Subject: Re: less parentheses --> fewer parentheses
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/08/27
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* (FM)
| Erik Naggum <> wrote:
| >  No, _wars_ start with the party tha answers fire with fire, and they
| >  stop when one party lays down their weapons.
| So first fire is excused?

  Is that really your preferred level of abstraction?  Is the converse
  true, that no matter what you do in response to a real or perceived
  aggression, you are excused?  Do you _really_ think this way?

  Obviously, no, but it doesn't start _wars_.  The party that feels or
  is attacked has a choice.  You had that choice, too.  You chose to
  make what you perceived as attack into a war by mounting resistance
  way out of proportion, and you continue to so.  Now you seem to be
  unhappy about your choice, but you can still choose!  I'm not
  generous: My point is to see if you can realize that you had and
  still have a choice, and make use of that realization.

  I'm also working to break down what I consider the most incredibly
  moronic aspect of some cultures: The belief that one loses face or
  honor by embracing truth that is obtained from a very reliable,
  trustworthy source that is in some other respects disagreeable, for
  whatever irrelevant reason to the truth involved.  This is probably
  a fight like breaking down racism and other moronic group-think
  judgments based on irrelevant factors, such as whether the source is
  female, or gay.

  In fact, I consider someone who has to make up stories about someone
  based on _one_ facet he doesn't like, who tries to discredit the
  works of someone based on some facet _completely_ irrelevant to the
  work, etc, as a person who is even more despicable than a racist,
  because the racist at least understands that society rejects his
  moronic views.  Nothing is worse than such a moron who feels that he
  is _justified_ to make broad and sweeping claims about properties of
  the person or group irrelevant to the role or work at hand, because
  there is nothing that person can learn or even adjust as long as he
  feels morally justified to commit the errors he commits.

  The false accusation based in such inability to deal with people who
  show some unusual, unexpected, or disagreeable aspect or another, is
  the ultimate evil expression of the core properties of racism.

  But what do people learn?  "It's wrong to discriminate based on the
  color of a person's skin, but anything else is perfectly legitimate"
  describes how a large number of people think, but they haven't
  grasped the core idea that produce racism and similar ills, and go
  on with their lives, hating whole _persons_ based on some _aspect_
  they don't like.

| This idiot doesn't even know what introspection means.  There is no
| way you can be qualified to talk about my introspective ability when
| you cannot possibly look beyond yourself.

  Introspection, like any other active thought process, has results
  that are fairly easy to observe.  It is very, very unlikely that a
  person who engages in introspection will continue to act as if he
  deals with other people's hostility when there _is_ no hostility.
  It _is_ very, very unlikely that a person who has worked _himself_
  into a mental corner that was never reasonable in the first place,
  will back down unless he introspects.  And you have done just that:
  You have worked yourself up and you continue to be hostile no matter
  what.  You need to figure that out for yourself, of course, and I
  don't think you will.  You have invested so much in your idea that
  I'm _hostile_ to you that you can't see that even though I'm not
  nice to you, I'm not _hostile_, either.  However, you missed that
  little piece of logic, didn't you?  If somebody isn't nice to you,
  they must have _some_ amount of hostility.  How about indifference?

| You already act as though your brain had imploded.  If it had ever
| existed.

  Don't you get tired of showing that you can't even invent your own
  insults, but have to bounce everything back, just a tad worsened?
  You see, every time you respond with something _worse_, you keep the
  "war" going.  I think you may be an Eliza programmed to keep such
  quarrels going, because there's no purpose in your continuing this.
  There is for me, of course: I want to see how long it takes you to
  wake up and snap out of your moronic, hostile role.

| Of course by this "mirror game" you refer to the cycle where you
| babble some nonsense and I point out the hypocrisy in that nonsense
| by feeding it back to you.

  And this is an argument for what?  Cut-and-paste-debates?  You
  really don't believe in the utility of this activity for any other
  purpose than to quarrel for the sake of quarreling, do you?  If so,
  please let me know.  It would be illuminating.  So far, it looks
  like a person at mental age 5 who wants to beat someone, but misses.

| Your attempt to bring in actual "mirror" to augment your already
| fragile argument backfires when you consider what "mirror"
| represents in your "mirror" game and what direction it points to.

  It's very important to you that things backfire, so I assume you
  have much experience with just that, but in this case, it doesn't do
  _you_ any good.  (It probably never _did_ you any good, but just
  because you might have been harmed by something backfiring doesn't
  mean you won't _repeat_ the mistake that caused it to backfire on
  you.)  It doesn't prove any hypocrisy, it proves that you choose a
  role that has the intelligence of a normal 5-year-old.  Just choose
  another role.  (If you don't because _I_ tell you, please say so.  I
  will consider that the final proof that you really _are_ retarded.)

| >  When you figure out that you are wholly responsible for your own
| >  actions, just like everybody else, you will feel very ashamed of
| >  yourself.  I'm only waiting for that.
| Funny how you forget that you are not responsible for your own
| action.

