Subject: Re: Why is Scheme not a Lisp?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Tue, 02 Apr 2002 19:56:22 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

| Fair enough. Most of the technical corrections you (and others) make,
| particularly in the recent Unicode discussions, are among the more
| educational posts in the forum, for me, at least.

  This provides a certain balance to your view, but not sufficiently so.

| Other than that, it's the posts that aggressively criticize the people
| behind the posts that got me to make my first post in this thread.

  Please take a closer look at what I respond to and precisely what it is
  that I criticize.  Some people refuse to do this because they have
  already made up their mind due to the "word count syndrome", but this is
  a peculiarity of the judgmental character that gets into trouble in the
  first place.

| I know that Usenet isn't supposed to be some kind of newbie-friendly
| love-fest, but posts calling people morons and psychotic?

  USENET is not text, it is context.

| My personal gut instinct, if you decide to respond to me in that manner,
| would be to respond in kind, "turn the other cheek" be damned.

  Then you _really_ need to look at how these things start.

| Personal issues aside, the image it presents for Lisp is pretty horrible,
| when presented in a public forum.  As a Lisp newbie, seeing posts damning
| people as moronic, psychotic idiots isn't exactly an attraction to the
| forum or the language.

  If you are the kind of person who has no regard for context and are
  therefore unable to deal with pain in context, I fail to see how any
  public forum or, indeed, reality, could possibly lead to anything but
  severe depression and shizophrenic withdrawal.  Some people (my empirical
  evidence indicates about 5%) go nuts when they are exposed to unexpected
  pain (like thinking it is "unfair" or that the universe somehow owes them
  less pain) and the rest cope with it just fine or even learn faster from
  slightly unwelcome experiences than being cuddled simply because they
  switch to learning mode when reality does something unexpected instead of
  judgment mode to teach reality a lesson.  When the world is just as
  expected, generally no cognitive processes are involved.  Coping with
  cognitive dissonance is perhaps the most basic of an intelligent person's
  set of mental skills.  Failure to do so means that a person is much more
  interested in preserving his current perception of the world than to
  maintain a productively useful perception of the world.

| It obviously isn't stopping me posting, since I like the language, but it
| would certainly make me think twice about suggesting this group as
| reading material to a tentative manager (or any individual, for that
| matter) wanting to know more about the language.

  I think a person who is unable to read news is dangerous anywhere on
  USENET.  comp.lang.lisp is not the exception some of you guys want to
  make it out to be.  All newsgroups have to deal with trolls and idiots.
  Overall, we have far fewer of them, and even if trolls and idiots are not
  known to be bright, most of them figure out that there is a connection
  between what they do and how they are treated.  The few morons who just
  have to oppose every "authority" they encouter are a problem everywhere,
  but when they suffer from delusions of moral superiority and think they
  can do worse things than somebody else and still remain innocent victims,
  they become truly evil.  This, however, is a localized phenomeon, and if
  you can figure out how to read threads, you will notice that a long
  exchnage between two people is very unlikely to be useful for a newbie,
  regardless of who they are talking about or how.

| Was this the initial post you're talking about?


| You guys were antagonistic to each other before that, in other threads.

  Thomas does not understand that he gets a new chance to behave well.  To
  him, like most other idiots in most newsgroups, things are personal and
  he has a deep-seated personal need to be vindicated and not come out the
  bad guy.  This alone makes him a bad guy, because if you cannot be the
  bad guy, somebody else has to be, and it leads to such useless things as
  only one party regarded as "injured".  This is extremely unproductive.

  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.