Subject: Re: count symbols in a list
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 02 Dec 2002 21:17:16 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Harald Hanche-Olsen
| Recent flamage aside, is there any particular reason you implement lists
| as a FIFO?  [...] The technique of keeping a copy of the end of the list
| to efficiently add new stuff is an important one, but to me it seems
| slightly obfuscated to do so unless it's really needed.

  The didactic purpose of that device has been entirely obliterated by nit-
  picking.  Instead of trying to get the /point/, relative to the original
  poster's request, choosing to nitpick this to death destroyed the ability
  of anyone, including the original poster, to figure this one out by an
  action of /thought/.  Blatant disregard for the purpose other people may
  have for what they do really pisses me off.  Besides, I wanted the student
  in question to be reprimanded by his teacher if the code was handed in.
  The idiotic responses I got to this example has truly shown me that on
  Usenet, you should /never/ try to do something that relies on the ability
  of people to shut the fuck up because they figure out what it is going on.

  I cannot /fathom/ why people are now trying to improve on my code.  What
  on earth possesses you to ignore the fact that the original poster had a
  clear and sound purpose with his question?  And who wants to post code in
  a milieu that lets not a single opportunity to "improve" on some code that
  has everything /but/ optimality according to such highly personal needs as
  its goal?  Normally, people are able to avoid explaining everything they
  want to do in high-resolution detail, but if every single didactic example
  or presentation has to explain enough to the eager bystanders that they
  want to curb their enthusiasm for correcting and improving others for no
  reason whatsoever, every single answer with code becomes like a published
  thesis in complexity for the author.  What the hell is this /good/ for?
  There is a level of egotism in the need to correct others and a level of
  egoism in ignoring the purpose of the article they "correct" according to
  other purposes than it was written that betray a fantastically hostile
  attitude to people who want to encourage people to /think/ about something
  as stepping stones to achieving an understanding of the questions they
  actually asked.  Some fucking dimwit always has to butt in and destroy any
  setup and derail the discussion that could have led the original poster to
  a realization that said dimwit obviously does not share, solely because
  they think they can "contribute" even though they absolutely fail to grasp
  the point of what they are criticizing.

  "I may be mistaken, but the present-day writer, when he takes his pen in
  hand to treat a subject which he has studied deeply, has to bear in mind
  that the average reader, who has never concerned himself with this subject,
  if he reads does so with the view, not of learning something from the
  writer, but rather, of pronouncing judgment on him when he is not in
  agreement with the commonplaces that the said reader carries in his head."
                   -- José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, 1929.

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.