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The central thesis is that the actual programming language (syntax, semantics, paradigm) doesn’t really matter. What matters is characteristics of the runtime — roughly, what does memory of the running process look like?
I personally feel the success of a language depends on how much its design goals resonate with potential users - the more people they resonate with the more chance of it being successful.
Sometimes those could be about performance, other times they might be about developer experience or all sorts of other things. If people want to use a language, and end up doing cool stuff with it - then your language doesn’t suck