Subject: Re: Newbie on Streams
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 01:03:55 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kenny Tilton <>
| So what?  I was looking forward to an answer, I keep wondering what all
| the excitement is over gray (Grey?) streams.  Research is research, you
| go to a book or the Web or to experts live and in color.

  So do your own research and publish it.  Demanding is the privilege of
  the paying customer, and refunding rather than complying is the privilege
  of the responsible vendor.

| And so what if, in a different circumstance where they are supposed to
| write code, a cheater gets an answer and does not learn anything?  I
| thought that was /their/ problem.  "You're only cheating yourself.",
| right?

  One general concept of the free exchange of information on the Net is
  that people are equals in principle and that their differences are the
  nothing more than accidents of time.  The whole deal is to save people
  time, just like science is supposed to let people avoid re-discovering
  everything on their own, philosophy is supposed to let really smart
  people sort out the really hard problems so average people can just use
  the solutions, etc.  The whole point with the ability of human beings
  being able to learn from the experience of others is to save time.

  When this is not longer true, when the sharing actually wastes time, some
  people are causing damage to an important part of the fabric of the Net
  and of the value of sharing experience in the first place.  I mean, on
  IRC, I recently had the immensely curious experience of helping a guy
  through a problem, but he did not quite understand it.  I had fetched my
  good old Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, et al, and worked through
  some of the algorithm with them, then asked him if he had any algorithm
  books.  He had Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen, et al, right beside
  him.  So I told him, in no uncertain terms, where to find the answer.  He
  _still_ managed to ask me what it said.  (Unlike some people here, he did
  in fact understand that he had done something wrong, and apologized and
  appreciated the help he had received, arguing by way of explanation that
  it had been so much easier to ask me than to read the book.)

| Meanwhile c.l.l. comes off like a bunch of finger-wagging
| holier-than-thou school marms. I forget, did we want Lisp to be more
| popular or less popular?

  Start funding people to further your goal, and you gain the right to
  complain that your goal is not shared by those you have funded.  If you
  do not want to do this, what do you do to help?  Why are you not simply
  researching the question and answering the guy himself?  All of us
  learned this by study, but faced with people who refuse to study and
  still demand help, you tell us that you could not learn it unless one of
  us could help you.  That means that you are no longer an equal,
  accidentally ignorant by an accident of time -- you would be helpless
  without our specific sacrifice of time for you.  This is generally not
  worth anyone's while, and many people get pissed off by whining losers.

| I have had hard technical questions completely ignored here, but presumed
| cheaters bring a deluge of wise guys either spanking the evil-doer or
| posting hilarious (not) obfuscated solutions.  Seems like a lot of folk
| (not you, Barry) get their rocks off pissing on cheaters but get damn
| quiet when help is sought in good faith.

  Why do you complain about it rather than do something about it?

  Generally, though, students should go ask their teacher when they are
  stuck.  That way, the teacher can better adapt his lecturing/teaching to
  the actual needs of students, rather than working with false positives.
  It is not just the cheater who loses if this is widespread.

| Well, I gotta go google up on gra/ey streams....

  You do that.  Hint: Gray is a person's name, used adjectively.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.

  Post with compassion: