Subject: Re: the naggum-mine claims another victim
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 2000/12/01
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* "Patrick W" <>
| Flagellating people who post opinions to usenet is an intentional act.

  I'm glad you see it this way.  This must mean that posting idiotic
  drivel is also an intentional act, not an accident of nature, nor
  something people do out of helplessness or inability to act otherwise.
  This is my defense for flagellating people for doing those things when
  they clearly _ought_ to have engaged their brain and _thought_ before
  they posted.

| I'd bet my bottom dollar that Naggum himself (to borrow a phrase from
| a concurrent thread: "if he's honest") would agree.  In fact I'm
| surprised he hasn't "enlightened" you already.

  I have argued several times that life is hard and that the mistake we
  make in the Western culture is to believe that we are somehow "owed" a
  pleasant and simple and safe life.  Not so.  All of these qualities of
  life have to be earned through work and effort.  In contrast, many
  people go through life with the one goal of avoiding confrontation and
  simply avoid holding any opinions that they fear will cause rejection
  from their peers in the first place.  Such people become _truly_ upset
  when they still find themselves engaged in a confrontation because
  they are _completely_ helpless in their new position of having pissed
  people off _because_ they thought they held non-confrontational views.
  (You see this in passive-aggressive responses to criticism.)  It gets
  especially bad if they think they are entirely in their right to hold
  the opinions they do without question from their surroundings, but
  this happens mostly to overly religious people who go _postal_ if they
  aren't allowed to denounce abortion or homosexuals or recounting votes
  or some other "declared evil", such as uppercase letters.

  Just recently, I said that the second biggest mistake we make towards
  each other is to be too lenient.  Just because life can be really easy
  when you deal with rational people who make it a point to think about
  their positions and their relation to the positions of others, does
  not mean that we must assume that others are rational and think about
  their positions simply _because_ they want to be nice and kind and all
  that.  Quite the contrary, in fact, since people seem to confuse
  civility with rational positions, you have to be extra careful with
  someone who comes across as pleasantly nice and harmless.  Swindlers
  and con artists are the most agreeable people you find.  The more
  slick and smooth someone is, the _more_ you should be on the alert.
  The same goes for arguments presented without passion.  Chances are
  they are _intended_ to slither into your memory without being examined.

  (The paranoid will now have a field day with the above paragraphs,
  which they will think defends the symptoms of their mental illness,
  but it doesn't.  Being critical and mentally alert is the very
  antithesis of being paranoid, which is seeing threats that _aren't_
  there.  Being able to distinguish between scary fantasies and a scary
  reality is hard work, not something you can fake your way through by
  being scared of _everything_.)

  Nature is harsh and just.  People should be more natural.  Civility
  and peace are great when they are _achieved_, but a threat to all
  mankind when they are enforced by someone who wants to stop people
  from engaging in healthy confrontation about real differences that
  won't go away simple because people don't talk about them.
  Solution to U.S. Presidential Election Crisis 2000:
    Let Texas secede from the Union and elect George W. Bush their
    very first President.  All parties, states would rejoice.