Subject: Re: Rudeness index was Looking for Lisp compiler
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 07 Jan 2003 04:33:47 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Matthew Danish
| I have asked this very question on this newsgroup before: What would
| be a better name for CAR and CDR? [...]  If you can think of better
| names, I would like to hear it.

  All kinds of dual opposites would do.  Some well-known examples
  include up, down; top, bottom; charm, strange; west, east; north,
  south; in, out; blue, red; mit, psu; pgp, gpg; cbs, fox.

| (CAR and CDR also have the advantage that abbreviations such as
| CADDR for nested applications can be easily understood, though LHS
| and RHS have similar.)

  This is an anachronistic argument.  If the names were not similar in
  this way, the way to refer to other elements would also change.  For
  instance, you might indicate a position in a tree by the number of
  branches to skip on alternating left and right sides before you walk
  down a branch in the other direction.

| If you think that a data structure which simply contains two objects
| (and has been accepted by many as a basis for constructing singly-
| linked lists, among other things) is a design flaw, then your short-
| sightedness is absolutely astonishing.

  What of it?  Who cares?  He expressed his opinion and he appears
  extremely unlikely to change it.  Nobody would dream of taking it
  seriously if they had their wits about them.  Why do you?

| If you think that conses are the "basis of Lisp" then you seriously
| need to start reading.

  Why should he?  Geez, the guy is obviously so full of hot air and
  has such an inflated ego that it interferes with weather balloons
  and supersonic aircraft.

  Anyone who needs to figure out the comp.lang.lisp community should
  take notes.  The treatment Edward G. Nilges has received here shows
  a very deep and serious /concern/ for what people believe, not just
  about our (Common) Lisp, but in general.  Of course, telling people
  what they should believe is about as welcome as missionaries, but
  our conviction that We know what is true and They do not probably
  makes Us inherently oblivious to how They feel about it.

  I thought if I had inspired anything of importance, it was not to
  have and show concern for all things very strongly, but to detect
  idiots early.  If all this deeply felt concern for what other people
  believe is a product of my attempts to make people aware of what is
  /really/ true about Common Lisp and other things I know about, I am
  sorry.  You should have adopted my Moron Early Warning System, MEWS
  (so I am an ailurophile /and/ a punster; sue me), instead.

  But let us have another row over rudeness, again.  They're /fun/!

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.