Xah's Edu Corner: Criticism vs Constructive Criticism

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Xah Lee

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Apr 25, 2006, 3:21:43 PM4/25/06
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Criticism versus Constructive Criticism

Xah Lee, 2003-01

A lot intelligent people are rather confused about criticism,
especially in our “free-speech” free-for-all internet age. When
they say “constructive criticisms are welcome” they mostly mean
“bitching and complaints not welcome”. Rarely do people actually
mean that “criticism without suggestion of possible solutions are not
welcome” or “impolite criticism not welcome”.

Such discernment is important. Wanton bitching as internet-using geeks
are used to is not criticism is any form.

People can be respected and make a living out of criticisms, called
critics, but not bitching. And when one really value opinions, you
often want criticism without qualifications. Just be happy that
valuable criticisms may come to you free from the experts in the
public. The instant you qualify what kind of feedback are welcome, your
feedback is compromised. (this is particularly so for political or
controversial subjects)

One easy way for many of the unix geeks to understand this is the
cryptology industry.

If one really desires valuable criticisms that is polite or with
solutions or “constructive” (whatever that means), one usually have
to pay.
----
This post is archived at:
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/criticism.html

Xah
x...@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/

Ari Johnson

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Apr 25, 2006, 3:39:04 PM4/25/06
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"Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> writes:

A large amount of free, constructive criticism follows.

1. Learn where to post things.

> Criticism versus Constructive Criticism

2. Learn when to capitalize words in a title.

> Xah Lee, 2003-01

3. Learn when to post things.

> A lot intelligent people are rather confused about criticism,
> especially in our “free-speech” free-for-all internet age. When
> they say “constructive criticisms are welcome” they mostly mean
> “bitching and complaints not welcome”. Rarely do people actually
> mean that “criticism without suggestion of possible solutions are not
> welcome” or “impolite criticism not welcome”.

4. Try "many."

5. Learn how to use commas.

6. Nobody says "constructive criticisms are welcome." They use the
singular, as should you.

7. Learn how to use commas.

8. Learn how to use parallel structure.

> Such discernment is important. Wanton bitching as internet-using geeks
> are used to is not criticism is any form.

9. Generally, the use of sentence forms like "such <noun> is
<adjective>" is even frowned upon in legal writing anymore; but it
is almost never appropriate to use the word "bitching" in the next
sentence.

> People can be respected and make a living out of criticisms, called
> critics, but not bitching. And when one really value opinions, you
> often want criticism without qualifications. Just be happy that
> valuable criticisms may come to you free from the experts in the
> public. The instant you qualify what kind of feedback are welcome, your
> feedback is compromised. (this is particularly so for political or
> controversial subjects)

10. You're still insisting that criticism in the general sense is a
plural thing. It is not. Also, these "criticisms" are not what we
call "critics." We call the people making them critics. I'd let this
one slide but you bounce back and forth too many times in one sentence
to get away with it.

11. Learn how to match a verb to its noun.

12. You still haven't figured out when to use "criticisms." I'll give
you another hint: nowhere within your writing.

13. Learn when your "expert" criticism is apropos and when it is not.

14. If you can't figure out when not to pluralize the word criticism,
I don't know why I expect you to know when to use "is" instead of
"are." However, I still recommend you learn this not-so-subtle
point of English grammar.

15. Sentences in parentheses are still sentences - capitalize and
punctuate appropriately.

16. When you make a sweeping, general statement, it helps to support
it with some kind of logically-related evidence.

> One easy way for many of the unix geeks to understand this is the
> cryptology industry.

17. Learn when to capitalize proper nouns.

18. The cryptology industry is not a "way." It is an industry. Learn
how to write clear sentences that use words in meaningful ways. One
way to do this is to utilize verbs.

> If one really desires valuable criticisms that is polite or with
> solutions or “constructive” (whatever that means), one usually have
> to pay.

19. The rule is that third-person singular subjects take "is" and
third-person plural subjects take "are." You seem to have this
backwards.

20. If you are offering a dissertation on constructive criticism, you
ought to define the term rather than using a parenthetical
shoulder-shrug like this.

21. Third-person singular subjects take "has," not "have."

22. When you write something, even when it is not welcome or not
relevant to the place you post it, it is helpful to actually make
a point rather than just making several statements of things which
alternate between obvious and nonsensical.

23. If something from three years ago is on the web, it is indexed by
Google. If someone wants to read it, they will find it via
Google. There is no need to post it on inappropriate newsgroups.

>
> Xah
> x...@xahlee.org
> ∑ http://xahlee.org/

(This isn't constructive criticism, but just a question:) Are you the
sum of your web page?

John Bokma

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Apr 25, 2006, 6:59:17 PM4/25/06
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Ari Johnson <iamt...@gmail.com> wrote:

24. Learn when not to reply to a troll (and bother several groups while
doing so).

--
John Bokma Freelance software developer
&
Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

ram...@bigpond.net.au

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Apr 25, 2006, 8:48:51 PM4/25/06
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> "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> writes:
>
> A large amount of free, constructive criticism follows.

Just the usual repetitive content free stream-of-consciousness
material that Xah Lee is notorious for.

Roedy Green

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Apr 26, 2006, 1:00:47 AM4/26/06
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On 25 Apr 2006 12:21:43 -0700, "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> wrote,
quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

>Criticism versus Constructive Criticism

I think you would do better to put this sort of thing on a website
rather than post it in a newsgroup. It is too pretentious for a
newsgroup. Newsgroups are about question and answer.
--
Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
http://mindprod.com Java custom programming, consulting and coaching.

