Subject: Re: ...and even for those _NOT_ interested...
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 21:14:59 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* David Bakhash <>
> It's a free market out there for the Lisp guys.  They can put whatever
> pricetag on their stuff, as far as I'm concerned.

  If you really meant that, you would not have complained about their
  prices, you would simply have worked to find or build cheaper solutions.
  Since you do talk about the pricing, it looks very much like misdirected
  bitterness.  It is simply none of your businsees to argue about anybody
  else's prices.  If they are way too high, it is an excellent opportunity
  to go in there and make a less expensive product.  Of course, that would
  be a lot easier if some of the competition had not given away their work
  for free and some of it for too little, but maybe it will dawn on you
  some day that the hardest thing in business is to charge the right price.

  Also, inability to buy something you want is _not_ somebody's fault, not
  even your own (think about it).  You have complained bitterly about a
  product you cannot purchase for a very long time, as if some _right_ of
  yours has been abridged or violated.  This provides a very strong signal
  to those who could have provided tools to the Common Lisp community that
  they should not do so, because they are looking at a customer base that
  consists primarily of stingy people who do not want to pay (enough) for
  Common Lisp products to keep the vendors alive.  It is the attitudes that
  you are professing that is killing the Common Lisp market.  Because every
  time you complain, the customer base shrinks a little, just like you told
  us about your experience.  This is _one_ reason never to discuss business
  matters on the Internet.  Another is that _any_ information you find on
  business matters on the Net must be treated as completely unsubstantiated
  and basically regarded as malicious rumors, but most people are oblivious
  to the accountability of information they receive and regard any and all
  sources of information as "equals".

> But that information will propogate so fast that they won't know what hit
> them.

  Somebody has to put that information "out there" before it can propogate.

> If they screw someone over, they'll get it.

  Some of us -- I begin to realize we are a shrinking minority -- still
  appreciate the legal system for its ability to arbitrate conflicts such
  that all parties are properly identified and heard, still want _fairness_
  to have a fighting chance, and still appreciate the rational course of
  acation in the face of disagreements to seek more information and to make
  impartial conclusions.  You, David Bakhash, are not in that minority.

  The above one-liner is a strong signal to people who might do business
  with you that they should be _very_ careful about the way they conduct
  it.  It is also a very strong signal to the community that if someone
  _feels_ screwed, they will make sure that those who have the "gang up on
  the alleged bad guy"-quality that was so cherished before civilization
  happened will join in and beat up however made them feel bad for whatever
  reason and cause.

> That's the beauty of open media, free press, and the Internet.

  How do you correct mistakes once the information has propagated "so fast
  the victom won't know what hit him"?  How do you run after all the people
  who are of the pre-civilized kind who just love to beat up people they
  happen not to like for any numbers of reasons and shout "hey, wait, he's
  not a bad guy after all"?

  There are a lot of astonishingly unintelligent people out there who have
  zero concern for people they have somehoe excluded from humanity, those
  they do not want to empathize with.  This neanderthal mentality that
  people can be divided into "us" and "them" and you can do whatever you
  want with "them" as long as you are one of "us" is so amazingly popular
  in pre-civilized gangs of missing links, pre-humans, idiots and morons
  who still roam the earth, some of them having figured out how to dress in
  suits and ties, that it is damn nigh _impossible_ to stop a malicious
  rumor.  Those who have the intelligence and wherewithal to question them
  (and of course not repeat them) encounter them repeatedly from the most
  bizarre sources, frequently in contorted versions they recognize only
  because they know what it was contorted from.

  The "beauty" of giving everybody access to the microphone, is that you
  have to _expect_ that what people say is nuts, but that is not how we
  deal with people.  We generally expect people to be rational and honest
  and not go about destroying things maliciously, but some do.  It is of
  course an affront to everything human and decent to abuse public fora
  with falsehoods of any magnitude, but also to spread "information" that
  is hurtful to a party that cannot defend itself, that cannot be undone,
  in a process that cannot even be _reversed_ if it turned out to be wrong
  and unfair.

  It annoys me tremendously that you are so selfish and destructive that
  you completely fail to see the negative aspects of your own behavior,
  David.  The "beauty" of the free press is that we have libel laws to take
  care of the destructive idiots.  If it was such a "beauty", why would we
  need such laws?  Giving every person who wants to speak a voice is the
  wrong choice.  Democracy works when it is representative and guarantees
  that procedures must be followed if anyone is to be punished or otherwise
  have his rights taken away.  We do not need Internet Lynch mobs, but when
  it happens, it is the _furthest_ thing from "beauty" I can think of.

> I don't always agree with the individual outcomes, but on the whole
> forums such as this improve overall productivity.

  Sure, this belief is why people have no concern for fairness.  They have
  some "higher goal" that think is serviced by their behavior.  This is why
  people _also_ object to anything they see as unfairness much more
  severely than they would to fair treatment, and you, David Bakhash, are
  grossly unfair to somebody you could simply stop mentioning and working
  with.  It was a mistake for _them_ to try to deal with _you_, but such
  mistakes are hard to avoid when you run a business that has to be open to
  all kinds of customers.  _You_ are the real perpetrator here, David,
  because you think it is morally defensible to be unfair to someone in
  order to improve overall productivity.

> Vendors find out what developers need and care about, and that is a value
> they get.  Well, I believe it goes beyond features, and so I'm
> comfortable writing about it.

  The problem is that on the Internet, the saying is updated to read "once
  burned, a billion times shy".  People make mistakes all the time.  The
  important thing is to make it possible to correct them.  If somebody do
  not _want_ to correct them, I say flog them.  If they want to, but are
  not able to because people are prejudicial assholes who fail to update
  their opinions when the facts they were once based on change, we have a
  severe problem.  This problem is exacerbated by the tendency of people
  who are already prejudicial assholes to gang up on their victims.

  Since you are so goddamn "comfortable" about writing about somebody you
  happen not to like, even though they seem to have done a lot to try to
  make you feel happier, why are you not comfortable about other people
  telling the world about their encounters with you?  What we see from you
  here is grossly unfair.  I would not deal with you if you gave me a
  billion dollars to produce a Common Lisp environment, and sure as hell
  would never in a lifetime hire you to work on a Common Lisp project.

> The last thing I ever want to hear is that a company got burned _because_
> they used Common Lisp.

  That has never been the case.  Not not, not in the past, and not in the
  future.  If you stick to this story, however, _you_ are the one who makes
  it into an issue about Common Lisp and not the real issue, whatever it is
  -- it could even _be_ overpricing, dwindling markets, uncertain future
  for the Common Lisp environments because of that, or whatever, but this
  is _not_ because they used Common Lisp.

  Go play in another language if you cannot stop griping, David Bakhash.
  You are doing the business community in the Common Lisp world a major,
  major disservice when you think you do anything good with your incessant
  griping.  Just go do something better with your life and your money, will
  you?  Every one of us who still work to make Common Lisp a viable tool in
  a changing world needs to make sure we survive while doing it.  You are a
  direct threat to that survival, because you are effectively antagonizing
  the very concept of making money providing Common Lisp environments.

  Not everybody are able to provide you with the goods you want at the
  price you want.  Just learn to live with it.  The ability to buy whatever
  you fancy is not a human right that is violated by charging more than you
  can afford to pay.  Leave those who charge more than you can afford alone
  and pursue other goals.  It is not like you do not have any options.

  Travel is a meat thing.