Wit is educated insolence. - Aristotle
Everybody dies. Not that he has: one tweet doth not a passing make.
> Wit is educated insolence. - Aristotle
F*ck, you can't even quote him?
"If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations. "
- e naggum
> d p chang wrote:
>> maybe old news on this group, but saw this float by on HN
> Everybody dies. Not that he has: one tweet doth not a passing make.
There seems to be more evidence:
I too have known for a few years that he had health problems, but I
never knew until now what he was suffering from. Details in the above
link, for the morbidly curious.
If you want quotes, here is a whole pile of them:
Here is a nice one:
If this is not what you expected, please alter your expectations.
-- Erik Naggum
* Harald Hanche-Olsen <URL:http://www.math.ntnu.no/~hanche/>
- It is undesirable to believe a proposition
when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true.
-- Bertrand Russell
That would have been good for us and bad for him.
ps. RIP, Erik. k
Yep, no doubt. I'm sure there are quite a few people out there who are
very quietly not miserable at his passing, but I think they might have
misunderstood him a bit. I'm pretty sure that maintaining his c.l.l
persona (along with his persona in some other places) was a lot harder on
him than it was on anyone he flamed. I don't want to discuss the merits of
that persona in a thread about Erik's death, so I'll just say that I
appreciated it. He was full of epigrams and cogent points, and I suspect
he'll be quoted for a long time to come.
I never realised he was so young , based on his rants I was
imagining some grumpy old guy. Can someone provide some links to
some of his insightful posts ? All I have seen are rants. Most of
them boring or even disturbing but here's a link to one I find
Some great quotes in there.
God grant me serenity to accept the code I cannot change, courage to
change the code I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Erik Naggum (1965 - 2009)
His posts were _both_ accurate and precise.
May the soil be light on him.
* * *
Was it he who said that one should always be prepared to challenge
You can't be serious.
His arrogance and hostility drove me away from c.l.l for years. I can
only wonder how many others he alienated.
He was very smart, and could be nice to those who were comfortable
with being condescended to. But he attacked me unprovoked, just for
thinking I knew as much as he did -- which I did. And then he would
hold forth on ethics, completely in denial about how he had just
violated the very principles he was enunciating. Indeed, I had the
feeling the primary purpose of his pontifications was convincing
himself that his behavior was irreproachable, when it was nothing of
I am stunned at the number of people who think he was an asset to
c.l.l. I guess he did some good as a teacher, but I also think he did
damage that it has taken us years to recover from (if indeed we have
recovered yet). While I wouldn't dance on anyone's grave, I'm very
glad he stopped posting here.
You have taken personally what was not personal to you, but only to
Erik. That suggests that you like Erik suffer not from unsociability but
from too much sociability: you care to much about people. Version two of
this mot goes the other way: being sociable means not being all that
sensitive to other people, explaining why some of us are as we are.
Yes, I have been drinking.
> You have taken personally what was not personal to you, but only to
> Erik. That suggests that you like Erik suffer not from unsociability
> but from too much sociability: you care to much about people.
Hmm, I never thought of it that way before. You seem to be on to
something there. I too have been at the pointy end of Erik's ire on
occasion, and while it bothered me momentarily, I just let it pass and
found I could still enjoy much of his writing, and indeed learn from it.
(Not when he got into serious flame wars, however. I just skipped those.
But then, there are movie scenes that I cannot bear to watch, if I find
them too embarrasing. I keep telling myself it's just movie stars saying
their lines, but somehow it doesn't work, and I just look away and try
to think of something else instead.)
> Yes, I have been drinking.
Good for you! But then, what else are weekends good for?
No, don't answer that.
I think you were a little too tough on him. I didn't know him, but he
must have been at least very smart. These descriptions that has been
done here remind me of the first programming teacher I had (I did
mathematics, not computer science). As a person, he was a bit rude
(for other people, not for me), and inflexible as a teacher. But he
knew how to teach. He made us do much more advanced projects than we
should do, he didn't like delays and most students just didn't do
anything. Many people cheated at his test. But, still, for the few
people that didn't cheat or copy, he made us really learn and like
computer programming. In only 6 months, 6 hours of class per week (4
of which were theoretic classes), we made a library, a curses-game of
snake and a pacman game in Glut/OpenGL, among other 7 smaller
Sometimes I look at his projects for other classes now and see that
apparently he got soft now and gives lighter projects. It at least
looks like my class was one of the first he taught, though I am not
sure about it. He looks like the kind of person that teaches as much
as you can learn.
Well, I don't mean to defend a person that isn't even part of this
conversation. I am just trying to argue that an apparently rude person
sometimes is not exactly a bad person. Sometimes this person is just
impatient, he just goes to the point and does his best to show the
things he knows to other people. No one is perfect, and, if he was
impatient, maybe it's because he had some other very good qualities.
Rest in peace, Erik Naggum.
I'm sorry if he hurt your feelings but many of his posts were really
strong and insightful. And I've learned that best way to enjoy this
newsgroup is to pay attention to the good parts and skip the bad. Now
whenever trolls and spammers post some garbage I just skip them, the
worst thing is giving my limited time and attention to people who
don't deserve it.
Why go away from c.l.l instead of simply not reading his posts?
> I guess he did some good as a teacher, but I also think he did
> damage that it has taken us years to recover from (if indeed we have
> recovered yet).
What kind of damage did he do ?
