Jason (jcreed) wrote,

For the sake of the 312 students being able to have something to play with relevant to the lectures coming up next week, I've been hacking on an implementation of a simplified version of the language described in "Modular Typechecking for Hierarchically Extensible Datatypes and Functions" by Millstein, Bleckner, and Chambers. Going pretty well so far, although I don't know if I'll finish tonight, as I had hoped to.

I read "Vagabonding" mostly last night and a little bit this morning: spillourguts had lent it to me. I think I had my expectations up too high, because I felt a little nonplussed by it at the end. The basic idea of it I really like, though: the concept of travelling, not as a tourist looking to check a load of monuments and curios off a list, but rather as a human being seeking to experience the difference of living more simply and more challenged by the essential foreignness of being alive --- the foreignness that is hidden by living in the same place (and I think all of the US counts as more or less "one place" culturally) for one's whole life. But the book, as a book, didn't really grab me. The prose was mostly oomphless and over-stocked with blandly-applied hippieish phrases like "open-minded". It felt too long by being repetitive, and too short by omission of various details I would have liked to have known about: not too surprisingly if you know me at all, I was really curious how he coped with language issues, and he was an ESL teacher abroad, so it's not like language issues were foreign or boring to him. Anyway. Great idea, middling book.
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