On Pyramids and Creativity


Quoting A Conversation with Alan Kay:

If you look at software today, through the lens of the history of engineering, it’s certainly engineering of a sort – but it’s the kind of engineering that people without the concept of the arch did. Most software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.


Later in the interview:

All creativity is an extended form of a joke. Most creativity is a transition from one context into another where things are more surprising. There’s an element of surprise, and especially in science, there is often laughter that goes along with the ‘Aha.’ Art also has this element. Our job is to remind us that there are more contexts than the one that we’re in – the one that we think is reality.

For much more depth, see the full article on ACM queue.