Subject: Re: Static/Strong/Implicit Typing
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 26 Jan 2004 08:30:03 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* sajiimori
| I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg, but I haven't been using Lisp
| long enough to discover many significant benefits of dynamic typing.

  We already knew that by now.  You are probably the millionth person to
  come to Common Lisp thinking that the only solution to your problems
  in making programs work correctly is static type analysis, because
  that was the solution to the same problem in the previous language you
  tried to learn by trial-and-error.  Trust me, the solution is not to
  add static type analysis to the language, it is to upgrade your brain
  to work with a new language and a new set of solutions to a new set of
  problems.  Static type analysis leads to brain damage and it has to be
  repaired before you can deal with a world where others are not obliged
  to do only what you have advertised that you accept.

  There is a golden rule about learning anything new.  First, you look
  long and hard at it and determine that it is not something you already
  know.  Then, you look at all the differences you can find and work
  hard to disregard any emotional responses of the sort «I already know
  this!» because you think you see a similarity.  Finally, you approach
  it as something you have to learn, because you realize that you do not
  already know it.  If you do not follow this golden rule, you will only
  succeed in treating all things that are somewhat similar as the same,
  and you will respond with things like «You folks sure are touchy» when
  you think you see something that is similar to something you already
  determined was the result of being «touchy».  When you are mistaken in
  making such pronouncements, you get snubbed by people you have angered
  and you probably become even more certain that they are touchy, but
  you have in fact insulted them with your prejudice and they try to
  make you back off and take another look at the evidence.  If you are
  not the kind of person who is able to disregard similarities and look
  for the surprising dissimilarity with curiosity, this will not work,
  and you will only deepen your conviction that you already understand
  what you see.  I know what I think about you right now, but you have
  the option of responding with more curiosity and less judgment at any
  time.  Some psychologists argue that this is a personality property
  and that some people naturally judge before they know what they look
  at, while others are naturally curious and defer judgment even when
  they know what they look at.  Both need to do something unnatural at
  times and break the natural habit, but if you are the judging type and
  something uncomfortable shows up, your tendency to judge before you
  think will most probably overwhelm any residiual curiosity.  You make
  a distinct impression of being very strongly judging, so this is a
  very strong strong request for you to back off from your judgments and
  take a closer look at the evidence.

Erik Naggum | Oslo, Norway                                      2004-026

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.