Subject: Re: newbie asks: why CL rather than scheme? From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 14:54:24 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Erik Naggum > But a university should reject anyone who is unable to deal with facts > that run counter to their expectations, indeed all of their old beliefs. * Robert Strandh | I have reasons to believe that such behavior can be altered, at least to | some extent. Thus, rather than rejecting theses students, we should | accept them and try to change their behavior. If that fails, however, | they should be rejected. I have to concede that such patience has significant merits, but that does not mean I possess it. :) | http://dept-info.labri.u-bordeaux.fr/~strandh/Teaching/MTP/Common/Strandh-Tutorial/psychology.html Interesting. I have recently been reading about cognitive dissonance¹, the theories about which I think explain how people deal with information that runs counter to previously held beliefs and how some people believe only the first thing they hear about something and thereafter reject any and all information that would contradict it because of the sense of conflict created by the contradiction. To me, this explained why people believe that Lisp is interpreted and slow -- it was the first thing they heard about it. This is also why I thought this community would find it at least somewhat interesting to have many people's first contact with "Lisp" through an encyclopedia be somewhat less concerned with spreading the old myths. It seems from this cursory exposition about performance-orientedness that those who "suffer" from it are very concerned with not being exposed to counter-information to _their_ first-learned techniques, whereas the perfection-oriented seek out counter-information that could improve what they know about the world. It seems to me therefore that the coping strategy for cognitive dissonance is related to performance- or perfection-orientedness. I have long wondered if different programming languages appeal strongly to different personality types. It appears to me that, e.g., Perl is the ultimate language for the performance-oriented and Common Lisp is much more suited to the perfection-oriented than, e.g., Scheme is, where "performance" is achieved in terms of how small the language can be made, how fast it can be learned, etc, so any intellectual curiosity that could make the language "bigger" (even if there would be a smaller language on the other side of some more research) would be rejected a priori. For someone who wishes to "get started", Scheme appears to have a stronger appeal than Common Lisp, whereas those who are personally interested in becoming better programmers, as opposed to create the "perfect" language according to some one-axis metric, would choose Common Lisp. This would explain another aspect of the difference between the communities and why I think bringing performance-oriented solutions into Common Lisp has been a serious detractor from getting _my_ job done. If I understand this correctly, 90%-solutions are no good if you are perfection-oriented, but are great if you are performance-oriented, /// ------- ¹ http://cognet.mit.edu/MITECS/Entry/lepper.html You have to be a subscriber to get the full text of the article, which is included with the actual book. -- 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.