Friday, September 6, 2013


Alan Kay is a creator of Smalltalk and can, from personal experience, can describe the tape format the Air Force used in its payroll systems in 1959.

Mr Kay makes a point about the amount of code in a system by comparing the amount of stone in two buildings, the Parthenon and the Chartres Cathedral. Although many times the volume of the Parthenon, the Chartres Cathedral was built with less material. See

Parthenon measurements
69.5m (228 ft) length
30.9m (101 ft) width
13.7m (45 ft) height
29729m cubed

Chartres Cathedral
130 meters (430 ft) length
 32 meters (100 ft) to 46 metres (150 ft) width
113 meters (370 ft) height
558220m cubed

Similarly, in the realm of human ability, IQ is not a defining limit. In another video, Alan Kay compares Michelangelo to Henry Ford and points out that although Michelangelo was quite a bit smarter than Henry Ford, Ford was able to power the vehicles he built whereas Michelangleo's vehicles never functioned. Mr Ford lived in a different century and had a different outlook and this gave him an advantage over Michelangelo's IQ.