Subject: Re: "Well, I want to switch over to replace EMACS LISP with Guile."
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 16 Oct 2002 22:37:58 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Steven E. Harris
| It's depressing to start learning about something new, only to find too
| quickly that there's nothing left to learn.

  Definitely true.  Look at it this way: If people hit the ceiling without
  having to invest enormous amounts of time on idiotic stunts like C++
  forces you to, they have an incentive to move to a different language
  instead of wasting away at the braindamage that I still think C++ is at
  the level where it could become most interesting.

| That is, hitting that "knowledge ceiling" too soon only leads to boredom
| and disinterest.

  But you have acquired skills and an interest in improving your condition
  that is much more beneficial than staying with a language that exhibits
  diminishing returns for a constant increase in effort.

| C++ keeps my interest where Java could not.  Common Lisp appears to offer
| a similarly high "ceiling" (perhaps with much earlier reward).  Hence my
| interest here.

  This is excellent!  I am truly happy to see this and your rationale for
  it.  But it also tells me that Java is a better language than C++ because
  you /did/ leave for greener pastures instead of staying in C++.

  If a field gives you a feeling that "I can do better than this" and lets
  you move on, it gives you freedom.  If you get stuck there with a feeling
  that "with only a little more work, I can improve on this", it is only
  restricting and confining.  Therefore, I would much rather give people
  Java and tell them to call me when they are exhausted than give them C++
  and never hear from them because they vanish into a maze of templates and
  meta-class programming and whatnot.  People who are happy to become the
  best carpenter in town are a different breed than those who want more and
  go on to become architects and hire lots of other carpenters and do new
  and exciting things.  I tend to think that it cannot hurt to spend a few
  years actually building houses if you want to become an architect, and if
  you get credits for your experience when you want to return to school,
  that is the most beneficial way to reward real experience.

  Do you have an alternative model?

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.