Subject: Re: source access vs dynamism
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/09/08
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Erann Gat
| Have you ever heard the princple "correlation does not imply causality?"

  sigh.  it doesn't mean that things that correlate are _not_ causally
  linked, so quoting such basics is _beyond_ pointless if you want to make
  that point, which it seems you attempt to do, but only people who have no
  clue what "does not imply" means will think you did.  why address your
  arguments to such people?

| Answering these questions requires more than simply citing the contents
| of one's personal collection of memorabilia.

  I'm downright _impressed_ with your argumentative prowess, Erann.  could
  you do even better, you think?

  I'm becoming aware that you are engaged in a process completely unrelated
  to discussing the issues at hand.

| That actually makes a certain amount of sense, but it begs a number of
| questions:  *WHY* were people suddenly talking about it all over the
| place?

  I have already answered question that several times.  it was cool, it was
  new, people discovered things and thus made it _continue_ to be a novelty.

| More to the point, why was there so much *more* talk about the PC than
| about, say, the Apple II just a few years before, or the Macintosh just a
| few years after?

  because these were less "cool" and just more useful tools, which are
  quite boring in and by itself.  understanding "cool" is difficult if you
  think it does not matter, but once you get your head around the fact that
  people are motivated _mainly_ by coolness factors, you'll understand a
  lot more things that may seem very puzzling today.  business applications
  for the IBM PC were _not_ cool.  knowing a lot of internal stuff and
  getting a lot of attention for it sure was cool at the time.

| I don't know what you mean by "the 'One True X' argument".

  you use it, so you _should_ know.  you're the kind of person to bring up
  "One True Explanation" as if it could exist and someone (other than
  yourself when attacking others) could possibly believe something that
  stupid.  it's the same idiotic thing you're doing in the first sentence
  of the message I'm replying to, now.  you're addressing kindergarteners.
  I wonder why you find the need to do that.  perhaps it is the only place
  you can beat people in an argument?

| Now, it is true that you did not use the words "One True Explanation,"
| nor did you *directly* call anyone ignorant or clueless.

  insight!  *applause*  now, how long until you realize that you must stop
  fantasizing and inventing stuff to hate in other people, and deal with
  what they _actually_ say and do?  I'm no more interested in how your
  malfunctioning mental apparatus reacts that I'm interested in Jeltsin's
  alcoholism or Clinton's escapades -- it's for you to deal with and for me
  to ignore like any other irrelevant drivel.

| Nonetheless, you did present your position not as an opinion but as a
| fact that should be self-evident to anyone who is not ignorant and
| clueless.  That leaves little room for respectful dissent.

  that's an interesting view.  I suppose "Have you ever heard the princple
  "correlation does not imply causality?"" _does_ leave room for respectful
  dissent.  or do you just engage in such argumentation to prove something?

| Not, "In my opinion you are wrong," nor, "My view of people is
| different," but "in *fact* wrong."

  so if I say "the moon is made of swiss cheese", I expect you to humbly
  claim that it is your _opinion_ that this is wrong?  if so, how come you
  make such a big stink about _my_ being wrong?  it seems to me that this
  humility thing is something you want only in others.

  perhaps you need to understand a very simple thing about fallacies: it is
  possible to prove that something cannot be factually or logically true
  without knowing what would be factually or logically true in the same
  situation.  obviously, one may discard a whole bunch of arbitrary claims
  as false, and "it is in fact wrong" is an entirely valid statement for
  that reason alone.  for someone who has taken Statistics 101 and brag
  about it, I would actually assume a _little_ more ability to think than
  to believe something so stupid that positive and negative knowledge are
  fraught with _equal_ epistemological problems.  the prevailing philosophy
  of science even goes so far as to claim that the _only_ thing you can
  prove is negative knowledge: that a hypothesis does _not_ hold.  if you
  have such great disregard for science, too, Erann, I suggest you discuss
  it with other scientists who very frequently make the point I make: that
  something is in fact wrong, and base this on seemingly scanty evidence to
  those who _want_ to believe it, and are not as diligent in discarding the
  wrong beliefs in the face of facts that make the impossible.

