Subject: Re: "Well, I want to switch over to replace EMACS LISP with Guile." (was Re: Lisp in Python)
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 16 Oct 2002 04:14:21 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Greg Neumann
| Actually, I am curious.

  You communicate curiosity extremely poorly.

| Are you so unable to read, and so arrogant to believe that I assigned a
| huge value to my comfort?

  Those are the choices I get?  And you are /curious/?  You continue to make
  a very strong impression as a judgmental type who has a serious disability
  when it comes to listening to other people and deferring judgment until
  you know enough to avoid making easily preventable mistakes which you
  will compound by going on to defend after you made them.

| But the realization that I am trying to show you what a proponent of
| oversimplified software is thinking, has just set off your moron alarms
| so hard that you search now to repair me.

  You assume way too much about other people.  Do not guess, do not assume,
  think, ask, listen.  You only set off my "moron alarm" with this response.

| Yes, deeeeep into my mind you go, seeing the inner hurt of me searching
| for only a comfort, something that does not make me (my GOD!) change my
| PERSPECTIVE *sob*.  I must not be of two minds, or the universes will
| collide!!

  Seek professional help.  Today.

| Now you listen.

  You seem to be of the arrogant opinion that this command would entice a
  change of state.  I am not as close-minded and judgmental as you are.  I
  always listen.  Even if you in particular do not deserve it.  I always
  listen for the sound of a thinking mind.  You do not emit that sound.

| There are people I've met who think they understood my life, and rather
| arrogantly tried to Teach Me What It's Like.  I will try telling you now
| that you underestimate me and my experiences.  I think you too will
| continue to have your mental model of me, but I never know.

  I do not have a mental model of you.  This is why I asked if you had a
  "zero state" in your value system, but you have confirmed my initial
  suspicion that you do not even have the concept of a "zero state" and you
  demonstrate that you expect people to be for or against you, which means
  that you do not have "absence of comfort" as different from "presence of
  discomfort" leading to your being "uncomfortable" with Common Lisp when
  you simply do not know how it works.  You see, before people invented the
  zero, they did stupid things like have year 1 AD follow year 1 BC.  The
  invention of zero was a stroke of genius that seems not to register with
  many people.  Therefore, absence of good is not just absence of good, it
  is presence of bad -- like the other guy here who has not invented the
  zero, yet: neutral language means absence of warmth means cold language.
  It is just fascinating that people can go through a couple decades of
  life on this planet and not grasp "zero", but I see it happen, so it must
  be a really difficult concept to fully understand.

  Please note that I do not care enough about /you/ to even consider it
  worth my time to determine if you really are a moron.  I do not think you
  are because I do not think about you at all.  I respond to your articles
  as you choose to post them and what you /write/.  I do not have the
  stupid tendency many people have of filling in the blanks in order to
  deal with a "person".  Having mental models of people is retarded, as it
  reduces your ability and capacity to be surprised by what people do.  If
  you have to check first with your mental model, you become a judgmental
  asshole even if you do not try.  If you respond to what they /write/, you
  have no need for the mental model unless the writing is unclear, but even
  then, the presumption of knowing what somebody will say based on what
  they have said is anathema to /thinking/.  Even if your prediction should
  be 100% accurate, the guy could have talked to a friend and changed his
  mind on something the minute before he wrote the article -- he could even
  have read the article he responds to (what a concept!) and got the point,
  which invalidates your accurate prediction /because he could think/.  If
  you are non-thinking idiot and prefer to deal with other people as non-
  thinking idiots, predicting their behavior on past occurrences is easy
  and very useful.  If you intend to be a thinking person and want to deal
  with other people as thinking persons, /you do not presume to know what
  they will have thought about since last time you talked with them/.

  You have chosen to show me a small handful of written articles, and there
  cannot possibly be grounds for a mental model based on those articles.
  If you choose to present yourself as a nutjob like you chose to do a
  couple paragraphs up, I do not even want to know why you did it (but just
  think that if this is how you react, you /clearly/ need professional help),
  and I am likely to forget that you did if you make another, better choice
  how to present yourself the next time around.  You have a choice all the
  time, every time you respond to someone.  The ultimate insult to a human
  being is to presume that he cannot or will not engage his brain enough to
  consider new evidence, or to presume that he has not thought carefully
  about what he presents to you.  Many people here are this kind of moron,
  and some of the most unthinking idiots I have ever come across are the
  ones who write me to ask "I don't know what to make of you", as if I
  could possibly care what they make of me, other than that a person has to
  be really dysfunctional to begin with to want to make something out of
  other people.  What could he possibly /do/ with that information?  The
  only answer I can come up with is that if you have made up your mind
  about somebody else, you can stop thinking about what they write.  Why
  waste the time to make up your mind about someone if all you can do is
  stop really /interacting/ with them in the future?  So the whole thing
  does appear incredibly irrational by all my standards.

