The whole idea behind CodeMash is to get people to learn something about languages, platforms, etc. that they don't typically use for programming, to "free their minds". I was thrilled to hear Brian Goetz express that sentiment in such a positive manner, in his interview with Chris Woodruff on the CodeMash podcast. Here's the quote:
"If you're able to program effectively in multiple languages, the space of designs that you can imagine is correspondingly greater, and knowing something about another language makes you a better programmer in the language that you are programming with because there are concepts and idioms that you may be able to borrow from. And so, I think it's a really exciting time because languages are interesting again and it's not a completely dead end activity to learn a new language that may not be popular yet." He also said that he came to CodeMash because "this conference embraces the diversity in programming languages, unlike other conferences that are focused on Java or focused on .NET".
Earlier in the interview, they had been discussing the interest in new languages such as F# and Scala, and Brian mentioned how thrilled he is that we have exited from the "dark age" where people programmed in only one language and didn't really delve into others. Brian explained that he doesn't necessarily believe that either F# or Scala is the "solution" to the concurrency problem, but that they may lead to other developments in hybrid languages that ultimately make their way into mainstream programming. That is definitely a reasonable consideration.