Coders: Can't Live With Them; Can't Bend, Fold or Spindle Them. A Turing Play in One Act by Exapno Mapcase
Exapno Mapcase: Welcome to Mapcase Computing. I like to talk to all of our new hires their first day on the job.
erik150x: I've been looking forward to this talk.
EM: Your personnel records show that you're highly qualified.
erik: I have an MS in Computer Science, also studied physics for quite some time and have always had an avid interest in all the sciences including math. I know perfectly well intuition is always right.
EM: [stunned, whispers to himself] Intuition is always right? [aloud] Anyway, I'm sure you'll love working here. We've developed the Mapcase Super Infinity Computer. Not only does it use Mapcase hardware but we wrote Mapcase, a language to use specifically on it, just to handle infinities. Mapcase will allow users to solve problems that were intractable on any other system. In fact, Mapcase is built right into the firmware for maximal efficiency. There aren't even provisions for allowing other compilers, so no other language will work on it.
erik: Great, so you don't mind if I do all my work in Fortran, right?
EM: Fortran? I'm sorry, but while that may have been a fine language for its time what we've developed since far outstrips any capabilities it has. We can get quick answers to problems that would take forever in Fortran. Besides, Fortran just won't run on this computer. You have to write in Mapcase.
erik: No problem, Fortran it is.
EM: Fortran it isn't. I told you, it can't work on this system. Even if you somehow got it running the answers spit out would be gibberish.
erik: Not so. I did a few test runs and here are my answers.
EM: [reads the printouts] But these are gibberish.
erik: Oh, you may think so, but when I read them I think they provide a much better answer.
EM: Not for me, and I run the place and lay down the rules. I say if you want to work here you have to write in Mapcase.
erik: Fortran. Got you.
EM: Not Fortran. If you think you can come up with better answers go find a machine with a Fortran compiler and do all the work you want in Fortran. But seriously, erik, it can't work here. That's the way things are set up. All my workers agree, and believe me, they're experts. Even the guy who takes naps with his head under the desk and his feet in the aisles that you'll keep tripping over is an expert. Some of them are old enough to know Fortran too and they'll also tell you it won't work here on these problems.
erik: I hear you. Just answer one question.
EM: [sighs] All right. What's your question?
erik: Since the answers I get in Fortran are so superior to your answers, why don't I just keep working in Fortran until the day I die?
EM: [Bends, folds, and spindles erik.] There's your contradiction that makes this all false.