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Stephen Kellett wrote:
Don Hopkins wrote:
On the "too many parens" excuse for disliking Lisp: so why do you use XML and HTML? They have TWICE the number of parens, which are pointy instead of rounded, but lots of people seem to use them anyway. So "too many parens" is just a convenient and shallow excuse for disliking Lisp that avoids examining the real issue.

Not at all. My comments are based on 2 years of battling with parens and constantly getting the number of closing parens wrong. You don't find me making comments about Prolog because I haven't used it. Admittedly my experience was nearly 20 years ago, but unproductive things like that leave a big imprint. I avoid languages that I find unproductive.

As for the rest of your comments. Its an unusual theory, I'd never even thought about the name of the language before that.

Were you typing in Lisp code on punched cards or something?
I suggest you find a text editor that knows how to balance parenthesis, and you will never have that so-called problem with Lisp ever again. Most of us are already using intelligent text editors, so Lisp syntax presents no problem whatsoever. Welcome to the 21st century! Do you know of any text editors that really understand the precedence rules and syntax of C++ or Perl, without actually having a full blown parser (like Eclipse parses Java as you type it)?

Answer this question: do you hate XML and HTML twice as much as you hate Lisp, because they have twice as many parenthesis?

The fact that you've never consciously thought about the name of Lisp before, but you still have knee-jerk problem with parenthesis from 20 years ago, just goes to support my theory about the cognitive dissonance of the name "Lisp" and many people's unconscious internalized homophobia. You certainly can't deny that many people have problems with rationally thinking about homosexuality. Case in point: Idaho's Republican Senator Larry "Wide Stance" Craig (and the many other gay closeted Republicans who are publicly anti-gay).

The definition of "cognitive dissonance":

Cognitive dissonance is a psychological term describing the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time, or from engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs.

In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs.

In popular usage, it can be associated with the tendency for people to resist information that they don't want to think about, because if they did it would create cognitive dissonance, and perhaps require them to act in ways that depart from their comfortable habits.

They usually have at least partial awareness of the information, without having moved to full acceptance of it, and are thus in a state of denial about it.