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carl wells Permalink
December 06, 2012, 08:04

I just wanted to write briefly about Dijkstra's musical analogy of Mozart and Beethoven. I'm professional classical musician and know nothing at all about programming. I'd like to point out that it is false that Mozart wrote his music "in one go", and that he heard it all in his head and simple had to do the clerical work of writing it down. This is a myth perpetuated for some time even through forged letters in Mozart's name. I highly recommend reading "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin. He addresses Mozart (and Tiger Woods) and shows how they both were not demi-gods with innate talent, but rather both were trained by parents from an extreme young age, and worked incredibly hard. Of course this doesn't affect Dijkstra ideas, just that he was wrong about Mozart in particular!

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