Knotty Geeks Episode 10 - The Fourth Way... is LISP!

Posted by: Jeremy Reimer on Sat Dec 11 10:58:52 2010.

We’re back! The weather has finally allowed us to venture outside to brave the scary world outside Wick’s Coffee. In this episode, we talk about the Gervais Principle, work/life balance, Timothy Ferris and the four-hour work week, Penny Arcade dissing the iPad, and somehow end up discussing... LISP? Is that the language with all the stupid parentheses?

Notes from the show:

Knotty geeks episode 10 notes

The Gervais Principle

http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2009/10/07/the-gervais-principle-or-the-office-according-to-the-office/

They actually produce, but are not compensated in proportion to the value they create (since their compensation is set by sociopaths operating under conditions of serious moral hazard). They mortgage their lives away, and hope to die before their money runs out. The good news is that losers have two ways out, which we’ll get to later: turning sociopath or turning into bare-minimum performers. The losers destined for cluelessness do not have a choice.

Timothy Ferris and the 4-hour work week

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/

Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard. It really doesn’t. Most people, my past self included, have spent too much time convincing themselves that life has to be hard, a resignation to 9-to-5 drudgery in exchange for (sometimes) relaxing weekends and the occasional keep-it-short-or-get-fired vacation.

The truth, at least the truth I live and will share in this book, is quite different.

The Fourth Way

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Way

Gurdjieff taught people how to increase and focus their attention and energy in various ways, and to minimize daydreaming and absentmindedness.

Tycho destroys (and then buys) the iPad

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2010/1/29/

That iPad presentation had to be the worst thing I’ve even seen on on the Apple stage. There is a part where they - I am not making a joke - there is a part where they try to make creating spreadsheets seem awesome. Jilted may be the word. Of course, we’re at the second wave of commentary now, the reflexive defense phase, but I’ve seen this practiced arc too many times to feel its pull. Apple didn’t make a case for the device.

Paul Graham on LISP

http://www.paulgraham.com/avg.html

So if Lisp makes you a better programmer, like he says, why wouldn’t you want to use it? If a painter were offered a brush that would make him a better painter, it seems to me that he would want to use it in all his paintings, wouldn’t he? I’m not trying to make fun of Eric Raymond here. On the whole, his advice is good. What he says about Lisp is pretty much the conventional wisdom. But there is a contradiction in the conventional wisdom: Lisp will make you a better programmer, and yet you won’t use it.










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