rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon Jan 23 23:07:11 MSK 2006
Quoting Benjamin A. Okopnik (ben at linuxgazette.net):
> Rick, you cited a quote out of that particular discussion....
But carefully _avoiding_ the already-closed topic of mailing list
archives. Check for yourself. That one was all yours.
> Yes, and I'm saying that you interpreted my statements as supporting
> Jay's point when they were nothing of the sort.
<shrug> I don't remember so interpreting. But let's move on. Time's
wasting, and we all have things to do.
> Out of the most active members of this list - i.e., those who post 90%+
> of the content here in a given month, which is something like ten or a
> dozen people - those who spoke up, i.e., those to whom it mattered
> enough, all except you reacted negatively.
I note the shifting standard (first "majority", now several of the most
active posters) without particular objection, but personally think
that's a pretty dumb smokescreen, when the buck does and should stop
And you already mentioned your decision, at which point I ceased talking
about it. Again, _you_ re-raised the topic. If you want to stop
talking about it again, that would be great. I already regarded it as
closed, and was surprised to see you re-open it.
> The objections that were brought up are valid, and can't just
> be swept under the rug.
Well, as you know, I think they're uniformly bogus, knee-jerk, and
lacking in any sense of proportion.
If you're tired of hearing my opinion, and don't want to keep on
seeing my personal estimate of commentators' logical abilities decline,
you should consider ceasing to quote at me increasingly farfetched
arguments that I then feel compelled to shoot down.
Sorry if that sounds a little blunt, but it's the way I see it. I have
no big problem with your decision; that's entirely your prerogative.
The post-hoc rationalisations, including but not limited to the "Let's
guess what Rick is _really_ thinking" jive, is the part that's giving me
> Well, good. :) It really bothers me when my friends think that I'm
> trying to do them dirt.
Eh, ain't going to happen. I have real concerns to take care of
elsewhere, none of this stuff even rates, and you folks are all friends
and all appreciated.
> If all the material is already available on the Web, what would be the
The point, as is pretty much the point _already_ throughout our entire
magazine, is selection, arrangement, and editorial contribution --
interweaving material from multiple people into an artful imitation of a
technically heady and knowledgeable conversation, courtesy of Heather
and Thomas's considerable skill at that knack. (My apologies if I'm
omitting anyone.) Surely that is obvious?
People read The Answer Gang column because it's a _column_, rather than
disorganised mailing list clutter. People will continue to read it as
long as we keep publishing it, for exactly the same reasons they always
have, even if in theory they could track down the dozens of upstream
mailing list postings from which Heather and Thomas carefully snipped
out and arranged the particular interesting parts.
On the other hand, say, if someone is trying to figure out the real story
about what happened between Holzmann and the Bluetooth Qualification
Administrator, the searcher won't be able to find the analysis I posted
in response to Predrag Ivanovic's query, here, on that subject, because
The Answer Gang never published it.
If I'd posted that same answer to, say, comp.os.linux.misc, it would now
be a findable part of the public's material on the subject (not that I
had anything profound to say on _that_, but imagine some other post in
which I might have, if you want).
Again, I regarded all this as a closed topic, because you decided as you
did, but you keep asking questions like the above "what would be the
point?" that I could _swear_ I've already answered numerous times
Given that latter point, either:
o I'm hallucinating.
o You guys are (somewhat) in the throes of cognitive dissonance.
o I've somehow managed to be incomprehensible, despite a lifetime
of such emphatically plain speaking that my mother wonders where
I learned language like that.
o Other (for completeness's sake).
I'm presently inclined towards option #2, as the only reasonable way to
account for some of the wacky post-hoc rationalisations.
> Perhaps you're seeing something I'm not....
The Wikipedia article on "cognitive dissonance" is an unclear muddle, in the
grand tradition of Wikipedia articles, but this snippet is not too bad:
The more well-known form of dissonance, however, is post-decisional
dissonance. Many studies have shown that people with compulsive
disorders like gambling will subjectively reinforce decisions or
commitments they have already made. In one simple experiment,
experimenters found that bettors at a horse track believed bets were
more likely to succeed immediately after being placed. According to
the hypothesis, the possibility of being wrong is dissonance-arousing,
so people will change their perceptions to make their decisions seem
Post-decisional dissonance may be increased by the importance of the
issue, the length of time the subject takes to make or avoid the
decision, and the extent to which the decision could be reversed.
In dissonance theory, people are postulated to have actual, unfeigned
cognitive difficulty perceiving epiphenomena that clash with how they've
already started parsing the world.
> feel free to explain how you see this "new and
> different LG" operating in any way that does not make us all
Huh? I see nothing "new and different". The magazine would be entirely
unchanged; ditto the readership. The value the magazine would offer,
does offer, and has always offered is that of, well, being a magazine.
> I'm honestly boggled by this, despite your statement that it should be
I'm honestly boggled by your bizarre conviction that an accessible,
searchable mailing list archive would make an entire robust, well
established magazine, let alone a carefully crafted column within it,
become "redundant". This seems, at minimum, to reflect an extremely low
opinion on your part of what the magazine furnishes. You might want to
think on't some more.
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