Lambda Protocols

A lambda function is a small, anonymous function used when it’s deemed unnecessary to develop (and thus maintain) a full function. The other day my partner and I accidentally worked out a lambda protocol.

I’m recovering from a rib injury but have returned to Brazilian jiu-jitsu practice. I tend to let my partner know when I arrive at the facility and when I’m coming home via text.

In the past I’ve returned from sessions early because of an injury. Recently, I’d come home early because of low session turnout but my partner thought I’d aggravated my rib. It was likely that the session I was leaving for shortly would be low turnout again. To avoid unnecessary worry, we established the following protocol:

  • If I was coming home early because of an injury I’d append a “:(” to my message
  • If I was coming home early because of an early finish I’d append a “:)” to my message
  • If there was neither “:(” or “:)” it was likely I’d forgotten about the above

This was finalised as I walked out the door. The other, similar lambda-style protocol we have concerns answering my partners phone calls whilst I’m on client calls for work. Here’s the protocol:

  • If my partner rings and I’m on a work meeting I’ll cut her call
  • If my partner rings back it’s urgent/there’s an emergency and I’ll answer

The above got me thinking about other lambda protocols that likely go unnoticed (and unanalysed) because they’re so seemingly minor and context dependent. Any other examples?

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