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> 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.
APL is like a diamond. It has a beautiful crystal structure; all of
its parts are related in a uniform and elegant way. But if you try to
extend this structure in any way - even by adding another diamond -
you get an ugly kludge. LISP, on the other hand, is like a ball of
mud. You can add any amount of mud to it and it still looks like a
ball of mud.
        -- Joel Moses
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 <>
Lisp is the red pill.
              --- Seen in someone's sig
If you learn Lisp correctly, you can grok all programming styles with
it: procedural, OO, predicate, functional, pure or full of
side-effects. Recursion will be your friend, function references your
allies, you will truly know what a closure is, and that an argument
stack is actually a performance hack. You will see that the most
elegant way to solve a problem is to create a custom language, solve
the generic problem, and have your specific one fall out as a special
case. You will learn to truly separate intent from the bare metal, and
you will finally understand the two deepest secrets, which are really
the same secret, which we tell all, but so few understand, that code
and data are the same thing, but organize your data and your code will
              --- Mark Atwood, rec.arts.sf.written, Jan 2002
I guess, when you're drunk, every woman looks beautiful and every
language looks (like) a Lisp :)
              --- Lament,
Functional programming is like describing your problem to a
mathematician.  Imperative programming is like giving instructions to
an idiot.
        --- arcus, #scheme on Freenode
In all the ways that matter, Perl is by *far* the most CL-like
language I've ever used - far closer to it than Scheme or Python,
which are basically written by the kind of people who would rather
spend their time in some kind of monastry flagellating themselves for
crimes against Computer Science.
     -- Tim Bradshaw, c.l.l
Yo dawg, I heard you like lisp so I put a lisp in your lisp so you can eval while you eval.
 -- Lisp on reddit