Subject: Re: PART TWO: winning industrial-use of lisp:  Re: Norvig's latest paper  on Lisp
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 01:19:51 GMT
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Kenny Tilton
| USA speakers and writers anyway have seen enough merit in the anti-he-ists'
| position that they have adjusted usage to avoid the universal "he". ie, in
| this case the PC crowd, as sucky as they are in general, have prevailed.

  Not so.  Numerous writers rail against this subjugation of intellect to the
  political will of feeble-minded neurotics.  If there is anything you learn
  from traveling across the United States, it is that there is no such thing as
  "USA" (is that the politically correct term?  does "American" exclude Canada
  and/or Latin and/or South America?  do I have to care about this, too?) as a
  homogeneous and universally applicable adjective, anymore than "European".

| Again, the anti-heists have prevailed, to the extent that persisting in using
| "he" universally becomes the anti-social act.  Their success means my
| writings appear sexist if I use "he" universally, whether I am sexist or not.

  Precisely my point.  The problem is that you cannot go back and rewrite old
  texts to appease your neurotics.  In other words, your entire past is sexist.
  Your whole _culture_ is sexist because some neurotic feels hurt when you use
  "he".  This very paranoia means that every book written before the Transition
  must be burned, lest the neurotics feel hurt.  Expressions of ideas that are
  in danger of appearing to refer to back pre-Transition texts will be "sexist"
  before they are even read.  The Constitution will be sexist.  Before we know
  it, American English will have become the most irrelevant language on the
  planet, American culture will be as worthless as George W. Bush, people will
  look to a people who fights its own past and laugh, all around the world.  I
  mean, I have recently tried to figure out what this "reparations for slavery"
  thing is all about, and I come across organizations for openly racist blacks
  who want to terminate the white race -- because the American culture _ended_
  slavery.  I mean, _geez_, dudes, what is _wrong_ with you?  Clearly, dealing
  with people who are primarily black and secondarily human beings and who do
  _not_ want to be Americans is outright _dangerous_ for me, being both pale
  and white and considering rap to be anti-music and BEV to be equivalent to
  illiteracy.  It would never _occur_ to me to treat a black person differently
  from a white, but now I have to consider the possibility that a black person
  I am facing is a member of an organization that wants to terminate the white
  race and hates _me_ because of my "race".  This is one reason I do not want
  to move to the United States.  The rampant and violent black racism scares
  the hell out of me.  When people change their whole language so their entire
  history and everything that has been written in _correct_ English becomes
  sexist and oppressive to women, I am suddenly in danger in the United States
  simply because I happen to be _male_.  And white male at that!  What could
  the United States _possibly_ have to offer me?  If the political correctness
  freaks get their way, and it seems that will, _I_ will be oppressed and
  discriminated against in a few years.  With the "popularity" of a bastardized
  "Spanish" and the tolerance for Hispanics who refuse to learn English, my
  ability to speak fluent American English without an accent is becoming a
  goddamn _liability_.  Unless I can find a way to guarantee a huge fortue and
  live a protected life where these things would not affect me in my lifetime,
  the United States has _very_ little to offer a white European male.  I think
  it has very little offer white _American_ males, too, actually.

