I recently wrote: > such behavior is not very effective (at least in the US)
referring to things like calling people idiots (even if they are).
I started pondering the disclaimer I found myself having to put in in order to be accurate: at least in the US. I think some of the differences in style that we see on the Internet may be tracable to cultural differences. I wrote
> on occasion I behave not so differently from Erik Naggum
Which is to say I rant and rave and call people names that I know will inflame them. (I usually stop short of "idiot" but I have been known to make liberal use of the term "ignorant." Most people don't know the difference, nor do they care.)
Part of the reason I did (do) this is my upbringing. I was raised in the U.S., but my parents are Israeli. In Israel the "rudeness calibration setting" is much higher than in the U.S. You have to be a lot more obnoxious in Israel to be considered rude than here. Israelis will scream and rant and call each other morons and think nothing of it. If you call someone ignorant in the States it's a serious insult. Likewise, a lot of things that we in the U.S. wouldn't think twice about are considered unconscionably rude in Japan. It took me a lot of years to figure that out. (I'm still working on internalising the lesson.)
Perhaps the rudeness calibration setting in Norway is more like it is in Israel than it is in the U.S. Maybe you can call a Norwegian an idiot or a twit and expect them not to be offended, or to localize their offense to that one exchange and start fresh on the next one. I am, frankly, sadly ignorant about Norwegian culture.
This is getting very far from Lisp so I'll shut up now.
* Marcus G. Daniels | I'm not implying that. You claim that it is healthy to vent frustrations | or feel joy when those emotions occur. I claim there is flip side and | that is, for some people, there is a slippery slope to absusive behavior | that occurs when no effort is made to think-about or control their | [angry] emotions. I think the psychological dynamics of these things are | more complex than have been described so far.
your introduction of no effort to think is quite typical of people who believe emotions to be irrational, which certainly explains why they (1) remain polite as long as they can, and (2) go ape when they can't. I'm not sure it's worth the trouble to point out to you that you don't have to insert this premise into the argument, and that by so doing, you have changed the argument into something it was not.
it also seems entirely pointless to attempt to dispell your desire to make this a dividing line between uncouth barbarians and sophistication.
| It's not suprising to me that a few people who would ordinarily prefer | polite behavior would continue non-polite discussions if that was the | only way to proceed. I don't see how that makes them hypocrites unless | they explicitly said earlier that they would not do this for moral | reasons. People have preferences, and they needn't be absolute.
sigh. I said "go ape", not "be non-polite". at issue is why people who pretend to value politeness lose _all_ moral pretexts once the have to let "polite" go. please read what I write, and please try to refrain from answering something I don't. it wastes a lot of time if I at all want to waste the time it takes to answer you.
| Maybe, rightly or wrongly, they will explode due to this kind of prodding. | Or, maybe they *are* behaving irresponsibly.
I was trying to suggest that the _way_ they explode is indicative, not that they become angry, although that, too, is certainly a part of how people react. you, for instance, assume that I'm angry over time, which I find utterly amazing given the fact that I give you a truckload of evidence not only to dispell that notion, but to give you a solid foundation for understanding what else is going on. I'm annoyed with people who make such a fuss about their insight into other people's intentions and mode of thinking who can't even manage to update their silly notions in the face of evidence to the contrary just because they can't hold onto their beliefs, anymore. such _is_ the root cause of the problems that some people get into, and not because they are polite or not, but because they are fundamentally unaware of what they are doing.
I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish by shifting the blame onto me for everything, but one thing I do know: those who consider their own behavior to be somebody else's responsibility, be that derived through biochemistry or whatever other mushy circumventions, will never learn from anything they experience. I'm interested in the rest of mankind.
* Marcus G. Daniels | I'm not inserting that premise into the argument. It seems to me | emotions are an important part of motivation and thus thought.
a tacit premise for a reasonable discussion is that the particants do not contradict themselves simply because it suits their argumentation. I find it rather bizarre that you believe you can get away with it.
| I believe you practice what you preach, in terms of directly stating what | you think and feel. (You might do this out of necessity, but I can't | prove that.)
why do _you_ need to engage in such foul play, Marcus? is it because you would have nothing to say otherwise?
| However, directly stating what one thinks and feels can be an obstacle to | communication, if there are alternative ways to express oneself that are | less likely to create a fight, but still get the message across.
I wonder, why is this a choice between "directly" stating what one thinks and hiding it behind polite language? why did you need to narrow the argument down to _directly_? is it because it's a good argument that you can't defeat unless you narrow it down to something much more specific but also wholly irrelevant to the discussion? why do you go out of your way to make this as unpleasant as possible? is it to see how I react to your twisting my words, shifting the context, and narrowing the argument so it is no longer what I have said at all? yes, Marcus, you succeed in making me quite annoyed at your inability to stick to what I say, but I have seen your kind quite a lot: people whose distaste for something cause them to _invent_ something that is clearly bad in order to get an easy time fighting it. such propagandistic communication is perhaps the _one_ thing I find most to be disrespected in somebody.
| I'd replace the idea of politeness with the notion of civilization and | social order. I often wonder how different suburban neighborhoods I know | would degenerate if the water and power went away or if the police and | emergency support was not available. It's not hard for me to imagine | seemingly nice people turning into cruel people in a short period of | time. If that happened, it wouldn't necessarily be because the | hypothetically cruel people in the degenerate neighborhood didn't have | their own morality. It might be that civilization gives them enough | latitude that consequences of the deep structure of their beliefs are not | superficially evident.
