Testosterone makes people stupid

Yes, testosterone makes people stupid. No, I’m not talking about the men who secrete and metabolize it, I’m talking about the nervous old women of both sexes who pronounce upon it as though it were some sort of demonic drug.

Latest in this parade of absurdity is a study of the effect of handling guns on male testosterone. Lurking behind the study is a clear agenda — the designers wanted to show that guns cause violence. Jonah Goldberg rightly slams this nonsense in National Review Online, reminding us that conservatives may after all be good for something.

I read Jonah’s column while a shreddin’ track from Joe Satriani’s new album Super Colossal poured out my speakers. Hearing what Satch does on a fretboard definitely raises my testosterone level. Should we be banning electric guitars for their aggression-inciting effects, now?

The study involved hot sauce, which I’m pretty sure raises mens’ testosterone levels too. Are we to forbid the import of capsicum peppers on this account?

There’s no end to this sort of silliness, short of recognizing that the people who propagate it are self-panickers who, if the entire planet turned into a brightly colored and harmless Nerf-world tomorrow, would fear their own shadows.

The fault lies not in guitars or hot sauces or testosterone or firearms but in the self-panickers’ tendermindedness and moral infantilism. It’s “Mommy! Mommy! The bad thing made me do it!” amplified and projected on everyone else.

To which the only counter is two words: Grow up!.

223 thoughts on “Testosterone makes people stupid

  1. “…a shreddin’ track from Joe Satriani’s new album Super Colossal…”

    “Redshift Riders”, by any chance? Or one of the two *massive* bass-heavy ass-kickers?

    F’ing great work from Satch :-)

  2. >“Redshift Riders”, by any chance?

    Got it in one.

    >You want a sample?

    Sure, if I can get ogg or MP3.

  3. I was thinking, the reason why porn and drinking don’t currently have the problems that guns do is because a bigger majority enjoys them. And those two don’t even have their own specific amendment!

    I generally don’t waste time arguing with people who are wrong but won’t change their mind, so I don’t really know…. how do people reconcile gun control with the 2nd amendment? Is it like creative interpretations of the wording like with the commerce clause? Or is it the Bush strategy of “the constitution is outdated and wrong so we’ll ignore it”?

  4. Women also have varying levels of testosterone and other hormones.

  5. My favorite track so far alternates between Supercolossal and Crowd Chant, but Red Shift Riders has planted itself into my brain, and I “hear” it all day if I’m not listening to something else.

  6. ESR,
    Curious what you think Satch’s “Ten Words” were. I have a strong suspicion, but I’ll hold off until others chime in.
    I like Super Collosal almost as much as Strange Beautiful Music.
    R,
    C

  7. AFAIK the people who think gun control is compatible with the US Constitution make the case (which as a law student I don’t find completely ridiculous, although a bit on the synthetic side) that the reference to guns is in the context of a well regulated militia, so the right is of the people as a whole to have a well-regulated militia who bears arms.

    I think (and I say this as a European gun control advocate) that such interpretation is rather dishonest though, and people who want gun control should try to repeal or change the document. When you want to do something illegal you don’t just ignore the law, one would hope.

  8. AFAIK the people who think gun control is compatible with the US Constitution make the case (which as a law student I don’t find completely ridiculous, although a bit on the synthetic side) that the reference to guns is in the context of a well regulated militia, so the right is of the people as a whole to have a well-regulated militia who bears arms.

    The whole “well-regulated” thing is kind of undefined afaict, though.

    Not really my problem, but I’m intrigued by the widespread US conceit that privately owned firearms are a solid line of defence against homegrown tyranny, as proved by Nazi confiscations etc. There seems something really late-eighteenth-century about the idea that handheld weaponry is going to be sufficient to keep a government in line. Modern governments have a) battlefield systems and b) control over the utilities. Good luck against those with your Glock.

  9. adrian10: tell that to the US soldiers currently in Iraq (or those who were in Vietnam, for that matter). Tanks or even nukes don’t do you all that much good against a massively decentralized armed force. It’s like trying to kill a viral infection with a scalpel.

  10. >The whole “well-regulated” thing is kind of undefined afaict, though.

    No, it isn’t. The verb has undergone a confusing shift in meaning. In the English of the framers’ time, “well-regulated” meant “well-trained” — the “regulation” was regarded as analogous to the regulation of a clock.

    >Modern governments have a) battlefield systems and b) control over the utilities. Good luck against those with your Glock.

    Worse luck against those without my Glock. Jefferson explained this well: civilian firearms have a dual function, both useful against criminals and tyrants and formative of the social character. He was right — in the U.S. areas where civilian firearms are present in high density are the peaceful and orderly places. Gun crime correlates strongly with gun ‘control’, as Great Britain is now finding out.

  11. >I think (and I say this as a European gun control advocate) that such interpretation is rather dishonest though

    Make that extremely dishonest. This dishonesty is a major part of the reason I do not merely oppose gun-grabbers but hate and loathe them.

  12. adrian10: tell that to the US soldiers currently in Iraq (or those who were in Vietnam, for that matter). Tanks or even nukes don’t do you all that much good against a massively decentralized armed force. It’s like trying to kill a viral infection with a scalpel.

    You’re not fighting a civil war in Iraq, though you might be delaying one. The gloves have a way of coming off in civil wars.

  13. The verb has undergone a confusing shift in meaning. In the English of the framers’ time, “well-regulated” meant “well-trained” — the “regulation” was regarded as analogous to the regulation of a clock.

    Is there any mandatory training, then? Surely the NRA would be, er, up in arms? “*Restrictions*? Waahhh!”

    He was right — in the U.S. areas where civilian firearms are present in high density are the peaceful and orderly places.

    Or the places which aren’t peaceful and orderly are the ones where it’s politically hard to imagine that an assload more guns would help.

    What did happen to ol’ John Lott? There were all sorts of people casting aspersions a couple of years back, accusing him of planting glowing reviews of his books on Amazon under false names and playing fast and loose with his linear regressions. Then it went quiet.

    Gun crime correlates strongly with gun ‘control’, as Great Britain is now finding out.

    Doubt the privately held pre-Dunblane handgun stocks would have done much to prevent it, though. Situation’s evolving quite fast there, however. It’s regrettable that a reflexive sneer on the part of some of the elites towards what’s seen as American style cowboy justice blocks some of the more interesting lines of experimentation for now.

    I wonder if Heinlein ever visited Japan. Sometimes an unarmed society can be a polite society, too.

  14. Adrian: Is there any mandatory training, then? Surely the NRA would be, er, up in arms? “*Restrictions*? Waahhh!”

    We can judge, by looking at laws of the day, the words prominent men of the day and the actions of the citizens, what well regulated meant.

    The Founding Fathers didn’t believe, for the most part, in conscription. They did believe, firmly, in the citizen militia, rather than standing, professional armies. They bent somewhat to the necessity of the Revolution, but only while the need was supreme. During Washington’s second term, the Militia Act was passed in response to tensions between the USA and Britain and France. The Act designated all free men with weapons as the Militia of the United States. Members of the Militia (i.e. the citizens of the Republic) were required to maintain a musket, a certain amount of shot and powder and a certain number of hand grenades.

    There was no mandatory training. Then again, the majority of the free men were farmers and quite used to using their weapons on a regular basis for food. A significant number of them were veterans of the Revolution. The widespread ownership and use of weapons was one of the contributing factors to the Washington being able to create an Army and keep it functioning in the face of the British Army for so long.

    The prevailing view towards militia and standing armies was very similar to the Roman Republic before the Civil War. A very small standing army maintained by the central government and a militia equipped and ready to respond when needed.

    Adrian It’s regrettable that a reflexive sneer on the part of some of the elites towards what’s seen as American style cowboy justice blocks some of the more interesting lines of experimentation for now.

    Now, here’s the funny thing about that. Pretty much every man on the American frontier carried a pistol, rifle or shotgun when away from home. They hunted with them, defended themselves and generally treated it as a useful tool. This was the norm in America from the first colonies being established until late in the 19th century. The mythology is that crime, especially violent crime involving guns, was quite common on the American frontier. The myth continues that there were massive areas of chaotic lawlessness that required significant efforts by law enforcement to “clean up” and restore law and order. That, in fact, the only way order could be kept in town was to require all of the cowboys to take off their guns at the city limits (ie gun control).

    The actual reality, according to the records and anecdotal evidence is that the American frontier was, by and large, polite and courteous. There was no law or government in most areas due to the distances and fairly sparse population. The towns often had no sherrif or marshall to enforce the law, and there really wasn’t much in the way of “law” anyhow. But the crime rate was exceedingly low, per capita. All of the cattle rustling, bank robbing, murdering and raping shown in Hollywood westerns was rare and isolated. The crime rate was far lower per capita than it is today.

    The factors that seem consistent are the number of guns per capita, the number of laws and law enforcement per capita and the population density. But, even areas where population density was higher, the crime rate stayed low. There were a few exceptions, Dodge City and Tombstone are the ones that come to mind most commonly. Interestingly, those two places had to things in common. The Earp brothers and their ‘at the point of a gun’ disarmament. It is quite possible that, far from being the heroes they are portrayed as, the Earp brothers were typical cops who loved their power far too much and did more harm than good by disarming folks.

  15. The prevailing view towards militia and standing armies was very similar to the Roman Republic before the Civil War. A very small standing army maintained by the central government and a militia equipped and ready to respond when needed.

    Didn’t the faith in the whole militia thing take a bit of a hit after 1812-14? OK, the Brits dropped the ball at New Orleans big time, but I understood that there were a few instances of militia running away when faced with regular troops (Bladensberg?) which led some to decide that the whole concept wasn’t really up to modern standards even then.

  16. esr raves on about the gun control, gives away insecurities regarding own masculinity. Film at 11.

  17. The right of individual access to firearms was seen as a prerequisite to a well-regulated militia, not the other way around, at the time of the Constitution’s authorship. Parsing the single sentence which comprises the Second Amendment should make that implication clear. Gun control advocates seem to prefer playing semantical games with the sentence to debating the merits of what it says.

  18. The right of individual access to firearms was seen as a prerequisite to a well-regulated militia, not the other way around, at the time of the Constitution’s authorship.

    Yeah, but the desire to have a well-regulated militia was still the intended purpose of individual access to firearms, and that’s what gun-control advocates claim has been sort of deprecated in latter days.

  19. David expresses a common misinterpretation of the Constitution’s enumeration of rights, that the said enumeration is a grant of rights, rather than a recognition and guarantee of them. He believes the right can be done away with by amending the Constitution. Not at all; such an amendment would be a violation of the citizens’ rights, under the political philosophy informing the Framers’ words. The law itself breaks the law in such a case, as many laws do. This is why the old saw about “the rule of law(yers)” as the key to freedom no longer convinces.

  20. David expresses a common misinterpretation of the Constitution’s enumeration of rights, that the said enumeration is a grant of rights, rather than a recognition and guarantee of them.

    So is access to guns some sort of fundamental human right, sadly denied to almost everyone except Americans through accidents of history?

    Help me out here.

  21. Adrian: So is access to guns some sort of fundamental human right, sadly denied to almost everyone except Americans through accidents of history?

    No, the rights to life, liberty and property imply that you can defend yourself and your property.

    Adrian: Yeah, but the desire to have a well-regulated militia was still the intended purpose of individual access to firearms, and that’s what gun-control advocates claim has been sort of deprecated in latter days.

    The Framers and Founding Fathers understood it somewhat differently. They felt that the best defense of liberty was an armed citizenry. By the definition of the day that constituted militia. We have to understand this in their context.

    I would say that an armed citizenry being a defense against tyranny is still valid in today’s context. Otherwise Lenin, Stalin and Hitler would not have considered it important to remove firearms from those they wanted to control. All three of them made statements to that effect, in fact. I’m not trying to prove that certain things, historically, wouldn’t have happened. I’m just pointing out that three of the worst tyrants in the 20th century all considered disarming the citizens to be important to retaining power.

  22. Brett,

    You can call it a misunderstanding if you will, I would say it’s a difference in philosophy of law. Here in Europe, legal positivism has been all the rage for decades, and so the defining element of law is the form, the fact that it is passed by duely constituted bodies by duely specified procedures, etc.

    That said, the bearing of arms language isn’t in the original constitution, so one wonders if those inherent rights of citizens can somehow be added to but not subtracted from, which would be odd.

  23. >esr raves on about the gun control, gives away insecurities regarding own masculinity. Film at 11.

    This kind of pop psychology is so last century. Replying in kind would be too easy and prove just as little as the original slur, so I won’t bother.

  24. I just love it when people relate masculinity to violent images/objects. There’s absolutely no tie whatsoever obviously, but everyone acts like masculinity is somehow completely and irrefutably tied to violence. The hypocrisy of some of these people who use this tool is amazing. It’s like saying being small and weak is what being a woman is all about. If you ever implied such a thing in conversation, you’d get shot down violently. Yet somehow it is still perfectly ok to imply that “manhood”, “biggus dickus”, and potency are somehow tied to the capacity to be violent. My sister even tries this crap on me, and she’s blood.

    “Don’t you want to be the bigger man about this?” she’ll say.

    That’s right, because being a bigger, more respectable, more sexually desired man is all tied up with the thing you’re trying to get me to do. To that I say, “fuck you.” That phrase, while common in usage, is like me saying…

    “You should dress for success, don’t you want to get promoted?”

    …to a woman.

  25. David wrote:
    > the bearing of arms language isn’t in the original constitution, so one wonders if those inherent rights of citizens can somehow be added to but not subtracted from, which would be odd.

    The main body of the Constitution was originally proposed and largely influenced by nationalist monarchists known as the “Federalists” (a bit of newspeak on the part of the group’s founders); they wanted to get rid of the Articles of Confederation and instead establish a more centralized system of government (e.g. Alexander Hamilton, their leader, wanted to establish an American monarchy). In opposition to the “Federalists” were federalist republicans known as the “Anti-Federalists”; the AFs were generally the more liberal (in the classical sense) of the two groups, and favored less centralization and far more limited government. Most AFs would’ve preferred keeping the AoC, but they did have influence on the main body of the Constitution, ultimately limiting the damage done by the adoption of what was essentially a reactionary, almost counter-revolutionary, document. The most notable contribution of the AFs was not in the main body of the Constitution, which specifically grants a limited set of powers to government, but in the Bill of Rights, which specifically prohibits the government from violating certain basic individual rights. The preamble to the Bill of Rights makes the AF reasoning behind creating this seemingly redundant document clear:

    THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

    The leader of the Anti-Federalists, Thomas Jefferson, understood that all government inevitably grows more and more tyrannical, whatever its beginnings, so even though the government hadn’t been granted anywhere near the authority to violate the rights declared protected in the BoR, the specific explicit protection of those rights was considered necessary. The two documents are based on two very different views of how to establish “good government”: a bottom-up versus a top-down approach.

    David McCabe wrote:
    > ESR and commentators: Please cite your sources.
    For the above, The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, various letters exchanged between the founders, various speeches given by the founders, what should be common knowledge about early American history, and probably the History channel too. It’s all from memory, from various sources, and I don’t generally keep detailed mental bibliographies.

  26. Minor Correction: with the exception of the excerpt from the preamble to the Bill of Rights, it’s all from memory. You can find the preamble to the BoR along with the transcript of the rest of the document at the National Archives website.

  27. I hate to be a grump; it’s just that, when you tell us where you got some information, it goes from hearsay to something that we might be able to verify. I’m thinking especially of Eric Cowperthwaite’s comments about the West. While what he says doesn’t surprise me, I’d prefer to be able to find the primary sources. So, when possible, please give us citations. Otherwise, at least tell us what your mental bibliography still contains. Thanks!

  28. David, we truly do have a difference of political philosophy, your legal positivism abandoning the individual to the arbitrary vagaries of legislatures. In the Lockean tradition underlying the founding of the U.S., rights inhere to the individual, and are not negotiable; governments may either recognize and guarantee, or violate those rights. It does not bestow them.

  29. Since everyone’s into reading between the lines (words, really) of the 2nd amendment today, I’ll throw in my 2 cents:

    I have no way of knowing exactly how far the framers wanted to take it, but I believe that the notion of “well regulated” – in the older English, well trained sense that Eric highlighted earlier – goes well beyond the mechanics of handling guns safely and effectively.

    The more important aspect of “well regulated” is, IMO, the presence among the citizenry of wisdom related to the balance of avoidance, safe (de)escalation and, when necessary, use of violence, while protecting our basic rights. Target practice and pistolcraft are necessary parts of this but nowhere near enough to really make it work as originally intended.

    To the extent that the general population in the US is now relatively un-armed (compared to the frontier days as described by Eric C. above), lack of defenses against everyday criminals is only one of the problems and, on a national/strategic scale, probably not the biggest.

    The bigger problem is the lack of this “wisdom about violence” that starts with road rage at the personal level and, nationally, results in an electorate choosing war-dodgers over war vets to lead a long-term anti-terrorist struggle. This unfamiliarity with real violence, from the voters to the Pentagon’s boss to Congress to the POTUS, IMO dramatically increases the chances of mistakes being made.

    The top reason the Iraq invasion made me, at best, very very nervous about the way the US was handling things, wasn’t some knee-jerk Islamo-apologist reaction. The huge problem, IMO, was most war supporters’ (the majority at the time) flag-waving naivete. Even when 150% certain that war is the least worst option, one simply must approach the beast with the deadly respect it deserves. You may not be shipping out any time soon, but your neighbor is. Instead, I saw (and still see) widespread cluelessness. That is bound to feed back/reflect into the (civilian/political at least) leadership’s decision-making process. Condie’s “thousand tactical errors” are bound to follow.

