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What the Hell is Symbolic Computation?

"symbols" and "quoting": for many programmers coming from non-Lisp languages these are new, foreign concepts that don’t really map back to anything in their previous experience.

This post is an attempt to explain what symbols actually are and what quoting does.

One book that does spend more time on this is the appropriately-named Common Lisp: A Gentle Introduction to Symbolic Computation. If you’re looking for a good introductory Lisp book, that’s the one I’d recommend.