melancholy chime,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whitened hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

William Wordsworth