Joe Armstrong interviews Alan Kay


I’ve watched this and got confused about what the point of the second half (not Alan Kay’s presentation) of the interview was. I was hoping to get information about Alan Kay’s OOP and Erlang’s actor model from the creators themselves but I don’t think they ever talked about that… or did I miss it?

Alan Kay is one of those people I will listen to, and if there is something I don’t “get”, I assume the problem is with me.

I thought Alan Kay’s philosophy regarding his view on slogans was brilliant. His story about discovering the necessity of it while talking with Xerox executives was hilarious. Slogan-making is story-telling in a nutshell, reduced to one catchy line. He himself admits there is an element of exaggeration – it’s simply part of the game, if you want to grab your audience’s attention.

As well, the anecdotes about Marshal McLuhan were great. His classic essay on McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” is well worth checking out:

For anyone interested, a guy doing thought-provoking work in this field now is David Hieatt in the UK, formerly of the cult clothing brand Howies. His stuff on story-telling and branded-content is very interesting, and I think his ideas are well-received in Silicon Valley (well, at least enough that he’s asked to give talks at Apple and Google).

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The goal was just to talk of things. Nothing else, nothing more.

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Here are a few (awesome :thumbsup:) videos of the Sketchpad program that Alan Kay mentions during this talk: