April 14, 2005

Recursion for Dummies

My mother is an accountant. In the process of becoming an accountant, my mother learned to divide the world into two kinds of people: People who get debits and credits, and people who don't. You can simplify this to: People who pass first semester accounting, and people who drop it.

No one fails first-semester accounting, except maybe the very, very lazy. You have to be really obstinate to fail Accounting Principles I, because what normally happens is, the people who've spent the first four weeks of the semester patiently explaining to their instructors that MY BANK DOESN'T DO IT THIS WAY, or (this was a personal favorite of mine) THE SMALL BUSINESS FOR WHICH I DO PENNY-ANTE BOOKKEEPING DOESN'T DO IT THIS WAY; the people inevitably concluding with the plaintive wail, "WHY ARE YOU DOING IT THIS WAY, WHEN THIS WAY IS SO CONFUSING!!!"--anyway, those people?

They drop out. They're anal-retentive enough at least to contemplate being accountants, which generally means they're also anal-retentive enough to memorize the drop dates and get out of Dodge on time, if Dodge ain't guaranteeing them an "A."

I have taken the long way around again just to reach the simple point that, with computer programming, and the mathematics that provide the framework for computer programming, either you get recursion, or you don't.

And you know, maybe you would have got recursion if only you'd watched more Sesame Street.

No, really.

Posted by Ilyka at April 14, 2005 09:34 AM in navel gazing

So to be helpful, here's a simple ilustration of recursion. If you've read Ilyka Damen's entry on recursion less than ten times, go to this URL:

Posted by: Precsion Blogger at April 14, 2005 04:45 PM

Which is exactly why the blogosphere won't ever collapse into a black hole of a dozen or so big blogs.

Recursion. Yep.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 16, 2005 09:08 AM

GNU's Not Unix

Posted by: fustian at April 16, 2005 03:41 PM

My ex-sister-in-law would have failed accounting 101 if not for my brother essentially taking the course for her (a lot of take home tests and homework). Yes, she really is that dumb. Luckily, we're now rid of her.

And recursion should be listed in every index...

with the page number of it's own entry.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at April 19, 2005 08:15 PM