* Recursive Blogging

In which we learn about the limitations of Google Reader Shared Item Notes.

In tribute to my favorite software class at MIT, I have a recursive logo. The logo – an airplane in a circle – appears in the tail of the airplane. So it’s a logo in a logo. In my MIT class, 6.001 (i.e. “Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs” – but everybody refers to it by number not by name), we learned Scheme, a dialect of the LISP programming language. One of our assignments was to write a Scheme interpreter in Scheme, to learn about the recursive features of the language.

So this blog post is a little experiment in blog recursion for my friend Rick Klau, who has been part of an ongoing conversation taking place primarily via the Notes feature of Google Reader Shared Items.

This will make more sense if you subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items or one of my other social networks.

And I promise to get back to more normal topics (branding, trademarks, domain names) shortly.

Tags: @intersectionfail

9 Replies to “* Recursive Blogging”

  1. Recursive Blogging

    Posted on : November 06th, 2008 in Clock Tower Law Group, MIT, Weblogs by Erik J. Heels

    In which we learn about the limitations of Google Reader Shared Item Notes.

    In tribute to my favorite software class at MIT, I have a recursive logo. The logo – an airplane in a circle – appears in the tail of the airplane. So it's a logo in a logo. In my MIT class, 6.001 (i.e. "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" – but everybody refers to it by number not by name), we learned Scheme, a dialect of the LISP programming language. One of our assignments was to write a Scheme interpreter in Scheme, to learn about the recursive features of the language.

    So this blog post is a little experiment in blog recursion for my friend Rick Klau, who has been part of an ongoing conversation taking place primarily via the Notes feature of Google Reader Shared Items.

    This will make more sense if you subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items or one of my other social networks.

    And I promise to get back to more normal topics (branding, trademarks, domain names) shortly.

    Tags: @intersectionfail

  2. You, my friend, are a geek. (Doubly so after I saw the first comment to your post.) Which is a wonderful thing. 🙂

    Scheme. I tell people about that all the time, even though I never took 6.001. If I had MIT to do over again, I would take 6.001. One of my few life regrets. Oh well.

    teri 🙂

  3. Peter (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/0/543/4) said that I should include an example of recursion from our 6.001 LISP (well, Scheme actually) class at MIT. So here’s the classic example, the definition of factorial:

    (define (factorial n)
    (if (= n 1)
    1
    (* n (factorial (- n 1)))))

    So the function factorial is defined in terms of itself. The factorial of n is the product of n and factorial of n minus 1. This function grows linearly – O(n) – in time and space (memory). Here’s how the factorial of 3 is calculated:

    (* 3 (factorial 2))
    (* 3 (*2 (factorial 1)))
    (* 3 (*2 1))
    (* 3 2)
    6

    So there you have it.

    The 6.001 course is online as part of the MIT OpenCourseWare project:
    http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Electrical-Engineering-and-Computer-Science/6-001Spring-2005/CourseHome/

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