Re: META: Recommendations for a 13 year old transhumanist

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Sat, 08 May 1999 22:18:05 -0500

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:


> I would recommend learning Java *first*. Java is probably the
> best-designed language around right now, and the one that will start out
> by teaching you the right programming ideas. Reading a Perl book, and
> paying particular attention to all the arcane features, is an excellent
> introduction to Old High Hackerdom, meaning Unix and whatnot; also, Perl
> is the present language of the Web - although Java servlets are coming
> up fast. If you want to write actual GUI applications, or anything fast
> and smooth, there's basically no choice but to use C++.

To make it clear which parts I *know* and which parts I *believe*:

At the dawn of time, I typed in extremely simple programs in Basic and Logo. At about nine, I think, I wrote a few simple programs in Hypertalk. I don't count any of this as "learning to program".

I learned to program in MOO (text-based virtual reality, object-oriented, secure, interpreted, cooperative environment), and I've got around a year of experience in that. Then, I wrote my first GUI program in C, because it had to run in 32K - don't do anything like this if you can help it! Then, I got six months worth of Java. Then I started on C++. My highest level of expertise is in C++, a few years worth; I can do the possible elegantly and the impossible via black magic.

I can do a little Javascript and CGI.
I can read programs in Perl and Common Lisp.

Haskell, BETA, APL, Eiffel, and Scheme - theoretical knowledge only, but they're still fascinating.

The only OS I presently have any experience is the Macintosh, but I've fallen in love with BeOS and I intend to switch over as soon as I can back up my computer. It's easy to see that BeOS is infinitely superior. I don't have any actual experience, but it's utterly obvious that BeOS is The Right Thing, the OS I've always wished I had, and I can't wait to get started. (Sound irrational to you? Take a look at BeOS.) As far as I know, it's the only object-oriented operating system.

--          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.