For the amusement of the list.
.....Actually only semi-ancient.
Here's a Scientific American article I was asked to write about computer
software in 1984. http://www.vpri.org/pdf/tr1984001_comp_soft.pdf
There are a few hidden jokes along the way.
The stuff that is relevant to some of the current discussions is put to the
general reader at the end of the page marked "6" (the 4th actual page). I used
the just starting to be familiar idea of spreadsheets to explain the idea of
"zillions of concurrent reactive agents" acting like tissues of cells (blood is
also a tissue) to make very large systems.
(The examples were actually done in the earliest versions of Excel that MS
originally prototyped on the Mac with many phone calls up there to try to get
them to understand what they should really be doing with spreadsheets. Xerox
had already done a secret deep generalization of spreadsheets in Smalltalk for
the CIA -- implemented on PARC workstations -- and it was a bit of a challenge
to keep straight was was supposed to be kept secret ....)
Some of these ideas were fueled by previous work at CMU and elsewhere on
"forward (eager)" inferencing systems, by some of Ehud Shapiro's thoughts in 83
about what a Concurrent Prolog might be like (answer: much nicer than Prolog!),
by the first few notes about Linda, and by some work I did at the end of the
70s and early 80s about trying to "just retrieve" rather than sending messages
("pulling" rather than "pushing").
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