Monday, September 1, 2008

Meme evolution

While I am missing family induced distraction, I use the opportunity of reading old papers that I always wanted to revisit.

Yesterday, while reading "A History of Haskell" I was amused by the sentence:
"Wadler misunderstood what Fasel had in mind, and type classes were born!"
This is a concrete case of "meme evolution" (in Dawkins' sense): a mutation of a meme (by transcription error) finds a new habitat where it thrives and blossoms.

Some preconditions are needed for this to happen:
  • communication
  • loosening of amorphous ideas
  • an open mind, not shying away from listening to the unknown
Many great ideas come to me while reading conference papers of others and where I have no idea what they are talking about :-) While trying to make vague sense of what I have in front of me a fireworks of ideas commence, all building in some way on foundations of things (pet projects) I have done in the past.

Now, how can I ensure that I periodically can enjoy the state of minimal disturbances?

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