Pragmatism is hated

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

Should Sparta surrender to Athens and thus survive to fight another day, perhaps when Persia decides to subsidize its war? Should we give up our dignity and get by with what we can in the present moment? Should we give up on a pure Lisp and use a bastardize version? These are the questions that have haunted humanity since the beginning of time (circa 1958).

Loper is not happy:

Clojure is the False Lisp, which Reeketh of the Cube Farm. A Lisp unworthy of the name; one which encourages users to pepper their code with calls to opaque routines having no underlying Lispiness. A Lisp which barfs Java stack traces. It promotes – no, mandates – the use of undigestable foreign matter in Lisp code: primitives on which you cannot pop the hood to reveal intelligible innards.
I don’t care if everybody really is more productive in Clojure than in Common Lisp. The latter is not my standard of comparison (Symbolics Genera, the state of the art, is. Or, if you want something that is distinctly inferior but is currently available on the market: Mathematica.) Clojure is the gutted and zombie-reanimated corpse of a dream.
The cult of Good Enough which seems to pervade all of modern computing has finally chewed its way through to the Lisp community, with Clojure as the result. I am tired of this abomination being hailed as the future of Lisp. Aficionados of real Lisps, such as myself, will keep hoping, dreaming, and working on systems which do not betray the original virtues of the language.
Symbolics Genera remains the gold standard of programming systems. Though largely forgotten, it can never be un-created. My standard of comparison for any technology will always be everything previously achieved by mankind, rather than what is available on the market today.