    To summarize, I think “well regulated” should go well beyond training or regulation (in the modern sense) on firearms. It means citizens wise enough to weigh options when it comes to decisions about violence, including those made by their elected leaders. Something big is missing in that department.

  30. Here’s the study – http://faculty.knox.edu/fmcandre/guns-testo-aggress.pdf . It’s ‘in press’, which I assume means pre-publication. There’s no data set, it’s not clear how the study group (30 males 18-22) was assigned, and in what proportion.

    Lead Researcher – http://mcandrew.socialpsychology.org/ , http://faculty.knox.edu/fmcandre/
    Assisting Researcher – http://www.knox.edu/tkasser.xml

    The Hypothesis

    In this study we examine whether the presence of a gun (vs. a control object)
    might act as a stimulus signaling competition and a threat to status; if so, it should cause
    increases in males’ testosterone levels, which in turn should increase their aggressive
    behavior.

    We hypothesized that males who interacted with the gun
    would show both more of increase in testosterone levels and more aggression than would males who interacted with the children’s toy.

    * they formalize the study by framing it as a test of the Challenge Hypothesis ( T-levels increase in response to status threats, derives from bird studies, popular in Evol. psych/bio)

    Task

    All subjects were then led into a room containing a television, a chair, and a table
    with an object and some paper on it. For experimental subjects, the object was a pellet
    gun identical in size, shape, and feel to a Desert Eagle automatic handgun; for control
    subjects, the object was the children’s game Mouse Trap™. Subjects were told that the
    study was investigating whether taste sensitivity was associated with the attention to
    detail required for creating instructions concerning these objects. Subjects were therefore

    asked to spend fifteen minutes handling the object and writing a set of instructions about
    how to assemble and disassemble the object; a drawing of the object was also provided
    for subjects to label the object’s parts. The handgun and children’s game were relatively
    similar in number and complexity of parts.

    * the Desert Eagle is a gas-operated semi pistol w/ rotating bolt. If the pellet gun was an authentic replica, its mechanical design is far more complex that that of a mousetrap game.

    Fortunately precautions were taken

    Because of the potentially arousing nature of the experiment, we wanted to ensure
    that all subjects were reasonably calm when they left the lab. Therefore, all subjects next
    watched a relaxing video of nature scenes and classical musical. Given that subjects had
    been deceived, we next debriefed them, emphasizing that they should not feel badly
    about any aggressive behavior they exhibited. Interestingly, several subjects were
    disappointed when told that the sample of hot sauce/water they had prepared would not
    actually be given to the next subject. No subjects expressed suspicion as to the true
    nature of the study.

  31. esr raves on about the gun control, gives away insecurities regarding own masculinity. Film at 11.

    This kind of pop psychology is so last century. Replying in kind would be too easy and prove just as little as the original slur, so I won’t bother.

    You are clearly a very deluded and insecure man, and anyone who has read as much of your writing as I have can see that. Why else do you see it necessary to drop hints about your supposed prowess into your writing? You didn’t do that in this post, but I can think of several other examples off the top of my head where you have. I can go into detail if you’re not embarassed.

  32. My bad, I thought blockquote could be nested. The paragraph below the quote is esr’s.

  33. I should no longer be amazed at the automatic media villification of anything assoicated with the natural and valuable male instinct for preservation and defense of ourselves and our communities. Testosterone is associated with that instinct, as are guns. As is hot sauce, if “get a rope” means anything at all. The implicit assumptions of this study and its prevalent interpretation are that testosterone is dangerous (often true) and that anything dangerous is bad (profoundly false). Dangerous things like fire, machinery, and defensive weaponry are indispensible to civilization; a society forgets this at its own peril. I think associating estrogen with weakness and manipulation but not with nuturing growth would be equally wrong but less immediately perilous.

  34. >You are clearly a very deluded and insecure man,

    You know, you’re very funny. Unintentionally so, and in a sort of pathetic predictable way, but you’re very funny.

  35. So what’s next? Gun sales require ID, background check, waiting period, trigger locks, and classical music? The implication that men who’ve touched a gun must be cleansed before they can re-enter society is insulting.

  36. A toy gun, even.

    Because of the potentially arousing nature of the experiment, we wanted to ensure
    that all subjects were reasonably calm when they left the lab. Therefore, all subjects next
    watched a relaxing video of nature scenes and classical musical. Given that subjects had
    been deceived, we next debriefed them, emphasizing that they should not feel badly
    about any aggressive behavior they exhibited.

    Them’s fightin’ words.

  37. David McCabe: I’m thinking especially of Eric Cowperthwaite’s comments about the West. While what he says doesn’t surprise me, I’d prefer to be able to find the primary sources.

    Various sources that I can’t recall completely. They were all secondary sources quoting actual primary sources. One was an article in SoF in the late 80′s. An article in Reason (I think) about the Earps, pointing out that the towns where they practiced their gun control campaigns invariably had higher crime rates than other frontier towns did. IIRC, at least one article on the frontier was from InSights and dealt with the mythology of the West. Bear in mind that the myth of the violent and chaotic Wild West was created by Hollywood. By a Hollywood dominated, even then, by folks of a leftist bent.

  38. You know, you’re very funny. Unintentionally so, and in a sort of pathetic predictable way, but you’re very funny.

    Interesting that you should say that, because that’s why I read your writing. For example, take the following claim from your LARP resume: “I am male, 5’8″, about 190lbs, muscular build.”

    Amusing that you claim to be “muscular”, even more so when one Google image searches for ‘esr’: http://www.pinatariders.org/freon/tanstaafl/ESR%20at%20Penguicon.jpg

    That just about blew out my roflmeter. To be fair, the resume is probably out of date, and I haven’t bothered finding an older photo of you. To see how hard you find it not to brag, witness your claims of sexual prowess in the ‘Sex Tips’ guide. Again, a quick read followed by a Google image search yields much LOL’s.

  39. That just about blew out my roflmeter. To be fair, the resume is probably out of date, and I haven’t bothered finding an older photo of you. To see how hard you find it not to brag, witness your claims of sexual prowess in the ‘Sex Tips’ guide. Again, a quick read followed by a Google image search yields much LOL’s.

    You know, this is kind of a shame, because you’ve had some good and rigorous stuff to say about the logic of various people’s positions or lack thereof, but going down this road means the end of debate.

    I suppose you might have had enough of that, though.

  40. The bigger problem is the lack of this “wisdom about violence” that starts with road rage at the personal level and, nationally, results in an electorate choosing war-dodgers over war vets to lead a long-term anti-terrorist struggle.

    No no no. John Kerry was a September 10th person, you see. He didn’t “get it”.

    Actually, from my POV it was just a choice between two wealthy douchebags. Yawn. Toss a coin or something.

  41. I don’t have an agenda, one way or another, on the gun ownership vs. gun control issue. Being a committed believer in efr’s Myob philosophy has freed me from the necessity of choosing sides in the gun debate.

    Even though I may be unarmed, you cannot intimidate me by brandishing your weapon, because I refuse to give you that power over me. You can shoot me, perhaps even kill me, but you will never intimidate me. The same is true of physical size used as a factor of control. I am a small person, but I will not allow a larger person to frighten me into a humiliating submission. The larger person may physically harm me, but certainly I will defend myself to the best of my ability, and I will feel no shame, whatever the outcome of the conflict.

    In my mind, you can’t defeat me unless I decide to surrender. If enough people felt this way, guns and physical force would lose much of their power and, perhaps, some of their cachet.

  42. You know, this is kind of a shame, because you’ve had some good and rigorous stuff to say about the logic of various people’s positions or lack thereof, but going down this road means the end of debate.

    That was totally wasted on this forum. The fact that esr is quicker to feed a troll than respond to valid argument reveals much about how much of a debate actually goes on here.

    I suppose you might have had enough of that, though.

    Right. There’s a limit to the number of times I can point out why people are being spurious before I get bored of it.

  43. There’s a limit to the number of times I can point out why people are being spurious before I get bored of it.

    Pot, I’d like you to meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot’s was the voice from the wannabe peanut gallery.

  44. Pot, I’d like you to meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot’s was the voice from the wannabe peanut gallery.

    Trolls aside, quote me in one place where I’m being totally spurious and didn’t later admit it. I have provided countless examples with clear explanations in recent blog entries.

  45. > Is there any mandatory training, then?

    Perhaps Adrian10 will tell us which of the problems associated with firearms ownership are the result of incompetence or explain what he hopes to accomplish with such training. I am, of course, assuming that he thinks that the training should be used to cull out potential gun owners. If, on the other hand, he wants universal training (as the NRA has pushed, which actually does seem to have potential benefit) for gun owners and non-gun-owners alike, sure.

    There’s a far stronger argument that literacy is relevant to voting, yet the US doesn’t allow literacy tests for voting because we’ve found that the testers can’t resist the temptation to turn a plausible excuse for gatekeeping into irrational control. Does Adrian10 think that training requirements will have the same problem? If so, is that a feature or a bug?

  46. The Victorians were some of the most sexually uptight human beings who ever lived, and they spent a huge amount of time worrying about loose morals. We are some surely the most sensitive, inoffensive, feminized, touchy-feely metrosexuals to have ever walked the earth, and our elites constantly worry about what aggressive, masculine-oppressor, racist boors we are.

    I wonder if the Romans, at the height of their bad-assedness, worried that they were too undisciplined and irresolute. I wonder if Genghis Khan worried about being over-sensitive to the value of human life. Did Hitler secretly fear that he was going too easy on the Jews?

    God has one seriously wicked sense of humor. If this is what He’s like here, His practical jokes in the afterlife must be a scream.

  47. > Is there any mandatory training, then?

    Continuing with my assumption that Adrian10 intends such training as a restriction on legal gun ownership, it seems relevant to point out that the vast majority of US gun crime is committed by folks who don’t legally own. As a result, restrictions on legal gun owners can’t have much effect on US gun crime.

    Is Adrian10 ignorant of that fact or is it irrelevant to his goals?

  48. Problems with qualification-to-vote tests have always always sprung up.

    There is ALWAYS an incentive for the faction not in power to extend the franchse to people who don’t currently have it (or underutilise it), who might vote for them.

    One of the experiments in “franchise resrtiction” that gets no media coverage, aside from people whining about how we’re disenfranchising black and hispanic voters, is that Florida uses the roster of registered voters as the source for jury summons.

    This has, of course, been wailed at as being evil and racist and wrong.

    (Evil, because people who might otherwise vote will refuse to do so because it might get them selected into a jury, racist because the people who are likeliest to consider jury duty to be a bad rap are black and hispanic people who have a justified fear of going to a courthouse. Wrong because we’re unfairly restricting their right to participate in the gummint.)

    That being said, I will point out that most of the places with high crime rates per capita have too many people living too close together, and tend to not have what I’d refer to as “Midwestern Mindset”, this peculiar belief that your neighbors business is their business, that you don’t take things that don’t belong to you, and you all get together to help out when someone’s in trouble.

    Now, this particular set of beliefs only works so long as everyone believes them and follows them…and there’s an effective constabulary that follows those beliefs.

    Which, when we get around to gun ownership, translates into:

    “If your neighbor has a gun, you may or may not know about it. Best to assume that they do.”

    “You don’t take things that don’t belong to you; they belong to a neighbor. You assume your neighbor has a gun.”

    “If you DO see your neighbor in trouble, and you DO have a gun, it’s your obligation to come to his assistance.”

    The difference between constabulary and neighbor is that the constabulary, ideally, sees everyone as their neighbor, and DOES have a gun, and some privileges (key the county jail).

    The problem with this mindset is that once population density exceeds a certain limit, there’s trouble with cultural buy in.

  49. > All of the cattle rustling, bank robbing, murdering and raping shown in Hollywood westerns was rare and isolated.

    FWIW, Wyoming was the first state to let women vote.

    The interesting thing about “the west” is that the violence was seggregated. If you wanted to play the tough, you were fair game for other toughs, and they for you. If you didn’t, you were safe from the toughs.

    Another thing to remember is that the various camps were in competition with one another for newcomers. What better way to distinguish yourself than to say “those other camps are violent, unlike us”. However, if you hear that from multiple camps, it’s reasonable to conclude that they’re all violent.

  50. Perhaps Adrian10 will tell us which of the problems associated with firearms ownership are the result of incompetence or explain what he hopes to accomplish with such training. I am, of course, assuming that he thinks that the training should be used to cull out potential gun owners.

    I’m not American and I don’t live there, so it’d be a little presumptuous of me to be making such recommendations. You can shoot each other in enormous numbers or not at all as far as I’m concerned. I’m just curious about the evolution of the justification of universal access to firearms in the light of the relative modern unconcern with having anything the FFs would be likely to recognise as a militia. Eric C. has been helpful on this score, as you may find if you read his posts.

    If, on the other hand, he wants universal training (as the NRA has pushed, which actually does seem to have potential benefit) for gun owners and non-gun-owners alike, sure.

    I think the resistance to that from the non-gun-owners would make any potential benefits academic.

    There’s a far stronger argument that literacy is relevant to voting, yet the US doesn’t allow literacy tests for voting because we’ve found that the testers can’t resist the temptation to turn a plausible excuse for gatekeeping into irrational control.

    Just an excuse to keep the poor from having a say, sounds like. Felon disenfranchisement probably goes far enough on that score.

  51. Ya know, this discussion isn’t particularly my cup of tea but, Eric, I just gotta thank you for the heads-up on ‘Super Colossal’ – it rocks big time!

  52. Adrian 10 asks..
    I’m just curious about the evolution of the justification of universal access to firearms in the light of the relative modern unconcern with having anything the FFs would be likely to recognise as a militia.

    To my knowledge, neither the US Code, nor any state codes, have ever accommodated ‘universal access’ to firearms. This would entail access to firearms by prisoners, for instance. Perhaps you mean a presumptive right, or presumptive right of access? – the legal presumption of a right to own a/o utilize firearms.

    As to militias, IANAL but it’s my understanding that these were formally consolidated by the Dick Act of 1903, which superceded the Militia act of 1792. This resulted in the formation of the US National Guard. There are ~325,000 personnel in the guard. I think that it’s fair to say that there’s an appropriate level of concern and attention paid to such obligations.

    Something to keep in mind as a foreign observer of US cultural contests, from the movie Barcelona..


    Let me use an analogy.
    The US is like an enormous ant farm.

    God, not ants!

    A see-through plastic case
    enclosing an ant colony.

    It’s a toy sold to children so they can
    watch ants build their own society.

    The US is like an ant farm
    for the rest of the world.

    But, people living in other countries
    can’t observe the ants.

    They must rely on journalists
    and commentators for a description.

    The problem is,
    that these people seem to hate ants.

  53. BIG_HACKING, what is your mission? How does your disparaging esr’s physique add value to this discussion? IMHO, personal attack is mean, petty, and off topic.

  54. BIG_HACKING, what is your mission? How does your disparaging esr’s physique add value to this discussion? IMHO, personal attack is mean, petty, and off topic.

    I started by making the point that esr is horrendously deluded, and this was an example. I’m not criticising his physique, but his overblown claims about his physique. If you publish writing about how great you are, you can expect to be torn down if you’re full of it.

    Besides, others continued the thread of discussion and I’m just responding with the facts. I’ve read a reasonable amount of esr’s writing, and I believe a convincing argument can be put forth as to his delusions and insecurities. For example, his issues with physicality leap off the page in various places. OTOH, I couldn’t be bothered.

  55. To my knowledge, neither the US Code, nor any state codes, have ever accommodated ‘universal access’ to firearms. This would entail access to firearms by prisoners, for instance.

    And small children, and dogs. Perhaps it would be best to assume that I meant the RTKABA.

    As to militias, IANAL but it’s my understanding that these were formally consolidated by the Dick Act of 1903, which superceded the Militia act of 1792. This resulted in the formation of the US National Guard. There are ~325,000 personnel in the guard. I think that it’s fair to say that there’s an appropriate level of concern and attention paid to such obligations.

    If the militia are no longer necessary, having been subsumed into a national force, then the right to keep and bare has lost some of its underpinning, no?

    Something to keep in mind as a foreign observer of US cultural contests, from the movie Barcelona..

    For one thing, I grew up in the States, my old man’s a naturalised citizen and I spent a couple of weeks in Vermont with him last year (and I’m in contact with a fair number of Americans through the webtranets). And for another, if you can’t observe the ants, it’s not like an ant farm, as the whole purpose of an ant farm is to be able to observe the ants. The patronising implication that the US is an object lesson for other societies in how to live is all very cute, but some of us haven’t yet been convinced that the energy’s available.

  56. The “organized State militias” were “consolidated” into the National Guard.
    The militia (sometimes the unorganized militia) is still legally defined as all men of military age (17 to 45, I think).
    Also the Second Amendment gives that as a sufficient political reason for the right to keep and bear arms, not the only or necessarily even the primary reason.
    Also the “Bill of Rights” limit government, they do not give rights to people, they state what the government may **NOT** do – such as limit anyone’s ability to keep and bear arms.

  57. Also the Second Amendment gives that as a sufficient political reason for the right to keep and bear arms, not the only or necessarily even the primary reason.

    You mean there could be another, more important reason (formation of the social character, perhaps), and they decided not to mention it?

