Subject: Re: On nil qua false [was: Re: On conditionals]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 15:56:10 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erik Naggum
> Get over your personal hangup and just accept the language for what it
> is.  _Nothing_ will _ever_ happen to the language just because you keep
> having these problems.  Nobody is interested in your lack of will to
> accept the language while you are learning it.

* Andreas Bogk
| Can anybody explain to me why some people regard the Common Lisp standard
| as gospel?

  Well, why do you regard it as gospel?  Why do _you_ think in such terms?
  Explain this, and you will be much closer to the wisdom you seek.

| What happened to the spirit of continuous improvement that has led Lisp
| through the decades?

  The keyword here is "continuous".  At some point, some people decided
  that the only way to achieve improvement would be through discontinuity
  and revolution, through many meaningless changes they could achieve some
  small meaningful one.  These people have only succeeded in one thing: To
  instill this meme in so many people that they do not even _try_ to make
  continuous improvements, anymore.  Whey they fail again and again to
  achieve improvement with their revolutions, they argue that stronger and
  more powerful revolutions are necessary, when in fact it was the idea
  that revolutions are necessary that caused them to fail.  Smaller egoes
  and more purpose would have made them succeed, because what they need to
  succeed with is not to build a whole new world from scratch, but to make
  those who already live in one to accept their improvements.  If they do
  not, accept that, too, and try again.  Accepting defeat is perhaps the
  only true evidence of personal strength.  Refusing to accept defeat and
  believing that if you only try the exact same thing again over and over
  you will some day get a different result, is simply the insanity of weak
  minds that refuse to let go of their one chance at success and greatness.

  Every bit of progress has cost thouands of setbacks, but each did in fact
  not set the whole industry back because one did _not_ start from scratch
  with every "invention".  Because of the continuity, one built upon what
  already existed and found an acceptable way to achieve one's goal until
  the underlying changes were being made by those who were motivated by the
  success of the visible changes.

  The past is not more important than the future, despite what your culture
  has taught you.  Your future observations, conclusions, and beliefs are
  more important to you than those in your past ever will be.  The world is
  changing so fast the balance between the past and the future has shifted.