Programming ≈ Fun

Written by Krešimir Bojčić

Lisp Is the Red Pill of Truth

If you are not a movies fan, just to clarify that title is referencing movie that Keanu Reeves was playing in. It’s not that famous one about the bus that needs to maintain speed over 50 MPH (I forgot the name, according to reddit it’s called “The Bus That Would Not Slow Down”).

It is referencing that other movie about computers and shit.

I can tell you that Lisp is indeed the red pill of truth. If you happen to live in a world where you think all languages are equal, you need to check out Lisp.

Since Lisp has EVERYTHING it will be a real eye opener. After that experience you will gain the ability to properly rate your current technology.

Case study

For example you may not know what destructuring is. Chances are that if you are just a bit like me, you are living in a perfectly happy world, oblivious to the existence of destructuring.

Than the Clojure comes along. You see that superb demo with green dots on screen and you say “Wow, I need to learn this in order to improve my app that has 10 users”. (And yes, Clojure is Lisp enough for me). Then in chapter 1 you get exposed to the destructuring, and now you know.

You’ve been given the bitter red pill of truth.

But who can blame you for being curious after seeing Clojure in its full glory.


Now you can gauge how your favourite language stacks up. It usually ends badly for you current favourite, but at least you know where you stand at.


Does this make Lisp superior? I don’t think so. My mental image of Lisp is swiss army knife with ALL the gadgets that Wenger ever made.


It does not peel the apple faster, nor it is easier to handle. OTOH that giant knife sure is handy if you need “Spring-loaded, locking flat nose-nose pliers with wire cutter”.

One thing it’s superior at is being used as a check list for ALL the stuff.

In conclusion Lisp is great at blowing your mind (since from the first second of exposure you get bombarded by ideas from some really smart people) and it is great as a language-meter. That’s why it reminds me of a red pill from “The Matrix”.

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