Subject: Re: type safety in LISP
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 09 Dec 2002 16:42:17 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pascal Costanza
| I have just given the counter-example under the assumption that
| Erik meant what he said.

  You continue to amaze me (which suggests that I should downgrade my
  expectations, I guess) in not understanding the difference between
  what people write and what you interpret it to mean, which suggests
  an absence of understanding, indeed /appreciation/, of interpretive
  processes.  How is this possible?  How can anyone fail to grasp
  that they have had to perform some /mental work/ to arrive at the
  meaning of what they have read and that this work /necessarily/
  embodies the influences of their own context, conceptual framework,
  and prior participations in the great dialog that is civilization?
  I fear that the conclusion is that no such work has occurred.

| In Guy Steele's example, the type checker obviously accounted for
| _all_ potential problems. This is what makes this quote so
| interesting.

  I am fairly confident that that is /not/ what he meant, as it would
  be a fairly retarded interpretation of what he wrote, and although
  people vary greatly in their performance although they usually have
  sufficient self-awareness not to publish sheer idiocy (with some
  glaringly obvious exceptions), I do not wish to insult Guy Steele's
  intelligence by assuming he meant such a thing.

| I didn't intend to disprove Erik's reasoning, I just wanted to
| point to an interesting counter-example.

  Amazing.  And you objected to calling it additional information.

| Actually I also think that static type checking does not help in
| most cases, why would I use Common Lisp otherwise.

  Because you do not practice what you preach?  Oh, sorry, there was
  no question mark.  Smart move.

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.