Eli Gottlieb

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Apr 26, 2006, 11:51:28 AM4/26/06
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Oh, God, not another one.

--
The science of economics is the cleverest proof of free will yet
constructed.

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 1:14:15 PM4/26/06
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Eli Gottlieb <eligo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Oh, God, not another one.

Instead of cross posting more garbage, do as follows:

Email a complaint to the email addresses you can look up yourself and
include the entire message of Xah:

http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=72.231.179.135 posting host
http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=xahlee.org spamvertized site


If enough people complain with both, it might stop one day.

Xah Lee

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Apr 26, 2006, 3:29:33 PM4/26/06
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Dear John Bokma,

This is a public notice that what you are trying to do is getting close
to harrassment from the law's perspective.

Thanks.

Xah
x...@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/

Mark Thomas

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Apr 26, 2006, 4:14:00 PM4/26/06
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Ooooh! (Waggles fingers beneath chin)

Mark

Ken Tilton

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Apr 26, 2006, 4:15:52 PM4/26/06
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John Bokma wrote:
> Eli Gottlieb <eligo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>Oh, God, not another one.
>
>
> Instead of cross posting more garbage, do as follows:
>
> Email a complaint to the email addresses you can look up yourself and
> include the entire message of Xah:
>
> http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=72.231.179.135 posting host
> http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=xahlee.org spamvertized site
>
>
> If enough people complain with both, it might stop one day.
>

What might stop? I see one technical post every one or few weeks from
Xah, followed by a dozen posts from self-appointed library-sushers such
as Eli and library-shusher-shushers such as you and me, none of which
are technical.

The one technical post, whatever one thinks of it, creates no problem;
what part of "if you find the content worthless, just ignore it" is not
understood? Nothing, actually. The respondents just like shushing people.

Back on topic for just a moment, Tilton's Law of Programming applies:
"Solve the real problem." So kudos for your shusher-shushing but...

...reporting Xah to spamcop would be an abuse of spamcop. Reporting Eli,
yourself, and me, however, would be perfectly reasonable. :)

love, peace, and quiet,

kenny

--
Cells: http://common-lisp.net/project/cells/

"Have you ever been in a relationship?"
Attorney for Mary Winkler, confessed killer of her
minister husband, when asked if the couple had
marital problems.

Greg Menke

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Apr 26, 2006, 4:30:19 PM4/26/06
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Mark Thomas <anon> writes:


So now Xah is an expert on law in addition to emacs. What a guy.

Gregm

Roedy Green

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Apr 26, 2006, 5:49:19 PM4/26/06
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On 26 Apr 2006 12:29:33 -0700, "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> wrote,

quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

>This is a public notice that what you are trying to do is getting close


>to harrassment from the law's perspective.

and what you do Xah, is very close to spam, another form of
harassment.

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 7:34:32 PM4/26/06
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Ken Tilton <kent...@gmail.com> wrote:

[ reported ]
> What might stop?

The excessive cross posting.

> I see one technical post every one or few weeks from
> Xah, followed by a dozen posts from self-appointed library-sushers
> such as Eli and library-shusher-shushers such as you and me, none of
> which are technical.
>
> The one technical post, whatever one thinks of it, creates no problem;

It does, it's cross posted in too many groups that have no direct relation
with each other, other then they are programming languages. Xah is
trolling, you know it, I know it.

> what part of "if you find the content worthless, just ignore it" is
> not understood? Nothing, actually.

If I see someone throwing garbage on the street, should I ignore it? It
will blow away, or the street cleaners will pick it up.

I do not ignore it.


> ...reporting Xah to spamcop would be an abuse of spamcop.

You're mistaken. I don't report Xah to spamcop. Spamcop has nothing to do
with Xah. I *do* report Xah to his ISP / USP and hosting provider though.

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 7:36:50 PM4/26/06
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"Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> wrote:

> Dear John Bokma,
>
> This is a public notice that what you are trying to do is getting
> close to harrassment from the law's perspective.

Which law?

You have been harrassing severl groups for too long with your drivel and
extremely badly written rants. I guess what you do comes way closer to
harrassment then me trying to kick your ass.

Lets hope some others join in and see who is going to win. Most trolls
give up after they lose a handful of accounts, since it gets more and more
expensive.

Find a new hobby if CS is too hard.

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 7:39:22 PM4/26/06
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Roedy Green <my_email_is_post...@munged.invalid> wrote:

> On 26 Apr 2006 12:29:33 -0700, "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> wrote,
> quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
>
>>This is a public notice that what you are trying to do is getting close
>>to harrassment from the law's perspective.
>
> and what you do Xah, is very close to spam, another form of
> harassment.

I leave that up to Xah's ISP/USP and hosting provider to decide :-D

But I am sure that if a few people email, that Xah's harassment is going
to stop soon.

Unless he wants to burn some cash.

Alex Buell

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Apr 26, 2006, 8:12:48 PM4/26/06
to
On 25 Apr 2006 12:21:43 -0700 "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> waved a wand
and this message magically appeared:

> Criticism versus Constructive Criticism

GO AWAY.

Noone wants to see this drivel. Put it on a website if you must.
Otherwise shut the fuck up and leave us alone!

--
http://www.munted.org.uk

Take a nap, it saves lives.

James Stroud

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Apr 26, 2006, 8:52:32 PM4/26/06
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Ken Tilton wrote:
> What might stop?

Nauseating misuse of English. Annoying cross-posts. Newsgroup clutter.
Shusher-Shusher-Shushers like me.