  now, if you actually had something that shows that _I'm_ wrong, you would
  have made that argument instead of silly meta-arguments that you can't
  deal with my _style_.  my conclusion is that I'm _right_ because the only
  thing you bicker about is the style.

  in other words, your attempt to blow academic air exposed your lack of
  insight into very basic epistemological problems.

| >   (and before you crank up the One True X bullshit again: it is
| >   obviously possible to ascertain that something is false without even
| >   having a clue what is actually correct.)

  this is what I said and which you manage to quote, so what amazes me is
  that you are so unable to even read that which you disagree with that you
  keep making the same stupid mistake over and over: I answer your question
  right before your eyes, and you don't recognize it because it doesn't fit
  100% with what you _want_ to see and hear.

| Why are people continually paying to upgrade to the latest version of
| Microsoft software?

  sigh.  I have _explained_ this, Erann.  several times.

| Surely you don't believe that Microsoft makes quality software?

  and this too.  you _flunked_ debate in school, didn't you?

| Isn't it funny how people keep falling for Bill's lies?  Again and again
| and again and again...

  ever seen any election campaigns, Erann?  (or aren't you old enough to
  vote, perhaps?)  how come people fall for these lies all the time?  the
  reason is so simple you could cry (or _should_, since you haven't
  understood this simple principle, yet): they _want_ to believe in the
  future, _any_ future.  that's the magnet that pulls people towards
  upgrading and believing all sorts of hype, again and again and again.  as
  I have said before: abusing people's natural desire for a better future,
  the basic expression of "hope", is at the core of a lot of bad things in
  human cultures, and Microsoft is riding on the abuse of people's hope.

| Computers and operating systems are infrastructure for a slightly more
| complex reason.  The utility of a computer is not *inherently* increased
| if everyone is using the same one, but it *is* increased if there are
| more applications available, and if it is easy to transfer data between
| computers.  Uniformity in computer architectures and operating systems
| makes it *easier* to provide data interchangeability and application
| portability.  There are other ways of doing this too.  (Sun is pursuing
| an alternative strategy with Java.)

  simple as this may appear to be, it is false.  what matters is not the
  operating system, but that you can run many applications.  what matters
  is not the operating system on which something runs, but _that_ it runs.
  what matters is not the particular user interface, but that it has one
  and that it can be learned and mastered fairly quickly.  there is no
  driving force towards the _implementation_, as there is in railroads and
  electric power and image formats, but there is a driving force towards
  the _services_ provided.  Microsoft has succeed: you buy their propaganda
  that it is _Windows_ that makes all these applications run.  it isn't.
  anything that is able to perform the services that the program needs and
  can answer to the requests it makes, whatever it is, is sufficient.  what
  we need standardizing on, is the system programming interface.  Microsoft
  knows this very well.  that's why they keep saying the opposite, and try
  to make people believe that they need _Windows_.  that's why they try so
  hard to make foreign applications fail and emulators to fail.  as soon as
  someone can run "Windows" applications anywhere, their entire marketing
  strategy will fall apart and they're history.  that's why they hate Java
  so much, too.  Microsoft's marketing and success is based on a few very
  good lies, that almost appear true because so many believe them.  I'm
  sure you sympathize completely with this view, Erann, as we're about to
  see when it comes to spreading your own lies in the hopes that people
  will believe them, and you.

| I said you compared Microsoft to the *Nazis*.

  no, Erann, what I actually did was comparing their propaganda machines,
  and I went out of my way to make it very hard for any morally upright
  person to think I compared Microsoft to Nazis.

  as an aside here, how come you don't obey your own style guide and see
  that a valid issue with your statement above is very much like this:

  | Not, "In my opinion you are wrong," nor, "My view of people is
  | different," but "in *fact* wrong."

