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Land of Lisp by Conrad Barski M.D.

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Where Does Lisp Get Its Power?

I’ve said that Lisp is a particularly powerful language. So what were the key insights that John McCarthy (and the other, later innovators of Lisp) had that made this power possible?

To make a programming language powerful, you need to make it expressive. Having an expressive language means that you can do a lot of stuff with very little actual code. But what traits does a language need to make this possible? I think there are two that are most important.

One trait is a lot of features built into the language. That way, for most things you need to get done, someone has already performed some of the work for you, and you can leverage that work to make your own code look pithy. Many modern languages have this trait. ...

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