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Re: Mathematica daily WTF (programming everything

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  • Subject: [mg115234] Re: Mathematica daily WTF (programming everything
  • From: DrMajorBob <btreat1 at>
  • Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2011 18:50:34 -0500 (EST)

Real-world systems (and simulations thereof) are usually like your  
example, full of side-effects captured in databases.


On Tue, 04 Jan 2011 03:24:26 -0600, Richard Fateman  
<fateman at> wrote:

> On 1/3/2011 12:57 AM, Andrzej Kozlowski wrote:
>> In any case, I cannot think of any scientific or mathematical problems  
>> that
>   can be more naturally formulated in terms of "side-effects" than in  
> terms
> of "functions". Perhaps they exist and I my bias is due to several  
> decades
> of doing mathematics but I seriously can't think of a single example.
> Can you provide one?
> Surely this argument has been expressed by proponents of purely
> functional programming languages, for which they have provided
> mechanisms to get over the difficulties.
> OK, here is a problem:
> simulate a stock market, where you have 1000 stocks with prices.
> Every time step your program surveys 100,000 traders who wish
> to buy or sell some number of shares of one of the stocks at
> some price.  When you find a match, namely compatible sell/buy
> price and compatible number of shares, update the ownership of
> the 100,000 traders to reflect the transaction. Do this forever,
> periodically taking a snapshot/ backup of the situation, and
> logging all transactions as they occur.
> I think AES had other examples in mind, simulating dynamical systems
> or something.

DrMajorBob at

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