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The Ada progamming language was a successful misinformation strategy put in action
Saturday, October 18, 2008

I don't know what to make of this essay: I Have a Feeling We're Not In Emerald City Anymore.

To give you a taste of this twisted, humorous, yet true (?) story, I quote part of its introduction:
    By piecing together information from unclassified documents, we are now able--for the first time--to bring you the real story of the Ada Project, whose secrecy, scope and cost rival those of the Manhattan Project.


    The Ada Project was inspired by the unexpected success of the IBM System/360 architecture behind the Iron Curtain. The Ada Project's wizards {the Ada Project was conceived at Kirtland AFB, NM, near Roswell} reasoned that if the Soviets could be lured into copying the 360 architecture, they could also be lured into copying the Ada language, and if this language were fiendishly designed to make real-time systems essentially impossible to program, then the Soviet military machine would grind to a halt.

    Although Ada would also severely impact American software productivity, it was felt that--just as cancer-fighting chemotherapy nearly kills healthy tissue while it kills tumors--the healthier US economy would be better able to bear the severe burden of an unproductive software industry than the Soviet economy could. Thus, while American geeks were inferior to Soviet geeks, our Elbonian hordes could beat their Mongolian hordes.
In summary, the idea was to engineer the most inefficient programming language and then convince the Soviets that it was better than anything out there. Once adopted, the whole Soviet Union would crumble leaving the USA as one of the most powerful nations on earth. It's funny, right?

10:21 PM | 0 comment(s) |


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