Subject: Re: On nil qua false [was: Re: On conditionals]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 15:34:23 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kenny Tilton
| No, implicit in my suggestion was the energy I saw being misdirected at
| defending CL, I gathered in the hope someday of greater use.

  Please let each person determine what is the "greater use" of their own
  energy, as long as it is not harmful.

| Given that goal apparently sought by others, I recommended more
| aggressive action crucially outside c.l.l.

  How do you know about happens outside c.l.l?  How would you discover that
  whatever it is you would recommend is actually done?

| I am on the fence. I would love to see CL take over the world, but I am
| not going to worry about it, I am just trying to do good work with CL.

  I would not like CL take over the world, because that which takes over
  the world, is taken over by the world.  Considering what the world does
  to other things it has taken over, it would be terrible, terrible fate.

| This is why Arc may be a wrong turn.

  I have briefly looked at Arc.  It is yet another demonstration of the
  problem of too strong an ego that cannot live with what somebody else has
  made.  Be it the standard conditionals, nil versus false versus the empty
  list, or whatever else this purportedly strong ego is too weak to accept,
  it is nothing more than proof of the core problem of the IT world -- the
  hardness of its pillars makes them brittle, not strong, so they cannot be
  used to build upon.  What was it that stood so much in the way that Paul
  Graham could not have accomplished it without creating a new language?
  Why was creating a new language and starting from scratch better than
  building on what had come before?  Why is the IT world defined by people
  who are unable to deal with the concepts of continuity, longevity, and
  design for long-term stability?  Why do they believe they are so much
  smarter than everything that has gone before them, when they clearly are
  not and repeat mistakes that take years to undo, if not replaced by
  another stupid "revolution" that itself starts from scratch?

  If people built societies the way computer people build communities, we
  would still live have small warring tribes and no concept of a law that
  binds all people and absolutely no concept of a constitution that binds
  lawmakers.  For all the talk about the Internet changing the world, we
  lag the real world by about 40,000 years when it comes to how we make
  lots of people who do _not_ agree to everything live and work together.

  Suddenly, I feel old and tired.

  The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture
  has taught you.  Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are
  more important to you than those in your past ever will be.  The world is
  changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.