I remember someone asking on here what a good permacomputing language would be to be to learnβ€”to make sure their software would still run in, say, half a century’s time.

A lot of people recommended C. I deliberately kept out of the thread because I didn’t want to disturb anyone or start an argument.

I would recommend Common Lisp. Lisp was discovered in the 50s, and many Lisp programs written from decades ago still run with zero, or minor modifications today.

This is my humble suggestion. There are many benefits to using Lisp as a permacomputing language, such as strong typing, remarkable simplicity of its grammar, and, by its design, exhibits much less undefined behaviour.

@vidak That sounds great to me.

On the other hand, computing is still in its infancy, so it may be a bit early to be talking about "permacomputing".

@freakazoid yeah, I agree I supposeβ€”Alan Kay said that computing is still in its infancy for sure.

I don’t think it’s too early to be talking about permacomputing, though. It’s my belief that civilisation is going through the early stages of collapse. I am not a β€˜prepper’, but I do think we need to be planning for computation that is very, very low power and can run on eWaste.

I think there’s lots of evidence for following this line of activity.

@vidak I think that's an interesting exercise regardless of the reason. Even if there isn't a complete collapse, climate change is happening, and it's going to cause various kinds of resource shortages and social instability. A CME the size of the Carrington Event would cause massive, widespread power outages and other failures that could take months to fix.

And teaching people to reproduce our industrial base from nothing also teaches skills that are useful regardless.


@vidak My 9 year old and I go for a walk at lunch time most days, and he talks about things that interest him, mostly video games and apocalypses. He was speculating the other day on whether the coming apocalypse was going to be nuclear war or zombies and I told him the apocalypse was already happening, and that it's a "slowpocalypse."

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@vidak A 9 year old definitely doesn't want to hear that the apocalypse they're waiting for is already happening and that it's super boring and annoying.

@vidak Incidentally, we're only going to be able to survive for so long on the leavings of a collapsed civilization, so if we want to continue to have computers we need to figure out how to synthesize chips!

@freakazoid yes! I believe people like Sam Zeloof and Jeri Helmsworth (??) can do it in their backyard!!

@vidak I assume you mean Jeri Ellsworth from Cooking with Jeri.

I suspect we're going to need some kind of breakthrough in order to be able to produce ICs economically, though. The equivalent of modern 3d printers or something.

@vidak Additive manufacturing has not yet made much of a mark on the production of electronics. There's clear potential there, though.

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