I learned many new things from James Iry’s brief history of programming languages. For example, while I’ve used Lisp for some time now, I had no idea of how it all began:
John McCarthy and Paul Graham invent LISP. Due to high costs caused by a post-war depletion of the strategic parentheses reserve LISP never becomes popular. In spite of its lack of popularity, LISP (now “Lisp” or sometimes “Arc”) remains an influential language in “key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension”
Condescension has never made my programs run faster, but it’s what makes writing them worthwhile.