well, let's take a similar stretch of imagination and deprive somebody of air. I "often wonder" how people would react if you took away their air supply. it's not hard for me to imagine nice people turning into cruel people in a very short period of time, making a hell of a lot of noise and commotion. but what does that have to do with polite discussion?
why do you think this is a valuable comparison to anything we're talking about? do you think a newsgroup is the victim of deprivation of power and water or police and emergency support when somebody is direct and clear and does not cushion every possible criticism so hypersensitive twits won't have anything to react to? you seem to be arguing about the final stages of an all-out war, but who cares what you have to say about that if you are so opposed to it becoming that way? what should have been interesting is to discuss how it all starts and develops. I suspect you don't have a clue. nobody starts off with the insanity you seem to take for granted, just as no conflict starts with depriving people of power and water. I'm beginning to suspect that you are emotionally disturbed by the absence of such necessities of your life as polite conversation in a newsgroup that you don't even _see_ that those who start these things are incredibly rude people who have already dispensed with decency when they start firing at me. imagine starting a war over not being polite enough? who are they _kidding_?
you certainly give of an air of wanting me to be blamed for all ills, but being a tad more intelligent than Raffael Cavellero, understand that you have to be more circumventious to achieve your goal of removing all responsibility from those who do what I react to: (1) post a bunch of false accusations, (2) assume the worst without even the possibility of making a mistake, and (3) react as if they have been personally hurt and in need of defending themselves from bodily harm.
in short, you are so off the mark that your smug, nasty drivel is obviously completely irrelevant to anything I do or say, and can have no bearing on it except what slander you might make people believe, and I think even you would agree, if you were able to think about it, that such abuse of a medium in order to destroy somebody is cause for mounting a defense. consequently, I'm not sure if you're doing this for the same kind of demonstration purposes as your comrade-in-arms Raffael Cavellero, but it sure looks like you're just as shifty and unable to stick to your arguments as he is.
| If a person mainly values a pleasant atmosphere, and someone goes out of | their way to make it unpleasant to see how they'll react, then its easy | to see how the interaction will be violent.
I detect the foul smell of hatred in your words, Marcus.
why do you have to make this complex issue into a simple black-and-white who's-to-blame? first of all, there is no grounds for anything you're saying here. if anything, people who accuse me Nazi sympathies or accuse me of favoring murder and torture of third-world workers are certainly going out of their way to make it unpleasant, and we already know that one of them did it to see how I'd react. whatever is wrong with you manage to decide that everything is my fault?
please take your nicely worded hatred elsewhere, Marcus. I would prefer if you engaged in a little introspection, but I now have to assume that this would only lead to even stronger hatred and destructive desires, complete with the passive-aggressive "politeness" of your words. which sort of proves my point: if you can lie and inflict harm with a smile, are you better or worse than if you do it while it is obvious that you are angry at something? in my view, somebody who acts to destroy while appearing friendly at the same time is bordering on psychotic, and is certainly in no position to speak of pleasant athmospheres.
if you have anything to say about the present situation or anything that could be applied to the present situation, I'd be interested in hearing it. as long as you keep making statements that purport to be relevant to the present situation that couldn't even apply to it in a fantasy world, communication with you is indeed impossible, and will never be otherwise.
>>>> In message <3147364242174...@naggum.no> >>>> On the subject of "Re: Societal differences and rudeness calibration" >>>> Sent on 26 Sep 1999 19:50:42 +0000 >>>> Honorable Erik Naggum <e...@naggum.no> writes:
>> * Marcus G. Daniels >> | I think the reason is that writing is `serious'. >> >> USENET is clearly somewhere between spoken and written >> communication. believing that USENET is on par with other writing >> is just stupid, so please don't pretend you do, OK?
I still vaguely remember the message rn(1) gave before accepting a posting - something along the lines of "your article will be posted to millions machines worldwide, costing the net billions of dollars to transmit - are you sure you want to do this?" (7 years ago?)
These days I would say that USENET is even less serious than face-to-face communications - the only retributions you can expect are flames and killfile, so people don't bother to think before posting.
Erik Naggum wrote: > I happen to think that communication with you is impossible, because it > is impossible to figure out whether you are just saying something to > cause a reaction or actually mean it. ...
postmodernism. culture. freud. no meaning, just words.
An article by Marcus Daniels contained the following quote from Erik Naggum:
> EN> the Viking lore (I'm going to be accused of Nazi sympathies again,
I waited a few days for the original post from Erik to show up on my news server so I could get the context for this quote, but it never did. I can't find it on deja.com either, so I can only assume it's lost in the cosmic void. So I don't know if Erik is referring to me here or not. However, Erik has been quite vocal in the past that I supposedly accused him of Nazi sympathies or something similar. He has called me "an evil person" and threatened me with legal action. Because he seems intent on clinging to this paranoid delusion, I feel compelled to set the record straight.
Here is the exchange that started it all:
> but I gotta give Bill Gates this: not since Joseph Göbbels has > any one man been able to lead so many people right into such a > disastrous future.
> Your continued comparison of Microsoft to the Nazis diminishes the > horror of the Holocaust, and I find it quite offensive. Unethical > business practices, no matter how egregious, do not deserve to be > compared to even a single murder, let alone millions upon millions.
Any sane person competent in English can see that I did not accuse Erik of anything more serious than making an unwarranted comparison. In all our subsequent discussions I never accused Erik of anything except being insensitive, hypocritical, and rude. I stand by those accusations.
I am baffled that Erik, who continually calls people to the carpet for reading more into his words than is actually there, cannot see that he is doing to me precisely what he berates others for doing to him.
> .... > Because he seems intent on clinging to this paranoid delusion, I feel > compelled to set the record straight.
> Here is the exchange that started it all:
> > but I gotta give Bill Gates this: not since Joseph Göbbels has > > any one man been able to lead so many people right into such a > > disastrous future.
> > Your continued comparison of Microsoft to the Nazis diminishes the > > horror of the Holocaust, and I find it quite offensive. Unethical > > business practices, no matter how egregious, do not deserve to be > > compared to even a single murder, let alone millions upon millions.
> Any sane person competent in English can see that I did not > accuse Erik of anything more serious than making an unwarranted > comparison. In all our subsequent discussions I never accused > Erik of anything except being insensitive, hypocritical, and rude. > I stand by those accusations.
I skipped most of the postings dealing with this topic, and am surprised at myself now. Taking a side in a quibble like this is ... hm. Anyway, you whish to "set the record straight".But this may prove perilous. Competent reading of the text above, that you refer to, reveals that:
1. Erik does not make the comparison you accuse him of ("Your continued comparison ..."). 2. *You* have chosen to interpret his words that way. 3. The comparison, if any, is that both men are exceptionally talented at fooling people ("not since ..").
Perhaps you could compile the appropriate threads into a document, publish it on some server and announce the URL to this newsgroup? Anyone sufficiently interested can then read the whole quibble at his leisure.
In article <37F1FA78.F4EED...@eralslk.ericsson.se>, Lars Lundback
<eral...@eralslk.ericsson.se> wrote: > I skipped most of the postings dealing with this topic, and am surprised > at myself now. Taking a side in a quibble like this is ... hm. Anyway, > you whish to "set the record straight".But this may prove perilous. > Competent reading of the text above, that you refer to, reveals that:
> 1. Erik does not make the comparison you accuse him of ("Your > continued comparison ...").
That is completely irrelevant. Whether I am right or wrong does not change the fact that all I accused him of was making an unwarranted comparison.
> 2. *You* have chosen to interpret his words that way.
Oh? I suppose you think Joseph Goebbels is notorious because he was a master chef, and the "disastrous future" that he "led so many people right into" was a fallen souffle. Well I have news for you: Joseph Goebbels is notorious because he was a Nazi, and his "disastrous future" is the historical period known to English-speaking people around the world as the Holocaust. That is the way things are. It's not my interpretation.
> 3. The comparison, if any, is that both men are exceptionally > talented at fooling people ("not since ..").
This too is irrelevant, for the same reason. My accusation may have been wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that I did not accuse Erik of what he claims I accused him of, that he has chosen to take great umbrage at, and for which he has threatened me with legal action.
But as an aside, that may have been what Erik meant (I believe it is) but it's not what he wrote. <sarcastic> As I am not as gifted with clairvoyance as some people on the Net, I have to restrict myself to responding to what people actually write. </sarcastic>
> Perhaps you could compile the appropriate threads into a document, > publish it on some server and announce the URL to this newsgroup? Anyone > sufficiently interested can then read the whole quibble at his leisure.
* Erann Gat | Here is the exchange that started it all: | | Erik: | | > but I gotta give Bill Gates this: not since Joseph Göbbels has | > any one man been able to lead so many people right into such a | > disastrous future. | | Me: | | > Your continued comparison of Microsoft to the Nazis diminishes the | > horror of the Holocaust, and I find it quite offensive. Unethical | > business practices, no matter how egregious, do not deserve to be | > compared to even a single murder, let alone millions upon millions. | | Any sane person competent in English can see that I did not accuse Erik | of anything more serious than making an unwarranted comparison. In all | our subsequent discussions I never accused Erik of anything except being | insensitive, hypocritical, and rude. I stand by those accusations.
for some reason, my news server doesn't have this article, anymore, so I'm following up to Lars Lundback's quotes from it. (thanks, Lars.)
Erann and I have been exchanging some e-mail privately, and it has suddenly dawned on me why he keeps saying that I introduced the Holocaust into this debate: he believes that Joseph Goebbels' propaganda had the Jews as their _audience_. that is to say, it should be fairly obvious from reading what I wrote that I was talking about the German people, for which Joseph Goebbels produced propaganda films and other materials that subtly and very effectively made them accept the political stance of the Nazis to exterminate Jews and gays and the handicapped. the disastrous future that Joseph Goebbels led the _Germans_ into was prolonging the war at least a year beyond the natural point of defeat, at enormous loss to those who believed the propaganda for many hard years to come, and _that's_ my comparison: the believers in propaganda are made to pay.
