Subject: Re: Stalin is not a cool name for software From: Erik Naggum <email@example.com> Date: 1998/12/01 Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> * Josh Gardner <email@example.com> | Yes, I'd have to agree that, just becuase the perpetraitors of crimes | against humanity are long gone, doesn't mean that we should forget about | them, or discount the importance of remembering what happened, so we can | prevent such horrors ever happening again. the key issue is to prevent evils from recurring. by focusing too hard on the _people_ who committed them, you lose sight of recurrences of the patterns _before_ you get yet more _people_ to focus on. "history repeats itself", they say, and the reason is that many people don't learn anything constructive from it, they learn to hate other people from it. thus, those who remember people too well are the cause of repetitions. how did Stalin or Hitler og Pol Pot or Pinochet get in position to commit those evils? I'd venture a guess that the reason some blame the leader is that they recognize all too well that there is something in the _culture_ that led to the contemporary _acceptance_ of these people that gave them the ability to seize power and function as _leaders_ of lots and lots of their own kind. instead of looking into their own minds and habits and cultures with an eye to change and to learn from horrible experience, it is much better for the moron to hate whoever exposed the evil in himself than to purge it, and if it was some "other" people, preferably an identifiable group, so much the simpler to deal with for the useless mind. the leader himself is irrelevant. it is _how_ he became leader that is relevant to preventing recurrences, _before_ they happen. if you lose track of the goal, again: to prevent recurrences of past evils in any way, shape, or form, some other person will be able to garner support for his cause and build an organization that will, _again_, surprise people and cause morons of the future to get upset over yet more _names_. but who am I talking to? there are two kinds of people¹: those who attach stigma to names and those who don't. I would have _hoped_ that those who were smart enough to see that "Lisp", the name, is not the cause of the problems associated with it by the _other_ people, would be smart enough to realize that "Stalin", the name, is not the cause of the evils associated with it. hope, however, is the mother of frustration. #:Erik ------- ¹ apart from those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't -- The Microsoft Dating Program -- where do you want to crash tonight?