Farewell, John

John mccarthy

It’s been a horrible year for losing giants in the computing industry.

John McCarthy coined the term AI, and was highly influential in time-sharing systems (read: multitasking).

Now, I don’t write AI code, and I’m not an OS programmer, but John McCarthy’s impact on my life is nonetheless immense, because he invented the LISP programming language, and LISP powers Emacs. If a warrior lived and died by their sword, a coder lives and dies by their editor – I’m a tenth as productive in a mundane text editor as I am in Emacs, and LISP is a beautiful (if, to the untrained eye, inscrutable) language.