--
James Stroud
UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
Box 951570
Los Angeles, CA 90095

http://www.jamesstroud.com/

Ken Tilton

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Apr 26, 2006, 9:36:34 PM4/26/06
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John Bokma wrote:
> Ken Tilton <kent...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> [ reported ]
>
>>What might stop?
>
>
> The excessive cross posting.
>
>
>>I see one technical post every one or few weeks from
>>Xah, followed by a dozen posts from self-appointed library-sushers
>>such as Eli and library-shusher-shushers such as you and me, none of
>>which are technical.
>>
>>The one technical post, whatever one thinks of it, creates no problem;
>
>
> It does, it's cross posted in too many groups that have no direct relation
> with each other, other then they are programming languages. Xah is
> trolling, you know it, I know it.

No, I do not know it. I have checked out his web site, and have been
involved in threads with him on comp.lang.lisp. He takes seriously what
he writes. whatever you think of it.

and if he were a troll, he would respond to each and every shusher to
increase the flames. in this case he just responded to someone who
threatened him.

meanwhile, some other genius has just shushed him. I think we are all
aprt of an experiemnt in Usenet addiction.

:)

peace and quiet,

ken

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 9:40:23 PM4/26/06
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Alex Buell <alex....@munted.org.uk> wrote:

> GO AWAY.

Instead of cross posting more garbage, do as follows:

Email a complaint to the email addresses you can look up yourself and
include the entire message of Xah:


If enough people complain with both, it might stop one day, maybe very
very soon.

FYI: dreamhost (hosts xahlee.org) takes complaints very seriously, and has
warned Xah Lee already :-D

So please stop replying to his drivel, just complain. It will stop.

> Put it on a website if you must.

Good point, I am sure Xah Lee is able to set up some blogging software. If
he does it smart enough he might even attract more readers compared to
harassing Usenet. (Did I just wrote smart?!)

John Bokma

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Apr 26, 2006, 10:23:05 PM4/26/06
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Ken Tilton <kent...@gmail.com> wrote:

> and if he were a troll, he would respond to each and every shusher to
> increase the flames.

There are several ways to troll. He writes up a rant, and let others do
the flaming. He probably saves up his energy for the next rant.

Like someone else wrote: put it on a website (he already does). Turn it
into a blog, make people comment. But stop cross posting rants.

> in this case he just responded to someone who
> threatened him.

Maybe because he got a not so nice email from his hosting provider ;-)

--
John MexIT: http://johnbokma.com/mexit/
personal page: http://johnbokma.com/
Experienced programmer available: http://castleamber.com/
Happy Customers: http://castleamber.com/testimonials.html

Jürgen Exner

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Apr 26, 2006, 10:43:30 PM4/26/06
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Eli Gottlieb wrote:
> Xah Lee wrote:
>> Criticism versus Constructive Criticism
>>
>> Xah Lee, 2003-01


+-------------------+ .:\:\:/:/:.
| PLEASE DO NOT | :.:\:\:/:/:.:
| FEED THE TROLLS | :=.' - - '.=:
| | '=(\ 9 9 /)='
| Thank you, | ( (_) )
| Management | /`-vvv-'\
+-------------------+ / \
| | @@@ / /|,,,,,|\ \
| | @@@ /_// /^\ \\_\
@x@@x@ | | |/ WW( ( ) )WW
\||||/ | | \| __\,,\ /,,/__
\||/ | | | jgs (______Y______)
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\//\/\\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
==============================================================


And worse: don't ever full quote them.

jue


gene tani

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Apr 27, 2006, 12:44:24 AM4/27/06
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John Bokma wrote:

> Roedy Green <my_email_is_post...@munged.invalid> wrote:
>
> I leave that up to Xah's ISP/USP and hosting provider to decide :-D
>

he's solidified position as top troll of 2003-2006

Nigel Rowe

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Apr 27, 2006, 1:40:58 AM4/27/06
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Ari Johnson wrote:

> "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> writes:

<snip/>

>>
>> Xah
>> x...@xahlee.org
>> ? http://xahlee.org/


>
> (This isn't constructive criticism, but just a question:) Are you the
> sum of your web page?

Yes he is, the total value is zero.

--
Nigel Rowe
A pox upon the spammers that make me write my address like..
rho (snail) swiftdsl (stop) com (stop) au

RobertSzefler

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Apr 27, 2006, 2:19:03 AM4/27/06
to
John Bokma wrote:

> harassing Usenet. (Did I just wrote smart?!)

Tell me about bad English :)

John Bokma

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Apr 27, 2006, 1:59:11 PM4/27/06
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"gene tani" <gene...@gmail.com> wrote:

Maybe because people rather post a reply instead of sending an abuse
report.

Got this from Dreamhost (hosting provider):

"I have warned this user that excessive offtopic cross-posting is not
allowed, and explained that if he doesn't quit he risks losing his
account. If you (or anyone else) notice this in the future, please do not
hesitate to submit another report."

Since Xah was also yesterday complaining to me about harassment I guess
something happened.

In the past some others and I managed to have 10 out of 20 sites shut down
from a "solidified top troll". (Each rant had 20+ links to his sites)

You know, just some sunlight is was really solidifies a troll :-D.

Xah Lee

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Apr 27, 2006, 5:22:03 PM4/27/06
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What Languages to Hate

Xah Lee, 20020718

Dear lisp comrades and other concerned parties,

First, all languages have equal rights. Do not belittle other languages
just because YOUR favorite language is a bit better in this aspect or
that. Different people have different ideas and manners of perception.
Ideas compete and thrive in all unexpected fashions. Societies improve,
inventions progress. Lisp may be a first in this or that, or faster or
flexibler, or higher level than other languages old and new, but then
there are other languages the like of Mathematica & Haskell & Dylan et
al which ridicule lisps in the same way lisp ridicule other languages.

