You don’t want pure

Thu Nov 30, 2017
~200 Words
Tags: programming

Typically, you prefer items to be made from steel, not iron. The difference, steel is iron with certain impurities. Stainless steel? Steel with other impurities.

Modern electronics are typically made with silicon, but not pure silicon. It is the impurities (dopants) that are key to tuning its electrical properties.

Pure water is dangerous to drink1.

I don’t know if this principle extends to intellectual or abstract ideas, but Haskell has do, and Rust as unsafe. Programmers’ search for purity doesn’t impress me. As much as they are interesting pursuits, too much engineering relies on finding the right impurity.


  1. So, this might be an urban legend. Still, it is less healthy that normal drinking water. [return]