    That’s weird.

    Also the “Bill of Rights” limit government, they do not give rights to people, they state what the government may **NOT** do – such as limit anyone’s ability to keep and bear arms.

    You seem to limit the ability of felons happily enough.

  58. That’s because they’re *felons*… do you not see any difference between them and non-felons?

    (Here’s a big hint: Before they committed whatever crime, they *did* have the right to keep and bear arms.)

  59. Yeah, but all the government has to do to change the laws, and bingo! New felons everywhere you look.

    Won’t happen, of course. Heh.

  60. So are you saying that people who have decided that society is not for them (i.e. people that have broken the “social contract”) should be allowed to bear arms, just because “the government — at least in theory — can change the contract to put more people in a state of breaking it”? Or are you saying that the rest of us shouldn’t be allowed to either? I guess I don’t get where that logic comes from, in either case. Just because the government can (theoretically) create more felons, does not mean that they should be allowed to infringe on our (i.e. non-felons’) right to keep and bear arms, or that prisoners should be given the tools of their escape.

    (And as for your comment about it supposedly not happening — well, it shouldn’t, that’s what the courts are for. Remember, to become a felon, you have to be convicted first; I believe it’s possible to get a law thrown out as part of a criminal trial, if you can convince enough judges that the law is unconstitutional.)

  61. >Even though I may be unarmed, you cannot intimidate me by brandishing your weapon, because I >refuse to give you that power over me. You can shoot me, perhaps even kill me, but you will never >intimidate me. The same is true of physical size used as a factor of control. I am a small person, but I >will not allow a larger person to frighten me into a humiliating submission. The larger person may >physically harm me, but certainly I will defend myself to the best of my ability, and I will feel no shame, >whatever the outcome of the conflict.

    No need to “feel shame”, but dead is dead and loosing is loosing. Not everything is grey.

    >In my mind, you can’t defeat me unless I decide to surrender.

    If you are laying on the ground bleeding out from the screw driver wound to your chest watching your little daughter being raped _you_have_been_defeated_ to view it any other way is some new age touchy feely bullshit.

    >If enough people felt this way, guns and physical force would lose much of their power and, perhaps, >some of their cachet.

    No they wouldn’t. They have power because it doesn’t matter what you think. You may not be scared of the guy with the knife as he sticks it into your chest, but it doesn’t matter to him what you thought. Because guess what he _defeated_ you, and is walking away with your wallet.

    It is amazing to me the sheeple mentality that the majority of american’s now hold.

    Carry on the good fight ESR. We need all the sheepdog’s we can get. Now if I can just convince you that .45 is not the one true caliber. :)

  62. Adrian10: Sorry I wasn’t aware of your background, and had assumed from your comments that you are a foreign national (e.g. “I’m not American and I don’t live there” & “You can shoot each other in enormous numbers or not at all as far as I’m concerned”).

    If the militia are no longer necessary, having been subsumed into a national force, then the right to keep and bare has lost some of its underpinning, no?

    No. The National Guard is an amalgam of state guards. These are incorporated by the various states and only formally conjoin with federal forces during times of war. They are not a national force and have not been subsumed to the Joint Forces. NG members are civilians; they form our standing domestic guard.

    But the existence of a corporated militia, however defined, is not necessary for the preservation of 2nd amendment rights. This is why civilian ownership of firearms was not revoked with the passage of the Dick Act.

    Here’s the text of the amendment (ratified in 1789)..
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    As of ‘the signing’ (1787) the US was a Federated Republic. So here ‘security’ applies to state units and explicitly removes federal authority from interference with firearms possession. ‘The peope’ are people (i.e. citizens) and their rights shall not be infringed.

    You’ll find similar language in the state constitutions of the era, such as the 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights :Section 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power.

    The recognition of a militia as ”civilians primarily, soldiers on occasion.”, “all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense” who, ”when called for service . . . were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” was pronounced in the 1938 United States v. Miller decision, which imposed restrictions on commerce in ‘sawed-off’ shotguns. Miller is regarded as the first test of the 2nd amendment subsequent to the National Firearms Act of 1934, and reinforces the traditional reading of the text. It’s only more recently that ‘militia’ has been re-defined to mean a professional standing military force. I think that it’s fair to say that this application is tendentious and has not been born-out by historical analysis.
    —————

    I don’t know what to say about the Barcelona dialog – don’t take it too seriously, it was a comedy.

  63. So are you saying that people who have decided that society is not for them (i.e. people that have broken the “social contract”) should be allowed to bear arms, just because “the government — at least in theory — can change the contract to put more people in a state of breaking it”?

    I’m curious that the FFs seem to have overlooked the topic. But perhaps criminals just “lit out for the territories” in those days and became someone else’s problem.

    Just because the government can (theoretically) create more felons, does not mean that they should be allowed to infringe on our (i.e. non-felons’) right to keep and bear arms,

    I’m saying allowing the government to define felons and ban them from keeping and bearing is potentially usable against everybody, that’s all.

    or that prisoners should be given the tools of their escape.

    My bad, I’m really thinking of permanent bans on ex-felons here, though perhaps that’s a state-by-state thing like disenfranchisement. Arming prisoners does indeed sound like a really bad idea, and I’m glad you’ve put it to rest.

  64. “This is why civilian ownership of firearms was not revoked with the passage of the Dick Act.”

    Not so fast. I’m familiar with the Dick Act. I’m kind of wondering if you are actually. No, I’m not picking on you per se, I just don’t really think you understand the organization of the US forces. Perhaps you’re trying to be brief and somethings been lost in the Cliff Notes version. I’ll also try to keep this brief.

    When the Brits were chucked, some European trends were obvious. The hiring of essentially mercenaries (think Hessians or Swiss Pikes) to form an army was recent. The Crown’s use of mercenaries to suppress the people was also recent. The “guard” is kind of the people’s defense against a trained army. In order for that to be realistic the guard has to be stronger though.

    So the US founding fathers were very anti-army. To the point of banning it for all intents and purposes. The defense structure was:
    Army: very small. Only really useful for defense and perhaps Canada/Mexico.
    State Militias. I’m included both organized and unorganized here. This was the core of the internal defense. States provided the militia. Interesting caveat was the militia could not legally serve outside of the US. Army could.
    Navy: This was the power projection. Control of the seas is the best defense. For the few foreign excursions, the Navy had their own little army (Marines).

    This held up into the CW. People think of the “North’s Army” and the “South’s Army” but in fact the US Army was very small in that war. The militia fought it (1st Ohio, 2nd Alabama, 2nd Florida, 2nd Minnesota, etc). The Army didn’t like that at all. Not a problem but…

    SpanAm war required troops overseas. Militia couldn’t go. Army could. The short term fix was they “discharged” the State militia and let them join the army. Thus the “1st US Volunteer Infantry” and such.

    The Dick Act was a method of getting around the Militia not being able to serve overseas. The send item accomplished was to cater to the Army’s pet peeve: the Army loved Cav. The State militia units didn’t. Horses must be maintained 24/7. Militia is a part time thing. Infantry can go home, Cav has horses, these need care. By giving the army more control over the Militia (now Guard), they could mandate structure. They took the opportunity to eliminate the historical unit designations. Amusingly enough WW1, the next real big war, saw the use of … … … Infantry. Not Cav.

    So the Dick Act couldn’t be used to “revoke” the ownership of firearms. A Consititutional Amendment cannot be struck down by a defense act. You’re also focused on the “organized” part of the militia. What about the “unorganized?” Interesting point by the way – unorganized militia (all males 16-45 or something like that) are supposed to provide their own arms. It could be read that all males in the US of that age must have a gun….

    So the Army’s position? Couple of hints. The Cuba crisis caught the US military off guard. Not enough rifles. Possible nuke conflict. They spent the better part of the 1960s rebuilding WW2 rifles (M1 Garands) and storing them, with ammunition, at arsenals around the US. Why? Increased production of M16s was also undertaken so why the M1 program? Simple: in absolute crisis they’d toss open the doors and just let them go. Unorganized doesn’t mean unarmed…

    But what about today? Well, by law the US Army must sell it’s surplus rifles to citizens. That is mandated by law. Exceptions are included (no full-auto and no pistolas). Want one? http://www.odcmp.com. The program, cmp, was started by Teddy Roosevelt to ensure kids learned marksmanship. The program has changed names (DCM to CMP) but it’s about 100 years old.

    Don’t confuse the “organized” and “unorganized” militia.

    You are all also having a debate on an incorrect reading of the 2nd. Read Volokh regards the “militia” part of the clause:
    http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/beararms/testimon.htm

    Adrian10. We’re at opposite ends of the spectrum. On just about everything. You did say one thing:
    “Yeah, but all the government has to do to change the laws, and bingo! New felons everywhere you look.”
    though that perhaps you meant to be flip with. In fact exactly that is already happening. Non-violent crimes were never meant to be a felony. That bridge has been crossed. A lot. Incorrectly ihmo.

    Quite frankly I find wee wannabe’s stalking and facination with ESR disturbing. Almost like he’s courting it is. Fixation? I figure wee for perhaps 14. That would make it a crush. Very disturbing.

  65. Quite frankly I find wee wannabe’s stalking and facination with ESR disturbing.

    This is just dodging the point, which is that esr loves to and frequently does, toot his own horn without merit. This blog is another stand-out example, wherein esr indulges his fantasy of being a brave visionary in the face of terrorism, when in reality he’s just repeating a tired old line from a safe place.

    Similarly for ranting about gun ownership, which in a modern context is as useful as being vaccinated for polio. I’m not against gun ownership, but I reserve the right to laugh at self-righteous/pretentious gun owners. Especially so when they’ve posted a surplus of material on the Internet that makes it clear that they own a gun to suppliment their manhood.

    Almost like he’s courting it is.

    Didn’t I just post a link to esr’s photo?

    Fixation?

    Fixations are something that esr obviously has in spades.

    I figure wee for perhaps 14. That would make it a crush. Very disturbing.

    Spurious.

  66. When esr’s CV reads like a Howto on building the Internet, he can say whatever he wants.

    That’s why we’re all posting comments on Eric’s blog, not BIG_HACKING’s. Who the hell is he, anyway? Has he ever written anything I’d know?

  67. When esr’s CV reads like a Howto on building the Internet, he can say whatever he wants.

    Are you a software developer? esr’s resume (as posted on his site) isn’t particularly impressive technically – not that it’s my intention to criticise him for that. I can’t speak for esr, but I doubt he would admit to agreeing with this brand of mindless hero-worship.

    That’s why we’re all posting comments on Eric’s blog, not BIG_HACKING’s.

    I’m not conceited enough to have a blog, nor would I consider high traffic to be an indicator of quality thinking if I did. If esr crashed his car into a store-front would it be merit-worthy if it drew a crowd?

    Who the hell is he, anyway? Has he ever written anything I’d know?

    Again, you dodge the the issue. I have not written anything of note, but that’s not a rebuttal of the claim that esr is a deluded moonbat. If your contention is that I’m a jack-ass, then so be it. That does not negate the fact that esr’s thinking – as expressed in his writing – is polluted by his abundant conceit and fixation on his unattained manhood.

  68. I wonder what all the fuss is about…Fact still remains, there are STILL two categories of people, those with guns/firearms and those without one. If you use yours for power, control or whatever, that is up to you. They might even start up sites selling firearms and such….

  69. Joe, my point was simply 2nd amendment rights are not consituted by the presence of a militia – and that this is evident by the fact that these were not curtailed by the Dick Act.

    and so..
    But the existence of a corporated militia, however defined, is not necessary for the preservation of 2nd amendment rights. This is why civilian ownership of firearms was not revoked with the passage of the Dick Act.

    But you’re right, I’m not intimately familiar with the provenance of the Dick Act.

  70. “…I’m really thinking of permanent bans on ex-felons here…”
    Firstly, I’m not sure that being released from prison makes one an “ex-felon”. It is my understanding that once one has been convicted of a felony, a “convicted felon” one remains, in or out of prison, unless a governor pardons or expunges ones record.

    Secondly, as with the loss of ones right to liberty (imprisonment), the loss of ones right to keep and bear arms is also part of the punishment. That one is temporary and the other is permanent is not relevant…that’s the totality of punishment for ones criminal act…together with the permanent loss of voting rights…and perhaps others…it’s all part of the ‘package deal’ of judgement that our nation of law places upon people that violate societal trust.

  71. > My bad, I’m really thinking of permanent bans on ex-felons here, though perhaps that’s a state-by-state thing like disenfranchisement.

    No, it’s a federal thing and has been for years. IIRC, even a governor’s pardon doesn’t remove it.

    In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a mechanism for removing it at the federal level these days either.

  72. “Joe, my point was simply 2nd amendment rights are not consituted by the presence of a militia – and that this is evident by the fact that these were not curtailed by the Dick Act.”

    “But you’re right, I’m not intimately familiar with the provenance of the Dick Act. ”

    No, you do understand it. You summed it up in the first part of that first sentence better than I did in a paragraph. Your prior post had just cut that, perhaps I just wasn’t reading clearly.

  73. This went from a mild chuckle of a troll, to hysterical. The argument that esr is a liar because his appearance doesn’t match an imagined one from a resume description.

    “Oh no! esr has no valid points because of his appearance in a picture!”

    lol.

    As I said in my first post. Stupid is as stupid does.

  74. Are you a software developer? esr’s resume (as posted on his site) isn’t particularly impressive technically

    I am.

    You’re wrong. It is.

  75. Isn’t this testosterone stuff really about that when “traditonal” ways and targets of discrimination and hate-speech became outlawed, some people invented other, ersatz and “PC” kinds of it, becase they just had to hate somebody? I mean this testo-stuff just smells of feminist male-hating, which might be quite similar to the women-oppressing male chauvinism of the past? Just in similar way that white self-hatred might be the ersatz and PC version of racial hatred.

  76. “…his appearance doesn’t match an imagined one from a resume description…”
    Quite right Jeremy…this BIG_HACKING poster is quite, quite lame. My first clue was his moniker…

    As for the technical merits of ESR’s resume…I don’t see any 6502 asm experience on there, so he’s clearly a total craphat.

    ;-)

    Anyway, he may be a wee bit broad in the beam (moi aussi), but he looks pretty damned solid to me…which is understandable given his choice of art…I certainly wouldn’t want to fuck with him, and I used to teach judo & kenpo!

    BH…STFU you total dunce

  77. As much as I like the concept of bearing firearms, I have to ask: isn’t that a bit artifical that bearing a gun should be allowed, but bearing a machine gun, a tank or an ICBM shouldn’t? If the concept is to be able to resist tyranny then it could be justified that people might need a handy Abrams in their backyard just in case. Is there a natural limit?

  78. > “Oh no! esr has no valid points because of his appearance in a picture!”

    LARP is “live action, role playing”. Since its a game that takes place in the “big room”, things like physical stature matter. If you’re attempting to get the person organizing the team(s) to put you in the game, and you hand out a resume that is, at a minimum, badly out of date, its really not much different than taking one’s professional resume beyond the “polish” stage.

    Something ESR has done as well, I might add. Moreover, I’ve called him on it, and he eventually made the minimum correct change to his claim. Where he now claims, “I was one of the original GNU contributors back in the mid-1980s, and I’ve been at it ever since.” he previously claimed something that was provably false (the date has changed).

    That said, nobody wants to put “balding old guy, eats too much butter” on their resume. I know I don’t, and I have all my hair, though its not the color (or length) it was 20 years ago. And while I’m a bit taller than Eric, but nobody would describe me as “svelt”, either. Eric is a few years older than I am, but we’re both at the point where the 5-6 year delta doesn’t make that much difference. Perhaps either of us could ‘take’ a 24 year-old in a bar fight, perhaps not, but it is likely that both of us are far enough past the agression stages of youth to avoid the situation, if possible.

    As it turns out, avoiding the situation is the right thing to do, ethically and legally. Carrying a firearm does not grant one license to be a bad ass. This point was driven home again and again during the course required to get a Texas state-issue “carry permit”. (Another point driven home is that a handgun is nearly useless in a close-quarters fight.)

    Still, so what if we’re past our prime physically? It will happen to you younger guys (and gals) soon enough, and perhaps then you too will have a soapbox^Wblog. “Look at me, over here! I no longer have all my teeth, but I can still gnaw with the ones I still have!”

    We all do what we can in order to get laid, and Maslow was making a point when he put “beloging/fucking” so low on his heirarchy of needs. Case in-point: http://www.picpix.com/brad/pic/004wac42/g350

    Seems its working for him.

    Then again, some chicks like ugly old farts: http://www.picpix.com/brad/pic/005454r5/g43 http://www.picpix.com/brad/pic/00549705/g43

  79. Shenpen…I have had this debate several times (re: the nuke suggestion)…

    To be frank, I think the answer is “yes”, which I know sounds ‘crazy’, but at least it is an honest extension of the founding fathers’ thinking. True, they’re not exactly the sort of thing one can “bear”, but certainly “keep”. So in theory, yes, you can have a nuke in your backyard.

    So go and buy one. You might be saving your loose change for a while, and you can hardly go panning for uranium in the creek to make one yourself. I don’t recall seeing a nuke wholesaler in the yellow book either, and I’m pretty sure Dubya won’t sell me one (unless I join his oil-gouging cabal). The costs involved in creating these things (purchasing existing stock is cheaper, admittedly) are insanely prohibitive to all but wealthy nation-states (and perhaps the largest, wealthiest terrorist networks). I’m sulking over not being able to afford a $10,000 machine gun…I think nukes are a tad beyond my means ;-) Maybe our beloved Bill Gates could afford one…and really settle the score with Sun…

    Now let’s think about the whole “well regulated” part for a bit. We have laws that prevent me from wandering around gun-in-hand, even though it could be advantageous for me to do so – tactically speaking. My right to bear arms is not being infringed, but the manner in which I do so is being “well regulated”. All perfectly constitutional.

