Subject: Re: [OFFTOPIC] Re: Death penalty for LISP ? [ was: Re: Is LISP dying? ]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/08/14
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,comp.lang.forth
Message-ID: <>

* Timo Tossavainen <>
| One must first wonder what is wrong with the system that produces these
| kinds of people that commit the crimes.

  what's wrong is thinking that political systems produce any kind of
  people.  "societies don't produce people.  people produce people."

  if a poor person turns to crime, that only explains why he's poor, not
  why he's a criminal.  likewise, if a poor person _demands_ that others
  keep him alive, that also explains why he's poor.  normal human decency,
  however, implies that we take care of people who come to us and ask for
  help in a way that makes it worth our while to help them, but begging is
  so disgustingly demeaning that one should _never_ help beggars.  this
  part of normal caring for other people has been destroyed by organized
  welfare, and people are turned into beggars because that's the only thing
  that works: the worst part of organized welfare is that you don't get
  help if you aren't sufficiently "needy".  requiring people to compete
  with others in terms of being the most needy is a really, truly horrible
  thing to do to them, as any prospect of bettering your condition also
  means you don't "deserve" support from the organized welfare, anymore.

  my take on it is that people who are allowed to think that they can
  _demand_ that others keep them alive and well start to think they are
  _deprived_ of it if others don't actually keep them alive and well, and
  such attitudes may well lead to criminal behavior as it already ignores
  the rights and needs of those who are required to care for them with
  nothing tangible in return, not even a thank-you.  stuff like that works
  in a traditional family setting, where having a child is an obligation
  that lasts at least 18 years, but societies don't produce children in the
  literal sense, either, so something above and beyond nature is needed and
  it's important that people agree on this and appreciate it.  an annoying,
  smelly child who demands candy from its parents in a grocery store is a
  different story altogether from an annoying, smelly grown-up who demands
  change from the same parents outside the same store, albeit for exactly
  the same reason.

  I also keep reminding myself that what is now the Western Civilization
  was once made up of people much less well off than what we call "poor"
  today, yet somehow they managed to become one of the most affluent
  civilizations in human history in the course of a few hundred years.
  what made it happen?  it sure wasn't welfare from outer space, and
  massive numbers of people died prematurely to make it happen.  it is
  politically correct today to accuse Europeans of stealing all the wealth
  from today's poor nations, but none of these poor nations ever _had_ any
  massive wealth to steal to begin with.  did we rob them of chances?  I
  don't get it.  chances don't come in a fixed supply, and we didn't steal
  _all_ of their natural resources all at once, anyway.  what made Western
  Civilization?  I don't know, but I know it wasn't a demand that somebody
  give us a chance and until we got it, we would sit on our asses and wait,
  so I don't understand why we have started to reward such demands so much.

  (defun pringles (chips)
    (loop (pop chips)))