Subject: Re: who should read comp.lang.lisp? /civility
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 04 Oct 2002 22:09:09 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Tim Josling
| This is sometimes valid, but newcomers have in fact provided major
| advances to a range of fields.

  Well, duh.  Einstein was a newcomer to his field once.  That does not
  mean he was ignorant of the past theories.  Quite the opposite is true.

| While existing experts may have an accumulation of knowledge and in some
| cases even wisdom, often they may also have an accumulation of prejudices
| and an arrogant unwillingness to consider new ideas.

  And this affects what?  Is your behavior towards more experienced people
  who help you based on such prejudices?

| Blankly saying "You are wrong; you are an idiot" may not be optimal.

  But nobody /does/ that.  Could you please try to focus more on reality
  and less on your fantasy world?  Clearly, your emotional responses and
  that of our more hostile forum member extends far beyond observation and
  well into a fabricated fantasies.  People are /not/ treated harshly until
  they turn hostile towards people who have tried to help them.  Do you
  think I give all the fantastically evil people who attack me /grounds/ to
  attack me?  If so, I have a choice between feeling insulted or believing
  you must have cabbage for brains.  If you had better observational skills
  and less willingness to project your fantasy onto reality, you would
  actually have observed this.  But paying attention is obviously too much
  to demand of those of you who are more than happy to join the fight club.

| If you wish, by all means then insult the person and tell them they have
| a lot to learn before becoming a zen master.

  This is what actually happens.  You apparently value your fantasy world
  much higher than your observations.  Why is this?  People do get a few
  chances to understand but they are given technical replies, not touchy-
  feely handholding, as befits a technical forum.  Some cannot handle this,
  and go bananas when someone points out that something they believe to be
  true is actually false.  Because of such fantastically hostile idiots as
  Ray Blaak, Erann Gat, Raffael Cavallaro, and their ilk, some people come
  to believe that they have a right to assume hostility where there is only
  cold, hard technical answers to technical issues.  If you want somebody
  to hold you and comfort you while you read news articles that address the
  topic of your articles in line with the purpose of the forum you read,
  get a dog, cat, or friendly human being.  If you do not feel sufficiently
  well because nobody took note of your sweet personality, at least do not
  post hate mail directed at the people who have helped you.

  Is this really too much to ask of "newcomers"?

  Is paying attention and checking that you what you say is factually
  correct really too much to ask of you, Tim?  Could you please explain
  what you expect people to do when you repeat lies about them?  Do you
  do this in real life?  Do you join lynch mobs and gang up on people you
  hate in your community and accuse them of heinous crimes they have not
  committed in order to stir up a frenzy?  Is this how you want to live?

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.