  The focus of your articles to this newsgroup should be to ask questions
  and collect responses that are useful to yourself.  You should have stuck
  to the soup questions.  If you cannot deal with technical corrections and
  arguments, the touchy-feely guys will be available to help you shortly.
  Please stay on the line.

| But we can bring this into personal email if you happen to be curious.

  I am not curious about you.  I wanted to make you think.  It did not work.

| I want to try to stay ontopic here, and my point with this entire letter
| is that we both see that I have a wrong model of lisp.

  You presume to speak for me.  Please do not do that even when you think
  are right about it, because that is the core problem.  You are /never/
  right about what other people think /because they can change their mind/
  without having any obligation to let you know they did.  It is useless to
  believe you know what other people think.  You should confine yourself to
  precisely and solely what they actually said, and in response to what.
  This is a written forum, with excellent history functions so you can look
  up exactly what people wrote in response to exactly what other people
  wrote.  Your fuzzy memory and impressions of people does not help you
  here, even if it helps in real life, because the little you see of people
  on the Net is not sufficient even to presume that you know /anything/
  they will do in the future.

  Severely judgmental people have real problems with this and think that
  they could not exist in a universe as unpredictable as I say this is, but
  that is because their level of involvement in other people is much too
  deep for the actual bandwidth the signals travel on.  Even if I have
  shouted "shut the fuck up, you moron" to every single person before you
  who have done something you think is exactly the same as you have done,
  it was an independent decision each and every time, and your judgmental
  attitude problem does not give you the right to "prepare" for such a
  reaction.  This means that you make a grave mistake by behaving in a way
  that would cause the response you dread.  But judgmental people like
  little boxes they can put things and people in.  There is some evidence
  that the jugdmental personality disorder is /way/ more common than the
  open-minded who is willing to ignore everything he has ever experienced
  before if the new experiences defy prediction based on his previous ones.
  Related to all of intelligence and creativity and surprisability, the
  mind that is capable of processing information without force-fitting it
  into pre-existing little boxes is also able to understand new things and
  new situations without forcing them to look like something else because
  it is easier to deal with it as if it were something else.

  Your reaction to Common Lisp from a Scheme point of view does not give
  you much hope of coming across as intelligent, creative, surprisable, and
  open-minded and willing to listen, but now you have a choice in those
  matters.  Instead of going non-linear like you did a few paragraphs up.

| Your degree of seeing "wrong" is more than mine.  But I'm just beginning
| to have the experiences that lead me to this point of view (I just can't
| take your word for it, can I?).

  Please see another article I posted today about believing my word.  The
  idea is to encourage you to think.  You only feel, and defend yourself
  from the feelings you think I caused.  Both are fairly stupid things to
  do in a written medium where the intelligent approach is to stick to the
  points that are important and valuable to yourself.

| I mean thanks, but you're not telling me anything I don't know, and I'm
| more self-observant than I let on.

  I am not interested in you.  Despite your own deep interest in yourself,
  you are not interesting as a person simply because you write something
  fairly nutty to a newsgroup and keep it up with ranting and raving.  You
  would in all likelihood never become interesting to me as a person.  Such
  touchy-feely stuff is for people-people like Pascal Costanza who want to
  hold your hand instead of trying to understand what you think about.

| Your pursuit of my personal mind

  You are really gravely mistaken about what I wrote, dude.  Please read it
  again and see if you can engage your brain this time instead of defending
  your stupid feelings.  You are not under attack, because you are not even
  interesting enough to be worth attacking.  What you /wrote/ is under
  attack, because it is fairly stupid and annoying.  Grasp the difference!

| I'll take silence as a tacit answer and be done here.

  So many assumptions.  So little thought.  What on earth ticked you off?

  You might be interested in an observation I have made about different
  types of people and which programming language they prefer.  People who
  display a strongly judgmental character prefer Scheme over Common Lisp.
  People who display a strong sense of open-mindedness and willingness to
  listen to other people (which is why you get a response from me at all),
  tend to prefer Common Lisp over Scheme.  Those who think they know what
  is right and want to impress their opinion on other people seldom find a
  willing audience in this newsgroup.  More often than not, these people
  have made up their mind that Scheme is the right thing before they come
  to this newsgroup.  The huge friction between Scheme and Common Lisp is
  not the programming language, but the inability of open-minded people to
  work well with judgmental people.  You seem, so far, as if you would be a
  great member of the Scheme community and would benefit from as little
  thought as possible about /how/ and /why/ you chose your values.

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.