Subject: Re: Harlequin was: Re: Is LISP dying?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/07/18
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pierre R. Mai
| So I think there are a number of Lisp jobs out there.  OTOH you probably
| have to be more flexible to take advantage of them (i.e. relocating,
| changing areas of interest, etc.), than for many other languages that are
| a tad more popular.

  in my experience, which is somewhat limited, but that may actually serve
  the point, certain areas of interest are best catered to by adding lots
  of manpower to their solution, areas which will be "popular" in the most
  obvious sense of the word, while other areas of interest will not attract
  people in great spades regardless of the monetary rewards, such as those
  that ask for significant dedication because of such things as very high
  risks, skill requirements, entry costs, etc.  if you choose one of those
  areas of interest, no manager in his right mind places silly demands on
  your programming language of choice and he will probably fire you if you
  choose "popular" languages subject to vendors who care only about the
  mass market and not about quality, unless his real plan is to fire you,
  anyway, only to replace you by someone equally uncritical of his tools.
  e.g., write some software to analyze the quality of the Y2K code that
  really _stupid_ managers have invested in some 20 years too late and now
  have lost control over to the point where the solution (fixing broken
  code with new, largely untested code written by the kind of people who
  think there's nothing wrong with ripping really stupid people off) opens
  up for even more costly problems than the problem.  if you can manage to
  write software that can identify vulnerabilities in newly added code by
  the turn of the century, such that people can use your tool to prepare
  counter-attacks or invest in security measures or schedule time in the
  court system when they know whom to sue for what and how much, you could
  stand to make more money in the remaining 167 days than you could in the
  whole of the next millennium.

  solution: find areas of interest not invaded by populistic opportunists.
  my suggestion is to avoid _any_ area where the solution space is covered
  by existing code.  on the other hand, generalizations where people make
  do with "menial" systems because of too varying requirements may be a
  good place to introduce intelligent programming languages.  e.g., while
  accounting and finance are pretty well known areas, you could figure out
  a way to plan for budget reallocation according as political conditions
  change (such as taxes) -- frightening amounts of human intelligence are
  wasted on beating the idiots who change the rules all the time.  such a
  tool might also help the idiots in power "visualize" the likely effects
  of their many proposals, which _might_ help us get less political idiocy
  beta-tested using people's lives.

  is it still "artificial intelligence" when the task is to model human
  stupidity, or would only preventing its devastating consequences get an
  "AI" rating?
@1999-07-22T00:37:33Z -- pi billion seconds since the turn of the century