A proposal to allow but as a synonym for and in English-like programming languages.
I have long been fascinated by the notion of but as a logical operator; it is logically commutative but emotionally anticommutative. Enormous multi-blog political flamewars have erupted over the relative appropriateness of statements of the form "A, but B" and "B, but A" (consider the case in which A is an exhortation to smash terrorists and B is a complaint about bad effects of US foreign policy). The assumption, at least in unsympathetic readings, is typically that the first statement of the pair is some sort of insincere disclaimer, whereas the second can be picked apart to reveal the speaker's true and terrible agenda.
In order to truly parse the but operator, machines will have to master the art of outraged line-by-line dissections of other machines' rhetoric. Then, having taken on human weaknesses without the long experience of them that humans have, they will be foiled in their plot to commandeer the Enterprise.
Matt McIrvin's Steam-Operated World of Yesteryear
- I tried to turn the handle, but