Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Best Saying From the Previous Thread?

"As a human being, you have no choice about the fact that you need a philosophy. Your only choice is whether you define your philosophy by a conscious, rational, disciplined process of thought and scrupulously logical deliberation - or let your subconscious accumulate a junk heap of unwarranted conclusions, false generalizations, undefined contradictions, undigested slogans, unidentified wishes, doubts and fears, thrown together by chance, but integrated by your subconscious, into a kind of mongrel philosophy and fused into a single, solid weight: self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown.
--Ayn Rand (Philosophy: Who Needs It?)"

absolutely brilliant.
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 27th, 2005
Not bad. Too bad she didn't apply it to herself.

<Ducks for cover>
Permalink Mongo 
August 27th, 2005
huh?
Permalink Jesus H Christ 
August 27th, 2005
>> Not bad. Too bad she didn't apply it to herself.

Sorry you didn't hear me the first time.

<ducks for cover _again_>
Permalink Mongo 
August 27th, 2005
Ignore JHC. He's been turning water in to wine all weekend. He's not exactly what you would call... sober.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 27th, 2005
I don't get what Mongo is on about either. I don't see any advice in that quote.
Permalink muppet 
August 27th, 2005
"mongrel philosophy"

That would be like voting for a coward as a president. No rational thought there.
Permalink Actively Disengaged 
August 27th, 2005
For those interested in darker sayings for the CS world, there's Erik Naggum.

--
If GML was an infant, SGML is the bright youngster far exceeds expectations and made its parents too proud, but XML is the drug-addicted gang member who had committed his first murder before he had sex, which was rape.
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/msg/9a30c508201627ee?hl=en&


Also, very much unlike any other language I have ever studied, perl has failed to stick to memory, a phenomenon that has actually puzzled me, but I guess there are some things that are so gross you just have to forget, or it'll destroy something with you. Perl is the first such thing I have known.
http://www.underlevel.net/jordan/erik-perl.txt


What I actually admire in Perl is its ability to provide a very successful abstraction of the horrible mess that is collectively called Unix.

Q: Which platform is best for running Scheme?
A: A blackboard.
http://people.redhat.com/vadimn/wiki/BestOfNaggum.html
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 27th, 2005
&#8220;Forrest Gump!! Man, I violently hated that reactionary piece of subtle pseudohip drivel&#8230; But Jesus &#8211; a movie that really makes the audience wish they were obedient and stupid?? What gives?? It&#8217;s like something out of the depths of a Stalinist purge.&#8221;
--Bruce Sterling

**************************************

It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value.&#8221;
--Arthur C. Clarke

**************************************

&#8220;Back in the good old days, it was easy to separate the men from the boys (i.e. &#8220;Quiche Eaters&#8221;). During this period, the Real Men were the ones that understood computer programming and the Quiche Eaters were the ones that didn&#8217;t. A real man said things like &#8220;DO 10 I+1, 10&#8221; and &#8220;ABEND&#8221;, and the Quiche Eaters said things like, &#8220;computers are too complicated for me&#8221; and &#8220;I can&#8217;t relate to computers &#8211; they&#8217;re so impersonal&#8221;. Note that Real Men don&#8217;t &#8220;relate&#8221; to anything, and aren&#8217;t afraid of being impersonal.
--Ed Post

**************************************

&#8220;I liken starting one&#8217;s computing career with Unix, say as an undergraduate, to being born in East Africa. It is intolerably hot, your body is covered with lice and flies, you are malnourished and you suffer from numerous curable diseases. But as far as young East Africans can tell, this is simply the natural condition and they live within it. By the time they find out differently, it&#8217;s too late. They already think that writing shell scripts is a natural act.&#8221;

-- Ken Pier, Xerox PARC
Permalink Godless Visigoth 
August 27th, 2005
"Computer games don't affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we'd all run around in a darkened room munching pills and listening to repetitive music."

-- Kristian Wilson, Nintendo, Inc, 1989.
Permalink Mat Hall 
August 27th, 2005
"there's Erik Naggum."

...who is an absolutely crappy writer. My god, what a load of drivel. There are about three thoughts that are worth consuming buried in a page of awful, overworked analogies, ad hominem attacks, political abuse, straw men, and vituperative bile.

I mean, I disagree with some of his premises, but I read that and all I want to say is "Uh, yeah. You're an idiot. Buh-bye"

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 27th, 2005
"But Jesus &#8211; a movie that really makes the audience wish they were obedient and stupid??"

?!?!? Where does he get that Gump was obedient? Didn't the guy spend most of the movie doing things people told him he shouldn't or couldn't do?

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 27th, 2005
Philo - and you hang out in ?off because....?
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 27th, 2005
LOL!
Permalink Philo 
August 27th, 2005
>> ?!?!? Where does he get that Gump was obedient? Didn't the guy spend most of the movie doing things people told him he shouldn't or couldn't do?

Interesting. I pretty much had Sterling's reaction when I first saw the movie, almost to the point of nausea, but I can barely remember it now.

In fairness, I seem to recall that he was dutiful, as opposed to obedient, and that is surely a significant difference if true. In fact, as I recall, it was what he was dutiful _to_ that creeped me out. I couldn't explain why now, though, sorry.

