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

* William Tanksley
| I'm curious, Erik.  On what grounds would you sue him?

  his attempts to make me look like someone who trivializes the Holocaust.
  if this is believed by the wrong people, I face serious loss of freedom
  of movement in Europe, and I risk having to deal with people who believe
  this and cause problems.  let me illustrate what happens in the global
  society: German courts have sentenced foreigners for making material
  "available" to Germans (over the Internet) that make comparatively weak
  claims about some of the less researched historic events and some actual
  errors in the history as it has been related.  Canadian courts have
  handed out jail terms to foreigners who have never visited their country
  because they have broken Canadian laws when some _Canadian_ brought their
  material into the country (over the Internet).  the Chinese government
  has declared a lot of people personae non grata because of the material
  that were spread about Tian-an-men over the Net, more than a decade ago.

  I'd rather be jailed or have my freedom of movement limited for something
  I say or do than something some moron like Erann Gat tries to make people
  believe.  we also know that more of his kind are loose in the world, and
  they won't wait to learn what anyone actually said before they decide to
  take action based on false accusations.  on this particular issue, there
  are more people like him who go ballistic when they come across something
  that triggers their uncontrollable emotions, and some of them don't stop
  at murder.  I don't think Erann Gat is aware of the gravity of posting
  false accusations about the trivialization of the Holocaust, and which
  risks his posting such false claims poses to his victim.  we also know
  that some people will go ballistic regardless of what you say if you
  mention something negative that someone feels is hurtful to Jews.  there
  doesn't have to be any evidence of ill will at all, either, for people
  who have lost their mind to do very damaging things.  the publisher of
  the Norwegian translation of Salman Rushdie's infamous book was shot by
  funnymentalist Islamic activists on the street in Oslo, for instance.
  dealing with nutcases like Erann Gat is actually very dangerous, because
  _they_ think they face no risk at all and that their moral outrage is
  defensible, no matter the consequences for others.  the courts in various
  countries have begun to recognize the risks involved and that it is so
  easy to manipulate "activists" that the spread of false information and
  false accusations in particular is considered a weapon.  with stuff so
  explosive as the Holocaust, there is ample reason to be cautious.

  again, we must not forget that the spread of false accusations against
  the Jews was the core message in the anti-Jewish propaganda that led to
  the Holocaust.  if we don't excise the tendency to accuse others falsely
  in highly emotive issues, there is nothing to bar us from falling pray to
  the same kind of horrors and evil mass movements.  I assume, however,
  that this is something that is only obvious to people who can stomach the
  study of how propaganda machines work (and not available at all to people
  who can't even read about something the Nazis did witout feeling tainted
  by it), and how little people react to propaganda techniques that were
  successfully employed during wars to convince the local population of the
  righteousness of the atrocities of war against an incredibly demonized
  enemy.  if we take away the ability to see such demons, and punish every
  person who falls for this most primitive of anti-intellectual behaviors
  in time, maybe the people who benefit so greatly from the spread of false
  accusations and other forms of propaganda will fail to entice enough of
  their population to accept war, or, to a lesser degree, to accept the
  peace-time propaganda machinery of no less predatory companies and their
  marketing departments.

  it is typical of someone who has learned nothing of the past to repeat
  it, and fail to recognize it when they do: the false accusations were
  made against Jews, and the purpose was to kill them all, so clearly you
  have to have the purpose of killing Jews before "false accusation" can be
  as bad again or before they recognize it.  clearly the Nazis were really
  bad people, but if someone _else_ exploits naive people's ever-present
  hopes for a better future to destroy and hurt them deeply, it must be
  tolerated as long as they aren't _Nazis_.  but the same principles are at
  work in small scale and large all over the place.  the magnitude of the
  horrors have nothing to do with the principle, except that when it goes
  unchecked, the principle may yield horrors of _unlimited_ magnitude.
  Erann Gat has refused to learn from the information available from the
  past because he is abhorred with something that is clearly irrelevant to
  the issue and principles at hand, and then he goes ahead and repeats the
  mistakes that were made.  it's an amazingly condensed history lesson.

  it's election time in Norway.  explains everything, doesn't it?