Just because YOU are used to more functional programing or love lots of
parenthesis doesn't mean they are the only and best concepts. The
so-called Object Oriented programing of Java fame, or the visual
programing of Visual Basic fame, or the logic programing of Prolog
fame, or the format-stable syntax of Python fame, or the “one line of
Mathematica equals ten to one thousand lines of lisp” of _A New Kind
Of Science_ fame... all are parts of healthy competing concepts,
paradigms, or directions of growth.

The way some of you deride other languages is like sneering
heterogeneousness. If unchecked, soon you'll only have your sister to
marry to. Cute, but you do not want incest to become the only sex. Next
time your superiority complex makes you sneer at non-lisp or other
non-popular languages, remember this. It is diversity of ideas, that
drives the welfare of progress.

Now, there is one judgmental criterion, that if a language or computer
technology fits it, then we not only should castigate at their
missionaries, but persecute and harass the language to the harshest
death. That is: utter sloppiness, irresponsibility, and lies. These
things are often borne out of some student's homework or moron's
dirty-work, harbored by “free” and wanton lies and personal fame,
amassed thru ignorance.

Of my short but diligent industrial unix computing experience since
1998, i have identified the following targets:

* C (and consequences like csh, C++)
* vi
* Perl
* MySQL
* unix, unixism, and things grown out of unix. (languages,
protocols, philosophies, expectations, movements)

In our software industry, i like to define criminals as those who cause
inordinate harm to society, not necessarily directly. Of the above
things, some of their authors are not such criminals or are forgivable.
While others, are hypocritical fantastic liers selfish to the core.
When dealing with these self-promoting jolly lying humble humorous
priests and their insidious superficially-harmless speeches, there
should be no benefit of doubt. Tell them directly to stop their vicious
lies. Do a face-off.

As to their brain-washed followers for example the not-yet-hard-core
unix, C, or Perl coders rampant in industry, try to snap them out of
it. This you do by loudly snapping fingers in front of their face,
making it sound like a ear piercing bang. Explain to them the utter
stupidity of the things they are using, and the harm to their brain.
IMPORTANT: _teach_, not _debate_ or _discuss_ or falling back into your
philosophical deliberating indecisiveness. I've seen enough criticisms
among learned programers or academics on these, so i know you know what
i'm talking about. When you see a unixer brainwashed beyond saving,
kick him out of the door. He has became a zombie who cannot be helped.

There are other languages or technology, by itself technically are
perhaps mediocre but at least is not a egregious irresponsible hack,
therefore does not deserve scorn, but sometimes it comes with
overwhelming popular outrageous lies (euphemized as hype). Java is a
example. For this reason, it is equally deserving the harshest
treatment. Any loud proponents of such should be immediately slapped in
the mouth and kicked in the ass in no ambiguous ways.

Summary: all languages have equal rights. However, those utterly SLOPPY
and IRRESPONSIBLE HACKS with promoter's LIES should be severely
punished. It is these, that cause computing industry inordinate harm.
Meanwhile, it is wrong to haughtily criticize other languages just
because they are not your cup of tea. Now, please remember this and go
do society good.


----
This post is archived at:

http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/language_to_hate.html

Xah
x...@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/

Xah Lee

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Apr 27, 2006, 5:25:45 PM4/27/06
to
Addendum:

Recently I ran into this egregious propaganda:
http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/multimedia/video/obp/IntroducingPython.mpg

folks, take a look. This is a significant part how things move in the
computing community.

Xah
x...@xahlee.org
http://xahlee.org/

Alex Buell

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Apr 27, 2006, 5:33:35 PM4/27/06
to
On 27 Apr 2006 14:22:03 -0700 "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> waved a wand

and this message magically appeared:

> What Languages to Hate

Folks, this guy has moved to pacbell.net (and probably relocated his
website as well).

Send your complaints to:
ab...@sbcglobal.net
ab...@dreamhost.com

Roedy Green

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Apr 27, 2006, 5:38:51 PM4/27/06
to
On 27 Apr 2006 14:22:03 -0700, "Xah Lee" <x...@xahlee.org> wrote,

quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

>What Languages to Hate

Come, if you are as experienced as you claim you know that
comp.lang.java.advocacy is the home of language wars and commentary on
them, not comp.lang.java.programmer.

It is one thing for a topic to drift but quite another to deliberately
post your initial message in the wrong place.

John Bokma

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Apr 27, 2006, 5:45:24 PM4/27/06
to
Alex Buell <alex....@munted.org.uk> wrote:

> Send your complaints to:
> abuse at sbcglobal dott net
> abuse at dreamhost dott com

Yup, done. If he's still with dreamhost he probably is in trouble now. If
not, next.

Tagore Smith

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Apr 28, 2006, 9:34:40 AM4/28/06
to

John Bokma wrote:
> Eli Gottlieb <eligo...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Oh, God, not another one.
>
> Instead of cross posting more garbage, do as follows:
>
> Email a complaint to the email addresses you can look up yourself and
> include the entire message of Xah:
>
> http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=72.231.179.135 posting host
> http://www.spamcop.net/sc?track=xahlee.org spamvertized site

Xah Lee has been around for a long time. I don't claim to understand
him, but I don't think he is a troll- I think he is sincere in his
postings, even if they are gibberish to everyone else. The only thing
he is doing that should be considered abuse is crossposting to several
groups (and he should certainly stop doing that). But he is only
crossposting to about eight or so groups- hardly a Dave Rhodes
incident.

