Subject: Re: Xanalys Germany (was Re: Discussions, was Re: Why is Scheme not a Lisp?)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 19:56:08 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Espen Vestre
| Are you counting out the possibility that these two interests may
| coincide?

  No.  Using 23 lines of his 48-line "me too" article for advertising is an
  extremely poor professional as well as personal decision.  Banner ads are
  bad enough on the Web.  Here on USENET, we have a pretty general rule
  against advertising and for using only 4-line signatures.  We also have a
  general rule against posting "me too" articles.  I mean, America Online
  got to be synonymous with that kind of idiotic newbie behavior, and now
  it is used by a Lisp vendor to tell the world that not only is their
  German office run by a moron, they advertise in his moronic articles.

| That lisp vendors actually may be interested in a more friendly 
| climate in comp.lang.lisp?

  Of course they are.  Does it help to post idiotic "me too" posts with
  huge ads?  No.  Should they learn from this and avoid doing it in the
  future?  Yes.  Does it help to post idiotic "you other guys please use
  mail while I continue posting" posts?  No.  Should they learn from this
  and avoid doing it in the future?  Yes.  Has Rolf Mach done the same
  idiotic things before?  Yes.  Has he learned from it?  No.  Does he think
  that there is always something wrong with people who do not follow his
  rules?  Yes.  Is any of this an instance of _politeness_?  No, most
  certainly not.  Hence my reaction.

| Even in the noisy scheme vs. CL thread, I've read a lot of really
| insightful comments, especially from Kent Pitman and you (which e.g.
| helped me understand why I like CL and have a distaste for scheme myself).

  I am happy about this.

| But the noise level is high, and the level of rudeness is sometimes quite
| unnecessary.

  I regret that, naturally, but in polite company, when someone tells you
  that you are doing something useless, you back down, you do _not_ start
  to yell back, defend yourself, or start telling stupid lies about the
  person who simply corrected something or made a joke you took personally
  to begin with.  I actually criticize _actions_, but the response I get to
  that from the morons is 100% pure personal attacks.
| So in its current state, I don't think c.l.l. is something lisp vendors
| can point at and say: "Look here and see how the lisp community is
| thriving, see how helpful it is!" (as an example of the opposite, flame
| wars are virtually non-existant on the quite active info-mcl mailing
| list).

  The list probably has a pretty specific purpose to which people adhere.
  The more people are aware of their purpose in doing something, the less
  they stray from it.  I want the purpose here to be: Discuss Common Lisp,
  do not try to re-open old issues for the 4711th time, do not instigate
  trouble with open hostility towards things you do not "like".  I argue
  that a professional _likes_ his tools, or he just uses different tools.
  A professional who dislikes his tools is a contradiction in terms.  If
  you cannot stand the dirt you get under your fingernails in one line of
  work, get yourself a different job or another line of work.

  The purpose of comp.lang.lisp is different to Scheme freaks and whiners:
  They want to spend all their time here attacking design decisions in
  Common Lisp which they use to fault somebody else for their own personal
  failure either to succeed with Common Lisp or to learn how to use it to
  solve their problems.  All this idiocy about Python, for instance, is
  like going to a cat show and whine endlessly about how dogs are better
  than cats.  Then there are the moronic "politeness crowd" which has no
  purpose here whatsoever, other than to harrass people with extremely
  impolite behavior of their own, as if anyone can achieve polite behavior
  out of others that way.  For some curious reason, many of these are
  German and display an atrocious lack of taste when they are "offended",
  as if other people have a duty not to offend them, and if they do, they
  have the "right" to attack people viciously.  Something is rotten in
  Germany.  I believe you are in position to be fairly objective about this.

| I can _understand_ why you and others react the way you do sometimes, but
| I don't think it's a wise thing to do.

  Look, I tell people _politely_ but not necessarily _kindly_ that that
  they should do something else.  95% of the time, people get the message
  and never even get into a position they need to back down from.  5% of
  the time, they get themselves into such a position, and then do _not_
  back down, but start taking _everything_ personally and feel hostility in
  everything I say, no matter what it is, and some even go so nuts they go
  on a fault-finding mission that lasts for years, just to take "revenge".
  There is clearly something wrong with such people.

| This is something I try to tell my kids as well (I'm a person who has a
| tendency to shout loud when I really dislike something, so I speak of
| experience...): Try to react as polite and calm as you can.

  I do not shout, which my cat can attest to: She spends the time I spend
  with the keyboard lying in front of me on my desk, relaxing or sleeping
  on her back -- and she hates sharp noises of all kinds.  I calmly ask
  people to go fuck themselves in real life, too, which has a much stronger
  effect on people.  Some people, however, spend a lot of time fantasizing
  about screaming and foam coming out of my mouth, such as Thomas Bushnell
  did recently, and apparently have a strong personal need to demonize
  their opponent so they can feel good about their own downright atrocious
  and even evil behavior and relieve themselves of responsibility for it.
  Nothing makes people behave worse than believing that somebody else is to
  blame for their behavior.  I consider it such an unintelligent thing to
  do that people who have stopped being responsible for their own actions
  must be psychotic or generally completely out of their mind and that
  there is no longer possible to talk to them -- one just has to wait until
  they regain their consciousness.  For some it seems to take years.

| By overreacting in a dispute, you only risk being regarded as the
| "impossible" party.

  As if anything I do could possibly change that in the minds of the bad
  guys.  If people have to reach their conclusions without thinking or
  without investigating causality and context, what do I care what they
  think?  But _still_ some people pick a fight with me?  I consider someone
  who does that to be retarded beyond recovery just there.  I mean, the
  _only_ reason these shitheads keep fighting me is that they have come to
  the conclusion that they are no longer to blame for their own behavior.
  I want such people to show the whole world how they behave when they want
  others to behave.  In short, if you cannot be polite when you ask other
  people to be polite, you _are_ an idiot.  If you cannot do what you
  suggest that other people do, such as using mail instead of news, you
  _are_ an idiot.  The curious thing with these people is that they are
  unable to stay reasonably on-topic and _also_ express their petty little
  moralistic gripes.  They even actually think that if they find a word
  which is on _their_ "do not use" list, then there _cannot_ be anything
  technical in the same article.  I want to see what kind of people are
  thusly retarded and unable to focus on their purpose of learning and
  using Common Lisp.  I also want to give people a chance to show me what
  they focus on: If I have 90% technical content to an article and 10%
  stuff that some retard finds "offensive", and he responds only to those
  10%, I know that his purpose is not compatible with this newsgroup -- his
  purpose in life is to make _other_ people behave, while he himself is
  free to do anything he goddamn pleases, including much worse insults than
  I ever use.  I find this somewhat entertaining, actually, and I guess
  that gets communicated to the morons who keep kicking and screaming.

  But since you ask so nicely, let me see if people get any less moronic
  and psychotic with less strongly-worded reactions.  I strongly doubt it.

  In a fight against something, the fight has value, victory has none.
  In a fight for something, the fight is a loss, victory merely relief.