SICP vs The Necronomicon

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs The Necronomicon
Author Abelson & Sussman "The Mad Arab" Abdul Alhazred
Published 1984 730 A.D
Also known as The Wizard Book, The Purple Book Al Azif, The Book of Dead Names
Found in the library at MIT Miskatonic U
Dedicated to The spirit that lives in the machine The Great Old Ones
Contents Abstraction, recursion, interpreters and metalinguistic abstraction Certain ideographs linked with the most blood-curdling and blasphemous whispers of things that had had a kind of mad half-existence before the earth.
Quotes "Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute." "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even death may die."
"Introducing assignment into our programming language leads us into a thicket of difficult conceptual issues." "Great holes secretly are digged where earth's pores ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl."
"The evaluator, which determines the meaning of expressions in a programming language, is just another program." "Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate."
(define (map proc items)
  (if (null? items)
      (cons (proc (car items))
            (map proc (cdr items)))))
"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn."
Critics say "It changed the way I think about my profession."
-- Peter Norvig
"Reading leads to terrible consequences."
-- HP Lovecraft
Further reading Lisp in Small Pieces, Essentials of Programming Languages De Vermis Mysteriis, Unaussprechlichen Kulten


SICP is an excellent computer science text and one of the bibles of the Lisp / Scheme world.

The Necronomicon is a fictional grimoire that appears in horror writer HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos.

Per Jacobsson, June 2010