[plt-scheme] Great books on algorithms?

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Fri Nov 9 09:57:22 EST 2007

I believe Matthias is obliquely referring to the following.



The Blind Men and the Left Paren

Shriram Krishnamurthi
(with apologies to John Godfrey Saxe and to Indian fable)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Left Paren
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Left Paren,
And happening to fall
Against its broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Left Paren
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling up the tip,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of a Left Paren
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the curvature,
And happening to take
The paren amidship in his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Left Paren
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about inside.
"What most this delimiter is
Is mighty plain," he cried;
"'Tis clear enough the Left Paren
Is very like a slide!"

The Fifth, who chanced by near the edge,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of a Left Paren
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the dangling tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "lexically,
'Tis very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in Lisp and logic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what linked closures mean,
And prate about a Left Paren
Not one of them has seen!


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