July 15, 2007
Do Lisp Programmers Really Exist?

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Richard Johnson is a reporter/artist in Kandahar.

Do Lisp Programmers Really Exist?

There have been several attempts at proving the existence of LISP programmers. However, these have suffered from a serious lack of standardization. Nobody could actually say what this LISP programmer is or how he looks like. In the end, through considerable effort, most partisans of the LISP programmer theory have reached a common conclusion:

  • The LISP programmer is simple, without composition of parts, such as body and soul, or matter and form. Nevertheless, the LISP programmer is likely to take the shape of a parenthesis, should he incarnate.
  • The LISP programmer is perfect, lacking nothing, and is completely distinguished from other beings.
  • The LISP programmer is infinite. That is, he is not finite in the ways that created programs are physically or technically limited.
  • The LISP programmer is immutable, incapable of change on his essence and character.
  • The LISP programmer is one, without diversification. His essence is the same as his existence. However, despite being a single entity, he does have several persons belonging to the same being.

Immutable, you say.

Posted by jjwiseman at July 15, 2007 04:56 PM

I cannot tell if it's true about every LISP programmer (the object of the parody is actually Thomas d'Aquino's image of god) but I do have a proof. I was born slightly overweight and I'm still overweight, despite trying to overcome this for a while. I can't change this property so it looks like I am immutable :-P.

Posted by: Donkey on July 16, 2007 12:09 AM


sometime ago, when lisp seemed something mystic and sort of mythical, I asked a lisper, "so, are there actually any lisp jobs?", they directed me to lispjobs.com and I saw a dozen or so job advertisements.

The same person also once said on the topic of the existence of older programming languages being used

Something along the lines of 'if you can say its name, then the answer is always yes, someone is using it'

Among the languages I used to use, I also now (since recently) use lisp, more specifically Scheme.

It's not a matter of finding a lisp job but using a lisp to solve problems in a fun and elegant way, thus creating a lisp job.

Posted by: programmingredditdotcomaddict on July 16, 2007 02:20 AM

> Something along the lines of 'if you can say its name, then the answer is always yes, someone is using it'


Posted by: gwenhwyfaer on July 16, 2007 02:42 AM

So actually, Lisp really is the programming language of the Gods. God(s) is/are simple (in the sense of "not composed out of parts"), perfect, infinite, immutable and one, without diversification. Interesting...

Posted by: JW on July 16, 2007 05:09 AM

And any program who persists in this irrational and superstitious belief in the "Users" will be subject to immediate de-resolution.

Posted by: Jeff Read on July 16, 2007 08:34 AM

All destructive modifications are to be avoided (i.e. don't rplac me).

Posted by: iPaul on July 16, 2007 08:47 AM

@JW, sadly, even the gods hack things together with Perl - http://xkcd.com/c224.html.

Posted by: Wynand on July 16, 2007 01:58 PM
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