  you make claims about what _I_ do, Erann, even when I object to it.
  barring insanity on your part, which I see no evidence of yet, you must
  be doing this on purpose.  you object to statements of fact which you do
  not agree with, not because they are wrong, but because they are
  statements of fact.  yet you make statements of fact yourself, without
  the "in my opinion" crap you want from me.  why is there one law for
  Erann Gat and one law for me, Erann?  is it because it would be a little
  too hard for you to live by your _own_ laws, but a lot easier on _you_ if
  everybody else did?  you used the term "hypocritical blowhard".  it's a
  very good term, Erann, and I think you are the best person to use it.

| Granted, you did not use the word "Holocaust."

  have you not noticed how many factual errors you have made on your way to
  reach the conclusions that lead to your accusations, Erann?  your fantasy
  is the culprit here, not me or anything I _actually_ said or did.

| But I did, and I'll use it again.

  I'm sure you will, and it will make you even more enraged and prove again
  and again and again that you are dead set on believing your own lies,
  which I will reject as long as you present them as the truth they aren't.
  "Isn't it funny how people keep falling for Bill's lies?"  no, it isn't
  funny: people like you will believe any lies if it serves your purposes.

  _I'm_ offended by people who have to _invent_ accusations towards others:
  they have exactly _zero_ credibility until all false accusations are duly
  and completely retracted, otherwise they should be punished severely for
  making them.  fortunately, most court systems around the world agree with
  me on this issue: those who make up what they want their victims to be
  guilty of are themselves punished for this injustice, in some legal
  system _very_ severely.  making false and hurtful claims about others is
  punishable by law in the United States and the rest of the Western world,
  and people are sometimes rewarded very large sums of money for the damage
  that has been done by those who use such tactics.

  you, Erann Gat, make the incredibly unintelligent mistake of confusing
  what you feel with what I did, and then you make the second incredibly
  unintelligent mistake of _saying_ that I did what you feel.  since you
  don't see this yourself, but still admit to a number of mistakes that
  lead right up to the conclusion that you can't keep your fantasy world
  from the real world, what needs to be done to you is to make you realize
  that _you_ are the evil person in this setting for being so careless
  about the truth in your accusations.

  it was false accusations, Erann Gat, that were at the core of the inhuman
  atrocities to which you object: the Holocaust.  the Jews were blamed for
  all sorts of evil and all sorts of problems, people believed these false
  accusations and that the final solution would be to get rid of them.  now
  you're doing exactly the same: you _invent_ your accusations, and portray
  others in the image of your own mind.  _you_ are an evil man, Erann Gat.

  I'll repeat this: Joseph Goebbels' theories of successful propaganda have
  been studied and they are valid regardless of which despicable horror of
  a purpose to which they were once put, and they are employed _today_, by
  every ad agency which uses entertainment to sell goods or motivate people
  to favor causes or political parties.  Goebbels' fundamental insight was
  precisely that entertainment is the most efficient vehicle to make people
  verbalize and consciously grasp otherwise unstated beliefs and attitudes.
  the unwillingness to understand this, and why it was so very successfully
  employed in Germany at the end of World War II _by_ the Nazis, only means
  that one must believe that knowledge itself can be tainted by how it has
  been used and how it was discovered.  the past, however, is the past, and
  it cannot be changed -- all we can ever do with the past is to learn from
  it.  what _can_ be changed is the future and the more we know of what
  caused history to take the shape it did, the better prepared we are to
  prevent its undesirable developments from repeating.  those who deny
  themselves access to knowledge gained at the hands of evil, are more
  likely to cause evil to rise again in a subtly different form.  evil, to
  be fought, _must_ be understood.  those who do not understand evil are
  the ones who will most likely go along with it again in a form they don't
  recognize, just as they did with Goebble's propaganda and just as they do
  if they believe any other propagandist who uses his insight into shaping
  the beliefs of the masses.  and that means you, Erann Gat, who believe
  the best current propagandist of the West, and who revel in the use of
  false accusations yourself.