The great thing about Usenet is that it gives everyone a soapbox, even
the slightly warped. Xah Lee should stop crossposting, but the fact
that he is incoherent should not bar him from posting messages. He is
actually a pretty interesting fellow when it comes to certain aspects
of mathematics- I don't know if he still maintains his site about knot
theory, but it was quite interesting, last time I looked.

It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
like. Complaints to ISPs should be reserved for egregious abuse of the
Usenet infrastructure.

Chris Uppal

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Apr 28, 2006, 10:07:56 AM4/28/06
to
Tagore Smith wrote:

> It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
> think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
> like.

I'm inclined to agree. The problem is not Xah Lee (whom I have killfiled), but
the people who insist on making my killfile useless by posting loads of
follow-ups saying things amounting to "stop this insane gibberish". Every
bloody time.

Wake up, people ! You are not the victims, you are the problem. Shut up,
/please/.

(And yes, I do realise that I'm adding to the problem here, and indeed that I'm
not following my own advice, nor heeding my own request.).

-- chris


Tagore Smith

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Apr 28, 2006, 10:45:44 AM4/28/06
to

Chris Uppal wrote:

> I'm inclined to agree. The problem is not Xah Lee (whom I have killfiled), but
> the people who insist on making my killfile useless by posting loads of
> follow-ups saying things amounting to "stop this insane gibberish".

... well, this is the problem with killfiles. Some clients do allow you
to kill all threads and subthreads that are started by anyone in your
killfile.

Takehiko Abe

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 10:48:29 AM4/28/06
to
> > > > Wake up, people ! You are not the victims, you are the problem.
Shut up,
> > > > /please/.
> > >
> > > Cannot agree more!

> > >
> > > Wake up, people ! You are not the victims, you are the problem. Shut up,
> > > /please/.
> >
> > Wholeheartedly agree!

> >
> > Wake up, people ! You are not the victims, you are the problem. Shut up,
> > /please/.
>
> So true!

>
> Wake up, people ! You are not the victims, you are the problem. Shut up,
> /please/.
>

Me too!

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 1:00:14 PM4/28/06
to
"Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:

> It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
> think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
> like.

No, since even if you kill file Xah Lee, he keeps wasting resources of
people who have dedicated equipment to support Usenet.

> Complaints to ISPs should be reserved for egregious abuse of the
> Usenet infrastructure.

I consider this abuse, and since the reports are taken serious atm, it
looks like the ISP / USP / hosting provider *agree* with my POV.

It's their call anyway.

Maybe you like to look away when someone throws garbage on the street,
thinking: who cares, it will be cleaned away by the end of the week. I
don't like the sight of it, and also know that some garbage ends up in the
sewer system, causing all kinds of problems.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 1:01:39 PM4/28/06
to
"Chris Uppal" <chris...@metagnostic.REMOVE-THIS.org> wrote:

> I'm inclined to agree. The problem is not Xah Lee (whom I have
> killfiled), but the people who insist on making my killfile useless by
> posting loads of follow-ups saying things amounting to "stop this
> insane gibberish". Every bloody time.

Yup, and since that never stops, I make sure the source is going to dry
up.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 1:34:31 PM4/28/06
to
"Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:

Yup, in short: stop Xah, and many people don't have to keep their kill
files up to date, or switch to a different usenet client.

Isn't it crazy that one person is allowed to create such a huge mess
everytime he posts?

Bill Atkins

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 1:41:02 PM4/28/06
to
John Bokma <jo...@castleamber.com> writes:
>
> Isn't it crazy that one person is allowed to create such a huge mess
> everytime he posts?

Isn't it crazy that one person willfully creates such a mess every
time Xah posts? Shush!

--
This is a song that took me ten years to live and two years to write.
- Bob Dylan

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 1:54:09 PM4/28/06
to
Bill Atkins <NOatki...@rpi.edu> wrote:

> John Bokma <jo...@castleamber.com> writes:
>>
>> Isn't it crazy that one person is allowed to create such a huge mess
>> everytime he posts?
>
> Isn't it crazy that one person willfully creates such a mess every
> time Xah posts? Shush!

Since you're posting from an edu tld, why are you wasting time and money
instead of getting educated? It might stop you from acting like an idiot
like you did just now.

Ken Tilton

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 3:15:17 PM4/28/06
to

John Bokma wrote:
> Bill Atkins <NOatki...@rpi.edu> wrote:
>
>
>>John Bokma <jo...@castleamber.com> writes:
>>
>>>Isn't it crazy that one person is allowed to create such a huge mess
>>>everytime he posts?
>>
>>Isn't it crazy that one person willfully creates such a mess every
>>time Xah posts? Shush!
>
>
> Since you're posting from an edu tld, why are you wasting time and money
> instead of getting educated? It might stop you from acting like an idiot
> like you did just now.
>

We have seen the enemy, and he is us. -- Pogo

I love this entire thread. Thank you, Xah!

ken

--
Cells: http://common-lisp.net/project/cells/

"Have you ever been in a relationship?"
Attorney for Mary Winkler, confessed killer of her
minister husband, when asked if the couple had
marital problems.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 3:32:52 PM4/28/06
to
Ken Tilton <kent...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I love this entire thread. Thank you, Xah!

