Subject: Re: Engineering Envy [was: Re: CL and UML]
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2001 16:41:50 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Andy Freeman
> Today, it tends to divert "noble savage" labor into something that
> we'd call sweatshops, something that the "savages" strongly prefer
> to THEIR alternatives.

* Craig Brozefsky
> This is a very common argument, but I have never seen anything but
> anecdotal evidence to "support" it.

  Are they forced somehow to work in the sweatshops?  If you can
  demonstrate that they are, you may have a point.  If you cannot, and
  those who work there _could_ go back to whatever they came from, what
  kind of evidence do you need?  If you imply that they "have" to work
  there because they would otherwise starve, which is the usual stupid
  argument against child labor and sweatshops and other forms of "we think
  of this as slavery, seen from the other side of the world on TV, only",
  please let it occur to you that being saved from starvation is pretty
  good, even if the alternative to death by starvation is some other form
  of misery, as seen with Western comfort standard.

  It is rather obvious to me, but maybe it needs to be said: Those who have
  the option of better work than that in sweatshops would have to be forced
  to work in them.  There has never been any evidence of such force.  Those
  who are provided with a miserable standard of living that differs from a
  miserable standard of dying by a lot more than most Western do-gooders
  are willing to think about, somehow conjure up a fantasy world in which
  these people would _not_ die if the sweatshop disappeared.

> Lastly, why should they, or anyone for that matter, be satisfied with
> subsistence labor?

  Well, it sure works wonder to be dissatisfied with the only better choice
  you have.  That sure makes people elsewhere interested in giving them
  even _better_ choices.  It also certainly makes the population happier
  about the improvement they have seen in their lives and therefore willing
  to _invest_ in their own future.  If they are _satisfied_ with the fact
  that this is a step in the right direction, they will take another.  If
  they are dissatisfied with that step, they will take no more of the same
  kind.  This does not only happen in those foreign countries where the
  contrasts are so stark that any unthinking couch potato can be hurled
  into emotional engagement in such matters, it also applies to single
  parent families that subside on social security and who are discouraged
  from getting a job because the net disposable time*income is much lower.
  In such cases, a job is step _down_, with which people are dissatisifed,
  hence nothing ever happens.

  Those who make those sweatshops look so awful to the people who may have
  forgotten what other options they [do not] have, destroy not only their
  financial livelihood now, but their psychological livelihood for most of
  their future, too.

> We're getting quite off-topic now.

  Not really.  This is all about why some people "prefer" C++.  :)

  Travel is a meat thing.