Subject: Re: one small function From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 02:31:15 GMT Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Nils Goesche | Hm; sad. But, do you think this is the fault of the book? Ideas influence people in sundry ways. Books that are written with the purpose of expanding on a particular idea is always responsible for the readers and their reactions. The ultimate example is what religions call their holy scriptures -- they are credited with giving people a sense of meaning in their lives. Various other books have had the same effect on people, such as Atlas Shrugged. When something bad happens to people who "believe" in these books, a lot of people claim that the religion, book, etc, had nothing to do with it. | Maybe some people just /are/ stupid, or maybe it is possible to pass the | course without understanding the book, I don't know. Gee, I would to like visit your planet. Here on earth, stupidity is the most common mental illness and it has no cure. Intellectual laziness is the result of the dramatic absence of any need to think for the common citizen, so most people get by unexercised, just like they do with their physical well-being. I think "fathead" is very descriptive. | Sorry for insisting like this, but I really think it's a good book and | keep recommending it to people, but I wouldn't want to create new Scheme | fanatics that way, of course :-) The book is actually a very good read _after_ you understand much more than it tries to teach and have the background knowledge to keep it in context. It puts things into a context of its own that differs greatly from other contexts that you cannot expect people to have. Many books that have "influential" ideas work this way because they are somehow "detached" from the world people normally experience and live in, yet "explain" things to them with stunning clarity -- which is not hard if you do not have to be bothered by the real world. In this way, it is far easier to tell a wonderfully elegant lie about something that is not than it is to find elegance in what is. I mean, Hollywood would not _be_ if it had not always been easier to tell a wonderful story than to live a wonderful life, but believing that one lives in a Hollywood world does people a lot of harm. Likewise, not understanding that SICP tells a wonderful story can seriously hurt the immature mind. /// 2002-08-09 -- In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none. In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.