Attack a sacred Python Cow

Jordan jordanrastrick at
Thu Jul 24 17:17:36 CEST 2008

> You're not a lunatic.
> We, and Python itself, change quite readily.
> Neither of those mean your ideas in this instance have merit.

You're right, these premises don't lead to this conclusion. Neither do
they lead to its negation, of course.

As it happens, you're wrong on both counts. I do in fact suffer from a
mental illness and have spent a week in a psych ward, so am a lunatic
by some reasonable definitions. Python readily changes in some
regards, but not in others. Of course, a great many things of worth
have this as one of their essential qualities.

Pithy replies are fun.

> Thanks for your opinion. I disagree strongly: I think its influence is
> nicely balanced by the other important principles that are also
> followed.

This isn't just being clever, there's substance here. A clearly stated
opposing position, with a decent if somewhat short justification.

I think you're right insofar as you go - that if someone really sits
down, and thinks clearly about all the Pythonic principles, as a
whole, and in detail, then the net result in the shaping their
thinking will be positive more often than not.

Perhaps we're just looking at an instance of a wider problem - smart
people boil good ideas down into short slogans, which are nice and
memorable and somewhat helpful, but can lead to bad consequences when
lots of others start overusing or misunderstanding them.

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