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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Is that he actually did enough years ago to earn some serious respect. You probably aren't aware of it because you're not in the Lisp community. Therefore you haven't seen what he did there, or read the resulting classics like On Lisp.

    Back in the mid-90s he decided to show that his knowledge of Lisp was not just theoretical. With a group of fellow elite Lisp programmers (his co-founder was Robert Morris - you know, the guy who took down the entire internet back in the 80s) they founded a company that succeeded. He cashed out for several million.

    Since then he has gone on to be a venture capitalist. By my understanding he has been reasonably, though not outstandingly, successful.

    Whether Arc works out or not is pretty much irrelevant to me. (I haven't been impressed with the description so far...) He proved his technical chops a long, long time ago. He is as opinionated as heck. And some of his opinions have proven to be well worth thinking about. Not all, though. You have to read him with a critical eye and figure out what fits with your own world view. But he is hardly unique in that.

    And while he has been "away from the trenches" for a long time he occasionally still comes up with technical articles that are worthwhile. His essay "Plan for Spam" comes to mind. After that article a lot of useful Bayesian filters began showing up all over the place. As far as I can tell he was the guy who first tried applying those ideas to the problem of spam.