Subject: Re: Difference between LISP and C++ From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 16 Oct 2002 14:54:19 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * arien <email@example.com> | I've been told that Lisp IS an interpreted language! | Now I'm even more confused. This may be a turning point in your life. In some ways you have been lucky, but you have mostly been unlucky. Your first brush with a lie can be a riveting experience. When you first notice that somebody was less than truthful, outright misleading, or even told you something that was hurtful to you, many questions arise in your mind. Why would anyone lie? The sad answer is that people have no reason to lie. People get a reason to tell the truth and to spend time and effort to find things out when they discover that doing so has even greater benefits in society than to lie and cheat, but the history of mankind has generally been about not telling the truth. Why would anyone pass on a myth that they could not back up by fact? Sadly, again, they have no reason to do this: it is the prevailing default behavior. People do not generally think unless they have been shown the great benefits of thinking. It has actually happened that people have become the president of very large countries without realizing the benefits of thinking. Thinking is hard work. Sorting true from false is hard work. If this is your first experience of a lie, of people who only parrot what they have heard unthinkingly, of people who have not yet experienced the great benefits of telling the truth and of thinking about what they say, I almost envy you, but only /after/ I spent so much time agonizing over /why/ people would lie and only /after/ I saw that people lie all the time and they do not have any reason to do so. Lying is the default human action. Telling things how you want them to be (without being particularly conscious of it) is much /easier/ than getting up every morning to spend the whole day making enemies with others because you want to know the truth and they want to tell lies. So be not confused. Many things you have been told have been lies. In fact, most of what you have been told should really have turned out to be wrong if you acted on what you had been told and checked to see if things developed as they would have if what you were told had been true. This takes time and effort, but so many more interesting things happen when you make that effort. If you want to know what is true about Lisp, just watch this newsgroup. People who tell lies and spread misinformation are quickly corrected, and if you hang around long enough, almost all the lies will be debunked and what you have left is a pretty good approximation to the truth. But just as in life in general, even most people here will not have thought very carefully about everything they say and will repeat myths and confusions in the service of maintaining a consensus of views, which is very useful, even when the consensus thus built is based on misrepresentations. The only result of wanting to debunk all the myths is that people think you are out to start trouble and will invent all sorts of stupid lies to tell about you, instead, so the price one pays for wanting the most correct technical environment is one where a lot of people who do not care about the truth when it does not serve their immediate needs will tell lies about something non-technical. Note how many discussions in this newsgroup are all about people telling stories about me. This is a pretty good indication that I have exposed them as liars and frauds and careless people who tell stories instead of thinking and caring about the truth. But at the very least they won't be telling lies about Lisp while they tell lies about me. This means that the remainder of this newsgroup is mostly true, and if it is technical, very likely the best answers you can get. Still, do not /believe/ what you are told, think about it and spend the time and effort to sort out the true from the false. We'll be here to help debunk myth after myth and falsehood after falsehood. So in a way, you are very lucky to have found us and it is good of you to notice that what you have been told is wrong. Welcome to Common Lisp. -- 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.