The Lisp Curse

“This essay is yet another attempt to reconcile the power of the Lisp programming language with the inability of the Lisp community to reproduce their pre-AI Winterachievements. Without doubt, Lisp has been an influential source of ideas even during its time of retreat. That fact, plus the brilliance of the different Lisp Machine architectures, and the current Lisp renaissance after more than a decade in the wilderness demonstrate that Lisp partisans must have some justification for their smugness. Nevertheless, they have not been able to translate the power of Lisp into a movement with overpowering momentum.

In this essay, I argue that Lisp’s expressive power is actually a cause of its lack of momentum…”