Subject: Re: Stalin is not a cool name for software
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1998/12/01
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Josh Gardner <>
| Yes, I'd have to agree that, just becuase the perpetraitors of crimes
| against humanity are long gone, doesn't mean that we should forget about
| them, or discount the importance of remembering what happened, so we can
| prevent such horrors ever happening again.

  the key issue is to prevent evils from recurring.  by focusing too hard
  on the _people_ who committed them, you lose sight of recurrences of the
  patterns _before_ you get yet more _people_ to focus on.  "history
  repeats itself", they say, and the reason is that many people don't learn
  anything constructive from it, they learn to hate other people from it.
  thus, those who remember people too well are the cause of repetitions.

  how did Stalin or Hitler og Pol Pot or Pinochet get in position to commit
  those evils?  I'd venture a guess that the reason some blame the leader
  is that they recognize all too well that there is something in the
  _culture_ that led to the contemporary _acceptance_ of these people that
  gave them the ability to seize power and function as _leaders_ of lots
  and lots of their own kind.  instead of looking into their own minds and
  habits and cultures with an eye to change and to learn from horrible
  experience, it is much better for the moron to hate whoever exposed the
  evil in himself than to purge it, and if it was some "other" people,
  preferably an identifiable group, so much the simpler to deal with for
  the useless mind.

  the leader himself is irrelevant.  it is _how_ he became leader that is
  relevant to preventing recurrences, _before_ they happen.  if you lose
  track of the goal, again: to prevent recurrences of past evils in any
  way, shape, or form, some other person will be able to garner support for
  his cause and build an organization that will, _again_, surprise people
  and cause morons of the future to get upset over yet more _names_.

  but who am I talking to?  there are two kinds of people¹: those who
  attach stigma to names and those who don't.  I would have _hoped_ that
  those who were smart enough to see that "Lisp", the name, is not the
  cause of the problems associated with it by the _other_ people, would be
  smart enough to realize that "Stalin", the name, is not the cause of the
  evils associated with it.  hope, however, is the mother of frustration.

¹ apart from those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't
  The Microsoft Dating Program -- where do you want to crash tonight?