Note this is now at scheme-fortune-cookies

This page is in the format of a fortune file. Every entry should be delimited by a single % on a line of its own.

> What's so great about the lambda calculus? 

In a profession plagued by, "when all you have is a hammer, everything
looks like a nail," we get really excited when someone is able to come
along and prove that everything really *is* a nail if lambda is the
You're posting to a Scheme group. Around here, arguing that Java is
better than C++ is like arguing that grasshoppers taste better than
tree bark.
        -- Thant Tessman <> in comp.lang.scheme
> Can we quote you on that?

A long time ago, someone in the Lisp industry told me it was poor form
quote people; it suggests that they lack value.
        -- Kent M Pitman <> in comp.lang.lisp
LISP is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will
have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better
programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use
LISP itself a lot.
        -- Eric S. Raymond
Pascal is for building pyramids - imposing, breathtaking, static structures
built by armies pushing heavy blocks into place.
Lisp is for building organisms - imposing, breathtaking, dynamic structures
built by squads fitting fluctuating myriads of simpler organisms into place.
        -- Alan J. Perlis, in the Foreword to SICP
Its a shame that the students of our generation grew up with windows and
mice because that tainted our mindset not to think in terms of powerful
tools. Some of us are just so tainted that we will never recover.
        -- Jeffrey Mark Siskind <> in comp.lang.lisp
Years ago at an X conference in San Jose, Ousterhout gave a talk on Tcl/Tk.
I came away from the talk think "Man, what a poorly implemented Lisp
interpreter that is!"
        -- Mike McDonald <>
It is cruel to compare the Lisp machine with a bunch of PERL
hacks. Especially when you know that the Lisp machine pioneered things
like generic networking (which nowbody has - even nowadays),
distributed objects, has been used to control all kinds of devices
(from capture boards to massively parrallel computers like the
connection machine), had stuff like remote 3d graphics rendering a
decade ago, and all this was actually implemented in Lisp in a sane
way (not glued together).
        -- Rainer Joswig <>
If you give someone Fortran, he has Fortran.
If you give someone Lisp, he has any language he pleases.
        -- Guy L. Steele Jr.
Lisp is a programmable programming language.
        -- John Foderaro
> [prolonged debate about why other languages are better than Lisp]
> Typed languages and modularization have their advantages.
Lisp is strongly typed and modularised - this does have advantages I agree.
        -- Chris Double <>
maybe you can revive the lisp used in the old "abuse" game?  (i'd offer
pointers, but i'm sort of afraid of typing "lisp abuse" into a search
engine. :-)
        -- thi <> in comp.lang.lisp
Parentheses?  What parentheses? I haven't noticed any parentheses
since my first month of Lisp programming.  I like to ask people who
complain about parentheses in Lisp if they are bothered by all the
spaces between words in a newspaper...
        -- Kenny Tilton <>
Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming: "Any sufficiently complicated C
or Fortran program contains an ad-hoc, informally-specified bug-ridden
slow implementation of half of Common Lisp."
I am reminded of Gregor Kiczales at ILC 2003 [the International Lisp
Conference] displaying some AspectJ to a silent crowd, pausing, then
plaintively adding, "When I show that to Java programmers they stand
up and cheer."
    -- Kenny Tilton <>