  I'm sure you will continue to lie to yourself and to others, Erann.  I'm
  sure you will continue to spread your false accusations against me.  I'm
  sure you will "grant" that I have never _actually_ said anything of which
  you accuse me, yet will never make the connection that it is all in your
  mind, exactly the same way some people get the wrong idea that somebody's
  race or creed or sexual orientation or handicap is at fault for their bad
  actions, indeed _make_ them bad people, and will go after others of the
  same race or creed or sexual orientation or handicap and kill them, as
  people of minds like yours have done in the past.

  I'll venture an explanation that I have reason to believe is correct
  because I have come across your kind a little too often: the reason you
  get so upset about this is that you know that this modus operandi has
  _not_ been excised in your behavior -- you still think false accusations
  are valid means of attacking an opponent.  I know exactly what causes
  people like you to act the way they do: the belief that if enough people
  believe a false accusation, it becomes true, and that if you can spread
  the word enough, your false accusation will be believed by enough people
  to cause the _victim_ of your lies and your complete disregard for truth
  and justice to suffer.  the American version of this is the lynch mob:
  never mind whether the person was _actually_ guilty, all it took was one
  guy like Erann Gat to make a very impassioned statement that somebody had
  done something very bad, and the easily impressionable masses took it
  from there.  but only extremely evil people engage in such activities.

  since I expect you to continue on your quest, and since I fully expect
  you to continue to be offended by your very own mental images and blame
  me for them in an ever escalating series of misrepresentations and
  purposeful distortions of the truth, I am prepared to take legal action
  against you if you continue.  I hope you understand what I'm saying and
  that you don't invent something else that you claim I have said.  you are
  in the wrong here for making your false accusations about what I have
  said and done.  you are forever free to react any way you want, but you
  are _not_ free to claim that I have said or done that which I have not.

  a person of reasonably moral stature would have wanted to understand, to
  make sure his feelings of immense offense were based in reality, to ask
  for explanations and to explain his reaction, instead of lying about what
  another person has said.  a person with a _constructive_ goal would have
  objected to _parts_ of an expression while still getting the actual point
  and purpose of making it, while a person with no constructive goal at all
  would latch onto that which could cause the most damage, especially if it
  weren't even true, as that would cause the accused to defend himself
  against wild and false accusations, which in some deranged people's minds
  is _itself_ evidence of _some_ wrong-doing.  you can clearly identify an
  evil person by how they make and enjoy the effects of false accusations,
  and how they react to rejections of their accusations: they invent even
  _more_ accusations, in order to get others to believe them.  that's when
  you know somebody is lying through their teeth and are actually aware of
  it themselves.  as understanding spreads, accusations tend to diminish.
  as evil people fail to get what they want, accusations only escalate.
  anyone who has wasted his time reading our "exchange" knows that I have
  _objected_ to your incredibly tasteless accusations, only to be faced
  with even worse accusations from you.  if there had been any truth to
  what you say, Erann, any truth at all, you would have been able to
  respond rationally to my objections to your claims, but instead, you have
  decided to make things even worse.  the last person to do something a
  little like this, only a lot less intense, actually apologized publicly.
  I don't know how useful apologies are, as I'm much more interested in
  understanding why some people can't be satisified with the facts and
  attack me for what I actually do instead of having to invent all sorts of
  incredible bullshit for which to attack me, and why it doesn't help to
  tell them that they're exaggerating so much that there's no point in even
  _trying_ to sort out what they are _actually_ reacting to.  on the other
  hand, it has been said that if you say something of importance, there
  will always be some people who hate you for it.

  I think I've said all that needs to be said in answer to the Erann Gat
  phenomenon.  sorry about the length.

  save the children: just say NO to sex with pro-lifers