however, I'm constantly amazed by how some Jews fail to grasp the losses and suffering that were inflicted upon other people during that war. an enormous number of Russian soldiers died under horrible conditions. an incredible wound was inflicted on Germany. the whole German psyche has suffered 50 years of gnawing guilt for the fact that their people could _do_ something like that. people who have been abused and who have been made to believe that they accepted it and is therefore to blame have the kind of individual problems that the whole German culture is oozing with. this happened, not because Germans are despicable, loathsome people, but because Joseph Goebbels was the greatest mass marketing genius the world has probably ever seen. he sold ideas through entertainment! it's so simple, yet so _deviously_ deceptive. he formed people's opinions by giving them _his_ words to express them and _his_ imagery, and he made all the care in the world that he did not _push_ opinions on anyone. you should be _enjoying_ his productions and think as little as possible, it should be _relief_ above all to watch the movies, and they you absorbed the ideas effortlessly because they were only a tad more specific than what you had in mind yourself. you can all imagine how truly effective this is, and how guilty someone who has been tricked by it will feel. a lot of people will do _anything_ to keep from realizing they have been duped, and that's the beauty of good propaganda: if you're smart enough to figure out that you've been had, something goes on within people that makes them work _for_ the propaganda machine, as if to make what it says true. for whatever we ought to hate Goebbels, he really understood what makes the human mind tick when in large masses.
meanwhile, in comp.lang.lisp, Erann Gat has consistently written about what I have been saying in the same kind of just-a-little-worse words than I have used, and you'd have to be _unconscious_ not to notice the effect over time, but that's just what people are. that's what search engines are, too. by setting up his own propaganda machine, he proved not only to object only to Goebbels in _name_, because he adopted his theories with a passion. that's what I have been trying to stop: we should learn from Goebbels precisely because we should remember what it led to. instead, we ignore the lessons because they came with a lot of pain, and then we set ourselves up to be hurt again. I've said this before, too. it annoys me to repeat it.
obviously, and I mean this is _really_ obvious, Bill Gates doesn't hurt the people who don't believe him much -- it's the fools who do that are going to pay, and pay so much I predict a _very_ significant crash in technology stocks. (now, I'm not Ballmer, so you won't see Dow Jones or NASDAQ take a dip today or tomorrow...) it is also bloody obvious that Bill Gates is not favoring _killing_ any particular group of people, unless you take his pathological competitiveness and predatory behavior to be a dire threat to decent businessmen and smart people everywhere, but I don't see him as favoring such things _literally_.
that Erann Gat responded as if the Jews were under attack again may very well be due to his personal cultural background (he mentioned that he's from Israel and few non-Jews are, so I'm guessing here), but I've worked with Jews who have not been on this 50-year-long victim trip, and I have worked with Jews who have been, but the latter appear few, although very vocal, like Erann Gat has been here. only the latter see the Holocaust wherever it might be possible to introduce it. I must say that I have about as much respect for people who conjure up ghosts like that as I have for people who can't get over being defeated at a battlefield 700 years ago, which is apparently what ignited the masses on the Balkans, and I don't even consider people who at least appear to be smart to suffer from such debilitating delusions. therefore, I didn't even cross my mind that anyone could read what I wrote to be about the "disastrous future" of the _Jews_. (but _what_ future? the Jews were robbed of both past and future, damnit! Germany was left with their new legacy.)
now that I have been the subject of so much fucking insane abuse from a whole bunch of deranged lunatics, I'm going to ask Erann Gat to speak up and state his assumptions (ever noticed how I keep carping on this? can you _finally_ guess why it's so important?): Joseph Goebbels' audience, which is what I was talking about, just like I wast talking about Bill Gates's audience, were the Jews, and that the disastrous future was that of the Jews. then I can say: NO, Erann, the Jews were never the intended audience of Joseph Goebbels' propaganda. Joseph Goebbels manipulated the _German_ people, so that the other Nazi leaders and Hitler in particular, could kill their enemies. I don't expect anyone to believe me after Erann Gat's despicable smear campaign to have his assumptions turned into my intention (propaganda indeed!), but if he expects to set the record straight, let it be straight:
Joseph Goebbels were _not_ concerned with propaganda towards the Jews. this is an historical fact. Joseph Goebbels himself kept all explicit references to the Jews out of his material and his films, much unlike Hitler's shots at propaganda, where he explicitly likened Jews to rats, which Joseph Goebbels found utterly disgusting and counter-productive, which it turned out to be, so he was left alone. I have studied the man (the first modern mass marketing and propaganda genius deserves a serious study, if for no other purpose than to avoid the third, now that Bill Gates is the second), and I have been much influenced by Noam Chomsky's works on necessary illusions and manufactured consent during my study. what I found was that (1) a whole bunch of nutcases thought that only neo-Nazis could be interested in Joseph Goebbels' works and movies, and (2) the vast majority of the people who are opposed to what he did, buy the same dirty propaganda from today's politicians and mass marketing people for the simple reason that they don't know what Goebbels _did_: only that he was an evil man that nobody should touch. we're letting history repeat itsel because we shut our eyes to the past, instead of the only possible thing we can do with it: learn from the past through study and eternal vigilance against the warning signs of cultures that are likely to be influenced by the same kind of propaganda machinery that once killed many millions of people (and far from Jews, only).
Germans, destitute and starving, flocked to the theaters to see Joseph Goebbels' last movie, an incredibly extravagant movie with so many effects and soldiers and horses that he had to convince Hitler to let him use the equipment and people intended for battle at the front to finish it. on screen, Germany was still a great power (although this, too, was an historic movie, where the great military leader was made analogous to Hitler in very many subtle ways), and if they could make this movie, of course the off-screen suffering was only temporary and was only caused by the enemies and it could be blamed on the Jews. soon they would win and regain their glory. it's a great movie by all standards, but its history is grim indeed: because of the soldiers taken out of active duty to ride and fight before camera, thousands of their comrades died needlessly, and many civilian lives were lost. because of Goebbels' insistence that this movie run everywhere, a huge proportion of the country's last breath went into chearing in a movie theater, only to hold the inevitable off for a few months. his brilliant propaganda led the German people to accept the ongoing atrocities, not the least those sent to the battlegrounds. I'm not exonerating him for anything: he knew what he was doing, and
Erik Naggum wrote: > | > but I gotta give Bill Gates this: not since Joseph Göbbels has > | > any one man been able to lead so many people right into such a > | > disastrous future. .. > at this point, I will not concede that a rational man would have > thought I had meant the Jews if you had not brought it up.
