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Elvis Chidera

The Night Watch — Essay Summary

summary, essay1 min read

The night watch by James Mickens is one of the funniest things I have read recently.

It talks about the struggles of system engineers in a fun and accessible way.

I won’t summarize because:

  1. The essay is quite short already (4 pages).
  2. I think everyone will enjoy the author’s humorous writing style.

My favorite paragraph:

You might ask, “Why would someone write code in a grotesque language that exposes raw memory addresses? Why not use a modern language with garbage collection and functional programming and free massages after lunch?” Here’s the answer: Pointers are real. They’re what the hardware understands. Somebody has to deal with them. You can’t just place a LISP book on top of an x86 chip and hope that the hardware learns about lambda calculus by osmosis.

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