Lisp — made with secret alien technology

The greatest single programming language ever designed. Alan Kay, on Lisp
Lisp is worth learning for the profound enlightenment experience you will have when you finally get it; that experience will make you a better programmer for the rest of your days, even if you never actually use Lisp itself a lot. Eric Raymond, "How to Become a Hacker"
One of the most important and fascinating of all computer languages is Lisp (standing for "List Processing"), which was invented by John McCarthy around the time Algol was invented. Douglas Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach
Within a couple weeks of learning Lisp I found programming in any other language unbearably constraining. Paul Graham, Road to Lisp
Lisp is the most sophisticated programming language I know. It is literally decades ahead of the competition ... it is not possible (as far as I know) to actually use Lisp seriously before reaching the point of no return. Christian Lynbech, Road to Lisp
Greenspun's Tenth Rule of Programming: any sufficiently complicated C or Fortran program contains an ad hoc informally-specified bug-ridden slow implementation of half of Common Lisp. Philip Greenspun
We were not out to win over the Lisp programmers; we were after the C++ programmers. We managed to drag a lot of them about halfway to Lisp. Aren't you happy? Guy Steele, Java spec co-author, LL1 mailing list, 2003
Lisp has jokingly been called "the most intelligent way to misuse a computer". I think that description is a great compliment because it transmits the full flavor of liberation: it has assisted a number of our most gifted fellow humans in thinking previously impossible thoughts. Edsger Dijkstra, CACM, 15:10
Historically, languages designed for other people to use have been bad: Cobol, PL/I, Pascal, Ada, C++. The good languages have been those that were designed for their own creators: C, Perl, Smalltalk, Lisp. Paul Graham
Lisp ... made me aware that software could be close to executable mathematics. L. Peter Deutsch
Lisp is a programmable programming language. John Foderaro, CACM, September 1991
Will write code that writes code that writes code that writes code for money. — on comp.lang.lisp
I object to doing things that computers can do. Olin Shivers
Lisp is a language for doing what you've been told is impossible. Kent Pitman
Anyone could learn Lisp in one day, except that if they already knew Fortran, it would take three days. Marvin Minsky
Programming in Lisp is like playing with the primordial forces of the universe. It feels like lightning between your fingertips. No other language even feels close. Glenn Ehrlich, Road to Lisp
Lisp is the red pill. — John Fraser, on comp.lang.lisp
The language God would have used to implement the Universe. — Svein Ove Aas, Road to Lisp
Lisp doesn't look any deader than usual to me. David Thornley, reply to a question older than most programming languages
Don't worry about what anybody else is going to do. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Alan Kay
To learn firsthand what all these folks are talking about,
continue on to Peter Seibel's excellent Lisp tutorial.
Alien logo based on graphics by Conrad Barski.