Me too. I hope he posts again soon :-p

And good luck with the reporting business ;-)

Kaz Kylheku

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 3:59:52 PM4/28/06
to
John Bokma wrote:
> Alex Buell <alex....@munted.org.uk> wrote:
>
> > Send your complaints to:
> > abuse at sbcglobal dott net
> > abuse at dreamhost dott com
>
> Yup, done. If he's still with dreamhost he probably is in trouble now. If
> not, next.

Hahaha, right. Your complaints probably go straight do /dev/null. Do
you think any ISP out there cares about someone cross-posting a little
troll on Usenet, cross-posted to a handful of groups? They have bigger
abuse issues to worry about.

Xah Lee is an intelligent guy, just a bit nutty.

He has an interesting and funny website.

He pisses some of you people off because a lot of his ranting is
approximately on the mark. In my home country of Slovakia people say
"Trafena' hus zaga'ga!", which means "It is the goose that is hit which
will honk up".

Kaz Kylheku

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 4:28:07 PM4/28/06
to

Chris Uppal wrote:
> Tagore Smith wrote:
>
> > It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
> > think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
> > like.
>
> I'm inclined to agree. The problem is not Xah Lee (whom I have killfiled), but

What is the point of killfiling Xah Lee? Xah Lee does not enter into
random debates.

He always starts a new thread, which you can clearly identify by its
subject line and who it is from. Xah Lee does not use sock puppets, nor
does he otherwise conceal himself. He almost goes out of his way to be
clearly identifiable.

If you don't want to read Xah Lee, it is extremely easy to do so
without killfile support.

Intelligent people have learned that Xah Lee threads are extremely well
identified and easy to avoid. So that leaves behind only complete
idiots, and Xah Lee fans. :)

> the people who insist on making my killfile useless by posting loads of
> follow-ups saying things amounting to "stop this insane gibberish". Every
> bloody time.

This means that you are going into that thread anyway! Maybe if you
un-killfiled Xah Lee, you would see the root article of the thread and
then avoid stepping into it. Maybe you are stepping into these threads
because you want to.

If you truly don't like this stuff, maybe you should killfile by
thread: kill the root article by Xah Lee, and, recursively, anything
else which refers to it directly or transitively by parent references.

But then, even that is superfluous if you have a threaded reader, since
the thread is condensed to a single line on the screen which you have
to explicitly open.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 5:36:11 PM4/28/06
to
"Kaz Kylheku" <kkyl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> John Bokma wrote:
>> Alex Buell <alex....@munted.org.uk> wrote:
>>
>> > Send your complaints to:
>> > abuse at sbcglobal dott net
>> > abuse at dreamhost dott com
>>
>> Yup, done. If he's still with dreamhost he probably is in trouble
>> now. If not, next.
>
> Hahaha, right. Your complaints probably go straight do /dev/null. Do
> you think any ISP out there cares about someone cross-posting a little
> troll on Usenet, cross-posted to a handful of groups? They have bigger
> abuse issues to worry about.


<quote>


I have warned this user that excessive offtopic cross-posting is not
allowed, and explained that if he doesn't quit he risks losing his
account. If you (or anyone else) notice this in the future, please do not
hesitate to submit another report.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

- Jeff C.
- Abuse Coordinator, DreamHost Web Hosting - http://www.dreamhost.com/
</quote>


> He pisses some of you people off because a lot of his ranting is
> approximately on the mark.

You have no clue, so much is clear, and guessing doesn't help.

> In my home country of Slovakia people say
> "Trafena' hus zaga'ga!", which means "It is the goose that is hit
> which will honk up".

Expect some honking from Xah soon then.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 5:39:22 PM4/28/06
to
"Kaz Kylheku" <kkyl...@gmail.com> wrote:

> What is the point of killfiling Xah Lee? Xah Lee does not enter into
> random debates.

My point.

Xah Lee doesn't follow netiquette, which is nowadays with quite some ISPs
a ToS violation.


[ ... ]

> If you truly don't like this stuff, maybe you should killfile by
> thread: kill the root article by Xah Lee, and, recursively, anything
> else which refers to it directly or transitively by parent references.

I rather account kill by ISP :-D.

Most trolls get the point after they have paid quite some money for
several accounts. Saves me of maintaining kill files.

Tagore Smith

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 9:39:10 PM4/28/06
to

Kaz Kylheku wrote:
> Chris Uppal wrote:
> > Tagore Smith wrote:
> >
> > > It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
> > > think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
> > > like.
> >
> > I'm inclined to agree. The problem is not Xah Lee (whom I have killfiled), but
>
> What is the point of killfiling Xah Lee? Xah Lee does not enter into
> random debates.

The point is that Xah's posts seem to make some people angry. _I_
haven't killfiled him, as I generally enjoy his posts. It would be
better, for all concerned, if the people who hate Xah either killfiled
him or followed your advice about not opening his threads.

Tagore Smith

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 10:05:19 PM4/28/06
to

John Bokma wrote:
> "Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:
>
> > It's much easier to use a killfile than to complain to an ISP, and I
> > think that that should be the preferred response to messages you don't
> > like.
>
> No, since even if you kill file Xah Lee, he keeps wasting resources of
> people who have dedicated equipment to support Usenet.

Your responses are at least as wasteful (as are my responses to you,
and as are most of the posts made to Usenet). Your emails to his ISP
are far more wasteful- you are using up very scarce resources dedicated
to dealing with real abuse. Those resources are in much shorter supply
than the resources dedicated to propagating Usenet posts.

The only thing really wrong with Xah's post is that it was crossposted
to several groups. But your objection seems to be less about the
crossposting, and more about the content. Usenet is not, for the most
part, moderated. If you want to control the content of what you read, I
suggest that you start a blog, where you can ban comments you don't
like, to your heart's content.

