Subject: Re: type safety in LISP
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 10 Dec 2002 17:58:15 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Pascal Costanza
| Do you mean the Cardelli paper?  If you think its contents are
| crappy, then just come up with a better alternative.

  You appear not to learn from experience or input from the external
  world, so let me just say this for any remaining audience:

  If one thinks something somebody does is utter crap in one's
  judgment, there is /no/ obligation do better, and neither /can/
  there be.  An age-old principle is that the burden of proof is on
  he who asserts the positive.  In practice, this means that the
  person who argues /for/ something gets to do the dirty work.  It is
  a serious logical fallacy for the person who argues /for/ something
  to demand that those who argue /against/ it do the dirty work of
  achieving his goals, not to mention highly immoral and /sleazy/.

  This goes directly to how some people fail to handle rejection, and
  it is one of those things that defines a person's personality: When
  other people do not value what you have done, /you/ should take it
  back to the drawing board if /you/ need their approval; you should
  /not/ demand that those who do not approve of it fix it for you, or
  you should work harder to convince people of the value /you/ think
  it has, not demand that other people do something else that /you/

  It is /indecent/ to make the kind of demands that Pascal Costanza
  keeps making when people reject his ideas or opinions.  First, it
  portrays a serious lack of self-sufficiency in that it appears to
  be a /demand/ for approval.  This is consistent with the demand
  that others be "nice" and take care of their emotional well-being.
  Second, it appears to be an admission of /defeat/, that what people
  reject is the absolute best he could ever come up with, and even
  when people reject it, they are obligated to help achieve the goals
  -- meaning that unless you want to spend time helping, you should
  not offer any suggestions or comments whatsoever.  This is, sadly,
  also consistent with the demand that others be "nice" because it
  may be "hurtful" to someone to face rejection of their /goals/ as
  well as their half-assed attempts to achieve it.  It is consistent
  with the lack of self-sufficiency, too, as the defeat indicates not
  a lack of effort, but of /insufficiency/ in achieving one's goals.
  An argument from misery like this is a well-known fallacy dating
  back thousands of years, but it does not get more valid with time.

  It may not be in particularly good taste to reject something without
  due cause, but it is just too stupid to take it seriously.  Attempts
  to belittle any rejection, well-founded or not, with a demand on the
  rejector to come up with something better is not just in bad taste,
  not just stupid, but the kind of thing that manipulative people need
  to resort to when they are shit out of luck, and know it.

| I don't know what arrogance has to do with it. Just come up with an
| alternative suggestion, and we can discuss the advantages and
| disadvantages.

  It is /quite/ arrogant to demand that people do as you please, and
  it tends to piss people off to have some dishonest dipshit who does
  not even know enough about proper argumentation to stay away from
  serious fallacies make such demands.

  According to the principle of burden of proof and ordinary decency,
  it is Pascal Costanza who gets to listen to the criticisms and come
  up with something better.  After all, /he/ is the one who has made
  a stink about "correct and accepted terminology", not anybody else,
  so /he/ gets to support his case, not anybody else.

  No wonder he wants people to be nice -- to /him/.  It is pathetic!

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.