Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

23 Apr 2006, 13:29 p.m.

The Proto-Schemer

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Scheme and me in this week's column.

Lisp has considerable status among programmers. Growing proficient in Lisp, the conventional wisdom goes, is like learning Latin or Greek; it teaches rigor and elegance in thought. It helps you grasp the essential patterns, challenges and creativity of programming a computer. A culture surrounds this language, as a culture surrounds any language, and the Lisp community is regarded as smart and snobby. Maybe coders as a whole regard Lispers as I regard particularly obnoxious geeks: infuriatingly smart and arrogant, as though they have discovered the true scheme of the world.