  So what _possible_ value could such a culture have outside its own playpen?
  Now that your retarded president has made the whole population into victims
  and the ability to voice concerns over the rapidity of the loss of freedom
  that Americans face who are not openly favoring the near-totalitarian Bush
  policy of "national security", what the hell kind of freedoms are you trying
  to protect, anyway?  I watched in horror as an esteemed professor was chased
  out of office and into personal ruin because he (an actual male) had used a
  word that some hypersensitive racist black assholes did not _know_ -- he used
  "niggardly" to refer to the university budget committee's decisions.  It is
  utterly unrelated to "nigger", but to those whose pronunciation is so broken
  and whose vocabulary is so stunted that it sounds like someone had insulted
  them, it was enough to inflame so many retards to make it _appear_ that he
  was racist, despite his work, despite his record, and he was crushed under
  the political correctness machine.  So now "niggardly" is out, too.  I have a
  last name that could be misunderstood as racist by some hypersensitive idiot
  who only hears the N and hard G sounds in short succession!  Watching how
  people on this newsgroup behave when they are served _opinions_ that go
  against their own, I _have_ to believe that the American culture is the most
  oppressive and prohibiting and restricting on earth, with a lower tolerance
  for the free expression of contrary ideas than you had under the McCarthy
  period.  At least under such an oppressive regime I would have had _some_
  clue that I would be clear of danger.  But now?  Geez, you _incarcerate_ your
  own people without due process for having shaken hands with muslims in
  Europe!  I have partied with both muslims and black people at the University
  of Oslo!  There are pictures of me with a black African girl who _later_
  became a muslim.  Do I have to be on guard at all times when I come to San
  Francisco for the ILC in October?  Do I need bodyguards if I present a paper?
  What happens if I use "he" about the generic programmer?  What happens if
  someone in the audience somehow feels excluded from some group they want to
  belong to because of some poor choice of words?  At least I know that I must
  _not_ speak about U.S. domestic or international politics -- I probably have
  to promise that to the INS officer in writing, right next to the box I check
  off that says I am not a member of the foreign press so they can throw me in
  jail or ban me from ever entering the country again if I write an article to
  the (gasp!) _communist_ newspaper in which I own (gasp!) stock.  Well, maybe
  I would not even be safe from McCarthyism because of that.  Ooops, I am also
  a gun owner and master marksman -- will I be marked a terrorist?  Clearly, I
  need contingency plans and must bring with me the phone numbers of both
  lawyers and the Norwegian embassy and/or consulate offices.  I would have had
  to prepare less for the effects of random acts of government had I planned to
  travel to Israel or Iran.  Perhaps I should just drop ILC until they hold it
  in an actually free country?  I'm just waiting for George W. Bush to change
  the name of the nation to the Free United States of America, much like other
  oppressive regimes have used a similar misnomer in their name to throw people
  off guard.

  Perhaps I should get a sex change operation and get a _really_ good tan
  before I visit the U.S. next?  Can I say I think Condoleezza Rice should be
  the next president of the United States?  (If both woman and black is too
  much, at least make her (an actual female) vice president with Colin Powell
  as president.)  Can I say that I absolutely _adore_ Halle Barry, or would
  that be considered to favor blacks who "act white" and as anti-white among
  race-sensitive whites?  Do I have to learn Spanish before I come to San
  Francisco if I want to avoid "offending" the staff at the hotel?

  I just don't know, anymore.  The United States of America turned into a
  country of fools when George W. Bush was elected president and a country of
  whining victims when a few buildings were destroyed.  Now you tell me the
  political correctness neurotics have "won", too, so I have be super careful
  to do late binding of gender, or some radical feminist within earshot will
  beat me up, I will be ostracized, etc.

  You know, I could basically ignore all that crap and just enjoy myself when
  visiting the U.S. previously.  When George W. Bush was elected and even more
  so when he (an actual male) proved he was a retarded, angry child and he
  still got very high approval ratings, what I had believed to be insignificant
  symptoms of an irrelevant change in public culture -- at least as far as I
  was personally concerned -- turned into _serious_ grievances.  It's like --
  whoa! -- you guys are _serious_ about this completely nutty oppression

| I think one is on thin ice, btw, when one starts talking about absolute right
| and wrong in language.

  I do not see anyone who argues for any absolute right.  I see people who
  think in such terms because it is more convenient than the much more complex
  alternative -- that language _defines_ what is right and wrong, that the
  language embodies the philosophy and culture of the population.  (Why else
  would you have to change the language to combat "sexism"?)  It is not that I
  find "he" absolutely right, it is that I _know_ that when you make "he"
  absolutely "wrong", almost everything that I love about the American culture
  (and it is still a lot), is in serious jeopardy of becoming _archeology_.

  A close and long-term friend of mine emigrated to China recently in order to
  live in a free country.  He (an actual male) keeps calling and asking that I
  come join him.  Another good friend of mine (also male) works in Hong Kong.
  At least a tall white male would not be in serious danger there, and for the
  foreseeable future, they will probably think good command of English is a
  feature worth paying for.  At least until the United States gets completely
  fucked up.  Reelect Bush, and I'll consider it to have happened.
  Guide to non-spammers: If you want to send me a business proposal, please be
  specific and do not put "business proposal" in the Subject header.  If it is
  urgent, do not use the word "urgent".  If you need an immediate answer, give
  me a reason, do not shout "for your immediate attention".  Thank you.