    What about something as powerful as a nuke? Even if I could afford one, and was permitted to buy one, what about the expense of the storage (silo), launch and security measures necessary to comply with the same regulations the US government has for its own arsenal? Staggering…certainly beyond my comprehension, although that may not be saying much ;-)

    Although obviously it is illegal for me to own a nuke (and rather ridiculous to ponder!) the restriction is really more economic than legal. You might as well say it’s illegal for me to own the moon, property-rights be damned. The theoretical individual right to own a nuke is worthless in the face of the economics…

    As for tanks…some people do indeed own ‘em…not sure if they have the munitions for ‘em though…and they tend to be old (WW2) stock.

  80. At the time the Constitution was ratified, there were some privately owned cannons on land, and many more at sea. It wasn’t uncommon for honest merchant ships to carry a few cannons to fend off the less honest ones that they might meet far from any witnesses. There were even privately owned warships, although to legally use them as warships, there had to be a war and you had to have a government license (a Letter of Marque). IIRC. in the War of 1812, privateers cost the British much more than our tiny (but very good) Navy did. Of course, since they were out for profit, privateers bagged hundreds of mostly unarmed merchant ships and ran from the Royal Navy, while our handful of super-sized frigates went hunting for lone RN frigates while trying to avoid fights with whole squadrons of them…

  81. Dan,

    your point is a good one, albeit I am not actually very interested in constitutional reasons, as I am not American, and therefore I am rather looking for practical solutions that could be implemented basically anywhere over the world rather than respectable constitutional traditions.

    For practical and global viewpoints, creating a stiff barrier at handguns, hunting rifles and shotguns and nothing above, sounds artifical and might therefore ridicule the whole cause. First because they are practically incapable to resist tyranny – an SMG might be the minimum, that combined with home-made antitank weaponry like we Hungarians did in 1956, can make installing tyranny at least dangerous enough to make would-be tyrants think it twice. Actually there are countries where people are allowed to keep SMG’s after military service – Israel and Switzerland – so it might not be as a horrible idea as it might seem at first. If one means allowing citizens the means to defend againts tyranny, one must and cannot draw a barrier at handguns, or will look completely irrelevant. I like your opinion of would-be complete freedom, but for everybody else who argues for handgun freedom by resisting tyranny but would not allow more serious weaponry, I think should just STFU, because it’s completely ridiculous to imagine freedom fighters bravely manning barricades with handguns facing tanks and SMG soldiers clad in kevlar.Play it real or drop the tyranny argument, I think. So I like your ideas on the subject.

    As for handgun as a personal self-defense device, I think the “handgun and nothing more” argument can be acceptable. The important thing here is intimidation, not Rambo power, and a handgun is best compromise between promising a small number of assailants the believeable threath of death or serious injury while still keeping people from owning stuff they could cause a large massacre with. (Although I think somebody gone postal could kill more with a truck than with an SMG…) (What I truly hate are shotguns – I think they are inhumane devices against both game and criminals alike and should be treated like napalm or tripmines.)

  82. Jim,

    “We all do what we can in order to get laid, and Maslow was making a point when he put “beloging/fucking” so low on his heirarchy of needs.”

    i am not so sure. Actually I think the reason some people who are otherwise successful are not very good at mating is the reason they don’t really want it. There is a lot of difference between “would like” and “want”. To want something is to be willing to make sacrifices for it. And while real love might be completely different, “just mating” requires so many sacrifices that it can be an acceptable decision to do it only half-heartedly while one is young and later, approaching 30 or 40 drop the whole thing completely. What sacrifices I mean? First, you have to talk and flirt with someone you are completely not interested in about subjects you are completely not interested in, but have to feign you are – remember, I am talking about mating, not love. It’s both boring and one can feel quite unethical, feel like a cheater, a liar. If you are successful, the actual mating process can be quite a tiring activity, can also be boring if you don’t feel love, and you might even consider it slightly disgusting – all the smells and fluids around, if you are generally used to clothed bodies and intellectual challenges, it might not be pleasant. And then you usually have a whole lot of emotional attachment to deal with. All that stuff for a temporary discharge. I can completely understand why some people decide to don’t partake in these games and drop belonging/fucking from their Maslow pyramid – actually, I myself am doing something like that.

  83. This went from a mild chuckle of a troll, to hysterical. The argument that esr is a liar because his appearance doesn’t match an imagined one from a resume description.

    Please quote me where I call esr a ‘liar’. I said he was deluded, and that he has a long history of bragging where it’s not called for.

    “Oh no! esr has no valid points because of his appearance in a picture!”

    Again, I never said this, I was making a point about esr’s delusions. A point that you have failed to shoot down.

    I am.

    You’re wrong. It is.

    What a delightful assertion. There is nothing _technical_ on there that a 17-year-old couldn’t pull off. The fact that you don’t recognise this only highlights your own ability level.

    “…his appearance doesn’t match an imagined one from a resume description…”

    Again, you are clearly dodging the issue. This is just one example, and it’s clear that esr is deluded about his physical build. I also cited the example of his melodramatic posts about terrorism, and the importance of his opinions thereof. You did not address that.

    Quite right Jeremy…this BIG_HACKING poster is quite, quite lame. My first clue was his moniker…

    I’m not sure why you chose to play this card, given that I deliberately chose it to bait people. Or did you not realise that?

    As for the technical merits of ESR’s resume…I don’t see any 6502 asm experience on there, so he’s clearly a total craphat.

    I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean, but whatever the case, esr’s resume looks like pretty standard fare to me in the technical department.

    Anyway, he may be a wee bit broad in the beam (moi aussi), but he looks pretty damned solid to me…which is understandable given his choice of art…I certainly wouldn’t want to fuck with him, and I used to teach judo & kenpo!

    I’m sorry, but esr does not have a ‘muscular’ build, and anyone who tells him otherwise is not doing him any favours. He is ‘portly’ or ‘stout’. I never said he was weak, but you simply can’t tell how ‘solid’ he his under all that fat. I’m not here to argue about how physically capable esr is, I’m here to argue that esr is deluded and insecure about all that this physical, and that this comes through clearly in his writing. Explain his melodrama regarding terrorism.

    BH…STFU you total dunce

    Your responses were impotent. Please try harder next time. If I have a ‘crush’ on esr, then I hate to think what state esr’s fanboys are in.

  84. Please quote me where I call esr a ‘liar’. I said he was deluded, and that he has a long history of bragging where it’s not called for…

    Again, I never said this, I was making a point about esr’s delusions. A point that you have failed to shoot down.

    By responding to my post, I take it as confirmation that you are indeed trolling since I was talking about trolling. Someone who was not trolling would have simply realized I wasn’t talking about them and continued making their points. The need to defend yourself online for every meaningless point laid into bytes is the surest sign of a troll. Truth would just stand on its own, only incendiaries require fuel.

  85. BIG_HACKING,

    I don’t see the whole point of your debate. There are two kinds of debate: one when one wishes to learn by expressing his thoughts and hoping to get feedback interesting and convincing enough to rethink those thoughts and arrive at different conclusions – and the other type is when one just wants to “win”. Of course, “winning” is impossible as generally ones who want to “win” express their ideas in such an arrogant manner that makes it just impossible to convince anybody. Debate is a Tao-game, you can “win” some of them only if you don’t intend to “win”, but to learn. One who smells of being completely impossible to convince can never convince others. So what’s your point in pressing this stuff? What do you hope to accomplish? It’s just plain impossible to accomplish anything in this debate, because of your manners which are in turn caused by your intention to “win” instead of to learn. I think it’s just a waste of time.

  86. LARP is “live action, role playing”. Since its a game that takes place in the “big room”, things like physical stature matter. If you’re attempting to get the person organizing the team(s) to put you in the game, and you hand out a resume that is, at a minimum, badly out of date, its really not much different than taking one’s professional resume beyond the “polish” stage.

    I’m not criticising esr for putting his build into the resume, I’m pointing out that it’s hugely off the mark. FYI, the resume is dated similarly to the results on Google image search. This was not my main point, however – it was just good for trolling purposes. The fact remains that esr’s _writing_ is riddled with evidence that he is utterly deluded.

    Take the post: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=199

    In particular, the text: “Other libertarians may fail this test. I will not.”

    In typical esr style, this is written as though he’s questing to destroy the One True Ring. Similarly, when esr talks about gun ownership he acts as though he’s acting bravely to protect, whereas what he’s doing is about as utilitarian as wearing makeup.

    Something ESR has done as well, I might add. Moreover, I’ve called him on it, and he eventually made the minimum correct change to his claim. Where he now claims, “I was one of the original GNU contributors back in the mid-1980s, and I’ve been at it ever since.” he previously claimed something that was provably false (the date has changed).

    As one would expect him to. Not seeing your point.

    That said, nobody wants to put “balding old guy, eats too much butter” on their resume. I know I don’t, and I have all my hair, though its not the color (or length) it was 20 years ago. And while I’m a bit taller than Eric, but nobody would describe me as “svelt”, either. Eric is a few years older than I am, but we’re both at the point where the 5-6 year delta doesn’t make that much difference. Perhaps either of us could ‘take’ a 24 year-old in a bar fight, perhaps not, but it is likely that both of us are far enough past the agression stages of youth to avoid the situation, if possible.

    I didn’t bring any of this up. Is there something you want to talk about?

    As it turns out, avoiding the situation is the right thing to do, ethically and legally. Carrying a firearm does not grant one license to be a bad ass.

    Right – I never disputed this.

    This point was driven home again and again during the course required to get a Texas state-issue “carry permit”. (Another point driven home is that a handgun is nearly useless in a close-quarters fight.)

    Why are you telling me this?

    Still, so what if we’re past our prime physically? It will happen to you younger guys (and gals) soon enough, and perhaps then you too will have a soapbox^Wblog. “Look at me, over here! I no longer have all my teeth, but I can still gnaw with the ones I still have!”

    Read the post – I wasn’t criticising esr for being old, I was pointing out that he’s deluded and insecure about physicality in general, and that this comes through in his writing. Witness his melodrama regarding terrorism.

    We all do what we can in order to get laid, and Maslow was making a point when he put “beloging/fucking” so low on his heirarchy of needs. Case in-point: http://www.picpix.com/brad/pic/004wac42/g350

    Seems its working for him.

    I’m not disputing esr has pulling power, I’m submitting to you that he feels the need to brag about it, and all other things manly, where it’s not called for.

  87. By responding to my post, I take it as confirmation that you are indeed trolling since I was talking about trolling. Someone who was not trolling would have simply realized I wasn’t talking about them and continued making their points. The need to defend yourself online for every meaningless point laid into bytes is the surest sign of a troll. Truth would just stand on its own, only incendiaries require fuel.

    If rigorous defense of an opinion can be seen as a sign of a troll, what about obsessively posting melodramatically about guns, physicality and terrorism?

    BIG_HACKING,

    I don’t see the whole point of your debate. There are two kinds of debate: one when one wishes to learn by expressing his thoughts and hoping to get feedback interesting and convincing enough to rethink those thoughts and arrive at different conclusions – and the other type is when one just wants to “win”. Of course, “winning” is impossible as generally ones who want to “win” express their ideas in such an arrogant manner that makes it just impossible to convince anybody. Debate is a Tao-game, you can “win” some of them only if you don’t intend to “win”, but to learn. One who smells of being completely impossible to convince can never convince others. So what’s your point in pressing this stuff? What do you hope to accomplish? It’s just plain impossible to accomplish anything in this debate, because of your manners which are in turn caused by your intention to “win” instead of to learn. I think it’s just a waste of time.

    Divide your sentences up into paragraphs, then we can talk.

  88. What a delightful assertion.

    It’s an intentionally ridiculous assertion that counters your own.

    There is nothing _technical_ on there that a 17-year-old couldn’t pull off.

    What are you looking for? Nested loops? 10,000 lines of code in Eiffel? Constrained semantic models? Technical qualifications are a small area of expertise – your obsession with “lines of code” pretty much tells us everything there is to say about your own capabilities.

    The reality is that ESR’s quals are extensive in a whole host of areas that are technical only orthogonally. It should be noted that he’s basically created the market for the qualifications in a lot of those areas, something that we all benefit from.

    The fact that you don’t recognise this only highlights your own ability level.

    Is that so? You’re basing this on what evidence?

    Your sophomoric insistence on attacking my own [unknown] qualifications and your inability to identify the essence of ESR’s pretty clearly points to your own perspective, and by extension, to your lack of experience and scope. There are a lot of Mr. Goodwrench’s out there who think they could design a car.

  89. ESR is not a ur-hacker, though he badly wants to wear the t-shirt. Eric is no match for Stallman, Torvalds, Tanenbaum, or a whole list of other folks who are similar in age, but who’s output far exceeds (both qnantity and quality) Eric’s that I won’t bother to name here.

    Eric knows this, witness Eric many attempts to add legitimacy to his claim of being a “core linux contributor”. What remains is that Eric has not a single line in the kernel. Still, he keeps trying, and in public.

    This same pattern is in-evidence elsewhere, including Eric’s writings. He claims things more grandiose than reality, and then backs it up with bluster and filibuster. You are mostly correct in your assertion about his writing.

    However, the idividual under the microscope here grew up with CP. I can only imagine that his persona, his mental map of how to get along in a world of cruel children (and we are nothing but here) and adults who would either look away or coddle, was to find a set of things where he was good enough and self-inflate via force of personality. I have no idea what else Eric might have been saddled with, and we all have our daemons, but kicking the guy (in public) isn’t sport, its cruel, and I say that as one who kicked (and kicked hard) before you showed up.

    Eric’s facination with firearms likely stems from having found them both as “dangerous toys” (and, face it, we all got a certain thrill out of the “first time” we held a firearm in our hands, the first several rounds downrange, etc. Some folks always stay in this mode, (at least until they get hurt, or hurt someone else) while others move along the line of progression into understanding that shooting is a sport with no “perfect state”. You will never completely master it, and it can provide a lifetime of pursuit of mastery.

    I’m not saying that Eric follows either path, but I have to imagine that finding things where he is on equal footing are attractive, or were before he became much more self-confident (at least outwardly).

    I’m not asking for pity here, but rather understanding. I still read A&D because its far more interesting to read (and occasionally respond) here than on, say, slashdot. Eric will engage in an arguement, while others, such as Russ Nelson turn tail and hide behind their SMTP server. Nelson’s response is that of a coward, Raymonds is that of someone with enough self-conviction to stand and fight.

    For these reasons, I find myself with a growing respect for Eric, despite his tendancy to over-claim.

    > There are a lot of Mr. Goodwrench’s out there who think they could design a car.

    Some of them can, and fewer actually do. No, none of them work in the R&D section of GM or Ford, but they do design (and built) unique and interesting cars, sometiems “from scratch”.

  90. It’s an intentionally ridiculous assertion that counters your own.

    If you meant to do this, you did it clumsily, as it did not read like sarcasm.

    What are you looking for? Nested loops? 10,000 lines of code in Eiffel? Constrained semantic models?

    I never specified any particular level of technical expertise. I don’t think you’ve been following the discussion – this line of argument started with someone saying that esr’s resume reads like “a HOWTO on building the Internet” and that therefore he can toot his horn as much as he wants. esr has done some important things for sure, but he is well known as someone who exaggerates his accomplishments, and his insecurities and obsessions ooze off the page.

    Technical qualifications are a small area of expertise – your obsession with “lines of code” pretty much tells us everything there is to say about your own capabilities.

    The contention technical expertise is a ‘small’ area is the same sour grapes you hear from incompetent middle management. Even the most experienced engineers have more to learn – a point that’s lost on the failed engineers promoted to management.

    The reality is that ESR’s quals are extensive in a whole host of areas that are technical only orthogonally.

    So in other words, his resume is not technically impressive after all?

    It should be noted that he’s basically created the market for the qualifications in a lot of those areas, something that we all benefit from.

    Really? I don’t seem to have noticed esr’s supposed contributions effecting me. Again, esr has done some great things, but this doesn’t alter the fact that he’s a deluded egomaniac.

    Is that so? You’re basing this on what evidence?

    I’m basing it on the fact that you said esr’s resume was technically impressive, a statement that you’re now backpedalling on as fast as you can.

    Your sophomoric insistence on attacking my own [unknown] qualifications and your inability to identify the essence of ESR’s pretty clearly points to your own perspective, and by extension, to your lack of experience and scope. There are a lot of Mr. Goodwrench’s out there who think they could design a car.

    ‘Insistence’? I said it once, and your side of the argument has _repeatedly_ attacked me personally in every blog posting I’ve ever commented on. I consider myself fair game now that I’ve commented on esr, but this is surely a spurious accusation on your part.

    Once again, you dodge the question, preferring to go on about how great esr is and how much of jack-ass I am. I will ask again: why do esr’s postings so often read like he’s the hero in a fantasy epic?

  91. “…’m not sure why you chose to play this card, given that I deliberately chose it to bait people. Or did you not realise that?…”
    No….I didn’t…I’m not a fucking mind reader…all I saw was some dipshit fuckstick trying to make some very lame points under a pathetic moniker. Fin.

