lisp macros and lisp fanatics.
[original g+ post https://plus.google.com/b/116187821854023674058/116187821=
as you may know, i think lisp macro is one of the most idiotic thing
in computer science. (and cons, and lisp's IRREGULAR nested syntax)
i've wrote perhaps 10 articles on this, and been arguing with lispers
for about 10 years.
still, once in a while, out of the blue (or, as Naggum says: crawling
out of the woodwork), i got some comment or email, criticizing my
criticism on lisp.
the degree of quality, and what i can guess of the person's programing
experience/knowledge varies. Some, are your average reddit/hackernews/
slashdot/freenode-irc hacker/idiots who repeat the same old shit of
now, i am a hacker type (despite my loathing of the term =E2=80=9Chacker=E2=
I've been reading online stuff avidly (and much of it printed books in
1990s) since 1991. If they just pay a little attention, they would
know this. Sometimes it goes like this:
Xah Essay: 1+1 is 2, and therefore 1+1+1+1 is 4.
Hacker fanatic: Idiot! Before you talk about 4, you should know that
1+1 is 2. [citation on 1+1=3D2 here]
although, some, after reading i think lots of my essays, and typically
they have good lisp experience, may still not agree on what i say.
Yet, they still sometimes argue in a way i think i already made it so
it's not unlike, religion. Sometimes, doesn't matter what, but to a
fanatic, all facts are already decided. God exists, only if you open
one interesting question is that, sometimes i do ask some non-trivial
questions. Some are about some technicality of lisp (say, requiring
someone to know compiler well to answer. (know compiler really well,
as if written a respected text book, a professor teaching it, or
implemented a popularly used one, not, some student who studied
compilers or wrote a toy one. (and i feel sorry that i even have to
mention this))) Sometimes my question is about lisp history that
requires non-trivial research.
However, whenever i ask these question, i got NO response on the
question. Quite unfortunate. (this is rationally understandable,
because, my questions, are often research level questions, and those
who are capable of answering it, normally do not hangout in online
forums or write anything public on something they are the real expert,
the other thing is, these lisp fanatics who argue with me, almost
never showed expertise in another functional lang. (again, expertise
means real expertise. i.e. you worked in a day job for 5 years writing
OCaml, Haskell, Erlang, Mathematica, etc. Not, =E2=80=9Coh i read the lang =
i think this is wrong and that is wrong.=E2=80=9D LOL)
but, after getting frustrated about this and thought a lot about this
situation, i think this situation isn't particular to me. It's been
thousands of years in human society. It's a problem of education, in
publication, in communication. Countless before me have ran into the
same problem, the problem of dealing with fanatics, ignorance, or, the
problem of education, or, the problem of persuasive communication,
problem of cults. (here, assuming that my essasy are mostly correct)
It's rather not a problem per se, but a on-going human activity.
=E3=80=88Programing Language: Fundamental Problems of Lisp=E3=80=89
=E3=80=88Computing Culture: What's Hacker?=E3=80=89