As I recall, I also made the comment, after it won best picture, that its only significance would be as a humourous historical footnote when someone in the future would say "that's the year they awarded the Oscar to _Forrest_Gump_ instead of _Pulp_Fiction_."
Permalink Mongo 
August 27th, 2005
While it's quite likely that Erik Naggum is mentally deranged, he apparently was an important member of the SGML community, as well as one of the more lucid public commentators on programming. It's true that his writing is too verbose relative to information content, and he dominated the Lisp newsgroup for a while with vicious attacks.

That said, his lucid insanity is a double-edged asset. For example, some academics I've met hide what they know, to preserve their careers. Some good speakers employ sleight-of-hand that's hard to detect. Very few people will point out the emperor has no clothes, except the children, town fools and madmen.
Permalink Tayssir John Gabbour 
August 27th, 2005
"It's true that his writing is too verbose relative to information content,"

Which makes his rant against XML so sweetly ironic...

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 27th, 2005
Mongo, consider the achievements in Gump:
- a kid with braces on his legs makes the football team
- He disobeys his commanding officer and rescues his squad, simply doing the right thing
- He buys a shrimp fleet as an homage to his dead friend, even though everyone tells him he's an idiot throwing his money away, and cleans up
- He invests in "some fruit company," buying Apple stock when most stock brokers would probably laugh at an IT investment
- Every time he meets the President, he is soundly unimpressed by who he is dealing with, treating them as just another guy.
- He runs from coast to coast just because he's pissed off and doesn't know what to do. He accumulates a flock of followers who follow him simply because he is moving, but they really have no idea why or where he's going. Then one day, despite having a hundred people following him, he gets tired of it and just stops.

Anyone who thinks this movie is about being a follower isn't viewing critically - they're taking their own preconceptions and laying them over the content.

Philo
Permalink Philo 
August 27th, 2005
I get it, Philo. That's why I'm distinguishing between obedience and duty for Forrest. I just can't remember enough about the movie to be able to describe properly, right now, what pissed me off so much about it -- but I remember disliking it so intensely I don't want to see it again so that I can remember :)

Winston Groom (the author) also suggested that one thing he didn't like about the movie adaptation was that it didn't properly capture Forrest's enormous courage. I thought that made sense, in retrospect, when I read it.

FWIW, I had no particular preconceptions going into the movie, other than liking Tom Hanks as an actor.
Permalink Mongo 
August 27th, 2005
I liked forest gump because I am mentally retarded and the movie showed how retardes like me could also be a success, not just mental retards.
Permalink  
August 27th, 2005
Wow, she had control over her subconscious. That seems consistent with her life.
Permalink son of parnas 
August 28th, 2005
Don't you have control of your subconscious? Doesn't it do what you tell it to?

And how exactly would you know if you didn't?
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 28th, 2005
I can't believe I'm about to defend something written by Rand, but ... Aaron, you're being too harsh in this particular criticism.

She's just saying don't abrogate your responsibility to be as rational as you can be, since the subconscious (whatever that means) will make bad decisions by default if you do. Of course, if you're really objecting that she's being sloppy in her terminology and overreaching in claiming to understand of the human mind, much less rationality, then of course you're correct.
Permalink Mongo 
August 28th, 2005
And there's no evidence from her that the subconcious makes bad decisions, or that the concious mind makes good ones.

I'm not sure where undisciplined == self doubt comes from, but whatever.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 28th, 2005
I was going to try to defend her a little more, but I just can't. Blech.
Permalink Mongo 
August 28th, 2005
???

I wasn't attacking her, I was questioning what son of parnas said.

I agree that you should try to be as rational as possible. I believe that the subconscious listens to what you tell it, and it can be trained to act in your best interests.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 29th, 2005
Aaron sez : "Don't you have control of your subconscious? Doesn't it do what you tell it to?"

God, I hope not. Otherwise, the dream I had last night is even -more- disturbing. I prefer thinking of the depths of my id as something that my higher functions have absolutely no input into, thanks. ;)
Permalink Snark 
August 29th, 2005
> Don't you have control of your subconscious? Doesn't it do what you tell it to?


Why do you like chocolate? How do you decide to catch something? How do you drive without thinking? Why do you love your mate?

The vast majority of your thoughts are not accessible to you. They are locked away from conscious mind. You don't know why you think the way you do. You just do.
Permalink son of parnas 
August 29th, 2005
No, but you can train it. Ever try to drive a car while thinking about every last thing you're doing? Probably not since you took driver's ed.

Sure, there's a lot of wacky stuff floating around there, and some things tase good without you knowing it in advance, and some things are just reflex, yadda yadda yadda, but you *can* tell it what to do.

It just takes time and patience. Just as your subconscious has trouble talking to you directly, you have trouble talking to it directly as well.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 29th, 2005
I'm just amazed that McKinstry hasn't weighed in on this thread yet.

After all, your subconscious is strictly a seven-layer manifestation of cortical noise transmitted via the sixth layer of quantum ...
gee, this is tough. I guess he just has more -practice- than I do.
Permalink Snark 
August 29th, 2005
He's still licking his wounds from the ass kicking I gave him.
Permalink Aaron F Stanton 
August 30th, 2005
"self-doubt, like a ball and chain in the place where your mind's wings should have grown"

OTOH, we have no shortage of idiots who seem to have no doubts whatsoever.
Permalink Paulo Caetano 
August 30th, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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