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If you're interested in improving your skills and you read HN a lot, you're probably saying to yourself: 1. I wish I could improve my Lisp and 2. I wish I knew more about compilers.

Read Norvig's "Paradigms of Artificial Intelligence Programming." It proceeds through various early AI problems, which are good motivation. It shows how to solve some of them directly, then moves on to solving them with interpreters for DSLs, and finally shows how to speed up those solutions through compilation. The problem-specific portion of the code gradually gets smaller, more powerful, and faster.

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