  Are _you_ exempt from statements _you_ make about "everybody else"?
  Is that why you failed to grasp the universality of what I said?

| It's funny how you consistently direct insults at people, and when
| those insults are thrown back at you, then you cry about "mirror"
| game and that "wars start with the party that answers fire with
| fire" nonsense.

  Does this imply that you think wars can have only one fighting
  party?  That quarrels can have only one quarreler?  Well, you're
  actually doing a pretty good job of providing ammunition for that
  argument the way you keep going completely on your own, here.

  Does this also imply that you react positively to anything that is
  just aped back at you?  Would you at all understand that what you do
  with this mirror game is moronic no matter what you "throw back"?
  If I have not gotten through to you that I don't like people who
  choose to act like morons, it must be because you are one, instead.

| >  Thank you for continuing to waste your time here.  At least I
| >  keep you off the street and out of other kinds of trouble.
| More nonsense.

  Yes, but it's called a "joke".  Lighten up any time you want.

| >  Suppose you interpret hostility where it wasn't, and you are at
| >  fault for first attack with that justification.
| Unless hostility is so deeply embedded in your psyche that you don't
| have to intend it to be clearly present in your writing.

  You know, when a sentence starts with "suppose", it is customary to
  read it as "for the sake of argument, suppose", and it is usually an
  attempt to cause you to reexamine your conclusions by altering one
  or more of its premises, at least hypothetically.  If you just cling
  to your conclusion and attack the altered premise, you provide some
  evidence of how you think, or, in this case, don't.  Being able to
  deal with the hypothetical is quite important.  When you can't, but
  have to defend _yourself_ against the slightest possibility that the
  hypothetical might be true (by attacking in response), you prove
  that the hypothetical would be dangerous to you if actually true.
  If that was all I wanted to know, I'd be very content right now, but
  there's more to it: You don't seem to be able to recognize the fact
  that _you_ might have started (in your terminology) all this.

  Unless you are able to hold that possibility at least slightly open,
  you cannot possibly be _justified_ in your hostilities, either,
  because you have just made up your mind by rejecting facts before
  you came to your conclusion, which means your selectivity denies the
  validity of your justification more than anything else, as that is
  what you have chosen to act upon.  By making up your mind outside of
  the facts, you commit the "crime" of over-extending your assumptions.

  Some day, you will realize that every communication is a process of
  trying to understand what the sender had in mind.  If you are dead
  certain of the outcome before you even start, you are not really
  engaged in the process of communication, but in mindless prejudice,
  and hence in starting hostilities _each_ time, because the other
  party may have ceased, or never started.

| >  How do you expect that whoever _you_ attack should respond to you?
| Yet a completely different standard applies when you interpret my
| writing as hostile.

  Huh?  Do you _have_ to raise the deflector shield to avoid getting a
  _single_ clue?  Whatever gave you _any_ indication of different
  standards?  Why are _your_ actions so dependent on what you imagine
  that I think or do?

  See, this is one of those cases where your comprehension is fueled
  by your prejudice so much that you can't even read what I write.

  I'm asking you how your "because you started it" defense for _your_
  hostility will ever see a cease-fire.  What does it take for you to
  stop being a hostile moron?  Since you're on the verge of being
  obsessed about me, which you share with some committed cases: I know
  what causes my cease-fires: I don't respond in kind, I don't play
  mirror games, and I don't pretend that I'm not fully responsible for
  my own actions.  My justification is not that you continue, but that
  I want to see how long it takes for you to realize that you are no
  longer dealing with a hostile partner.  Hence, no direct insults of
  your intelligence, as you manage that very well on your own, no need
  to broaden the context, as you drag in so much that I don't have to.

| Basically it comes down to you preaching about things that you don't
| practice.

  That could have been true if you understood what I was preaching,
  but since you don't, yet, it's only a stupid insult.  Quit that.

| So comparing my intelligence to that of an animal is not exhibiting
| pure hostility, when no such comparison was reasonable.

  It's hostile to the role you have chosen to play, but that's your
  choice.  If you make another choice, there may be no, less, or more
  hostility depending on fairly well-understood parameters.  As long
  as you do not snap out of your role, you provide evidence that you
  can only play one role, of the "be yourself" kind, which never has
  been true of anyone, incidentally.

| Which is to try and piss them off using time-honored techniques and
| then when they get mad and probably use some of the techniques that
| you yourself employed to piss you off, then you point at that as
| though it proves your previous insults.