> > Complaints to ISPs should be reserved for egregious abuse of the
> > Usenet infrastructure.
>
> I consider this abuse, and since the reports are taken serious atm, it
> looks like the ISP / USP / hosting provider *agree* with my POV.

Again, the only thing abusive about Xah's post is that he crossposted
it. That you don't like/understand it does not make it abuse. If you
were only complaining about the crossposting I would be on your side.

> It's their call anyway.
>
> Maybe you like to look away when someone throws garbage on the street,
> thinking: who cares, it will be cleaned away by the end of the week.

No, if I liked to look away from that I wouldn't bother responding to
you.

> don't like the sight of it, and also know that some garbage ends up in the
> sewer system, causing all kinds of problems.

Your response is far more damaging than anything Xah has done. Usenet
has, traditionally, been a "not very friendly zone". All kinds of
things get posted. Some of them piss me off. I don't go crying to
people's ISPs when they post messages I disagree with. Again, if you
want to control what gets posted, start a blog.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 10:37:13 PM4/28/06
to
"Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:

> Your emails to his ISP
> are far more wasteful- you are using up very scarce resources
> dedicated to dealing with real abuse.

According to his hosting provider dreamhost:


<quote>
I have warned this user that excessive offtopic cross-posting is not
allowed, and explained that if he doesn't quit he risks losing his
account. If you (or anyone else) notice this in the future, please do not
hesitate to submit another report.

</quote>

Reread it a few times, it might educate you (note the *cross-posting* and
the *submit another report*)

> The only thing really wrong with Xah's post is that it was crossposted
> to several groups. But your objection seems to be less about the
> crossposting, and more about the content.

Your mistaken. I have reported it as excessive crossposting.

(Rest of your misinterpretation snipped).

James Stroud

unread,
Apr 28, 2006, 10:58:33 PM4/28/06
to
Tagore Smith wrote:
> I generally enjoy his posts.

You should be happy then that they have all been archived on his website
for quite some time. I'm thinking of cross-posting Soren Keirkegaards
_Either/Or_. Its been archived for a while now and is full of
nonsensical ramblings, but I feel the need to post it for some attention
starved reason. You might enjoy it when I put it up on your favorite
newsgroup (and several other groups to boot).

James

--
James Stroud
UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics
Box 951570
Los Angeles, CA 90095

http://www.jamesstroud.com/

Tagore Smith

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 12:43:29 AM4/29/06
to
John Bokma wrote:
> "Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:
>
> > Your emails to his ISP
> > are far more wasteful- you are using up very scarce resources
> > dedicated to dealing with real abuse.
>
> According to his hosting provider dreamhost:
> <quote>
> I have warned this user that excessive offtopic cross-posting is not
> allowed, and explained that if he doesn't quit he risks losing his
> account. If you (or anyone else) notice this in the future, please do not
> hesitate to submit another report.
> </quote>

Precisely: you have wasted the time of someone who might otherwise have
spent that time dealing with real abuse. You got the standard email
sent out to placate people like you. That was my point. Try sending
mail to abuse at (any of my) desmesne(s). You won't get a response- in
fact, no-one will read your mail. We just don't have the resources to
deal with the easily offended. Too bad- we wouldn't mind handling real
abuse, though it is unlikely given our selective set of users.

I'm not sure that Xah's post was offtopic, and I am not sure how to
determine that objectively. I am sure that it was excessively
crossposted. I also know that Xah was posting to Usenet a long time
before you, and that he will still be posting to Usenet long after you
have given up in disgust, no matter who you complain to.

> Reread it a few times, it might educate you (note the *cross-posting* and
> the *submit another report*)

I think I've mentioned the crossposting in every message I have posted
on this thread, and that I don't approve of crossposting. I'm not sure
that you are in a position to educate me, and that you suggest that you
are is, frankly, obnoxious. I've been civil so far.

> (Rest of your misinterpretation snipped).

You can snip the important part, but that won't make the point go away.


I happen to have been working in this industry for a long time. I have
a lot of friends working at, and running, various enterprises. Some of
those enterprises handle a lot of the internet's traffic, measured by
packets at least. If I were really ethically impaired I could easily
mess up internet access for a "list of people I don't like". A call
from a backbone provider is not as ignorable as a random email to
ab...@whateverlittleISP.com.

But I am not ethically impaired (or at least not ethically impaired in
that way). Every young sysadmin learns a simple thing: "you have
disproportionate power, don't abuse it". Sometimes you have to read
people's mail, to diagnose a problem. If they are into weird bondage
stuff you avert your eyes, and you _never_ tell anyone (though I think
you are allowed to look at them funny at the company picnic). If they
are into child porn you call the cops, I think (the ethics are fuzzy
here, but this is my conclusion).

Crossposting is bad, unless it serves a specific purpose- Xah's post
obviously doesn't. I dont like people reporting on Usenet posters to
their ISPs, but... I can't really complain about that. Crossposting is
not good, without a really good justification.

But you are complaining about the content of his posts, and harassing
his ISP based on that. That's not just bad, it is wicked. You can
quote whatever you want from their emails, but I won't change my mind
on this subject- Xah shouldn't crosspost, but otherwise he should be
allowed to post.

Would you like a Usenet campaign started to disrupt your internet
access? You would be angry if that were done, and justifiably.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 1:39:09 AM4/29/06
to
"Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:

> Try
> sending mail to abuse at (any of my) desmesne(s). You won't get a
> response- in fact, no-one will read your mail.

