One of the deepest mysteries in the functional programming world is the Y-Combinator. Many have heard of it, but few have mastered its mysteries. Although fairly useless in real world software, understanding how the Y-Combinator works and why it is important gives the student an important insight into the nature of functional programming.
Join with us on this journey of understanding. Be prepared to curry your functions and bind your lambdas as we delve into the whys and wherefores of this paragon of functional programming. Although you will probably never have a need for the combinator, the effort put forth to understand it will improve your functional programming chops. This talk is not for the faint of heart, but the successful student will be richly rewarded.
Also, you will understand why "Y-Combinator" is the perfect name for Paul Graham’s start-up funding company.
At the end of his talk Jim references Tom Stuart’s talk "Programming with Nothing" which can be found here:
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