  No.  You miss the point completely.  I tend to say things that
  pisses _some_ people off whether I intend it or not, whether other
  people find it offensive or not, whether any other person would be
  pissed off, usually because it's true and they want it untold.
  There's always _someone_ out there who can't handle contrary
  experiences, information, or opinions, no matter _how_ it is
  expressed.  The only way to learn, which is what all this started
  with, is to actively seek experience, information, and opinions that
  runs counter to your own.  Some people are completely inept at this
  task and never actually _learn_, they _repeat_ and they live in a
  cut-and-paste reality, essentially the same from day to day, where
  change means threat.  I have a _very_ low opinion of that mode of

  However, when someone who reacts with hostility to something I say
  go out of their way to talk about stuff they have no possible way to
  know even if it were true, solely for the purpose of venting spleen
  and hostility, _then_ I have proof of their lack of mental acuity
  and then I say just that, which pisses some people off tremendously
  instead of recognizing that they did something that caused someone
  to draw that conclusion and do something else so they could conclude
  something else, too.  Considering that it is impossible to judge
  anyone on the Net except from what they write, and considering that
  writing is a supremely _conscious_ effort, all I do is make people
  fully aware that if they _choose_ to act like morons who prove that
  they can't do anything else, it's their own responsibility.  Most
  people don't like to take responsibility for their actions at all.
  Growing up past childhood is so hard in a society that is obsessing
  about the merits of youth and which denigrates age and experience.

  However, these few paragraphs where you seem to try to grapple with
  what you think I do is at least a step in the right direction.

| Of course your entire strategy relies on trying to keep the focus on
| the others by implying that you are somehow above them.

  No.  Again you miss the point.  Just because you feel inferior
  doesn't mean that anyone else feels superior or wants to.  I don't
  believe in being "above" people.  I believe in being "above" both
  acts and situations.  People don't come in rankable qualities.  What
  they choose to act like and otherwise do, does, of course.

| When criticism is received, you preach self-introspection, with the
| pretense that what you do is not subject to criticism.

  No.  There is nothing in what I say that defends this conclusion.
  It is, however, quite common for people who think _themselves_
  exempt from statements they make about others in general to believe
  that others suffer from the same extremely unintelligent attitude.
  Since this is quite common in Christian cultures, and nowhere else
  to my knowledge, it ought to be broken down because it's _wrong_.

| That's the amusing part: that you now decided to post nonsense about
| my introspective ability while calling what I did "mirror games."
| Hell, the irony probably escapes you.

  Not at all, but I'm not sure you see that there is more than one
  target for that irony.

| Of course Erik continues his nonsensical tirade about how he is
| perceived as hostile or otherwise bad by only those lacking mental
| aptitude.  The logic is of course essentially circular.

  Really?  _Circular_?  You have to explain that one.  I may well piss
  off people who have a reasonable mental aptitude, but they have the
  smarts not to start _quarreling_ over some petty details.   It is
  quite possible to respond to what you find valuable, not only to
  what you find objectionable.  When you ignore the signal and latch
  onto the noise, that's a sign of low intelligence and inability to
  cope.  When you can filter out the noise and pay attention to the
  signal, that's a sign of high intelligence and ability to cope.  You
  have made your choice _quite_ exceptionally clear.

| >  Look, if I said the weather was nice, you would be insulted.
| More sloppy guesswork continues.

  No, just more jokes at your expense.  Here's a hint for you: If you
  think you can use irony and accuse me of not getting it, would it
  not be _very_ smart of you to actually _get_ my jokes at you, too?

| Oh my god.  This self-righteous idiot now acts though he were both a
| player and a referee.

  "Choose some less moronic role!"  "No, I _want_ to be a moron!"

  You prove my earlier point, excellently: That you cannot learn from
  someone who isn't _nice_ to you.  Hell, I don't think you learn, I
  think you parrot and repeat what you've heard, just like the mirror
  game that shows zero creativity.  Just because I say it doesn't mean
  it isn't true, you know.  Just because it hurts like hell doesn't
  mean you shouldn't take it seriously and adjust your act accordingly.
  However, _some_ people get into this role where they have only one
  thought: That the other guy must stop hurting them.  Many criminals
  get into that role relative to the justice system and police.

  Note the important distinction between reactions based on action and
  reactions based on person: If you realize that you could change your
  actions and the reactions would stop, you'd have to be pretty damn
  stupid not to change your actions, but if the reation is based on
  person, there is nothing you could do to make the "reactions" stop,
  like false accusations, racism ("driving while colored" comes to
  mind), etc, there is grounds to fault the other party exclusively.

| ... but that's the only thing that you've shown any competence in.

  Well, not quite.  But it serves my purpose to have retards like you
  post such broad statements.  I find it very instructive to watch
  people who _prove_ that they are extremely one-dimensional.  I don't
  yet understand what makes people who are so one-dimensional able to
  work in such a complex society as ours, but it is obviously possible
  to be devoid of essential mental abilities and still survive in a
  high technology society where people of all kinds and habits will
  have to work together and meet.

  One would have thought that the new modes of communication would let
  people realize that they don't have to deal with the _entire_ person,
  but some people really are so people-oriented that they cannot even
  deal with electronic text without imagining and fighting a complete
  person entirely of their own creation, instead of a very limited
  role that does not have to get into their lives or on their nerves.

  If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.