Subject: Re: CLOS is hard. Let's go shopping  (Was Re: Lisp in Python)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 28 Sep 2002 18:29:16 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Joe Marshall
| I'm just so tickled that this group attracts such a high caliber of people.
| How did we ever survive before?

  It is not this group.  It is Usenet in general.  Usenet in real life would
  be like this: Visit a public library with at least a million books.  (But
  For best results, visit a university library.)  Pick books at random.  Pick
  pages at random.  How many pages would you understand?  Do you complain
  vociferiously about this?  Do you blame the library for holding books that
  you do not understand?  Do you see lots of people flock to the library only
  to express their inability to understand random pages from random books?  Do
  they come back every day to sit down in "support groups" where one can say
  "I don't get this!" and get sympathy from another who says "I don't get it,
  either!", but then someone says "oh, that's nothing, look at what /I/ don't
  get!", and then they can all look at some pages from some books and laugh
  and ridicule the authors and the "confusing complexity" of what they cannot
  understand?  No?  Why not?

  Suppose we regard Usenet as an instance of democrazy¹.  People should have
  the right to voice their opinions, the more the less they know.  If someone
  does not understanding something, everybody can vote on it and forbid it.
  People who argue that it is possible to learn just about anything, because,
  they would argue, look at these people who have spent a decade or three on
  this topic -- they surely understand it, would simply be voted down by the
  vast majority who do not understand it.  Therefore, we can have public votes
  on whether carbon dioxide causes floods in Central Europe, tornados in North
  America, and greening of Sahara, and we can assume that all the people on
  this planet, the total mass of which is far exceeded by /ants/, the emissions
  of whose technology is far exceeded by the /intestinal gases/ of all mammals,
  the light and heavy metallic pollution of which has been far exceeded by the
  heavy bombardment of interstellar matter on our planet, the carbon dioxide
  and temperature levels of whose most active time on earsh has been usually
  stable compared to the wild fluctuations of times past, which evidently did
  not kill off anything but instead let things evolve, include us humans.

  The only people who could possibly be wrong about something are the experts.

  Yeah, this does indeed go to the "literacy" argument.  *Sigh*

¹ Intentional spelling variation.
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.