Let's stop the flames on USENET

Paul Prescod papresco@calum.csclub.uwaterloo.ca
Fri, 23 May 1997 20:45:48 -0400

cosc19z5@bayou.uh.edu wrote:
> As one of the antagonists of the C++ monkeys on Usenet, I can say
> with confidence that my time on Usenet is not being wasted simply
> because there is no LispOS to work on.

I'm surprised on several counts:

#1. I'm surprised that one among us would call people that have
different technical beliefs and goals "monkeys". This explains a lot
about the quality of the discussion coming from the Lisp side, however.
I know of some people of high intelligence and competence who are
satisfied with C and C++, and some who really like one or the other. I
can argue about those decisions with them without thinking them stupid.
Some are strongly wedded to the Turing-machine view of computation and
others to the Lambda Calculus -- so be it. We can "win" through code. If
LispOS does everything that Unix does, but better, we will have proved
our point without flaming."Less talking -- more hacking" - Olin Shivers

#2. I'm surprised that anyone would believe that anything is being
accomplished by "antagonizing" people other than *widening* the gulf
between "us" and "them". Do we want Lisp to be the Amiga/OS/2 of
programming languages -- marginalized by our own fanaticism?

#3. I'm surprised that anyone would believe that even if there were some
benefit in antagonizing people that there is any benefit in doing it
with such *poor style*. I mean Erik Naggum is one thing: he thinks
carefully, speaks carefully and attacks strategically. Although I still
question the benefit of flaming, at least his victims wind up having a
grudging respect for him and are motivated to learn more about the other
side so that they can defend themselves. By contrast the majority of the
Lisp-side of that thread looks like intellectual napalm. The decision to
use napalm in a battle does not typically improve the international PR
of the country that does so.
 Paul Prescod