    “…I’m not sure what this is supposed to mean…”
    ROTFL…thanks for proving my point….luser

    BH…I’ll break out the crayola for you…Lord knows I’ve blotted my own copybook here in the past, but for fucks sake either try and engage people or fuck off…it’s a total waste of bandwidth to do otherwise. And I care about bandwidth. Honestly ;-) Re-read Shenpen’s point on this issue (“…I don’t see the whole point of your debate…”) as I think he sums it up nicely.

    Enough of BH…back to intelligent debate courtesy of Shenpen:
    “…practical solutions that could be implemented basically anywhere over the world…”

    Wow. Shenpen, if I thought I could offer anything of use here I would. ‘The rest of the world’ has severe problems that cannot be overcome by any mere policy. Do you think that the UN would sanction global civilian armament? That is the one solution that would crush tyranny, and yet is curiously the one solution that the UN would die trying to surpress. Learn from that what you will ;-)

    A global dismissal of the UN, unlimited arms trade, and violent revolution, is what is needed to aid the rest of the planet.

    “…What I truly hate are shotguns…”
    Well…they’re very effective. Every ‘non gun-owner’ that has asked me “what’s the best single firearm to own?” has met my answer “A Mossberg 590″. If you have vermin problems…no worries…#7 dust will sort that out…larger, two-legged problems need #00 buckshot…end of story.

    Shotguns are very lethal…and humane…a criminal can pray that I use my Sig rather than my shotgun…they stand a better chance of surviving, although not by much ;-)

  92. PS. ESR…I think you owe the ether a response to these (“…despite his tendancy to over-claim…”) types of slurs…

    A good dose of smackdown never hurts ;-)

  93. > A global dismissal of the UN, unlimited arms trade, and violent revolution, is what is needed to aid the rest > of the planet.

    Becuase its worked so well in Iraq, Afganistan, Somolia and other places?

  94. “…Becuase its worked so well in Iraq, Afganistan, Somolia and other places?…”

    Jim?!?!? WTF?!?!?

  95. Jim et al…in case you need a diagram of some sort…my embryonic solution has never been implemented…

    Give every human being the means to say “NO”…there’s your solution to human misery

  96. >Becuase its worked so well in Iraq, Afganistan, Somolia and other places?

    Unfortunately all people must go through growing pains. It’s hard to fastpath civilization.

    When you begin to disarm the people by substituting “police force” you’re well on the way to a police state. There can never be equal relations between unequal parties. A close review of Brit gun law enactment will show a trend that is noticable in US laws, the serious ones come when the government feels threatened. The two big US gun laws were enacted in 1934 and 1968 in response to the depression and civil rights riots. Chart the Brit ones and you’ll find similar interesting years drove it. It’s become something of a fad recently for the government here to provide automatic weapons free of charge to police forces. That’s wrong. If they are banned they shouldn’t be available. Conversely if they are ok for the police to have they should be ok for the general population. For those that believe that the Police have some magical need, I refer them to ” DESHANEY v. WINNEBAGO CTY. SOC. SERVS. DEPT., 489 U.S. 189 (1989):”

    “(a) A State’s failure to protect an individual against private violence generally does not constitute a violation of the Due Process Clause, because the Clause imposes no duty on the State to provide members of the general public with adequate protective services.”

    That’s right, the government has no duty to protect you. Full text:
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=489&invol=189

    You are responsible for protecting yourself. Now having a pocket nuke isn’t going to do you much good as the lethal range is self defeating. A automatic weapon on the other hand should, and used to be, owner’s choice.

  97. The UN left Somolia, you can buy any weapon you like there and daily life can only be described as hell inside a revolution.

    Tell ya what, you can own your full-auto toys, as long as I get to own the ammo for them. Perhaps you’ll hit me over the head in order to abscond with what you “need”, but…. what did I do to deserve that?

    Yes, self-defense is an inate right of the individual, but you only get to response with the level of aggression used against you. (Deadly force gets met with deadly force, while a 5 year old with a baseball bat doesn’t.)

  98. No….I didn’t…I’m not a fucking mind reader…all I saw was some dipshit fuckstick trying to make some very lame points under a pathetic moniker. Fin.

    You haven’t addressed any point I’ve made. You might think that swearing over and over is effective writing, but it’s not, and in fact it makes you look like an obnoxious dolt.

    ROTFL…thanks for proving my point….luser

    Oh gnoez, I got burned on the Internet. You still haven’t put forth an argument.

    BH…I’ll break out the crayola for you…Lord knows I’ve blotted my own copybook here in the past, but for fucks sake either try and engage people or fuck off…

    I’m the only one in this thread of discussion making effective arguments, and you seem to be enthralled enough to get fired up over it. How does this not qualify as ‘engaging’ people? I’m very sorry if people don’t like their hero esr being criticised, but they can either argue it on the facts or ignore it.

    it’s a total waste of bandwidth to do otherwise. And I care about bandwidth. Honestly ;-) Re-read Shenpen’s point on this issue (”…I don’t see the whole point of your debate…”) as I think he sums it up nicely.

    He said there’s no point in me showing esr up for the deluded moonbat that he is. That may or may not be the case, but people are still arguing me on the point, and I’ll continue to respond to them. And FYI, since you clearly haven’t been following the discussion, nobody has come up with a compelling defense.

    The best that’s been put forth have been explanations of how great esr is. I’m not disputing that. It’s just clear that his posts on guns, violence and terrorism are the product of a deluded and insecure personality. Again, can someone please explain to me why esr frequently posts as though he’s on some kind of epic quest? If not, can someone show that he never does this?

  99. PS. ESR…I think you owe the ether a response to these (”…despite his tendancy to over-claim…”) types of slurs…

    A good dose of smackdown never hurts ;-)

    On this forum, esr always bails from the discussion when the heat is on.

  100. It’s just clear that his posts on guns, violence and terrorism are the product of a deluded and insecure personality.

    As Jim Thompson points out, he grew up with cerebral palsy, and that kind of thing can lead to compensation. But since a fair number of the posters here are gathered here precisely because they broadly agree with his conclusions on guns, violence and terrorism you’re effectively accusing them all of the same things, and they’re quite capable of tuning out any rational arguments you might make even without that assistance.

    I personally find a more insidious approach more rewarding.

  101. As Jim Thompson points out, he grew up with cerebral palsy, and that kind of thing can lead to compensation.

    I can see that, but I’m not trying to address the root causes of esr’s issues.

    But since a fair number of the posters here are gathered here precisely because they broadly agree with his conclusions on guns, violence and terrorism you’re effectively accusing them all of the same things,

    That’s a reasonable extension, and there are no doubt posters here with the same issues as esr. However, I’m not aware of any of them posting the sheer quantity of incriminating material that esr has, and so I wouldn’t presume to make that accusation.

    and they’re quite capable of tuning out any rational arguments you might make even without that assistance.

    You can’t win over the religious with logic, so I’ve stopped trying. Your softly, softly approach might be winning their respect, but I doubt it’s convincing them. This is a circle-jerk forum, and your presence as someone to tit-for-tat with politely is probably more affirmation for them than anything.

  102. Disarming ex-cons once they have served their prison sentences is new. It is part of the thoroughly un-Constitutional gun control acts passed in 1968. (As an aside, Senator Dodd copied the text of the Gun Control Act almost directly from a Nazi law – see Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Organization, jpfo.org)

  103. Sorry, that should be Jews for the Protection of Firearms Ownership.

  104. Did it again – Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership. This time I went and checked.

  105. “…The UN left Somolia, you can buy any weapon you like there and daily life can only be described as hell inside a revolution…”
    Very, very true. However, this hardly undermines my position, for the simple reason that the people being brutalized are not the ones buying the guns. Put simply, Somalia is a festering thug pit, where despicable vicious barbarians engage in such commerce with drug/terrorism money and stolen international aid, all under the watchful eye of a savage and corrupt ‘government’. This Somalian pattern is not unique, and yes, I concede that these desperate situations have in part been exacerbated by various incompetent international interventions.

    “…Tell ya what, you can own your full-auto toys…”
    Part of my position on firearm ownership is precisely that I will not grant you any authority to dictate such personal decisions. Your permission is neither sought nor required.

    “…as long as I get to own the ammo for them…”
    Wherever you acquire ammo, I acquire ammo…or perhaps you envision the kind of totalitarian government capable of oppressing such trade? Yikes.

    “…Perhaps you’ll hit me over the head in order to abscond with what you “need”, but…. what did I do to deserve that? ”
    Well…no…of course I wouldn’t…that would make me a criminal…which I am not. :-) Hypothetically speaking though, should government/society devolve to such a nightmarish point, perhaps I would club you over the head. And you would deserve it…for getting in my way and endangering my life.

    “…Yes, self-defense is an inate right of the individual, but you only get to response with the level of aggression used against you. (Deadly force gets met with deadly force, while a 5 year old with a baseball bat doesn’t.) …”
    Quite so. I would add that I can also *preempt* such aggression if I have a credible belief that such a level of threat exists. The 5 year-old with the baseball bat should go over someones knee…six of the best for that scamp ;-)

  106. On Somalia…and the Old West.

    Earlier in this thread, someone posted a link to a PDF written about anarcho-capitalism (an-cap, for short) and the libertarianism of the Old West.

    In what way is Somalia NOT the llikely outcome of an-cap libertarianism for the majority of the world’s population?

    You have a rapidly turning oligopoly of mercenaries selling their protective services in an open and competetive market; the market is currently stabilizing in the cities – more because the people with guns have found that by selling cell phone service, they can gain a competetive advantage.

    Every day citizens can get their hands on guns and form their own protection services. Indeed, until the concept of selling (and protecting) sell phone networks and money order business sprung up, this was the major growth industry in the area.

    There is, effectively, no government. The infrastructure that was established prior to the collapse is being maintained by private citizens (most of whom fund it by charging for access…and one of the costs of doing business is protecting your business from thugs who’d take your franchise away from you.

    As much as I enjoy David Friedman the person and his writings, I have a much more dystopic view of human nature than he does.

    An-cap libertarianism requires a perfect Petrie dish of sociology, and is inherently unstable. Money is stored power. Someone will eventually use stored power (money) to rig the rules of the game in their favor…and there will be people who support them, if those rigging the rules are even semi-competent politicians/negotiators.

    I wonder how many people who idealize the Old American West would move to Mogadishu to experience its modern counterpart first hand.

    I wonder what the experimental outcome of Mogadishu will be; we are running an interesting sociology lab, and a horrific price in lives. We might as well pay attention to the results we’re buying.

  107. >In what way is Somalia NOT the llikely outcome of an-cap libertarianism for the majority of the world’s population?

    Ken, I’m going to surprise you by agreeing with you. Unlike some anarcho-libertarians, I on’t think you can simply dynamite the government and expect a peaceful social equilibrium to result. David Friedman is a friend of mine, and I can say with some confidence that he doesn’t believe this.

    I don’t expect a good outcome in Somalia either, though I’d probably be less surprised than you if we got one. There is an important kind of cultural capital that the successful an-cap episodes like the Icelandic Republic and the Nevada silver-mining camps had that the Somalians don’t have. There are specific things a society has to know and have in its folk memory before it can do without government — and the concept of the rule of law rather than than of sultans or cadis is definitely one of them.

  108. >What remains is that Eric has not a single line in the kernel.

    Sorry, that’s not correct. I have code in the console terminal driver. I’m responsible for a significant part of the ANSI terminal emulation as it was re-engineered in the 2.4 kernel. I think Pavel Machek was the lead on that project; I never asked for credit, as it didn’t seem important.

    You might be entertained to know that I have code in the BSD kernels, too. I wrote the core of what became their console speaker driver on an SVr4 box in 1985. I think I’m actually credited for that.

    Like many of the things I’ve done, I don’t talk about these accomplishments much. Consequently I’m pretty amused when you talk about “over-claiming”.

  109. > I have code in the console terminal driver. I’m responsible for a significant part of the ANSI terminal
    > emulation as it was re-engineered in the 2.4 kernel

    Hmm… interesting choice of words you’ve used there, Eric… “I have code in” and “I’m responsible”. Please further define your actions here. Is it >your codeelse put it in the kernel?

    There is no direct evidence that you’ve ever had your mitts on that code. No “ESR was here” comments, no credit in the top of the file (and frankly even the guy who added the “beep” got credit), and everywhere the string ANSI occurs in drivers/console.c its in a comment that reads: “ANSI X3.64-1979 (SCO-ish?)”.

    Given your SCO stance, I’m hard-pressed to believe that you wrote that, either.

    What I find credible is that someone (else) lifted code from ncurses or some other bit of userland functionality and dropped it in the console driver. If this is what happened, then you still have no valid claim of being a “core linux developer”, and, quite frankly, your claims here then serve only to advance and support BH’s assertion.

    > I would add that I can also *preempt* such aggression if I have a credible belief that such a level
    > of threat exists.

    You may claim some vague moral right, but the law (at least in Texas) reads differently:

    A threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as
    long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

    Thats a quote. What it means is that I can draw a gun and wave it around and you can’t (legally) shoot me, at least not until I point it at someone with a clear intent to kill.

  110. Sorry, that’s not correct. I have code in the console terminal driver. I’m responsible for a significant part of the ANSI terminal emulation as it was re-engineered in the 2.4 kernel. I think Pavel Machek was the lead on that project; I never asked for credit, as it didn’t seem important.

    Good for you. :-)

    You might be entertained to know that I have code in the BSD kernels, too. I wrote the core of what became their console speaker driver on an SVr4 box in 1985. I think I’m actually credited for that.

    Fantastic.

    Like many of the things I’ve done, I don’t talk about these accomplishments much. Consequently I’m pretty amused when you talk about “over-claiming”.

    I think this illustrates my point beautifully. I think it’s great that you’ve contributed to these projects, but you’ve missed the point entirely. What you’re saying here is that because you haven’t bragged about a couple of accomplishments that this makes up for all those that you have bragged about. When you’re down on Planet Earth next, would you pick up some milk for me?

    You also haven’t addressed the issue of your melodramatic postings about all things physical.

  111. Thats a quote. What it means is that I can draw a gun and wave it around and you can’t (legally) shoot me, at least not until I point it at someone with a clear intent to kill.

    I wouldn’t suggest that you try it.

    The section (9.04) of the Texas Penal Code that you’d posted is truncated. It applies to justifiable threats of force, not self-defense.

    Here it is..
    Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

    i.e. you can use a threat of force in order to scare-off a potential assailent.

    Texas is a ‘reasonable belief’ state – see section 9.31 & 9.32. This standard comes into affect well before you take aim at someone and declare/signal your intent to kill them.

  112. “…You may claim some vague moral right…”
    I’m not really making a claim to a moral right here (perhaps implicitly, maybe?)…rather justifying a survival response. A response to a deadly threat is hardly ‘vague’!

    “…but the law (at least in Texas) reads differently:…”
    Sure, these things do vary by state…doesn’t make ‘em good law, but hey…

    Try putting your hand in your jacket pocket, telling a Texas cop you’ve got a gun and are going to shoot him dead…ignore his demands for you to show him your hands…get back to me from the afterlife ;-) One law for you, one law for them…

    Here in VA it is justifiable to use deadly force in such a situation…you don’t have to wait and see the weapon, because by then it could be too late. Obviously, the specifics of each incident are crucial…you *will* end up in court, so you’d better get it right…and it’s a tough argument to make to a jury.

  113. Eric, mostly my intent was to see if I could divert the threads of commntary on the blog into something remotely interesting.

    Mostly because my response to the arguments about bragging about who has more code in the kernel would be a repeat of an earlier rant of mine.

  114. ESR,

    “There is an important kind of cultural capital”

    Wow… it’s the first time you seem to be agree with the general point I am trying to represent here in this forum in almost all of my posts: reality is subjective, it’s people’s way of thinking that defines the workings of the society and NOT the other way around, and therefore changing laws and social systems won’t do much help – changing people’s way of thinking through civilian enlightment campaigns, independent media etc. is a lot more powerful in changing the world we are living in. Laws just reflect accepted norms, for a real change, the norms have to be changed in people’s heads. (By civilian and non-compulsory means of course.)

    The cultural capital you mention here is simply ethics, nothing else. Which, while you and actually me too might not like the fact, but does derive from Christianity. Or, to be more precise, from the Jewish/Protestant work ethics, where business success is not the way to personal luxury but is a kind of duty, towards oneself and towards the society, which is the solid foundation of that kind of ethics that made it possible for America to implement a fairly libertarian economy. Where such ethics are missing, libertarianism just brings chaos. The only consolation is that statism brings an even greater chaos in such chases, because it gives people more power to screw each other with. So, in such cases, liberatarianism might be a useful harm reduction, but I don’t think it can solve the core of them problem. For that, the way of thinking needs to be changed, and no political “ism” will help.

  115. In another topic, I wrongly critized Austrian economists for the homo oeconomicus concept. Actually it’s from Adam Smith. Still it’s not a big error as the thoughts of Adam Smith form the foundation Austrian economics and libertarianism is built upon. And when Adam Smith writes about the invisible hand of the market, he also writes about ethics, he expresses it quite explicitly that the strong ethical background of the XIX. century West he lived in is an indispensable prerequisite for his ideas to work. I think the cultural capital ESR mentioned is just this.

