Subject: Re: Question: macros and lambdas
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 28 Sep 2002 03:22:30 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Jacek Podkanski
| I thought that someone would know anyway. Someone replied to me:
| "the whole point of macros is that they let you do things that *cannot* be 
| done with functions". I think he is right, please correct me if I'm wrong.

  Sorry, but this is a game that I will simply refuse to play.  You appear to
  believe that other people can determine exactly what you mean by vague
  statements and "correct" you if you are "wrong", but they have no idea what
  you interpret these statements to mean (i.e., which consequences they have
  for your thinking and understanding), what you would need to be told to see
  something a different way, or where you went wrong, such that you could be
  corrected in an efficient and productive way.

| Please do not get me wrong. I do not want to start any Word War II, but it's
| a bit like catch 22.

  Whenever you see a Catch-22-like situation, you must realize that such
  situations do not actually exist and that you have become satisfied with
  their existence because you believe they may exist.  Your whole philosophical
  take on understanding the world around you is broken if you get into a Catch
  22 situation.  Zoom out, and you see the circularity that confused you and
  how feedback loops actually have other inputs, too.

| * It is meaningless until you are experienced, 
| * you can't get experience as long as things are meaningles

  This is so stupid there is no point in trying to help you.

| I thought I understood it before I saw this statement about lambdas and
| macros, I wanted to make sure I understand it right.

  Like so many other people who have trouble understand something, you appear
  to believe in acontextual knowledge and acontextual acquisition of same.
  There is no way you can resolve this problem except to understand how all
  knowledge is contextual and its acquisition is also contextual.  Random bits
  of knowledge that are not properly connected will work for quite a while
  because the human brain is fortunately so wired that it makes both context
  and connections implicit until you reach a certain level of abstractness of
  the things you want to learn and cope with.  When you cease to learn by
  doing, which contrary to popular belief is the single most inefficient way to
  learn anything, but can learn from understanding, which takes much learning
  by doing to become possible, your connections and contexts need to be made
  explicit and you need to think in terms of them.  You appear to be in some
  sort of in-between position where you just need to sit down with yourself and
  study how you know what you know and learn what you learn.

  Eagerness is good, but so is letting things come to you in a timely manner.

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.