Subject: Re: newbie asks: why CL rather than scheme?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 14:54:24 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* 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.  :)


  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

  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,

  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.