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Preliminary thoughts:
1. Despite pooh-poohing of efficiency, I consider it extremely important.
Generic operations are hard to compile without a clever compiler AND
declarations.  I cringe at the thought of CAR doing a type dispatch
that goes to the same place 99% of the time.

2. I agree with Jonathan that this should be delegated to "package hackers"
for the time being.  This will have the desirable effect of
keeping them from grabbing the short names for sequence
operations.  I have never felt the slightest need for a
"sequence" abstraction, and it certainly isn't going to clarify
my thoughts for CAR, LENGTH, et al.  to be forced to be about
this new abstraction.

A spiel I have delivered before: A language succeeds because of the
abstractions built into it.  LISP has succeeded because of lists,
and T must retain this orientation.  I sense that some are ashamed
of these things, or feel they are old fashioned.  Practice feeling
proud of list structures.  If someone asks what you are doing, don't
say "AI research," or "Building abstractions," say, "CONSing list
structure, and proud of it!"

3.  Whatever is done, don't for God's sake use vertical bar to
signal a generic operation.  Vertical bars are used to
bracket symbols with odd print names in Maclisp and its
descendants.  T should go along with this.  (If anyone wants the
relevant read macro, I have it.)