Just for the record:
I took Erik's words to mean that the *German* people were led to a future that was disastrous *because it included the Holocaust and the other atrocities of the Nazis*, which is neither what it transpires Erik actually meant nor what he's saying Erann Gat thought he meant.
If Erann thought the same, then this (1) explains why he brought up the Holocaust, and (2) doesn't require him to have been so stupid as to think that the Jews were Goebbels's intended audience.
I don't think this is an irrational interpretation. Possibly in Erik's idiolect "disastrous" always means "disastrous for the people just mentioned", so that the German people's future wouldn't have been "disastrous" if Hitler had won WW2. Not in mine: in my opinion it would be a disaster for me if I were to become (say) a hugely successful burglar.
-- Gareth McCaughan Gareth.McCaug...@pobox.com sig under construction
> > .... > > Because he seems intent on clinging to this paranoid delusion, I feel > > compelled to set the record straight.
> > Here is the exchange that started it all:
> > Erik:
> > > but I gotta give Bill Gates this: not since Joseph Göbbels has > > > any one man been able to lead so many people right into such a > > > disastrous future.
> > Me:
> > > Your continued comparison of Microsoft to the Nazis diminishes the > > > horror of the Holocaust, and I find it quite offensive. Unethical > > > business practices, no matter how egregious, do not deserve to be > > > compared to even a single murder, let alone millions upon millions. > 1. Erik does not make the comparison you accuse him of ("Your > continued comparison ..."). > 2. *You* have chosen to interpret his words that way. > 3. The comparison, if any, is that both men are exceptionally > talented at fooling people ("not since ..").
The intention of the original writer (Erik) was merely hyperbole; and although it was well achieved it obviously struck a wrong note by placing the trivial Bill Gates problem as equal to the Holocaust in magnitude; since equality goes both ways this creates the implication that the holocaust was a disaster no larger than the one that Bill Gates hopes to lead us into.
This is clearly evidenced by the *end* of the sampled sentence "..into such a disatrous future", which places us at the doorway to a disastrous future (Bill Gates rules the world) as bad as the one Göbbels originally placed us in (the Holocaust). These rates the two as equal and can be taken either as an exaggeration of the Bill Gates situation (optimistically the intent) or as a slight on the Holocaust (which is offensive).
Although I am a relative newbie to the list the obvious strategy here (and in all text-only conversations) is simply to make the most optimistic assumption (which you didn't), and if you take the wrong course, then the other part[y|ies] will correct it.
* Dobes Vandermeer <do...@mindless.com> | The intention of the original writer (Erik) was merely hyperbole; and | although it was well achieved it obviously struck a wrong note by placing | the trivial Bill Gates problem as equal to the Holocaust in magnitude; | since equality goes both ways this creates the implication that the | holocaust was a disaster no larger than the one that Bill Gates hopes to | lead us into.
I don't think leading 90% of the Western Civilization, those who have entrusted their information to a system running an "operating system" from Bill Gates and believe he won't intentionally harm them when it suits his own designs, into a massive shutdown because he doesn't want his enemies (that's just "competitors" to normal people) to win. we already know that Microsoft _intentionally_ creates venues for viruses and make new products that are virtual breeding grounds for viruses that harm their users, and I suspect it's because they have interests in the anti-virus companies. (and I say _intentionally_ because stopping this insanity is easy, and they refuse to do it and refuse to think about security issues until somebody outside the company exposes it, and then they downplay it and gloss it over.) we already know how much press a virus gets, and how Bill Gates dons his glory and complain about the evil people in the world. every damn time there's a serious threat, Bill Gates manages to win from it. there's no reason to think this is not planned.
we've seen what Bill Gates can do and what he routinely does to companies that provide a threat to Microsoft -- his actions are not that of a sane businessman, it's that of a pathologically competitive and now very powerful maniac. what will he do when he realizes that the customers who want to leave his control pose a seriousthreat to Microsoft and himself? what will aircraft, traffic control systems, nuclear battleships, etc, do when their Microsoft-based software goes belly up? the U.S. Navy already knows what happens: modern Navy vessels sit dead in the water for three hours while technicians get the NT-based computer system back on line. it has happened once. it will happen again.
the problem with any comparison of past and future is that some people will regard the past as much worse than it was. there's no doubt at all that I offended Erann Gat's view of the Holocaust (which he may tell you, as he has told me, includes the German soldiers and civilians who died in WWII, which it doesn't in any reference works or even in any literature I have read) by diminishing its importance to him, but is he the standard? there are people out there who will feel that the entire female sex and every women in the entire world history are _suffering_ once somebody, somewhere in the world, looks at a pornographic picture. no doubt they would say that I diminish the tragedy suffered by women if I made a comparison between somebody and Hugh Hefner, but is it _rational_ to respect their views and feelings? does it serve any useful ends to tread so softly that one does not offend deranged people who have a _wildly_ exaggerated view of something? I don't think it does. therefore, we cannot suffer the restrictions to which the Erann Gats and Raffael Cavallaros of the world want to subject all human communication.
