Subject: Re: Destructive Side Effects
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 03:48:29 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Thomas F. Burdick
| Heh.  I don't think it's Lisp as much as usenet that causes fuses to
| shorten.  God knows I get a short fuse if I don't kill Foderado's
| threads.  But it is kind of funny that you don't come across outraged
| Perl hackers that often ... maybe they just get so used to being wronged,
| having to deal with that horror of a language all day long, that they
| stop fighting back?

  There is also a difference between the proverbial bull in a china shop
  and a bull loose on a garbage dump.  You would spend rather more energy
  getting rid of the former before it damaged something valuable than you
  would the latter.  You might even tolerate more "collateral damage" if
  what you protect is really beautiful than if it is butt ugly.

  It takes close to a genius to make a serious improvement on Common Lisp,
  but if you can open doors and cross streets without help, you could
  improve on Perl and make modules that help people open doors and cross
  streets who cannot do it on their own.  Perl was created to solve those
  problems that were caused by real and artificial stupidity -- file
  formats created by morons, log files that were almost completely useless,
  idiotic incompatibilities between programs, etc, whereas Common Lisp grew
  out of the problems of artificial intelligence.  Coming from opposite
  corners of the problem space, it is no wonder that the solutions are at
  opposite ends of several axes, including the smartness of their users.

  Perl hackers do not get angry with stupidity and ignorance -- they thrive
  on it.  More stupidity, more code, more job security.  Common Lisp
  hackers keep looking for the elegant solution.  More genius, less code,
  more real, labor-saving solutions.  Consequently, the Perl community
  should _welcome_ morons because each moron would bring something valuable
  to the community: The more morons keep churning out stinking, rotten Perl
  code, the more popular books on Perl become, the more slightly smarter
  Perl hackers can take over from the morons, the more "market" there is
  for people who can fix moronic Perl code, etc.  Perl is the embodiment of
  a vicious circle if there ever was one.  Bringing Perl attitudes to Lisp
  is not a good thing, but people all over the industry are brought up to
  be incredibly _unthinking_ these days.  The moral obligation to be
  intelligent is not exactly appreciated.  Perl and C++ thrive on the lack
  of desire to solve the right problem, and _anybody_ can solve the wrong
  problem.  Common Lisp grew out of the need to solve the right problem and
  consequently people who want to solve the wrong problem in Common Lisp
  only piss people off because it wastes everybody's time.

  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.