- Firstly, surely Common LISP is more widely used in industry than Erlang? A not-so-scientific datapoint: comp.lang.functional (which is where most Erlang discussion takes place) has 27500 threads according to Google groups, whereas comp.lang.lisp has 78600. Granted the cllers are generally a community that is traditionally quite USENET active, and also have a long history, but I think the numbers are pretty indicative of the relative size of the communities.
- And second Haskell was not descended only from Miranda, but also there were other lazy FP languages among its ancestors, including the first functional language I learned, Phil Wadler's Orwell language (which was the language Oxford's Mathematics and Computation degree used for it's introductory course back in 1988, mainly, I think, because of it's support for natural equational reasoning about correctness and program transformations). They deserve credit.
One of the threads that I have found interesting here on recentlog is discussion of news sources. If discussion of political views proper causes more heat than light, perhaps discussion of which are the better news sources is more productive? Here's a suggestion: post links to the two or three most interesting articles on Iraq you have read this year; my choices would be:
- Blessed Are the Warmakers?, a debate between Richard Perle and Daniel Cohn-Bendit appearing in the most recent edition of Foreign Policy: for me, this really cast light on Richard Perle's position. I find Perle's optimism about the USA's ability to remould the region to be the most frightening and dangerous aspect of the gaggle of motivations that drive the GWB administration.
- Casuistries of Peace and War: an article at the London Review of Books that does an excellent job of summarising common pro- and anti- war positions.
Continuing in this vein, I'd like to recommend this book review by Orville Schell of Eric Alterman's "What Liberal Media", a rebuttal of conservative arguments that the USA media is dominated by leftists, conveniently summarised here. Alterman also runs one of the most interesting political blogs, altercation.
Postscript: Patriotism and Dual-loyalties
Well, I couldn't resist it for long: I am going to break my short-lived resolution not to write any political soapbox messages, and weigh in on a political issue. At the moment there is a lot of fuss being made in the USA about groups of citizens with "dual-loyalties", especially Jewish Americans whose patritoic feelings for the USA are "compromised" by their feelings of loyalty to Israel, so they advocate pro-Isreali policies that are not in the USAs best interest. I think this is a pernicious idea. Feelings of affection for your country and fellow citizens are a good thing, so to that extent I think patriotism is a virtue (those who doubt that patriotism is ever a good thing should read what George Orwell has written on Reverse Nationalism), but "absolute loyalty" to your country is an evil, rightly condemned by the infamous phrase "my country right or wrong". Divided loyalties are good: when one feels ones loyalties to different groups pulling in different directions, this should be a call for rational reflection and introspection. Most importantly, we should cultivate a sense of feeling for mankind in general, the virtue that Goethe called seeing yourself as a "world-citizen" above that of the citizen of any nation. The virtue of loyalty to what is good in your nation should be tempered by a feeling of shame for the particular evil deeds that each nation is guilty of.