the United States have for a number of years had restrictions on what could be talked about, and it has been a self-policing that some have labeled political correctness, quite contrary to the explicit belief in the freedom of speech, which seems reduced to dealing with non-offending ideas and otherwise offensive material. on USENET, we cannot avoid suffering the consequences of raving lunatics whose madness is triggered by words or ideas or even certain opinions. it's even hard to tell where the line is to be drawn sometimes, but when somebody responds "I didn't mean what you interpret it to mean" and they keep raving, the line has certainly been crossed.
how many people in the interbellum Germany were unwilling to consider the imminent evil even when Hitler published Mein Kampf and spelled it out? how many fled because they did understand? and, more importantly, how many of those who fled were labeled paranoid and delusional by those who stayed and who later died or otherwise lost their future?
we should learn from the past -- the makeup of the human being hasn't changed all that much over time and is unlikely to change a lot in the future, so the past is a very good guide to what might happen again if people don't learn from it. by refusing to listen to the very many very serious lessons taught us by World War II, we don't see how the means employed to gradually poison a whole population with demented ideas and a desire for violent revenge that could not be mustered without a careful propaganda plan deployed over decades. by refusing to consider parts of the history of a period during which atrocities were committed, we don't really know how they came to be committed, and that's the only thing we can use them for after the fact. we can mourne and all that, but those who were not part of it, have a duty to prevent it from happening again, and if that means ignoring the insane wailing from people who are unable to deal with the facts that this atrocity had a history and a development that could be reinvoked only with people who are unaware of the history, so be it. there are just too many people who exaggerate the importance of just about anything that we can believe them to be right without being careful when assessing the complainer's sense of proportions.
a conservative estimate of the number of people who would die during a period of five years after only _half_ of the electronic infrastructure in the United States had collapsed is 30 million people. this is part of unclassified disaster planning that surfaced because of the Y2K scare, and it has been published widely by scaremongers that a decimation, in the technical meaning of 10% loss, of the population is considered a tolerable loss. if such an event should be caused by the pathological competetiveness of one man who has cut so many corners as to have very little left to stand on, with a whole company and culture who adore him, who are the people who would work _against_ securing a future where this does _not_ happen? why does Erann Gat have to label this paranoid delusions simply because he doesn't understand the need for contingency planning and securing the removal of the option of atrocity? are lawyers suffering from paranoid delusions when they write up contracts that specify how to deal with several really bad situations? of course not. it is clear that the American people are just as unable to think about the future and The Road Ahead (a really retarded book by Bill Gates), as interbellum Germans faced with explicit rhetoric, and just as willing to be subjected to propaganda of the same kind.
am I thereby reducing any tragedies or atrocities? no, damnit, I'm trying to show how the attitudes that made it possible for them to become reality are still among us, and the worst of them is complacency and the rampant stupidity that goes with "they're German, don't mention the war". we can't hide from history, but we can forget, and if we only remember the horrors and not how they came to be, we stand unprepared in the face of the next horror. we must get over the horrors and prevent the next. this is not reducing their importance, it's _using_ their importance to productive ends: to ensure that equally destructive-minded people don't get a chance to put their ideas into reality.
those who stepped up to warn people in the early 1930's were ridiculed by the dolts who saw only the positive effects and the positive rhetoric. Microsoft's collapse is no more than 5 to 10 years away, and Bill Gates is already reaching out to take control over companies and technologies that will survive Microsoft. I think the collapse could go largely unnoticed by the users, because all the products will have competing products on other platforms that can run on the same hardware, but there are a few signs to indicate that Bill Gates wants it to be otherwise: the drive to move most of the software in that used to be located in peripheral equipment is intensified such that manufacturers are pressured to make drivers availbale only for Microsoft operating systems and not disclose their specifications so others can make drivers for other operating systems, which means that people will lose their hardware investments when leaving Windows. Microsoft is all about this kind of control and the consequences of too much control in too few hands should be well known by anyone who has even the slightest interest in history, even if they feel terribly threatened by comparisons with their favorite horrors. I'm not saying we should ignore the scars left on our psyche by tragedies, but neither should we obsess about them so much that we get paralyzed whenever something similar appears, or deny similarity because that awakens the suppressed pain and angst and whatever.
I just wish some people could quit being so hysterical and instead of defending their personal issues could understand the argument. that would help us avoid derailing discussions. if the argument is obscured by their own emotional responses, I suggest those who just _have_ to go bananas do it nicely by asking for a restatement of the argument, without including innuendo, accusations, assumptions, etc, etc, which would so rude as to render any argument about the value of politeness ridiculous. thanks in advance.
