Subject: Re: Packages
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2002 13:46:37 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* "Joe Marshall" <>
| In the years I have been hacking lisp, I have on many occasions cursed
| the package system, mainly for making me restart my lisp to undo whatever
| random damage happened when I read something in the wrong package.  On
| the other hand, I have *never once* had the occasion to say `Wow, damn
| glad that package system saved my ass on *this*!'

  How could it?  You have obviously never actually set it up so it _could_
  have saved your ass.

  But what I keep wondering, however, is why "save my ass" is a criterion
  for the value of something.  I have heard a few people argue that if they
  are bumbling fools and resoundingly incompetent, they are "saved" by some
  feature or another, and this is somehow valuable.  I think the opposite:
  I think if people are bumbling fools and resoundingly incompetent, they
  should crash and burn, the sooner the better, because saving them does
  only one thing: it makes it possible for them to continue to be bumbling
  fools and resoundingly incompetent.

  Have you ever heard anyone say "Man, I am so glad I have studied
  mathematics and acquired a mathematical way of thinking!  That has
  _really_ saved my ass!"?  If not, let us tear down the mathematics
  department at every university and burn the math books!

  How would you rate a medical doctor who exclaimed "I'm really happy I
  know the spleen.  That really saved my ass!".  I would rate him as
  dangerously incompetent, just as I rate your comment.

  But you are a Scheme freak, are you not?

  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.