Substitute "life" for "newsgroup" and you have an excellent general
advice. Of course in life it can sometimes be impossible to "skip"
the bad parts but I have often seen people not do that even when it
seems quite possible that they could.
I am really saddened by this news. He was truly a
And for all those dweebs and out there who thought he personally
attacked you, you attacked first.
> He was very smart, and could be nice to those who were comfortable
> with being condescended to. But he attacked me unprovoked, just for
> thinking I knew as much as he did -- which I did.
Do you have a reference for this exchange? I know of _very_ few exchanges
where Erik attacked without a reason. I would be interested to know one
more of those cases.
And, yes, I also have been "attacked" by him once per Email. But instead
of taking it personal, I analyzed the reason of his attack and found that
it was due to a sloppy formulation in a post of mine. So I followed up my
post with a clarification.
Rest in peace, Erik, and thank you. I learned a lot from your posts.
> Yes, I have been drinking.
You should have seen how he was on me -- and hundreds of others.
> No one is perfect, and, if he was
> impatient, maybe it's because he had some other very good qualities.
I already said he was very smart. Evidently some people learned a lot
But it's interesting you should point out that no one is perfect.
Erik Naggum was perfect in his own mind -- but only in his own mind.
That Naggum -- he was SO smart, golly I've missed him all these
Look, really, you guys chased him off.
In a pretty nasty way, too. VERY nasty. Not nice.
Yeah, he was unreasonable, extremely. But what's the
saying about "unreasonable men" -- that without them nothing
would ever advance, something like that. That was him.
By email, just after he left, I tried to get him back --
he replied (I have it somewhere), but wouldn't.
You know, maybe if a BUNCH of you had asked him back, he would have,
and we would have had the benefit of his, yes, wisdom, etc,
FOR ALL THESE MISSING YEARS! :-(
Really, really too bad. Tears actually coming to my eyes right
He was so good.
(yeah, he had his problems, but who doesn't, huh?)
Why are you glad? Did he do anything that you couldn't avoid by
killfiling him? It was your choice (and seems, your fault) that you
didn't ignore him when you had to.
> > I think you were a little too tough on him.
> You should have seen how he was on me -- and hundreds of others.
He's dead now, why did you bring it up and why do you continue to
speak of it? What do you expect to achieve? To those that don't know
him well, perhaps they'll think Naggum was an asshole for a moment in
their life, and some time after forget about all this altogether. To
those who do know him, you're simply noise.
> But it's interesting you should point out that no one is perfect.
> Erik Naggum was perfect in his own mind -- but only in his own mind.
(another remark about Naggum...)
> And for all those dweebs and out there who thought he personally
> attacked you, you attacked first.
And what exactly is calling Erik's victims "dweebs" if not an unprovoked
attack of the sort that would have drawn Erik's ire had it been directed
at him? Did you go through Erik's entire corpus to make sure that there
was not even a single instance where he attacked first? Would you
consider it justified for one of those "dweebs" to attack you now in the
way Erik would have had someone called him a "dweeb"?
This is Erik's true legacy, that there are people who think it's
acceptable to call people "dweebs" or to tell them to "kindly fuck off"
(http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=666932) with -- let's be charitable
-- very little provocation.
Actually, Erik's true legacy is that the Lisp community *still* spends
more of its time arguing about Erik even after he's dead than advancing
the state of the art in Lisp. What the man truly aspired to has always
been a mystery to me, but I doubt this is it.
I am glad someone has also realized this. Yes, he was bullied
away and I feel guilty for not sticking up for him more
I see you still have no sense of humor idiot.
I didn't realize that one was required. So was that supposed to be
funny? I'm sorry, but I don't see the humor. Perhaps you'd be so kind
as to explain it to me?
Clever editing. Feel better? Now I am drinking Starbucks and you are
really going to get it.
Few who got their horns stuck locked with Erik's realized they were as
responsible for those mad exchanges as he. It's the well-known Problem
of Having The Last Word, which is a problem only if you take the stupid
exchanges seriously. Taking them seriously, The Other's idiocies must be
answered. The only way out is to simply stop, something Erik would start
pointing out to his tormentor as the threads grew overlong even by his
easy standards. It always sounded like, "Be quiet, I am right." but read
carefully one could see he was explaining simply that he could not
control himself enough to stop so would The Other please get them both
out of the stalemate.
Sarte said we are not free to be not free. If you had a crappy on-line
relationship with Erik, you too were responsible.
I see no flame war here, just a normal and healthy conversation.
> I am glad someone has also realized this. Yes, he was bullied
> away and I feel guilty for not sticking up for him more
I think the main reason he left was his illness. Perhaps he would have
stayed longer, if Ga(rre)t would not have insisted in mobbing him. But I
had the feeling that he used this only as a welcome excuse for drawing a
I was wondering the same thing. My guess is your jumping all over the
word "dweeb". Maybe that was used playfully.
Give us a minute.
I don't think Erik would have approved of your changing the subject
for no reason and implying that he was just some Lisper.
Von Neuman is dead, Dijkstra is dead, and Me I feel also not so good.
-- Erik Naggum 2009
I see. It is my impression (and dictionaries confirm) that "dweeb" is
pejorative. And there are no smileys or other emoticons to indicate
that the word was being used in anything other than its pejorative
sense. I also have a hard time seeing how "idiot" could have been meant
"playfully". But be all that as it may...
Is it not possible that some of those "dweebs" who "attacked first" did
not in fact "attack first" but were, like Wade, just trying
unsuccessfully to be funny?