  116. Ken Burnside,

    I’m an ancap and will admit that Somalia is a *possible* outcome of anarchocapitalism. Most ancaps that I know would admit to as much. I know of few statists who would admit that Mao’s Cultural Revolution is also a possible outcome of statism.

    If you want to evaluate political theories by the worst case outcomes of their practice, that’s respectable, but set the problem up correctly and compare the worst case with government to the worst case without.

    I’d strongly question the idea the Somalia is the modal outcome of anarchocapitalism. There are too many other factors involved to include religious views, beliefs about ethics, the degree of economic development and prosperity, etc. It’s hard to rule these out a priori and when you try to account for them, you’re left in the predicament of having more explanatories than observations.

  117. Dan,

    Yes, its better to be alive and wrong than dead and right.

    And yes, there are different (levels) of law for POs and citizens. Have you looked at the penalties for assulting a polite officer?

    Dlb, I’m not suggesting anyone “try it”. Course, I’m not the one suggesting we try anarchocapitalism, either.

  118. >Please further define your actions here.

    I refactored the driver to separate the ANSI emulation logic from the hardware-specific code, and added some escape sequence interpretations to complete the ANSI emulation. Yes, that’s my code in there, not someone else’s accidental lift from ncurses.

    And no, it doesn’t have a muddy territorial bootprint proclaiming “ESR was here!” because that didn’t seem important. I’m not a 20-year-old struggling to make a name; I’m already as famous and respected as anybody gets in this racket. I turn down more speaking invitations per month than most people get in their lifetimes. It would be exceedingly petty of me to insist that everything I ever touched got my name in neon on it, and I’m not petty.

    Most people don’t know that I wrote the Emacs control modes for symbolic debugging and version control, either. That’s OK. Most people don’t know that they use my code every time they view a PNG or GIF in an open-source browser, either. That’s OK too. Or that I wrote the code for newsgroup wildcard matching in C news way back when, or how much code of mine is in the standard Python library distribution. That’s all fine. These days, when I do stuff like that, I get it done and leave quietly. If I get a credit, good. If I don’t, no big deal.

    But the truth is, as Chris DiBona said when he did his authorship audit of the open-source codebase for VA friends-and-family list back in ’99, “Man…you are everywhere. You are fucking ubiquitous.” You can choose to believe that or not; the most important thing is that I know what I’ve done, and I can look around me and see that I changed history with my code and my words and my example.

    Neither you in your bitchiest, snarkiest mood nor a pathetic weed like BIG_HACKING can take that away from me. My revenge for all the personal shit I’ve had heaped on me is that the shit-throwers will live the rest of their lives in the shadow of my deeds. If they never know it, because the shadow is too large for them to comprehend, that only sweetens the dish.

  119. You can choose to believe that or not; the most important thing is that I know what I’ve done, and I can look around me and see that I changed history with my code and my words and my example.

    And mention it in every interview you do.

    Neither you in your bitchiest, snarkiest mood nor a pathetic weed like BIG_HACKING can take that away from me.

    I never disputed your contributions; I only pointed out your need to brag about it. This was also a side point for me. The main thrust of my argument is that you are a deluded and insecure personality, a claim borne out by the plethora of writing you have posted on the Internet. I’ve given some good examples that neither you or any of your fanboys have put up a defense for.

    My revenge for all the personal shit I’ve had heaped on me is that the shit-throwers will live the rest of their lives in the shadow of my deeds.

    If you mention your shooting skills, your martial arts training, and your supposed revolutionisation of software development enough times, someone is bound to call you out eventually. It seems ironic that in this blog post you call on other people to grow up.

    If they never know it, because the shadow is too large for them to comprehend, that only sweetens the dish.

    In your typical style, you cast yourself as an epic figure, apparently unable to even feign modesty in public.

  120. >Yes, testosterone makes people stupid. No, I’m not talking about the men who secrete and metabolize it, I’m talking about the nervous old women of both sexes who pronounce upon it as though it were some sort of demonic drug.

    For the nervous old women of both sexes , and ‘others’

    help is on the way, all they will need is the spray!

    see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testosterone_spray

    and Effects of testosterone on humans

    see:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testosterone

  121. ” that neither you or any of your fanboys have put up a defense for.”

    And I’ve shown on a previous thread that Open Source is much more than gaming. Also that the bulk of the code is written by paid programmers. All of these were in counter to your delusions. You simply slunk away.

    I also asserted that you’re fixated on ESR. Perhaps to the point of a crush. You’ve offered nothing to refute that.

    Unrequited crush. Do you send ESR small gifts?

  122. And I’ve shown on a previous thread that Open Source is much more than gaming. Also that the bulk of the code is written by paid programmers. All of these were in counter to your delusions. You simply slunk away.

    That was two posts ago, and I don’t have time to follow every discussion forever. Even supposing I was wrong, you do not seem to understand the difference between delusion and simple ignorance. However:

    And I’ve shown on a previous thread that Open Source is much more than gaming.

    When did I ever say open source wasn’t “much more than gaming”? I’m afraid with arguments of this quality, one can only sustain interest for so long. You expect me to answer dribble attacks on positions I never put forth?

    Also that the bulk of the code is written by paid programmers.

    There is certainly plenty of paid open source work going on, but this claim is dubious at best. What study are you getting this from? In any case, taking a tiny side-point does not win the argument, no matter how much you wish to play it up.

    That discussion opened my eyes, and there’s more commercial OSS work going on than I’d expected, which is pleasing to see. It’s you who refuses to abandon your false conceptions, not me. If you were keen to see your ideas tested, you would be posting amongst people who disagree with you rather than taking part in the circle-jerk here.

    I also asserted that you’re fixated on ESR. Perhaps to the point of a crush. You’ve offered nothing to refute that.

    The difference is that you’re asserting, whereas I put forth evidence. You might as well call me a jerk. I offered several quotations that lend credence to my idea, and got plenty of responses – all of which ignored the quotations in question. The difference is clear.

    As for addressing your assertion, my interest in Eric amounts to no more than pointing out the village idiot. The fanboys keep putting forth invalid arguments, so I keep wrecking them. The second part of your assertion is trivially spurious, and I could equally say that Eric has a romantic leaning toward the Middle Eastern terrorists he goes on about.

    Unrequited crush. Do you send ESR small gifts?

    Only if you count the small nuggets of enlightenment I post on his forum. A limp insult, and YHBT so hard it hurts.

  123. an-cap and Somalia:

    I’m not stating that Somalia is the desired outcome. I am stating that it’s the LIKELY outcome of an-cap theory for the majority of the world’s population. I’m not entirely convinced that the Nevada mining community of the 1870s to 1890s really qualifies as an an-cap experiement either. I don’t have a lot of data on it, but the sources I have seen propounding that position all strike me as being history viewed through rose colored glasses. None of them acknowledge that corruption is a transactional model – I get a bigger payout today by changing the rules in my favor, and since I’ve proven I can change the rules in my favor, I can be convinced that I can always do this down the road.

    Carry that line of thinking about three steps further, and you have Republican Guards selected for loyalty to the Caudillo, so that when a change is made that is unpopular with the Army, he has a chance to survive the coup.

    I have my doubts that an an-cap society won’t devolve into caudillism when the population density gets above 15,000 people in a town – the payoff in organizing crime or re-organizing the rules to your own benefit gets large enough to be tempting there, and there’s no real mechanism, other than a belief that people won’t fuck the system to their own benefit, to stop it.

  124. “…Yes, its better to be alive and wrong than dead and right…”
    That isn’t what I said, and I’m not so sure this is a ‘good’ attitude either…but I think we’ve made our point clear.

    “…Have you looked at the penalties for assulting a polite officer?…”
    Again, these vary, but I do find the notion that LEOs are ‘protected’ at a higher level than civilians rather offensive. Interestingly enough, Texas has explicit law regarding disarming LEOs…so at least there there exists a recognition that LEOs are fallible humans too ;-) Not sure what you do in VA…here’s hoping I never need to find out!

    “…taking part in the circle-jerk…”
    BH, I’ve lost count of the number of references you’ve made to this particular homosexual metaphor. Very revealing. lol

  125. Bringing this back on topic.

    It might be fairer to characterize the title that testosterone makes people aggressive. Aggressive !=stupid.

    Now, there is a cultural mindset in this study that accepts as foundation principle that aggressive is not good to have in a society.

    The human behavior patterns of forming “hunting packs” and collaborating hierarchically on projects to achieve a tangible goal is almost entirely male, whether it’s hunting wooly mammoths, making an A-bomb, or writing kernel code.

    It’s all about aggression and competition and getting ego boo (and thus some measure of dominance) within the pack. The bigger a pack you can build, the bigger the game you can go after.

    And, of course, when you have a big enough pack, you get quasi-sexualized challenges of the leadership of that pack.

    Really, the similarities between primate behavior and human society are remarkable. Most human behaviors come down to poo flinging to chase others out of the tribe, and circling around one another trying to take over the tribe, kill the children of the former tribal leader and impregnate the females.

    The main difference is that we’ve abstracted enough out of our society that A) that sort of aggressive behavior is socially unacceptable, and B) most guys don’t even realize they’re doing it, when comparing penis lengths/kernel code citations in public fora.

    Really, the byplay here on this particular post needs a breathless announcer, whispering into the microphone.

    “See the new Hacker making the prepapratory stances for the challenge against the alpha silverback hacker. He’s sniffing the air. Marking his territory with urine. The alpha silverback, secure in his position, ignores the challenger at first, leaving him an opportunity to back down and remain in the tribe. The challenger, sensing this as a sign of weakness, picks up a large pile of feces, and prepares to throw…”

  126. BH, I’ve lost count of the number of references you’ve made to this particular homosexual metaphor. Very revealing. lol

    Are you accusing me of being a homosexual? If so, what is your point?

  127. The alpha silverback, secure in his position, ignores the challenger at first, leaving him an opportunity to back down and remain in the tribe.

    I don’t think BH has any intention of hanging around long term. Poo flinging, OTOH…

  128. >Really, the byplay here on this particular post needs a breathless announcer, whispering into the microphone.

    >“See the new Hacker making the prepapratory stances for the challenge against the alpha silverback hacker. He’s sniffing the air. Marking his territory with urine. The alpha silverback, secure in his position, ignores the challenger at first, leaving him an opportunity to back down and remain in the tribe. The challenger, sensing this as a sign of weakness, picks up a large pile of feces, and prepares to throw…”

    Heh. I was thinking something broadly similar, except I hadn’t got quite as far as describing myself as an “alpha silverback”. That’s funny; perhaps I should amble thataway on my knuckles and contemplatively chew some leaves. Grunt.

    Actually, BIG_HACKING isn’t even a challenger, Not until he cops to his real name and unreels about ten miles of coding creds.

  129. BH says:

    It’s just clear that his posts on guns, violence and terrorism are the product of a deluded and insecure personality. Again, can someone please explain to me why esr frequently posts as though he’s on some kind of epic quest?

    Well, I can’t speak for Eric, but one of the reasons I read this is that I feel he is correct on both these points.

    With regards to guns, it is the liberal government that eats into our freedoms and stifles personal responsbility using the excuse of safety, safety net, whatever, but I don’t want a big inefficient government stealing my money so they can do the so many things they do that make a nation of dependent nitwits. Guns, in my opinion, is just one of many, many examples of this, and it is enjoyable to read.

    With regards to the terrorist issue, the world is facing an enormous problem. It exposes problems in the current political liberal idealogy, PCism, and its inability to deal with this huge problem.

  130. Eric said: “I wrote the code for newsgroup wildcard matching in C news”.

    Just to set the record straight, this is false.

    I wrote the original C News newsgroup matching code from scratch
    in the fall of 1985, and later, with Barry Shein’s assistance, rewrote
    it to cope with the sort of complexity that UUNET saw, circa 1992.
    The final C News release that Henry Spencer put out in 1995 still used
    my rewritten newsgroup matching.

    Eric did lead the B News 3.0 effort but C News borrowed no code from
    B News or other news systems (we did accept a few outside contributions
    like dbz). When we said that we wrote C News *from scratch*, we meant it.

    Geoff Collyer
    senior C News author

    Eric notes: This is a surprise. I seem to remember somebody from your group coming to me around 1987 wanting the B news 3.0 matching code for the very specific reason that it handled nested {} brackets correctly, including cases containing arbitrary wildcards. I’ve believed ever since that C news included that code, but if you tell me it’s not in the codebase I won’t argue with you.

  131. A correction: we did ship a readnews from another news system (from Australia).
    If we used someone else’s code, we credited them.

  132. And a further thought: if Eric did write the newsgroup matching in rna (the Australian readnews), that doesn’t qualify as the C News newsgroup matching code, which is found in libcnews/ngmatch.c. rna was a little-used minor convenience and not a part of the C News transport.

  133. Heh. I was thinking something broadly similar, except I hadn’t got quite as far as describing myself as an “alpha silverback”. That’s funny; perhaps I should amble thataway on my knuckles and contemplatively chew some leaves. Grunt.

    A cute comparison, but one that further illustrates your enormous conceit. I’ve pointed out the facts, as evidenced by your own writing, and you’ve nothing but insults and boasts. If that’s your wish then so be it, but it doesn’t consitute a rebuttal.

    Actually, BIG_HACKING isn’t even a challenger, Not until he cops to his real name
    and unreels about ten miles of coding creds.

    Challenger to what? Your title as OSS’ biggest moonbat? You’ve beaten RMS to the post, so I doubt I could hold a candle to you in that department. If you’d like to discuss how much of a jack-ass I am, then feel free, but you’re not addressing my accusations. One would think the task would be simple for a man who thinks so highly of his mental abilities.

  134. And, of course, when you have a big enough pack, you get quasi-sexualized challenges of the leadership of that pack.

    Pointing out that Eric is a deluded drama-queen is a ‘quasi-sexualized challenge’? Your comparison is cute, but meaningless in the context.

  135. Ken asks “In what way is Somalia NOT the llikely outcome of an-cap libertarianism for the majority of the world’s population?”

    First, most people aren’t Muslims, and most Somalis are. Second, most cultures aren’t tribal like Somalia’s. Third, most cultures don’t have a traditional system of judicial law overlaying whatever the government does.

    So, no, Somalia is not the likely outcome. In any case, it would be interesting to compare the murder rate in Mogadishu to the murder rate in New York City., or Detroit, or Philadelphia. I don’t suppose you’ve actually done that, have you?

  136. Jim Thompson says “such as Russ Nelson turn tail and hide behind their SMTP server. Nelson’s response is that of a coward,”

    Actually, the problem is not that I”m afraid of you; the problem is that you are a waste of good carbon. Your corpse would be put to much better use decomposing in the ground than in carrying your hateful spirit around in the world.

  137. The C News newsgroup matching code doesn’t know anything about {} brackets.
    Henry and I were pretty much the C News group. There were lots of other people
    at U of Toronto though, and I suppose any of them might have contacted you.

  138. For those who just want a quick summary of the drama:

    ESR is male. Testosterone is the “male hormone”. Infantile asshats like to have public panic attacks over testosterone, blaming it for all the violence and misery in the world, and probably as the chief reason for their God killing kittens. ESR thinks these people should grow up, and publically says as much. Along comes BIG_HACKING, an infantile asshat attention whore, who proceeds to have a conniption fit over ESR’s statements while accusing ESR of exaggerating about himself. How one can exaggerate about being male is still a mystery, and thus the relevence of any exaggerations, real or not, remains elusive.

  139. Following on from Russell’s recent comment, ESRs and Ken’s(?) regarding Somalia etc…brought to mind a couple of points that just didn’t sit comfortably with me at the time, but took a while to nag me enough to post anything about ;-)

    The two points were with regard to (1) “inherent instability” of free-market capitalism, and (2) money being “stored power”.

    (1) I think the problem with imputing this property (stability) to FMC is that it amounts to baseless expectations, in a manner similar to saying that democracy is inherently unstable. In both cases we’re rather unfairly criticising a system for *results* that have no relation to the systematic processes involved. Despite all the magical properties we ascribe to democracy (good, right, virtuous, freedom-giving) *all* it really is is a simple, unweighted, majority-oriented decision-making process. We can enjoy our democracy here in the US, while conveniently forgetting that the same process ultimately resulted in the deaths of a lot of Jews, or the ‘legitimate’ installation of a terrorist regime. It isn’t democracy’s fault it happened…the process did exactly what it said on the tin. Similarly, and this is where ESRs point about “cultural knowledge” is important, FMC can be enjoyed here to raise the greatest number of people, in the history of mankind, from poverty, where our respect for peace, law and order is paramount, or it can be used in a culture of violence, murder and savagery to provide a burgeoning marketplace for the tools of their trade. To denounce FMC for the manner in which it has been employed by scum, seems more than faintly ridiculous.

    (2) Money is a proxy token for value. This is critical for understanding economics. Any perceived ‘power’ money has is entirely subjective. No amount of money would have the ‘power’ to compel me to commit murder, yet a $100 bill could probably get someone greased in Mogadishu without a flutter of concern for justification.

  140. For those who just want a quick summary of the drama:

    ..from someone who hasn’t followed the discussion.

    ESR is male. Testosterone is the “male hormone”. Infantile asshats like to have public panic attacks over testosterone, blaming it for all the violence and misery in the world, and probably as the chief reason for their God killing kittens. ESR thinks these people should grow up, and publically says as much.

    Thanks for summarising the article again, but I was referring to his wider body of writing. This was clarified in the discussion. FYI, I agree with Eric that this study is bunk.

