Subject: Re: 3 Lisps, 3 Ways of Specifying OS
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2001 01:30:27 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Rajappa Iyer
| Fact: each individual system component in Debian is individually
| upgradeable.
| Fact: individual system components in Debian are periodically updated
| even within the same release.
| Fact: installing some package may result in an upgrade of another package.
| So tell me, how exactly can you tell with any degree of certainty what
| 2.2r3 consists of without an inventory of all the relevant installed
| packages?

  All these findings of facts hold for FreeBSD, too, do they not?  Since
  you claim that you can say what you say for FreeBSD, the onus of proof
  remains on you to show it to be true for FreeBSD.  When you have shown
  that, you have also shown that it is true for Debian, because the same
  conditions hold for Debian.  In other words, I fail to see what your
  argument really is, here.  It looks like so much useless FUD.

| Perhaps you've been lucky enough to never have your Linux system hosed to
| the point of having to edit the package database manually (due to poorly
| specified package dependencies and conflicts), or getting burnt with libc
| changes to the point where (the dynamically linked) /bin/sh stops working
| etc. but I haven't been as lucky.

  Oh, geez, another burn victim with another sob story.  Just get over it!
  Painful experiences that damage your ability to deal with a fast-changing
  reality are just holding you back.  Memory is a wondeful thing with us
  humans, but not when you remember things that change under your feet.  If
  you choose to give priority to your painful memories over tracking the
  developments that invalidate them, that should be a personal choice the
  consequences of which should not be levied on anyone else.

  Only if you have reason to believe that people are evil and do harmful
  things on purpose, such as is obviously the case with Microsoft, can you
  rely on prior experience to predict the future.  Just because you had a
  painful experiernce does not mean that somebody else meant to hurt you
  _and_ will continue to hurt you if presented with the opportunity again.
  These are disjoint judgments.  Far too often, people who have been hurt
  cannot see beyond their pain, but one of the most important, if not _the_
  most important time to exercise your observational skills to the fullest
  and require the utmost of your intelligence is when you experience pain,
  because it is an indication that _something_ is wrong.  Fortunately for
  us humans as a species, that is just how the cognitive system works in
  the psychical reality, but we seem to nee to be taught to do it in the
  psychological reality we create for ourselves.  The biggest intellectual
  mistake you can make is to make up a conclusion from what looks like
  convenient enemies at the time it hurts and then never re-examine it --
  such is the very recipe for intellectual dishonesty and any disaster that
  follows is easily trackable to that one decision not to think while you
  experienced something painful.  Unfortunately, people are effectively
  taught to disconnect their thinking process while suffering pain, and it
  is somehow legitimate in most Western societies to react irrationally to
  something painful long after the pain itself is gone.  This is just a bad
  cognitive process and needs to be fixed, because it causes such things as
  unfair characterizations of the work of other people, of other people as
  such, of groups of people, of cultures, of countries, etc, and before you
  know it, some monosyllabic president goes to war because he is pissed off.

  Norway is now run by a priest from the fundamentalist Christian People's
  Party, the fifth largest party representing one eighth of the electorate.
  The purpose of computing is insight, not numbers.   -- Richard Hamming