Subject: Re: Rudeness index was Looking for Lisp compiler
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 02 Jan 2003 18:07:53 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Matthias Heiler
| In none of the other newsgroups people complain frequently about
| being treated 'rude' or 'harsh'.

  That is because there is no emotional gain from making complaints
  like that in those fora.  Watch this forum closely: Whenever some
  loser whines that he is being treated harshly because he acts like
  an immature child with a severe learning disability (but probably
  /is/ a grown man), loads of well-meaning idiots come to his rescue
  and validate his pain, regardless of the cause or even the accuracy
  of the complaint.

  One might wonder why people keep at this when it obviously does not
  work, but that is because it /does/ work: Someone who needs other
  people to validate his emotional problems will find them here.  It
  is not about newsgroup climate at all.  It is not about how rude or
  harsh people are to one another /at all/.  It is about how sulking
  and whining is /rewarded/ by people who are either taken for a ride
  or are quite as stupid as they appear when they keep acknowledging
  the irrelevant personal problems of the whining losers.

  In this forum, the exchange goes like this:

A: Please pay attention and try to understand what you are told.
B: You are so mean!  This is so unfair!  Boo hoo!  *whine* *cry*
A: Pull yourself together, you little fuck.
C: Awww, poor you!  A is so mean.  Here, let me cuddle and hug you.
D: Yeah, A is a goddamn son of a bitch!  This is a hostile place.
E: I *hate* A!  It is all A's fault.  I can't use Lisp because of A.
F: Tell me about it, A once told me to go stuff myself.
G: We should all be nicer to newbies.  Newbies are the future.
H: I'm a newbie and I'm scared of posting here because of A.
I: I'm with B.  Nobody should be told they are little fucks.
J: I'm outta here.  Python people are much nicer.
K: Look at what A made me do!

  In any other forum, the exchange goes like this:

A: Please pay attention and try to understand what you are told.
B: Well, I do try, but I don't understand X.
A: Ah, I see your problem.  X works like this, which is different.
B: Great, I got it.  Thanks!

  The problem here is not A or B, it is C through Z.  Absent C through
  Z, B would stand out like the moron he has acted like, and he would
  (and should) feel really stupid if nobody came to his rescue.  For
  some reason which I have yet to figure out, a cobble of /babies/
  play in comp.lang.lisp and appear to be in dire need of constant
  emotional support.  Fail to give them their support, and they cry.
  Fail to make them feel included and accepted, and they do not act in
  such a way that others would /want/ to include and accept them, but
  /demand/ to be included and accepted, as if it were their birthright
  and it was somehow denied them.

  Most grown adults look at a harsh reaction to something they have
  done with a desire to avoid future harsh reactions, even if they do
  not understand precisely what caused the reaction, so they want to
  know what they did wrong if they get a harsh reaction.  But not in
  comp.lang.lisp.  In comp.lang.lisp, you get to be a hatemongerer and
  a disruptive shithead if you get anything but the answer you have a
  God-given right to /demand/ from other people.  If something is
  explained to you and you do not understand it, most people realize
  that they may be lacking in background and that it would be a good
  idea to acquire that background on their own.  They may therefore
  seek advice on how to acquire it.  But not in comp.lang.lisp.  An
  answer that you do not immediately understand is probably an insult,
  and your best course of action is to elaborate on your ideas about
  the other person's personality or heritage or carreer or whatever.
  And this is /accepted/ by a cobble of crying babies who have just
  been /waiting/ for another chance to cry the forum another river.

  So to address the exact wording of your message, people /complain/
  about being treated rudely and harshly here, but they are actually
  not -- if anything, the treatment they get is civil compared to
  their own.  The complaints and the constant blame-throwing are all
  perfectly OK in the minds of a few people who spur them on and feel
  no regrets for going after individuals they believe are to blame
  like mad dogs.  But if they were really wanted proper behavior, how
  come they do not do something that could have /helped/?  Well, it is
  because they have no desire for proper behavior.  The lynch mob that
  persists in comp.lang.lisp has no such noble goals as civility or
  justice or fairness; their goal is simply to blame someone for their
  own emotional problems, and if they can find somebody that other
  people can agree is to blame for their failure to grow up and accept
  responsibility for their own emotional well-being, they gang up on
  that person (which just happens to be me here -- it is other people
  in a few other fora with the same kind of baby population) with a
  vengeance that I regard as prima facie evidence of rabid insanity,
  but which is probably arrested development at about 2 years of age.

  I suspect that given half a chance, a mob of insane babies would be
  able to destroy any forum, but the problem is that not enough people
  crush them at the outset.  Look at that whining weeny "wni" and how
  disruptive he managed to be because so many fucking morons had to
  chime in and validate his out-of-place emotional problems.  Where
  else would you find such a disgraceful display and have lots of
  people flock to support it?  The problem is here in comp.lang.lisp
  is that of /accepting/ the personal problems of lunatics who feel no
  reservations about "sharing" their personal hatred for other people
  with the whole forum, and those who obsess about civility /never/
  rise to tell /those/ people to shut the fuck up, do they?  In a
  truly /civilized/ society, which comp.lang.lisp is not, /personal/
  animosity has no place in public, and he who puts his personal
  problems up for public display has disgraced /himself/ regardless of
  his supposed message.  In comp.lang.lisp, a disgusting kindergarten
  of whining losers, other immature people rush to support the crying
  idiot instead of trying to do something that could actually help.

  What has in so many ways killed this forum is that so many egoists
  and egotists think this forum is about them and their feelings.  It
  is not.  This is, probably to the amazement of a lot of people, a
  forum created to help people use the programming language (family|
  Common) Lisp.  Discussions about individual people or about how you
  "feel" about other articles are out of order and out of place.

| One way to get the 'percieved hostility level' of this newsgroup
| down would be to ignore people who are percieved as hostile or
| unwilling to learn.

  One good way to get rid of the problem would be to stop talking
  about it and instead talk about something that could interest people
  who are, probably shocking to many of the current crop of readers,
  reading comp.lang.lisp to read about the programming language
  (family|Common) Lisp.  I occasionally receive mail from people who
  have given up on comp.lang.lisp because of the metadiscussions and
  the goddamn shitheads who think this forum exists for the express
  purpose of attacking me.

| This also would increase the useful-information/
| metadiscussion-how-to-behave-here ratio.

  The best thing that help reduce the meta-discussion to signal ratio
  here would be to stop engaging in meta-discussions.

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.