* Gareth McCaughan <Gareth.McCaug...@pobox.com> | I took Erik's words to mean that the *German* people were led to a future | that was disastrous *because it included the Holocaust and the other | atrocities of the Nazis*, which is neither what it transpires Erik | actually meant nor what he's saying Erann Gat thought he meant.
it's actually a fairly good statement of what I meant, but I was myself trying to figure out this Holocaust accusation and had probably shifted the time focus from when I wrote it because of the ridiculous attacks for weeks. my concern at the time I wrote it was the German people and how the propaganda affected them, namely that they went to war in the first place, which certainly is disastrous for all parties involved, and that the war was _prolonged_ way beyond the point of actual defeat mostly because of the successful propaganda, which caused most of the atrocities and loss of life on all sides.
| Possibly in Erik's idiolect "disastrous" always means "disastrous for the | people just mentioned", so that the German people's future wouldn't have | been "disastrous" if Hitler had won WW2.
wars aren't won. war is always a _huge_ loss to all parties involved. (other things are won _in_ wars, however, such as control over land or natural resources.) I think the exact same thing about other fights, including USENET fights and boxing: neither party can "win" by engaging in it in the first place -- all you can hope for is to minimize the losses. I have tried to defend myself against the accusation that I am diminishing the tragedy of the Holocaust (the accusation is obviously that it is on purpose -- I can't possibly be responsible if someone feels unease at facts) and the ridiculous accusation that I brought it up.
Godwin's Law /prov./ [Usenet] "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.
Erik Naggum <e...@naggum.no> writes: > his enemies (that's just "competitors" to normal people) to win. we > already know that Microsoft _intentionally_ creates venues for viruses > and make new products that are virtual breeding grounds for viruses that > harm their users, and I suspect it's because they have interests in the > anti-virus companies. (and I say _intentionally_ because stopping this > insanity is easy, and they refuse to do it and refuse to think about > security issues until somebody outside the company exposes it, and then > they downplay it and gloss it over.)
That sounds like mere incompetence. Not to prolong the non-Lisp discussion or anything...
Tom Breton <t...@world.std.com> writes: > Erik Naggum <e...@naggum.no> writes:
> > his enemies (that's just "competitors" to normal people) to win. we > > already know that Microsoft _intentionally_ creates venues for viruses > > and make new products that are virtual breeding grounds for viruses that > > harm their users, and I suspect it's because they have interests in the > > anti-virus companies. (and I say _intentionally_ because stopping this > > insanity is easy, and they refuse to do it and refuse to think about > > security issues until somebody outside the company exposes it, and then > > they downplay it and gloss it over.)
> That sounds like mere incompetence. Not to prolong the non-Lisp > discussion or anything...
I don't think it is. Microsoft supposedly recruits a lot of really talented programmers and gives much better salaries, benefits, perks, whatever than what is average in the industry. They certainly have the resources to. I've heard stories that their QA department finds bug after bug after bug daily but that more often than not things aren't really done about them.
I think they hire a lot of people that are not stupid and that can plainly see that they are making complete and utter crap. If they tried as hard as they could they certainly have the resources to get enough talent together to produce a robust, stable, and extensible operating system with a sane and logical system programming interface. But then what would be your incentive to upgrade every 18 months to 3 years?
MS-DOS installations (with or without Windows 3.x) are still supposed to far exceed installations of any other Microsoft operating system, and Microsoft hates this. MS-DOS was in a way the most robust product Microsoft ever produced, since with few exceptions, the complete control it gave application programmers allowed talented teams of third party developers to deliver very robust and high-performance applications. Nowadays the stability of applications for Windows 95+ systems are at the mercy of the OS no matter what you do.
And as far as revenue-generation, growth, and profitability is concerned, Microsoft has been a _very_ successful company. As far as reputation, quality, and business ethics and morality goes, well....
1. There are many stories about Microsoft inserting "XOR-encrypted" [AFAIK] machine-coded routines into early versions of DOS to cause competitor products to fail. There's a story that in the early days there was a slogun among developers like "MS-DOS 2.0 won't show until Lotus doesn't go" or something. Also, they supposedly put something in an early version of Windows 3.x to intentionally cause DR-DOS to fail to run it.
> In article <37F1FA78.F4EED...@eralslk.ericsson.se>, Lars Lundback > <eral...@eralslk.ericsson.se> wrote:
> > I skipped most of the postings dealing with this topic, and am surprised > > at myself now. Taking a side in a quibble like this is ... hm. Anyway, > > you whish to "set the record straight".But this may prove perilous. > > Competent reading of the text above, that you refer to, reveals that:
> > 1. Erik does not make the comparison you accuse him of ("Your > > continued comparison ...").
> That is completely irrelevant. Whether I am right or wrong does not > change the fact that all I accused him of was making an unwarranted > comparison.
> > 2. *You* have chosen to interpret his words that way.
> Oh? I suppose you think Joseph Goebbels is notorious because he > was a master chef, and the "disastrous future" that he "led so > many people right into" was a fallen souffle. Well I have news > for you: Joseph Goebbels is notorious because he was a Nazi, and > his "disastrous future" is the historical period known to > English-speaking people around the world as the Holocaust. > That is the way things are. It's not my interpretation.
> > 3. The comparison, if any, is that both men are exceptionally > > talented at fooling people ("not since ..").
> This too is irrelevant, for the same reason. My accusation may have > been wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that I did not accuse > Erik of what he claims I accused him of, that he has chosen to take > great umbrage at, and for which he has threatened me with legal action.
> But as an aside, that may have been what Erik meant (I believe it is) > but it's not what he wrote. <sarcastic> As I am not as gifted with > clairvoyance as some people on the Net, I have to restrict myself > to responding to what people actually write. </sarcastic>
> > Perhaps you could compile the appropriate threads into a document, > > publish it on some server and announce the URL to this newsgroup? Anyone > > sufficiently interested can then read the whole quibble at his leisure.
> That's what dejanews is for.
When reading the text you quoted (from Erik's first post(s)), I realized that an explanation of what I saw behind Eric's words, in my posting, would merely anticipate his own.
