Subject: Re: How to get a wider audience for CL
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 30 Aug 2002 00:30:48 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pascal Costanza
| This warning makes a newbie insecure.

  What this means is that there has been a dearth of teaching the necessary
  reading skills.  "Caveat lector" should be at least as important in people's
  lives as the caveat emptor that has entered our common vocabulary and the
  business ethics.

| Is it important if I'm typical? I can only repeat myself: There's always
| more than one path to enlightenment. The more paths you provide the more
| people you attract.

  But have you followed this dictum yourself?  You seem to be a firm believer
  in your past successes in learning programming languages, even though you
  appear to get the message that there is more to it than you have seen so far.
  You realize, I hope, that your article will be another non-reference-material
  resource on Common Lisp that you hope people will want to read when they
  desire to learn Common Lisp.  If you truly believed in the specification-only
  learning mode, it seems to follow that you would not have written this text.
  I take this to mean there is hope for your appreciation of other paths to
  enlightenment that may go through both historic and tutorial documents.

  One of the major attractions that Common Lisp offer me personally is that
  there is just so much in and around it that I would benefit from.  I came to
  the point of SGML expertise where (I thought) I would not be able to develop
  any further, where there would be nothing more for me to learn, and I found
  myself always helping people without the reward of learning anything new.
  This exhausted me and contributed strongly to abandoning 6 years of
  concentrated effort on something I have additionally come to think of as
  fundamentally braindamaged.  I decided to work in an area where the
  probability of dealing with people who were smarter than me was nonzero and
  the Lisp and Scheme worlds offer this in abundance.  To work in areas where
  the sum total of knowledge is acquirable in your youth may seem exciting to
  the youth, but to realize that you have wasted your most absorbent days on
  something that would bore you when you exhausted the supply of ideas is
  nothing but painful to the old.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.