Haskell Time Travel

February 8th, 2007

There is something very cool about a language in which the easiest, most direct way to explain how it solves a problem is to say, “When we pass the output of [this function] into the input for the oracle we are actually sending the data backwards in time. So when [the code] queries the oracle we get a result from the future.”

Sweet.

The story goes on to say, however, “Time travel is a very dangerous business. One false move and you can create a temporal paradox that will destroy the universe (which in this case means that the computation will diverge). When programming with values from the future, it is important never, never, to do anything with the values that might change the future. This is the temporal prime directive.”

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  1. Jim

    Hi John. I don’t think you will change the future with this. I went to the article.
    Good programming will have a nominal value set, then when the dynamic data is ready it will be a true computation. Results will be meaningless until real time data (or predicted data if a simulation or model it the purpose of the routine) is available.
    Testing can be done by simulation using a set of nominal values within the expected range of the real time data.

    We did this a little at NASA back in the 60s and 70s but back then we had to conserve precious memory. Too we had to keep in mind that computers were fairly slow and realtime application of formulas should be kept as simple as possible.

    Brighter topic will be your winter scenes. They are beautiful. My saying is visit the midwest in the winter but don’t stay.
    ..

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