Subject: Re: MD5 in LISP and abstraction inversions From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 21:43:22 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Kent M Pitman <email@example.com> | We made CL in the believe that being standard was more powerful than | being uniquely right. I believe the best notion of what is right will emerge by itself if you keep the definitely wrong away. Evolution works this way: Contrary to popular belief and the statement "survival of the fittest", a much more accurate description is "early death of the unfit". Among all the weird ideas people get, weed out the bad ones early, and whatever is not bad enough to stand out as monumentally stupid at the time may have enough merit to make a difference somewhere down the line. Believing in the survival of "right" leads to _really_ bad social experiments. | So we nailed it down. We're supposed to have moved beyond those things | to new areas to bicker about. But this requires people who are cognizant of the necessarily political nature of _every_ community consensus-forming process and who are not irrationally allergic to forming networks of agreement with other people despite the lack of a "uniquely right" way. People _cannot_ agree on what is right -- that would starve a community of every opportunity to evolve. They _can_, however, agree on what is _wrong_, and if they can limit that to that which is _definitely_ wrong, the more room there is for things right. However, it does require that people in the community are able to listen when their suggestions fall in the "definitely wrong" category. So far, nothing suggests that the if* stunt, _including_ its abject rejection and attempt at full replacement of _all_ the standard conditionals in the language, if, when, unless, case, typecase, etc, is going to avoid falling in the "definitely wrong" category, mostly because it does nothing but add some redundant noise to cond and is no _actual_ replacement for or _definite_ improvement over anything. It is simply an irrational stylistic issue (the part about rejecting everything else), and a historical accident perpetuated for irrational reasons. "Move on" is precisely what we should do, but, unfortunatley, it require that the perpetrator of this silliness respects when the community rejects him. So far, that that is _not_ going to happen is the only thing we know about the current situation. /// -- Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate. -- Carrying a Swiss Army pocket knife in Oslo, Norway, is a criminal offense.