Erik has responded now, giving a full and detailed account of his motives, and his reasoning. When I responded to you, I had interpreted his text roughly as he describes. I thought about some of the words he used, eg: "disastrous future", but decided against explaining them, since the author should do that himself.
I choose to ignore your remarks about my (lack of) knowledge about Nazi Germany and the atrocities before, and during the Second World War. Observing that you wanted to set the record straight, I can only hope that you are able to see the whole discussion in a new light.
On 30 Sep 1999 13:52:57 +0000, Erik Naggum <e...@naggum.no> wrote:
>* Gareth McCaughan <Gareth.McCaug...@pobox.com> >| I took Erik's words to mean that the *German* people were led to a future >| that was disastrous *because it included the Holocaust and the other >| atrocities of the Nazis*, which is neither what it transpires Erik >| actually meant nor what he's saying Erann Gat thought he meant.
> it's actually a fairly good statement of what I meant, but I was myself > trying to figure out this Holocaust accusation and had probably shifted > the time focus from when I wrote it because of the ridiculous attacks for > weeks. my concern at the time I wrote it was the German people and how > the propaganda affected them, namely that they went to war in the first > place, which certainly is disastrous for all parties involved, and that > the war was _prolonged_ way beyond the point of actual defeat mostly > because of the successful propaganda, which caused most of the atrocities > and loss of life on all sides.
There are some interesting points that you bring up about the nature and power of propaganda; it is conceivable that some of the "modern technology" has replicated, hopefully unknowingly, things that Goebbels developed in the past.
Just as it is dangerous to minimize the "disastrousness" of the Nazi regime by comparing more mundane things to it, it is also dangerous to remain ignorant of those dramatic evils of the past, as, if they are forgotten, they might recur.
>| Possibly in Erik's idiolect "disastrous" always means "disastrous for the >| people just mentioned", so that the German people's future wouldn't have >| been "disastrous" if Hitler had won WW2.
> wars aren't won. war is always a _huge_ loss to all parties involved. > (other things are won _in_ wars, however, such as control over land or > natural resources.) I think the exact same thing about other fights, > including USENET fights and boxing: neither party can "win" by engaging > in it in the first place -- all you can hope for is to minimize the > losses. I have tried to defend myself against the accusation that I am > diminishing the tragedy of the Holocaust (the accusation is obviously > that it is on purpose -- I can't possibly be responsible if someone feels > unease at facts) and the ridiculous accusation that I brought it up.
The reason why "Godwin's Law" comes into effect, and *does* have power is twofold:
a) People have a tendancy to try to outdo one another in the things they compare to.
This has a tendancy towards analogies having spurious connection to the Big Thing Everyone Is Supposed To Understand.
If every political leader that anyone ever disagrees with gets compared to Adolf Hitler, this leads in the direction of making *important* such analogies (as might be the case with recent genocidal activities in Eastern Europe and East Timor) "merely another minor case of someone that's a bit of a tyrant."
(My usual rule is that unless someone is responsible for at least a few thousand deaths, it is not reasonable to compare them to Hitler.)
b) The effects of World War II were so widespread and resulted in so many millions of deaths that this puts big-time life-and-death emotional triggers into peoples' minds.
There may be some of us capable of being dispassionate due (say) not having much personal connection to WWII.
I had a couple of great-uncles that flew in bombers, and were shot down, captured, and (happily) liberated at the end of the war. This *certainly* had long-term effects on they themselves; their relationships were fairly clearly influenced by the traumas of the war experiences. (Then there's the other entertaining bit; the widely-extended family includes an ex-Panzer commander who contains shrapnel and sets off metal detectors at airports... There were military personnel at my brother's wedding that were on different sides in that war...)
There are thus *some* personal connections, but I've no direct trauma to cause me to have vigorous emotional triggers over WWII, Hitler, or other "Nazi matters." ... But that's just me.
For many others, these words are powerful arrows that invoke memories of pain and death, and are extremely disruptive of communicating any other ideas at the same time. -- "I have never seen the inside of the building at Microsoft where the top executives hang out, but I have this fantasy that in the hallways, at regular intervals, big red alarm boxes are bolted to the wall. Each contains a large red button protected by a windowpane. A metal hammer dangles on a chain next to it. Above is a big sign reading: IN THE EVENT OF A CRASH IN MARKET SHARE, BREAK GLASS." -- Neal Stephenson cbbro...@hex.net- <http://www.hex.net/~cbbrowne/lsf.html>
* Christopher Browne wrote: > The reason why "Godwin's Law" comes into effect, and *does* have power > is twofold: > a) People have a tendancy to try to outdo one another in the things > they compare to. > This has a tendancy towards analogies having spurious connection to > the Big Thing Everyone Is Supposed To Understand.
And there is a programming-language equivalent of Godwin's law isn't there:
In any discussion of the relative merits of two programming languages on a newsgroup, sooner or later someone will claim that the opposing language has features which make it grossly unsuitable for writing nuclear powerstation control systems or other extremely safety-critical programs, with the implication that somehow this makes it inferior for all use. After this point the discussion is dead.
Safety-critical systems with very high penalty for failure being `the big thing everyone is supposed to understand' here.
You often see this happening when statically-typed functional-language people embark on an anti-Lisp crusade (`you could get a runtime type error in a control-rod program'), you also see it from the other end when non-GCd language people claim that GC at inopportune moments will cause your spacecraft to go catatonic or whatever.