However, it is interesting that species evolving on large land masses tend to be much more “competitive”.
Looking at islands is interesting. For example, consider the Italian wall lizards.
On the one hand, after being introduced to an island, they began evolving very quickly. Within a few decades, they “developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite”. On the other hand, after arriving they also completely wiped out the native lizard populations – so being a small lizard population on an island did not exactly work well long term.
That is a broad pattern seen fairly consistently. Another striking example is the rather one-sided Great American Interchange (South America had been an island for millions of years, while North American wildlife was North American/Eurasian/African).
Obviously you lose the point of an abstraction/metaphor if you start dissecting it. If there is any lesson to take from that, it’s the fairly obvious “don’t live on an island”.
Small groups can move and adapt quickly, but stay in the fray: make sure you remain competitive with the giants, and learn all the lessons that you can. It seems lots of languages are gaining better meta programming support, for example.
@ninjaaron Julia doesn’t have tail-call optimizations turned on, so [benchmarks dominated by recursive function calls] aren’t going to be broadly applicable.
But yes, I wouldn’t bet that a language compiled with GCC is slower either.
It is fantastic that great tools like GCC and LLVM exist, to enable incredibly talented folks to implement a new language, and have it be blisteringly fast on many different platforms without having to develop their own back-end.