Subject: Re: hashtable w/o keys stored...
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/01/16
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* David Bakhash <>
| One thing, though.  I figure you're using GNUS.  Most Emacs users do, and
| you're pretty diehard, as far as I can remember.  So if you don't want to
| read certain people's posts, use a very simple learning algorithm: if
| they're doofuses, then just down-score them, or eliminate them altogether.

  but that would be doing what I'm really strongly opposed to: it isn't
  people who annoy me, it's _some_ of the stuff they _do_.  and if people
  _do_ differently and I had down-scored them, there's no way I could find
  out that I should up-score them again, or if I did it too late, I'd lose
  the window where they have learned something and start to change.  the
  educator part of me positively _lives_ to see people "get" something
  difficult.  the only people I think are really hopeless are those who
  think they have a moral right to do the stupid things they do, but they
  don't talk about technical Lisp stuff, anyway.

| I hope you don't do that to me, because I really learn a lot from your
| replies (and b/c we use the same Lisp implementation).  But in case you
| don't laugh off all these things and really do get irritated, then I
| don't want to add to your irritation.

  most of the time, I'm trying to be harsh and humorous as the same time.
  some people see it.  some don't even notice puns or jokes or ridicule of
  current political farses, or they get really upset about them.  what are
  these guys doing on USENET in the first place?  they should be senators!

  however, I don't take lightly to people who accuse me of things I haven't
  done or who criticize me for things I have either already fixed or have
  explained why I do the way I do.  (in decreasing order of seriousness.)
  I get _really_ pissed when somebody comes back after a while and accuses
  me of stuff he _knows_ I never did.  such just isn't a laughing matter.

| Hopefully, one day I'll be sharper, and then I'll be able to help you out
| with answering some of the hard questions you usually reply to.

  thanks.  :)  I look forward to it.  and I think you'll get there.  always
  remember that the truly hopeless face silence.

| One thing I have to agree with Barry on is that we do have to encourage
| learning at all levels.

  I'm sorry to see that he's succeeded in setting that up as something I
  disagree with.  (he does that a lot.)  the problem is this: you can't
  learn good stuff if bad stuff and good stuff are rewarded on equal terms:
  bad stuff _pays_ much better than good stuff does, so the good stuff has
  to be rewarded and the bad stuff reprimanded to keep the balance.  the
  reason is simple: doing only good stuff is painful up front and good
  later.  bad stuff is painless up front but hurts later.  by showing
  people that good stuff is enjoyable and making bad stuff painful up
  front, you _might_ be able to keep them in line.

  it takes a special kind of dedication to avoid bad stuff altogether when
  the rewards for bad stuff is lots of cash from a skill-starved industry
  and you get no rewards for the good stuff you do until later everybody
  around are in pain, but if that's the sort of thing that keeps you going,
  you're too cynical even by my standards.

  SIGTHTBABW: a signal sent from Unix to its programmers at random
  intervals to make them remember that There Has To Be A Better Way.