    Along comes BIG_HACKING, an infantile asshat attention whore, who proceeds to have a conniption fit over ESR’s statements while accusing ESR of exaggerating about himself.

    Again: oh gnoez I got burned. Please bring an argument next time. Also, note the irony of accusing me of a ‘conniption fit’ in a sentence where you call me an ‘infantile asshat attention whore’.

    How one can exaggerate about being male is still a mystery, and thus the relevence of any exaggerations, real or not, remains elusive.

    You didn’t read the discussion very thoroughly, and you’re not as funny as you think. I made an off-hand remark about esr’s insecurities in response to yet another pretentious gun posting. esr then accused me of ‘pop psychology’. To respond to that remark, I had to point out that esr’s delusions, etc are evidenced by the wider body of work he’s put out. People tried (and failed) to rebuke me on that point, and I responded.

  141. “…People tried (and failed) to rebuke me…”
    You’re only interested in seeing proof that you think you’re wrong…what you have presented does not merit the label “argument”. Responses to your postings will dwindle in proportion to your evidenced asshattery…which you will announce as proof that your ‘arguments’ have ‘defeated’ us.

    BH > /dev/null

  142. You’re only interested in seeing proof that you think you’re wrong…what you have presented does not merit the label “argument”.

    So why are people arguing it? esr himself responded, and couldn’t come up with anything but more boasting. Clearly there is something of merit here, because people are responding to it with more than a “fuck you”. In any case, this statement is an obvious cop-out.

    Responses to your postings will dwindle in proportion to your evidenced asshattery…which you will announce as proof that your ‘arguments’ have ‘defeated’ us.

    No, they dwindle as people run out of spurious arguments. You need only read a few of Eric’s pieces to see examples of his melodrama and conceit. Do you claim that Eric’s posts about terrorism don’t read as though he’s on a quest? If this isn’t your claim, do you claim instead that this does not qualify as conceit?

    Do you claim that Eric isn’t boastful? How many times does he have to tell people they’re “relying on [his] code” before it qualifies as obnoxious bragging? (VA shares incident, anyone?)

  143. (2) Money is a proxy token for value. This is critical for understanding economics. Any perceived ‘power’ money has is entirely subjective. No amount of money would have the ‘power’ to compel me to commit murder, yet a $100 bill could probably get someone greased in Mogadishu without a flutter of concern for justification.

    Your withdrawal of your murdering skills from the marketplace only matters if they are unique enough that there’s some demand for them, otherwise people will just have to go and pay a bit more than they would for the same service in Mogadishu.

    Money strikes me as being very like energy in many ways. *Fiat* money is worrying, of course. Can’t do that with energy last time I looked.

  144. “Do you claim that Eric’s posts about terrorism don’t read as though he’s on a quest?”

    And here I was thinking esr had made it perfectly clear he was on a quest to warn the world about the dangers of Islam. But thanks for pointing out the obvious again, BH. ;)

  145. Bh: “Pointing out that Eric is a deluded drama-queen . . .”

    But why would you want to do this? I can think of only two reasons. Reason one is jealousy as in you personally want the fame/accolades afforded by the purported inflated claims. In this case, I have to say “so what,” since it generates interest in a worthwhile subject (even though I disagree with the economic model of open source, I think as a hobby it’s great). Reason two would be that you feel you or others you care about have been damaged by the inflated claims, in this case the interest/recognition/etc. has been taken or stolen.

    For the former, there are a lot of dangerous egomaniacs you could use your invective talents against, and at least there is some potential good that can come from it. In the later, well, why not attack the claims themselves, rather than the arrogance, etc., which can only shape opinion, not change it?

  146. Money strikes me as being very like energy in many ways. *Fiat* money is worrying, of course. Can’t do that with energy last time I looked.

    Hmmmm … is that an argument for the gold standard?

    Never mind … you mentioned energy, so I get to link this. Severely, completely OT. But fun with North American Oil Reserves gets my testosterone pumping.

  147. Dan Kane says “$100 bill could probably get someone greased in Mogadishu without a flutter of concern for justification.”

    Rule #1 for a civilized society is “If you don’t have somebody who cares about your death, it will come sooner rather than later.” In America, that means the various levels of government. In Somalia, that means your clan. I don’t really understand why so many people think that rule #1 is violated systematically in Somalia.

  148. Butbutbut…that would mean that Somalia was *civilized* in some sense. I thought the whole point of Somalia was to wave it around as a poster child for barbarism.

  149. But why would you want to do this? I can think of only two reasons. Reason one is jealousy as in you personally want the fame/accolades afforded by the purported inflated claims.

    I’m just swimming in accolades from my anonymous postings on the Internet.

    In this case, I have to say “so what,” since it generates interest in a worthwhile subject (even though I disagree with the economic model of open source, I think as a hobby it’s great). Reason two would be that you feel you or others you care about have been damaged by the inflated claims, in this case the interest/recognition/etc. has been taken or stolen.

    There’s no presumption that if you act like a deluded egomaniac that nobody will call you out on it. In fact, quite the reverse is true.

    For the former, there are a lot of dangerous egomaniacs you could use your invective talents against, and at least there is some potential good that can come from it.

    Not interested.

    In the later, well, why not attack the claims themselves, rather than the arrogance, etc., which can only shape opinion, not change it?

    If you hang around here long enough, you will see that people here aren’t receptive to logic. If you insist on consistency of argument, you’re “arguing under narrow terms of reference”. If your argument isn’t sufficiently vague, you’re not “having an adult discussion”. OTOH, I suppose it’s normal for people to grow into a rut of ignorance.

  150. to do with c-news. (See above.) Conveniently, ESR now claims that he “thought he remembered” having something to do with cnews, and that “somebody” had contacted him.

    Whatever.

    I’m checking the rest of his claims, but I’m willing to bet real money that most of them won’t hold up.

  151. “you will see that people here aren’t receptive to logic”

    Good to see you’re finally understanding yourself. Therapy seems to be working.

  152. > I’m checking the rest of his claims, but I’m willing to bet real money that most of them won’t hold up.

    OK, Jim. Accusing me of lying goes over the line. I’m tired of your sniping and I think it’s time you were punished for it. I’ll put $1,000 in escrow with a third-party arbitrator if you’ll do likewise — I think that qualifies as ‘real money’.

    The claims at issue are (specified here in more detail so they’re easier for you to check and refute):

    1. I wrote code that is in the console-terminal driver for Linux, specifically the ANSI emulation.

    2. I wrote the speaker driver used in various BSD operating systems.

    3. I wrote the Emacs control modes for symbolic debugging and version control.

    4. I’m responsible for the Unix presence of the code that is now giflib/libungif, having ported it from DOS.

    5. I wrote the support for 6 of the 14 chunk types in the PNG reference library, and the high-level interface to it.

    6. I wrote the shlex and netrc modules in the standard Python library.

    If you can falsify three or more of these claims, you win (that’s the interpretation of ”most” that is most generous to your slander). You may of course request additional clarification or details on any of them.

    Now, either put up the cash and negotiate an arbitrator or apologize publicly for your slander.

    My proposal was originally going to be a bet of $1,000 from me vs. just a public apology from you, but I think you need to experience some actual pain and consequences from being a pustulent asshole. You’re 3,000 miles too far away for me to beat the snot out of you, so taking a grand of your money will have to do.

    (The alpha silverback bares his fangs…)

  153. “…Rule #1 for a civilized society is…”
    OK…maybe not rule #1, but I get your point. I wasn’t really attempting expose some deep revelation about life in Somalia, but just throw out an off-hand example of how the ‘power’ of money can be perceived by different people to different degrees…s’all.

    And yes, Adrian, actually I can agree that there are times when money appears to act like energy…but this ‘energy model’ simply doesn’t hold consistent in economics…useful at times, not useful overall. We abstractly view economies as being powered/fueled/driven by money…but an economy really isn’t an engine, and money isn’t the gas, although I know many traders that view economics this way, and believe that if you simply pump money in one end, the wheels will grind and eventually produce more money elsewhere…not exactly a model I would care to rely on! However, ‘value’ can be a treacherously intangible property too…

    I wouldn’t say so much that Somalia was a posterchild for barbarism, but more a posterchild for the Hobbesian ‘brutish & short’ world. I don’t think anyone would disagree that life there is ‘unpleasant’ (to say the least), and thanks to primitive thuggery, corruption, incompetent ‘intervention’, and doubtlessly many other factors, life there is not likely to improve in quality. Tragic.

  154. A) On a personal sense, money is stored purchasing power.

    B) It is possible to accumulate stored purchasing power through donations or forming political action committees, who can then convert that stored purchasing power into political power.

    That political power will be used to the benefit of the purchasers, and may be used in ways that make it easier for their constituent base to acquire item A or item B.

    Given there are economies of scale in acquiring item B, corruption WILL happen, and it can happen in ways that make it all but impossible to combat, short of tearing the society down to bedrock and building it up again, roughly every generation.

    Insofar as an-cap libertarianism fails, it’s that it presumes that a members of a society that make acquiring A its primary motive will have the moral and ethical restraint to not abuse B.

  155. A) Really? I know many like to believe so, and within a reasonably narrow timeframe it certainly appears to be so (and yes, can be considered as such)…but we all know how economic hiccups can suddenly educate folks in exactly how much real ‘power’ they actually had ‘stored’. Bad model.

    B) OK…I’m not knowledgeable about this “an-cap”, but I think I get the general drift…and this is what I was getting at earlier…is it *really* an economic model that introduces notions of morals and ethics into its systematic workings? Or, as in Somalia, is it working normally, and it is the environment within which it is applied that results in ‘success’ or ‘failure’…and at what point were ‘success’ and ‘failure’ defined anyway? If the goal was to create a flourishing market in mayhem, Somalia’s a roaring success! I guess ‘an-cap’, like democracy, can be turned toward nasty ends as easily as nice ends…

  156. Dan – just because a change in circumstances can force you to spend stored purchasing power does not make the fact that money is, well, stored purchasing power on a personal level any less valid.

    An-cap is “anarchist-capitalist” – the belief that no government at all is the best government, driving a capitalist economy. Arguably, regions of the US experimented with an-cap sociology in the 1870s to 1890s, when the reach of the law was tenuous.

    I contend that Somalia is, in many ways, a better example of what an-cap is likely to turn into for most of the world, because there’s a meme that boils down to “Play Nice With Others And Expect The Same In Return” that looks hopelessly naive from the outside.

    Without this meme, most everything turns into functional paranoia. Everyone is out to get you, you need to get them FIRST. Elaborate social rituals of hospitality and honor arise from this as a means of security checking human interactions.

    The reward (in a game theory sense) of breaking the meme is that the first couple of times you do it, you get an immediate payout, and one of the payouts may be the ability to change the rules of the game to preserve your exploit of the rules and stop everyone else from making the same one, or enacting reprisals on you for doing so.

    Other cultures have similar versions of this meme – Chinese society isn’t terribly similar to Western society (or wasn’t, prior to the 19th/20th century), but sitll had built up a set of memes about the mutual benefit of obeying laws, and making sure that someone had the sanction to punish violators.

  157. Eric… you neglected to state time limit on your offer, so I’ll continue on my original path and wait until I have the evidence, then accept your offer and collect the cash. You can’t renegotate for a time limit now. That being the case, lets find a way to ‘hold’ the money where we still have the use of it, eh?

    BTW, you neglect to mention that I’ve already proven several of your claims untrue (including the cnews one, which, stragely, isn’t included in your offer, and your claims of having contributed to GNU before it was founded, which resulted in you changing your website.) You either had a “senior moment” about both of these, or you lied, which is it? I need offer no apology unless you want to claim (and perhaps prove) that your memory is at fault, and if this is so, how then can you assert with veracity that you did any of these other things?

    Also interesting is that you don’t have to offer a public apology if/when proven wrong, yet I do. Your abject apologia (on ESR letterhead, please) would mean far more to me than the money.

    And so interesting that you again restort to threats of violence (“you’re 3000 miles too far away for me to beat the snot out of…”). Tsk tsk.

    > (The alpha silverback bares his fangs…)

    I thought you were into guns, not imaginary sex partners.

  158. esr says:

    You’re 3,000 miles too far away for me to beat the snot out of you, so taking a grand of your money will have to do.

    Needless to say I got a chuckle out of this (and I do mean at your expense).

    Jim Thompson says:

    I’m checking the rest of his claims, but I’m willing to bet real money that most of them won’t hold up.

    I think you’ve overstretched yourself here. I doubt Eric’s silly enough to have made that many false claims. That doesn’t negate the fact that he can’t stop bragging about what he has done, or that he has made some false claims.

    Joe Says:

    Good to see you’re finally understanding yourself. Therapy seems to be working.

    Still burning from losing our last encounter? That’s ok.

  159. Eric, it’s your blog and you can fish for an ego boost if you want to. This bombastic pissing match is dumb and unproductive. You’re only hurting yourself. Be above it all and let boobs be boobs, but enjoy nice female boobs when they present themselves.

    The only thing you can do for your reputation by boasting about it is damage it.

    I learned my lesson some time ago by being mildly boastful in front of a Turing award winner I met in passing but did not recognize; he quietly eyed me as a fool and only later did I suffer the embarassment of having bragged in front of someone whose achievements were truly monumental. Luckily I discovered my error later, in private. Maybe that will have to happen to you before you learn an important life lesson.

  160. > I think you’ve overstretched yourself here.

    Oh likely, but what the hell… if it costs me $1k in some wonky ‘bet’, then SFW? I’ve been known to blow that much on other stuff. If Eric decides to stoop to physical violence, then I either successfully self-defend, and then file charges (assult), or I loose, and… file charges. “Real pain” is legal fees and the threat of jail time, and Eric’s statements (above and elsewhere) would be handy in both civil and criminal actions. (Were we not also reviewing the laws regarding use of force above?) To be sure, I won’t strike first, and thats were I’ll leave it until ESR’s vague threat becomes something more that a plea for help.

    I certainly don’t believe that all (or hell, I’ll say it, even most) of Eric’s claims are false, as he’s done some interesting and good work. It just that he can’t stop over-claiming. Its like he’s addicted to it. ‘diablovision’ is correct that he is only hurting himself. Were Eric to stop his self-aggrandizing stance, and be attempt to be more like dmr, rms or any of the hundred other folks I could name who have done far more, and claimed far less, then he would get a lot more respect and accolades, both from me and the community at-large.

  161. >Eric… you neglected to state time limit on your offer, so I’ll continue on my original path and wait until I have the evidence, then accept your offer and collect the cash. You can’t renegotate for a time limit now. That being the case, lets find a way to ‘hold’ the money where we still have the use of it, eh?

    These are the words of a man trying to back out of a position he has discovered is untenable. Cooperate with setting up an escrow, and propose a reasonable time limit, or shut the fuck up.

    >BTW, you neglect to mention that I’ve already proven several of your claims untrue

    You stipulated “the rest of his claims” in the context of this thread. I’m taking you at your word.

    Here’s a big hint: I don’t mind when you point out that I am in error on a fact — that’s embarassing, but I take those lumps when they’re merited. I do mind when you call me a liar. That is beyond the pale, and I am calling you on it.

    >Also interesting is that you don’t have to offer a public apology if/when proven wrong, yet I do.

    When and if I ever call you a liar and am proven wrong, I will publicly apologize. But I don’t think you’re a liar, just a petty, wretched excuse for a human being with unfounded delusions of adequacy.

  162. “Still burning from losing our last encounter”

    You mean the one where you demanded the Open Source community provide you with free games, and then made the determination that Open Source was a failure because you didn’t get free games? Claimed that Open Source was mainly volunteer code and not company funded?

    No, you are the one that slunk away. I already noted that in a previous post.

    Metrosexuals are such fun. Wee wannabe, it dawns on me where I saw your personality before: the old Willy Wonka movie. You are the same personality as Veruca Salt. It’s you. “I want people to answer me NOW!” “I want free games NOW!” “I want ESR to respond to me NOW!”

    Veruca baby, it’s you.

  163. I’m checking the rest of his claims, but I’m willing to bet real money that most of them won’t hold up.

    No calling you a liar here. In fact, this is in the context of the C-News work you mistakingly claimed you did. The way you presented it, you jumped to a conclusion about something.

    Unless you felt you were lying about C-News, it’s hard to see how you can conclude that Jim is doing anything remotely like calling you a liar. In fact, he isn’t even saying you are wrong about your claims, just that he strongly suspects you are.

    You have now pushed him into a corner on his words. I guess that’s OK, but I don’t particularly like the way you have blown up something that he did not say. In fact, if you look at the use of liar in this post, we have the following tallies:

    1st instance: Jeremy suggesting BH called you a liar : “The argument that esr is a liar because his ”
    2nd instance: Shenpen talking about why he doesn’t like pursuing sex: “It’s both boring and one can feel quite unethical, feel like a cheater, a liar.”
    3rd instance: BH pointing out to Jeremy he never called you a liar “Please quote me where I call esr a ‘liar’. ”
    4th instance: You indicating Jeremy called you a liar: “I do mind when you call me a liar. “

  164. My mistake:

    Jim:
    Eric isn’t just boastful, he lies. He had >nothing

  165. Joe says:

    You mean the one where you demanded the Open Source community provide you with free games

    Quote me where I say this. I said that open source has failed to provide them, and this is evidence that open source doesn’t beat closed source in every avenue.

    , and then made the determination that Open Source was a failure because you didn’t get free games?

    Quote me where I say this. I said open source isn’t automatically the best for everything.