Then you come close to being RFC ignorant IMO. Couldn't be bothered to
check it out.

> I'm not sure that Xah's post was offtopic, and I am not sure how to
> determine that objectively.

An excessive crosspost is hardly ever on topic.

> I am sure that it was excessively
> crossposted. I also know that Xah was posting to Usenet a long time
> before you,

Could be, oldest post I could find of myself:
<http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.acorn/msg/c1a1f50a7fc6f3a4?
dmode=source>

But is this a pissing contest?

> and that he will still be posting to Usenet long after you
> have given up in disgust, no matter who you complain to.

I doubt it. I am still "here" after 14 years.

> Crossposting is bad, unless it serves a specific purpose- Xah's post
> obviously doesn't. I dont like people reporting on Usenet posters to
> their ISPs, but... I can't really complain about that. Crossposting is
> not good, without a really good justification.
>
> But you are complaining about the content of his posts, and harassing
> his ISP based on that.

Again, learn to read: I reported excessive crossposting, period.

> Would you like a Usenet campaign started to disrupt your internet
> access? You would be angry if that were done, and justifiably.

Last time something like that happened the culprit lost his account. So be
my guest.

Tagore Smith

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 2:54:21 AM4/29/06
to

John Bokma wrote:
> "Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:
>
> > Try
> > sending mail to abuse at (any of my) desmesne(s). You won't get a
> > response- in fact, no-one will read your mail.
>
> Then you come close to being RFC ignorant IMO. Couldn't be bothered to
> check it out.

I don't care much about the RFC. I'd like to actually handle abusive
users. But people report abuse for all kinds of strange reasons. It
seems that believing in "Darwinism" is a form of abuse... go figure.
That's actually my point. You are helping to ensure that abuse is
tolerated. We stopped reading the abuse account for a reason.

> > I'm not sure that Xah's post was offtopic, and I am not sure how to
> > determine that objectively.
>
> An excessive crosspost is hardly ever on topic.

Now you are just being dishonest.

> > I am sure that it was excessively
> > crossposted. I also know that Xah was posting to Usenet a long time
> > before you,
>
> Could be, oldest post I could find of myself:
> <http://groups.google.com/group/comp.sys.acorn/msg/c1a1f50a7fc6f3a4?
> dmode=source>
>
> But is this a pissing contest?

No- if it were you would no longer have internet access.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 3:16:43 AM4/29/06
to
"Tagore Smith" <tag...@tagoresmith.com> wrote:

> John Bokma wrote:

[ .. ]

>> An excessive crosspost is hardly ever on topic.
>
> Now you are just being dishonest.

In what way?



> No- if it were you would no longer have internet access.

Try me.

Dr.Ruud

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 4:39:08 AM4/29/06
to
Tagore Smith schreef:


> [addressing John Bokma]


> your objection seems to be less about the
> crossposting, and more about the content.

Why do you think that?

--
Affijn, Ruud

"Gewoon is een tijger."


Matt Garrish

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 8:48:44 AM4/29/06
to

"Bill Atkins" <NOatki...@rpi.edu> wrote in message
news:87psj1i...@rpi.edu...

> John Bokma <jo...@castleamber.com> writes:
>>
>> Isn't it crazy that one person is allowed to create such a huge mess
>> everytime he posts?
>
> Isn't it crazy that one person willfully creates such a mess every
> time Xah posts? Shush!
>

Don't waste your time with the Bokma. He wants everyone to follow the
posting rules that annoy Bokma the least, but he never follows them himself.

Matt


John Bokma

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 1:11:27 PM4/29/06
to
"Matt Garrish" <matthew...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

> Don't waste your time with the Bokma. He wants everyone to follow the
> posting rules that annoy Bokma the least, but he never follows them
> himself.

Wow Matt, did it hurt that bad boy?

Grow up, you're smart enough to see what Xah is doing. If not, ask someone
with more brains to control you better.

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 1:39:04 PM4/29/06
to
John Bokma <jo...@castleamber.com> wrote:

> "Matt Garrish" <matthew...@sympatico.ca> wrote:
>
>> Don't waste your time with the Bokma. He wants everyone to follow the
>> posting rules that annoy Bokma the least, but he never follows them
>> himself.
>
> Wow Matt, did it hurt that bad boy?
>
> Grow up, you're smart enough to see what Xah is doing. If not, ask
> someone with more brains to control you better.

Also, if you need a post in a Xah Lee thread to make you look right, and
me look bad... that's quite a message in itself Garrish :-D.

Timo Stamm

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 4:04:34 PM4/29/06
to
John Bokma schrieb:

> <quote>
> I have warned this user that excessive offtopic cross-posting is not
> allowed,[...]
> </quote>


I just wrote to the abuse department at dreamhost, telling them that
your accusations are highly exaggerated.


Timo

John Bokma

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 4:14:02 PM4/29/06
to
Timo Stamm <timo....@arcor.de> wrote:

> I just wrote to the abuse department at dreamhost, telling them that
> your accusations are highly exaggerated.

I included Xah's post, on which they based their reply. Maybe use your
weekend to do some research?

Chris Rathman

unread,
Apr 29, 2006, 4:42:30 PM4/29/06
to
Good thing there's absolutely nothing happening in the world of
functional programming...

ant...@gmail.com

unread,
May 24, 2006, 7:43:34 AM5/24/06
to
> 24. Learn when not to reply to a troll (and bother several groups while
> doing so).

25. Learn when not to reply to a reply to a troll (and bother several
groups while doing so).

This could go on and on... ;-)

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