Brother Railgun of Sweet Reason (sebthecat) wrote in lisp,
Brother Railgun of Sweet Reason
sebthecat
lisp

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Better programming through slow reflexes?

Work with me here:

Working well in Lisp involves a particular style of thinking. It comes more naturally to some, less so to others. I'm particularly aware of this after spending the last decade working around Java programmers who are largely terrified of the complexity that they see in Lisp - all this interplay between functions to think through. To me, it's the reverse: in Java and the like, I see thousands of finicky little concrete details and a profusion of arbitrary rules, all of which must be memorised or constantly looked up, and a plodding, procedural style of programming. My point here, it's important to emphasise, is not flamage but the contrast between these perspectives: they like lots of little details and many discrete steps, where I prefer axioms from which I can extrapolate, plus the ability to factor out repetition.

Physically, my reaction speeds are very average, possibly verging on subnormal; a fencing coach once told me that, where you measure most people's reactions with a stopwatch, what I need is a calendar. My fondness for playing with things that can hurt me really badly taught me to compensate for this, by learning to anticipate how things are about to play out. It's actually worked very well; people often perceive my reflexes to be distinctly quicker than usual (yes, Jedi reactions of a sort).

It's only just dawned on me that these two things might just possibly be linked.

Does this ring a bell for anybody else here, or is this just a flukey case where lemons sort of happened to ferment in the right way?
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