Subject: Re: Lisp advocacy misadventures From: Erik Naggum <firstname.lastname@example.org> Date: 26 Oct 2002 19:47:31 +0000 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <email@example.com> * Kaz Kylheku | By far the biggest reason people write things in C is because they are | idiots who hold on to thirty year old misconceptions (and many of them | are not even that old, but they gladly inherit their misconceptions from | others before them). In other words, they express a deep-rooted desire /not/ to be different from anybody else, a deep-rooted desire to be /just like/ everybody else. People whose only distinguishing mark is that they are not different are fundamentally inconsequential. They will change when people around them change, insofar as they do not believe that they have a /right/ not to change because they think being just like everybody else is a /virtue/. In a world where almost everything except human nature has changed so much that an 80-year-old must have been /really/ mentally active all his life to be indistinguishable from an Alzheimer's patient, the kind of people who have a strong desire /not/ to think become not just a liability on their immediate surroundings, they force a change in how civilization can sustain itself when these people think they should have some power, and indeed /have/ some power qua mass consumers, where everybody is in fact just like everybody else and were being a minority costs real money if not convenience. So why do I not want Common Lisp to be a mass market language? Because this kind of people will want to exert influence over something that is good because it has been restricted to the "elite" that has made a conscious choice to be different from /something/, indeed to /be/ something. The very word "exist" derives from "to step forth, to stand out". To be just like everyone else is tantamount to not exist, to leave not a single mark upon this world that says "I made this". Likewise the people who form the mass do not want those exceptions, the minority that has decided to stand out, to /exist/. All the brutality of the mass hysteria against that which threatens the meaningless lives of those who do not wish to have any meaning to their lives illustrate with which vengeance meaningless people will fight the requirement to think, to form an opinion, an idea, a thought of their own, different from what everybody else have already said they would approve of. People who program in the main-stream languages because they are main-stream languages have yet to form the prerequisite concepts to say "I want to program in C". They have not yet developed an "I" who can actually want anything on its own. That said, there are things that I really miss from C. The ability to make full use of the one resource that is the most scarce in modern processors, the registers is sorely missing from the way Common Lisp has been implemented. If I had the time, I would seriously investigate other options for representing fixnums and pointers instead of just dabbling in an area where I once considered myself knowledgeable, but failed to keep up and it appears to be a full-time job just to catch up. *sigh* -- 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.