Subject: Re: On comparing apples and oranges (was: Q: on hashes and counting)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 21 Oct 2000 01:55:03 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Dirk Zoller <>
| Following your argumentation would mean that it is only due to
| "(relative) idiot"s that we are not still programming in Assembler
| or FortranIV.

  That would be "missing the point and wandering off into the mist",
  not "following my argumentation".

| (If you think you're on the safe side as a Lisp user here, you are
| not.  Since where is the difference between extending and changing a
| language and inventing a new one? You must ask yourself why you're
| not programming in some ancient Lisp? Due to idiots which were
| unable to express themselves in those dialects, obviously.)

  Could you please calm down and _think_ before you try this again?

  If you don't have to build a new compiler and runtime system and
  support tools just because you had a new idea, you don't have a new
  language.  That's where the difference lies.  This is pretty obvious
  if you aren't dead set on disagreeing with everything I say just
  because you feel obliged to spout some trivially obvious 

| It takes some repeated reconsideration and starting over again and
| again from scratch while trying to keep the good stuff, get rid of
| the bad and invent a few new bits.

  Really?  Is that how it works?

| Where what's "good" or "bad" or "desirable new stuff" is to a great
| deal a matter of taste and therefore in the big picture -- random.
| Some languages survive, most die as experiments. Looks like sheer
| darwinism. Nature has achieved a lot by such mechanisms.

  Nature is a murderer, not a nurturer.  Nature does not achieve, it
  destroys.  Nature is what keeps each species from over-populating
  their habitat.  Natural selection doesn't mean the survival of the
  fit, it means the death of the unfit.  Whatever survives isn't fit,
  either, it just wasn't unfit enough to die, and thus grow diversity
  that may some time in the future determine fit and unfit.  Whatever
  Nature has done, it's sheer _accident_ heavily slanted towards death
  and misery.  Poverty and hunger is the natural condition.  This goes
  against a lot of mumbo-jumbo new-age mystic crap and those fools who
  think there is a God figure holding a hand over them to make Nature
  _not_ kill them at random and for no reason whatsoever.  To Nature,
  humanity is an over-populating pest.  We have to _fight_ Nature all
  the time to survive, because Nature is what comes up with Ebola and
  AIDS and all kinds of diseaes and death.  Human beings come up with
  medicine and a reasonably decent way to organize society in order to
  reduce, minimize, or remove the effects of Nature, like letting
  people live long, rewarding lives in the blistering heat of Texas
  (except those that George W. Bush ignores completely or executes,
  also at random and for no good reason -- he's the Natural President)
  or the death-trap cold of places like Norway.

  Those who believe Nature is benevolent are insane.  The benevolence
  lies solely in the human capacities for compassion and intelligence
  which we use to predict the course of Nature and shelter each other
  from it, and to exploit the course of Nature and let each other
  benefit from it.  It's because we beat down Darwinism tha have the
  kinds of societies we have.  Social Darwinism means plunging all 6
  billion people into disease-ridden poverty and a life expectance of
  about 25 years at birth, so that a few could have a 50-year life and
  heaps and heaps of whining little kids, about 90% of which would die.

  Don't fucking talk to me about Darwinism, you undead misfit.

| >   There are people who have to design their own alphabets or spellings
| >   in order to feel able to express themselves, but I think we label
| >   them "insane" rather than applaud them as "language designers".
| People are different.  People express themselves in various ways.

  Thank you, Dirk.  I really had _no_ idea we weren't all identical.
  Here I thought I could just ramble and rant and everybody would of
  course agree with everything and nobody would for a second think of
  coming up and tell me the Truth about People.  But, Whoa!  We're,
  like, _not_ identical!  Christ on a tricycle, I can't just assume
  that everybody are _exactly_ like me?  Man, that sucks.  Really,
  what would I _do_ without you to tell me these Important Truths?

  What worries me most is actually that you think you have a point.

| Some discuss in newsgroups, others paint, some design programming
| languages.  People experiment. This does not mean they're insane,
| nor stupid, nor incompetent idiots, nor does any other of Naggum's
| most frequently used attributes apply.

  No, but they still apply to you.  Thank you for demonstrating that.
  Go play in traffic and be naturally selected, now.  Thank you.

  I agree with everything you say, but I would
  attack to death your right to say it.
				-- Tom Stoppard