Friday, September 21, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

C. A. R. Hoare

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[About Pascal] That is the great strength of PASCAL, that there are so few unnecessary features and almost no need for subsets. That is why the language is strong enough to support specialized extensions--Concurrent PASCAL for real time work, PASCAL PLUS for discrete event simulation, UCSD PASCAL for microprocessor work stations.

 
C. A. R. Hoare

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There are two great men in history with whom he [Wittgenstein] somewhat resembles. One was Pascal, other was Tolstoy. Pascal was a mathematician of genius, but abandoned mathematics for piety. Tolstoy sacrificed his genius as a writer to a kind of bogus humility which made him prefer peasants to educated men and Uncle Tom's Cabin to all other works of fiction. Wittgenstein, who could play with metaphysical intricacies as cleverly as Pascal with Hexagons or Tolstoy with emperors, threw away this talent and debased himself before the peasants — in each case from an impulse of pride. I admired Wittgenstein's Tractus but not his later work, which seemed to me to me to involve an abnegation of his own best talent very similar to those of Pascal and Tolstoy.... [M]ental torments which made him and Pascal and Tolstoy pardonable in spite of their treachery to their own greatness.

 
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Pascal said that if geometry stirred us emotionally as much as politics we would not be able to expound it so well.

 
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I am a Christian which means that I believe in the deity of Christ, like Tycho de Brahe, Copernicus, Descartes, Newton, Leibnitz, Pascal… like all great astronomers mathematicians of the past.

 
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Previous to the time of Pascal, who would have thought of measuring doubt and belief? Who could have conceived that the investigation of petty games of chance would have led to the most sublime branch of mathematical science - the theory of probabilities?

 
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A few hours after this conversation, I found myself once more in the office of the Boulevard, seated in Pascal's den, and he was saying, "Already? Have you accomplished your interview with Pierre Fauchery?"
"He would not even receive me," I replied, boldly.
"What did I tell you?" he sneered, shrugging his big shoulders. "We'll get even with him on his next volume. But you know, Labarthe, as long as you continue to have that innocent look about you, you can't expect to succeed in newspaper work."

 
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