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    john backus Quotes

    They don't like thinking in medical school. They memorize - that's all they want you to do. You must not think.
    — John Backus
    tags: thinking  school 
     
    Much of my work has come from being lazy. I didn't like writing programs, and so, when I was working on the IBM 701 (an early computer), writing programs for computing missile trajectories, I started work on a programming system to make it easier to write programs.
    — John Backus
    tags: work  lazy  writing  write 
     
    You need the willingness to fail all the time. You have to generate many ideas and then you have to work very hard only to discover that they don't work. And you keep doing that over and over until you find one that does work.
    — John Backus
    tags: time  work  ideas  fail 
     
    Von Neumann languages do not have useful properties for reasoning about programs. Axiomatic and denotational semantics are precise tools for describing and understanding conventional programs, but they only talk about them and cannot alter their ungainly properties. Unlike von Neumann languages, the language of ordinary algebra is suitable both for stating its laws and for transforming an equation into its solution, all within the "language.
    — John Backus
    I, myself, have had many failures and I've learned that if you are not failing a lot, you are probably not being as creative as you could be -you aren't stretching your imagination.
    — John Backus
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