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You can tell the programs written by the supporters of this ideology.
They start out something like this:

     local pairs, ipairs, print, tostring, getmetatable, setmetatable
         = pairs, ipairs, print, tostring, getmetatable, setmetatable

Yeah, that's going a little far. Everyone knows what ipairs is -- no
need to localize it.

I think the point here is to avoid being "monkey patched" - e.g. someone might chagne what pairs, ipairs, ... do affecting your module.

Effectively what Dirk is trying to say - is that there is so much global state, that you might have to learn with it.

To fully isolate from global state, the first thing you have to do is to capture (e.g. "un-free") all global functions, vars, etc.

I only wish there was easier way to do that in lua/luajit, a pattern along the line of "local something = something" to be just "import something" or "use something" or something like it.