Subject: Re: MD5 in LISP and abstraction inversions
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Fri, 09 Nov 2001 21:43:22 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kent M Pitman <>
| 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.