Subject: Re: What about the newbies?, was: Re: Understanding Errik Naggum
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 10 Oct 2002 18:02:33 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pascal Costanza
| Do we want to attract more newbies?  Do we actually want to create more
| interest in Common Lisp (or Lisp in general)?

  We do that by being a quality forum that discusses something that newbies
  want to read about.  My tack on this is that most newbies do not want to
  read about your feelings or about how other people feel about me.  The
  more you discuss how newbie-friendly you want to be, the less newbie-
  friendly you actually /are/, because newbies do not want to read about
  how newbies are to be treated -- I would find that condescending and
  patronizing in the extreme in the areas I am a newbie -- they want to
  read something that can make them stop being newbies and take part in the
  rich tradition that they may momentarily feel outsiders to.  You and the
  other actually quite hostile feel-good guys make such a stink about the
  newbies that if I were a newbie, I most certainly would not post for a
  long time after reading your self-serving crap about how nice you will be
  to newbies.  My God, I would find another language to be a newbie in
  where they treated people with respect and the expectation that they
  would be able to learn quickly and would not be newbies for long, instead
  of going into a forum where I am "marked" as a newbie and then people are
  supposed to treat me like I'm special or something.

  Stop patronizing people, Pascal Costanza!  You scare off the newbies who
  want to stop being newbies.  The best you can do with your policy is
  attract stupid children who think it is OK to be treated like children
  and pampered and pandered to.

| Is "education" of the newbies among the goals of c.l.l?

  Not in the sense that anyone assumes responsibility for anyone else.

| Do we want to help them to overcome the hurdles that Common Lisp actually
| seems to have in the perception of newbies (and even of those who have
| reached a "medium" level)?

  This is what we did here until you feel-good guys chose to attack me and
  started talking about how good people you are when you not like me.
  Until you shitheads started to make such a ruckus here about how holier
  than everybody who has actually helped people for years thou art, we have
  actually succeeded in bringing quite a few people up from inexperienced
  to experienced in a fairly short amount of time, and we have been very
  helpful to people who wanted to learn.  If today I am regarded as an
  experrt, it is in no small part because of the people here who helped me.
  If I had been treated like a newbie, I would have left the community
  alone.  It is because people here are expected to have working brains
  that they get chided for not using it.  If they were expected to be fools
  with too many emotions for their own good, nobody would chide them, but
  neither would they stay to discuss things of real importance with them.

| For the sake of completeness: Do my questions convey a misconception?

  Your questions convey a deep disrespect for both newbie and experienced
  reader alike.  You know best, you know how to run this show, it could not
  possibly have worked before you came along, and without your change in
  style to a positsive reinforcement first style suitable for educators who
  have responsibility for their students and of psychotherapists who assume
  responsibility for the /lives/ of their patients, we could not have had a
  good environment here where people would actually want to get on good
  terms with those who are in the know.  Without your feel-good therapy
  from experts down to the lowly newbie, we could not possibly have
  developed our own experts.  Thanks to the /lack/ of your feel-good crap,
  this forum is worth reading for people who do not want to remain newbies.

Erik Naggum, Oslo, Norway

Act from reason, and failure makes you rethink and study harder.
Act from faith, and failure makes you blame someone and push harder.