Angry Jesus writes:
We all know that python is slower than compiled languages like C. But what can you do about it? Jake VanderPlas, director of research in the physical sciences for the university of Washington's eScience institute, digs into python's internals to explain how it works and what program design choices you can make to use python efficiently.
I have no idea whether your friends are right, but even if they are, actually writing a Python-to-Lisp translator would still be a lot of work. Probably more work than justified by the gain it would give them. Especially if their programs just don't need that runtime optimization. For example, speeding up code that spends most of its time waiting for I/O is generally useless.