    Claimed that Open Source was mainly volunteer code and not company funded?

    You still haven’t evidenced this. Besides, after beating you at every other point in the argument, I don’t mind conceding one minor point.

    No, you are the one that slunk away. I already noted that in a previous post.

    Sorry friend, but I don’t follow every pointless discussion forever. You tried me out on this thread and I shot you down again. You are yet to respond to that post.

    Metrosexuals are such fun. Wee wannabe, it dawns on me where I saw your personality before: the old Willy Wonka movie. You are the same personality as Veruca Salt. It’s you. “I want people to answer me NOW!” “I want free games NOW!” “I want ESR to respond to me NOW!”

    Veruca baby, it’s you.

    I suppose that’s funny where you come from. Once again, you fail to address any issues, preferring to question my sexuality.

    esr says:

    These are the words of a man trying to back out of a position he has discovered is untenable.

    It’s revealing that you jump all over Jim right when he overstretches himself, yet won’t respond to a more plausible argument. You are obviously upset about this whole thing, and so I find the idea that you simply don’t want to respond rather dubious.

    Cooperate with setting up an escrow, and propose a reasonable time limit, or shut the fuck up.

    So you’re completely secure, but your immediate reaction to criticism is to swear your at your critics and order them to stop criticising? Jim may have gotten carried away, but his point about C-News was right on the money.

    But I don’t think you’re a liar, just a petty, wretched excuse for a human being with unfounded delusions of adequacy.

    This is hypocritical when you consider this comment you made earlier:

    This kind of pop psychology is so last century.

    You’ve only been accused of being insecure and deluded, yet you’re accusing someone else of delusions as well as being a “a petty, wretched excuse for a human being”. This is quite a claim, and you do so without citing any evidence.

    You also contend that it’s unfounded that Jim is adequate. I don’t know much about Jim, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable to reject this at face value. I’m sure he gets by fine on a day-to-day basis.

    All you’ve done is shot down one over-enthusiastic argument from Jim. The fact remains that you have a documented history of inappropriate outbursts and boasting.

  166. The funny thing is, I had no way of knowing if ESR was involved in cnews, or not, but it was straight-forward to check. I went and grabbed the cnews sources, and opened libcnews/ngmatch.c. Part of the long comment at the front says,

    * This is
    * a win for complex sys files and probably isn’t much worse for trivial
    * ones. Each node contains a message telling us whether a match at this
    * node is a plain or negated match (i.e. is a match or not). Barry Shein
    * contributed to this design.

    As it turns out, I know Barry Shein, and I also know that most of cnews was written by Geoff and Henry Spencer, while working in Barry’s offices, and being partially funded by Rick Adams (then of UUNET).

    So I wrote Barry, and got the answer back that Barry didn’t think that Eric had anything to do with cnews, and I guess Barry would know if he had “contributed” to something that Eric wrote. Hours later I heard that Geoff denied that Eric had anything to do with cnews, and then (because I’d forwarded the URLs here to Barry) I guess Goeff followed up here.

    It was almost as trivial to figure out that there was no way that Eric’s claim of having been a GNU contributor in 1983 could be true, since the GNU project didn’t start (rms did not have his epiphany) until after 1983. Here too Eric later claimed that “he thought” he had the dates right, but it took a lot of arguing that it was impossible that 1983 could be correct.

    Other claims by ESR, including “According to RMS’s credit list, I appear to have more Emacs Lisp code in the standard Emacs distribution than anyone else but him.” are also hollow. (http://www.catb.org/~esr/software.html) This claim about being the top contributor to GNU emacs may have once been true, but are no longer. When I last looked, ESR was #13 or so on the contributors list to GNU emacs (by lines of code, or modules, I forget which). Now, #13 is a fine claim, worth of celebration, but its not #1 by a long shot, and this is the rub that I have (and BH appears to have) with Eric’s claims.

    Otherwise,

    RMS has verified (months ago) that Eric made some significant “early on” contributions to the elisp side of GNU emacs. (It was toward the end of this thread (not only anywhere) that Russ Nelson decided that he would just silently drop all mail from me that passed through his server, in the process inhibiting me from communicating with the OSI board of directors as well as the “free software in business” list, both of which are hosted on Nelson’s server.)

    I don’t dispute that VC mode and the debugger mode are Eric’s.

    Eric’s PNG claims are easy to verify as well.

    My doubts surround the “console terminal driver” work for linux, but this should fall out soon, and I’m happy to be wrong in my doubts here.

    Y’all have fun, I’m going camping for the weekend. Its Hawaii and the weather is beautiful.

    Hang loose…

  167. So, Jim, you’ve already admitted two out of six. Here’s a hint: look in the Python library source code for netrc.py and shlex.py. Then go take a look at any handy BSD distribution for the speaker driver (except Mac OS X, as I’m told it didn’t make it into Darwin). That will be four, even before you verify the console terminal and PNG stuff.

    That check for $1000 should be mailed to me at 6 Karen Drive, Malvern PA 19355.

  168. So, Jim, you’ve already admitted two out of six. Here’s a hint: look in the Python library source code for netrc.py and shlex.py. Then go take a look at any handy BSD distribution for the speaker driver (except Mac OS X, as I’m told it didn’t make it into Darwin). That will be four, even before you verify the console terminal and PNG stuff.

    That check for $1000 should be mailed to me at 6 Karen Drive, Malvern PA 19355.

    Perhaps you should get your own house in order before you get all self-righteous on other people. Jim should send you $1000 for overstretching his argument, but it’s ok for you to run around boasting and misrepresenting your contributions to OSS? A few mistakes might seem reasonable to you, but only a braggart would ride so close to the edge between truth and fiction that he slips up as often as you have.

  169. Dan Kane says I wouldn’t say so much that Somalia was a posterchild for barbarism, but more a posterchild for the Hobbesian ‘brutish & short’ world. Ken Burnside seems to think much the same.

    It isn’t. Some effort at research would show you that. Don’t believe the news reports. The news always emphasizes the sensational. Every time somebody dies in Somalia it’s news, because of course [sarcasm]nobody dies under the care of a government.[/sarcasm] Even the Wikipedia article on Somalia is low quality. It doesn’t mention the Xeer (traditional Somalian legal code), and only mentions clans four times; two in the same sentence. In ancap terms, the Xeer is a private legal code, enforcible only on its subscribers (clan members). Each clan’s Xeer differs ever so slightly from every others. This is exactly what you would expect in an ancap society. If you’re in Somalia not as a guest of a clan, you have no legal system and no legal protection. In an ancap society that would be equivalent to not paying your law subscription (although I fully expect that law enforcers would have a minimal set of laws that they would enforce for offenses against indigents, sharing the load between companies). People have a strong sense of fairness, so it would only be good for business to help the poor.

  170. Jim Thompson writes: Russ Nelson decided that he would just silently drop all mail from me that passed through his server,

    Actually, in a fact-based world, Jim would say “Russ Nelson decided that he would reject all mail from me….” The problem with you, Jim, is that you’re a FWOMPT.

  171. Russel, I’ve been trying to find any kind of reliable source for homicides per 100,000 people for Mogadishu, and running up dry.

    Do you have any?

    Example aside for the moment – I’ll cheerfully accept corrections.

    That being said, I still wonder how an-cap is supposed to defend itself against people changing the rules to their benefit.

  172. Jim should send you $1000 for overstretching his argument,

    No, Jim should send him $1000 for losing the bet. It’s not really that hard to understand.

    Unless, of course, someone has your penchant for being positively dense…

  173. No, Jim should send him $1000 for losing the bet. It’s not really that hard to understand.

    Unless, of course, someone has your penchant for being positively dense…

    Kudos on taking the opportunity to insult me, but you missed the point. I’m well aware that he lost the bet, but it’s clear that the bet was a typical esr-style emotional overeaction. Jim just got carried away with the esr-bashing and overstretched his argument. Instead of just shooting the claim down, esr made an immature display worthy of a teenager, jumping all over the mistake with his typical bluster and self-righteousness.

    And if you want to be pedantic, Jim never agreed to a time limit, so he has as long as he pleases. When Jim pointed that out, esr got upset and told him to ‘shut the fuck up’. If esr is not insecure or deluded, why does he shout down his critics, rather than either admitting he was wrong or putting up an argument? He’s obviously upset and he has responded several times, so the suggestion that he just doesn’t feel like it is suspect at best.

    In case that wasn’t clear enough: I was pointing out that the bet itself was hypocritical. Why you would think I was arguing against paying lost bets in general is beyond me.

  174. but it’s clear that the bet was a typical esr-style emotional overeaction.

    Except that Jim was the one that made the bet, not Eric. Eric just called him out on it.

    Better luck confusing the issue next time around.

  175. Except that Jim was the one that made the bet, not Eric. Eric just called him out on it.

    Better luck confusing the issue next time around.

    My bad, but the same claims hold for Eric’s calling Jim out. Jim still has all the time he pleases, and Eric still carried on immaturely when Jim pointed that out. Like you, Eric has honed in on one small mistake in the presentation of the argument and blown it out of proportion in an attempt to draw attention away from the main issue.

    Your side claims superiority, but has only insults and straw men. This is well illustrated by this discussion.

  176. Considering that the topic of this thread was that Testosterone makes people stupid, BIG_HACKING – through demonstration alone – has never once strayed off-topic. We could all learn from this.

  177. Ken Burnside,

    You ask, “That being said, I still wonder how an-cap is supposed to defend itself against people changing the rules to their benefit.”

    Short answer, if I was living in an ancap environment, I would pay people to defend me if I anticipated that any rule change might be used to harm me. You might object that my defenders could reneg on the deal. Perhaps, but governments could also reneg.

    Under government, If I suspect that someone will manipulate the lawmakers to change the rules in a way that harms me, I don’t have any similar option. I just have to put up with it.

    Your question seems to presuppose that there is something unique and *good* about governments.

    Longer answer:

    The possibility of people trying to change rules is a possible problem with or without a government so I don’t see how it makes a case against ancap. You might as well fault anarchocapitalism because in an ancap world, people might sing off key. I’m not trying to be flippant with you. When I first encountered ancap literature the same types of questions occurred to me. Ultimately, such objections fail for a handful of reasons.

    Suppose arguendo that there are be some problems which could only exist in the absence of a government. But so what? Only if we have a lexical preference for avoidance of exactly those problems is this a case against ancap. It may be that ancap deals with other possible problems so much better than governments that the tradeoff is worth it. (Or maybe not, but set the problem up correctly and account for this possibility. Otherwise you’re cherry picking your pros and cons.)

    More likely, there are no problems that could only exist in ancap. After all, if a problem could exist in anarchy as a result of people’s actions, why couldn’t that problem also exist in the presence of governments? There would still be people, right? The example you gave, people changing the rules to their own benefit, happens all the time here and now.

    Or suppose arguendo that there are some problems that only governments can remedy? Why? What is it that governments would do about those problems to remedy them? Why couldn’t a non-government entity do the same thing?

  178. Considering that the topic of this thread was that Testosterone makes people stupid, BIG_HACKING – through demonstration alone – has never once strayed off-topic. We could all learn from this.

    It’s not clear here whether you’re being sarcastic, or accusing me of being/acting stupid. “Through demonstration alone” seems to imply the latter, in which case this response is ironic given the knuckle-dragging behaviour of Eric and others.

  179. Just curious: has anybody here ever stopped and wondered “what the fuck am I doing with my life?” Because when you step back and look at this thing from a really macroscopic perspective… uh… it’s odd…

    I mean, we’re in the throes of a pissing contest over essentially shit. Not to diss ESR or the reputation he has at stake — but imagine trying to explain to your girlfriend what you spent all day doing. “Well, I was arguing over the internet over whether or not some guy actually wrote this thing that parses stuff in this program that reads news.” I don’t think that will get you laid.

    Obviously, everbody is here because they want to be here. But if all your prescence is doing is antagonizing ESR, regardless of how sound your position is, then in effect, you’re here because you want to antagonize ESR. I won’t pretend to know whether or not that’s a good/bad thing, but consider if that’s really how you want to spend a not-inconsequential portion of your life.

  180. Ken Burnside still wonders how an-cap is supposed to defend itself against people changing the rules to their benefit.

    Do you worry about people changing the laws of physics? Laws are discovered, not made.

  181. I mean, we’re in the throes of a pissing contest over essentially shit.

    A more accurate analogy would be to say that Eric is showing us how high he can piss up the wall, and we’re pointing out that it’s not as braggable as he thinks it is.

  182. BH: A more accurate analogy would be to say that Eric is showing us how high he can piss up the wall, and we’re pointing out that it’s not as braggable as he thinks it is.

    Regardless of the analogy, the question as to why you bother still stands without reasonable answer from you.

  183. Regardless of the analogy, the question as to why you bother still stands without reasonable answer from you.

    a) Poking fun at Eric is something amusing to do while I eat breakfast (and sometimes lunch), and b) I don’t see why Eric shouldn’t be called out on his behaviour given that he claims to represent the OSS community. This is a guy who, after the VA IPO, wrote an article explaining how rich he was, who was going to get a piece, and who wasn’t. The article (which stands on its own as an example of ESR’s personality) can be found here:

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=1999-12-10-001-05-NW-LF

    One could write an extensive catalogue of ESR’s conceit and delusion, from his claim of being a “one of the senior technical cadre that makes the Internet work”, to his claim that he’s revolutionised software development.

  184. BIG_HACKING would best serve all of us by creating his own anti-esr blog where he could spend all day posting hatespeak about Eric, rather than on this site.

    Oh, and no need to post the link to it here, either. I’ll do a search for it “tomorrow”.

  185. BIG_HACKING would best serve all of us by creating his own anti-esr blog where he could spend all day posting hatespeak about Eric, rather than on this site.

    That would be a waste of time. What is ‘hatespeak’, exactly? Pointing out the truth where it’s embarassing? Eric’s words against me have been more hateful than anything I’ve said about him.

  186. The article (which stands on its own as an example of ESR’s personality) can be found here:

    Having read the article, your summary is skewed and twisted by almost any standard. I can only guess that this is projection of some sort, or at the least a serious inability to read for comprehension.

    If you’re going to read ER, there is a conceit there. IMO, it’s a conceit that has served the community well because it is founded on affiliation with that community. But it is a conceit like that employed by a director or writer of movies rather than the conceit of a post-pubescent droid. Maybe that’s why you’re confused.

    BIG_HACKING would best serve all of us by creating his own anti-esr blog where he could spend all day posting hatespeak about Eric, rather than on this site.

    Frankly, trolls are simply boring to me. You can only reduce a given problem so much before the problem becomes one of communication.

    The problem, though, is that they ruin the content of most comment-driven blogs, especially the good ones. The entire focus and agenda gets driven by them to the exclusion of real content or real (interesting) agendas. I come here to read Raymond and the rest of you folks who have something to say, and the last month has been dominated with refutations of Mr. Big Hacking. Adrian10 contributes. BH thread-jacks, but with complicity (the finger’s pointing in my direction first).

  187. Well, your answer pretty well sealed the deal for me. The best way to get rid of a troll is not to feed the troll. Since you have made it clear that your purposes are that of a troll, I won’t be feeding you any longer.

  188. >But it is a conceit like that employed by a director or writer of movies rather than the conceit of a post-pubescent droid.

    Very perceptive, DDG. You’re quite right — and I’ve actually explained in public, more than once, that some aspects of my public persona are dramatically exaggerrated for tactical reasons having to do with the (rather successful) media-centered propaganda strategy I invented for open source in 1998. I am not quite the wild man I appear to be sometimes, but I have good reasons for not discouraging that misconception.

  189. ESR,

    “that some aspects of my public persona are dramatically exaggerrated for tactical reasons”

    I’ve got a theory. I think you’d hate a cult of personality growin’ up around you, right? This is why you are sometimes kinda praising yourself – because people don’t tend to overpraise people who are already praising themselves, and thus you can avoid creating such a cult? Is that right?

  190. A hight testosterone-level and stupid dosn`t mean that people with a lower one must be clever… but if so I would prefer to be stupid! lol :o)

  191. There you go, I would prefer to be clever if that choice was enforced. I don’t have to prove my manhood to anybody, but I do want to be able to add stuff up in my head now and then…

  192. > 2. I wrote the speaker driver used in various BSD operating systems.

    You’ve already admited that your speaker driver is nowhere to be found in MacOS X. (Its not in Darwin, though this is a nit.)

    Its also apparently no longer included in Dragonfly BSD, either. The reasons for this are simple, and detailed in the CVS messages where spkr.c and a few other ancient drivers were torn out of Dragonfly in the name of performance. (Timer0 is now used for variable-delay interrupts, rather than the slow clock source chosen by the 386BSD authors.)

    If Dragonfly meets its goals and shows the way to better BSD performance, I anticipate that FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD will follow suit.

    Your speaker driver isn’t part of picoBSD.

    Your speaker driver isn’t in Solaris, either, and wasn’t even back when SunOS was BSD-derived and ran on x86 machines.

  193. This whole ‘fight club’ thing is so horrendously lame…and gay…oh that’s right, these poofs were pounding each other in San Fran…big surprise ;-)

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  195. As for the main premise of the article: hogwash.

    But it’s true that many anti-freedom types want to paint gun owners as testosterone-fueled imbeciles. Fortunately, rational people see through their hype.

    The anti-freedom types had their chance in the 20th century, and they caused more heartache and pain than anyone ever has before in all of history.

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