Subject: Re: A Philosophical Diversion
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/10/12
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (David Steuber "The Interloper")
| There must be something to this language.  Ok, it isn't a mainstream
| language.  In fact, it seems to be one of the obscure languages that if
| you asked a VB programmer about it, he would say, "never heard of it."

  I would argue that there _are_ no mainstream programming languages, only
  mainstream applications, with their attendant languages.  in other words,
  you don't choose VB, you choose some Microsoft product that has VB in it.
  you don't choose C, you choose Unix.  you don't choose C++, you choose
  Windows.  you didn't choose Pascal, you chose a Macintosh.  all of these
  inferior languages are chosen as _adjuncts_ to something else.  Common
  Lisp is the first programming language I have chosen in its own right.

| The other major consideration is this.  What is a computer programming
| language for?  It is a way to allow the human to express a program in a
| way that is closer to human style thinking than machine style thinking.
| Based on this, what makes a good programming language is something that
| makes it as easy as possible to express a program in some form that can
| be translated into what the machine can process.
| Because of that human thinking portion of the equation, computer
| languages will probably always be the subject of religious wars.

  as long as you keep thinking in religious terms, your understanding of
  rationally founded emotive responses will be seriously restricted.  act
  as if religion and organized irrationality does not exist, and try to see
  the reasoning behind what you previously labeled "religious".  _lots_ of
  interesting properties of human thinking will reveal themselves.