Comment about Fravia's answer to Benzedrin (and others)
> On behalf of plenty of people who I know enjoy your site a great
deal, I have been chosen to speak for the group. FYI: we are a bunch
of CS majors at a University in the US (very unhelpful I know but not
really pertinent info - if you are really determined, "you will find
My purpose here is to provide, hopefully, some mental pabulum.
Ah, the old problem!
How d’you find information? That’s the first question. What d’you do
with the info you have found? That’s the second one.
See, Benzedrin, I'm not fed up with people like you, I’m fed up with
people that don’t want to give, because I’m fed up with people that
don’t want to LEARN. See, one of the things I have learned (and that I
wish all readers of my site will learn in due time) is that you should
always WORK on the info you find, and then you should give at least a
little part of this work as ‘feedback’, as stimulus to the development
of the material you did read. That’s the real spirit of the web of
> The time old problem with this, as I'm sure you have realized can be
summed up in the following adage: "Teaching your grandmother to suck
eggs" (not my favorite expression in any event but it will do...).
What on earth can we possibly offer you in this regard besides
gutwork? Would anybody in their right mind lecture to Knuth about
algorithms for example, and taking that unwelcome leap of faith, go on
to publish it? As for the web of old...good luck in finding/recreating
it: I really mean that. It is just that I see no renascence of it in
the near future. Don't get me wrong here. I cannot find fault with
this line of reasoning it is merely that I have little faith in its
occurrence (spero meliora...but it only goes so far :(
I have however become convinced that the release of such information
would result in far less damage and a possibility, however slim, of
recovery while not releasing information never accomplished anything
except social regression. You are faced with which dream you wish to
realize: an Orwellian dearth or a Huxleyan tedium. It is possible to
recover from latter much less painfully. Besides, all things take
time: nemo repente fuit turpissimus :)
Now, see you don’t need to be a ‘top elite insider’ to give a little.
Why do you say that you "have no chance in co-operating"? In fact
there are MANY helpful things you could do, if you wanted. Let’s
imagine you’r really interested in an advanced section of mine (this
one does not exist, it’s just an example), let's say... "advanced
section on code flow charting analysers" and flow analysing techniques.
> Yes, we could also flood you with a formidable amount of information
but nihil ad rem I'm afraid. On the other hand, if you might indicate
a few possibilities, or perhaps, what you don't want to see, seeing as
that is a narrower line of inquiry...
So you plod through my basic ‘flow analysing’ section and then read
understand: to access the advanced section you should contribute
somehow". Oh my! Restricted information! How awful! Fravia+, you
> satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parum :) I do see you're point but I
think perhaps you might be taking it a bit too far(?). Are you angry
at "us" for abusing your hospitality, as it were, or the fact that you
think you have failed us as a host/teacher? Most teachers are happy if
they only succeed in influencing a small percentage of their students.
Personally, on behalf of a great many people, I think you have
succeeded beyond expectations. Yes I am sure that very phrase has been
repeated to the point of banality (and perhaps, even the seemingly
perspicacious observation that it has become so has also joined the
ranks of quotidian drudgery) but it remains true.
Now, would it really be so difficult to gather a lot of information on
flowcharting, and, say, put together a small essay about the existing
But eventually, you will get tired of that eventually as well. You
line of reasoning looks to me like mumpsimus and not your usual
incontrovertible line of reasoning. Once again: is this a jeremiad
against your seeming failure? You have not failed. You merely have not
succeeded as much as you would have liked. No! It is not a trivial
distinction. Quite the contrary. You, just as you would expect us to,
have done what you could and contributed according to your ability. It
is a question of blame? Sorry, I cannot help you there. It looks to me
as if this whole business can be summed up in two words (and please
correct me if I am far off) : ignoratio elenchi (the logical fallacy
of arguing about the wrong point).
Or, say, prepare a small page of links to what you have already found
that is not listed in my basic section? Or, say, criticise the text
you found on my basic section on this and that points you don’t agree
with? Or, say, point out some interesting connections that have not
been seen yet?
> Do you think it a matter of indolence on our parts or rather respect
for your choices in the links? You have left a certain amount of links
up for a reason. You have left others out completely. I presumed, as
did others, that this was a logical choice. You deliberately did not
encourage people, through absence of the links, to go to those places.
Consider what would happen if we, having no name and seemingly no
proven worth, suggested links? We'd be ignored at best and denigrated
at worst. What would you have us do? Consider that matter of
reputation here. You can say what you want and people, whether or not
they actually care about what you say, believe it to be true. It all
comes down to credibility again. Who are we to go around making
suggestions? No, that is not hypocrital, in the context in which I
said it. Yes I am making a suggestion to you but it is within a line
in which I can plausibly make it. Perhaps I am, as the saying goes, a
eunuch in a harem ("he knows what he has to do but can't do it
himself). Would you dismiss something true merely because it is cliche
or in this case, told by somebody without reputation? Whether or not
you accept what I say, you will end up proving it :)
And so on, and so on... d’you get the picture? There are MANY forms of
contributing that require a little (a little!) work on your part and
are so easy to accomplice I could shriek... when I see how few
actually care to give something (something, just something!) back. I'm
not speaking of you, Benzedrin, (although I cannot remember you did
contribute until now :-) I'm speaking of those that instead of
contributing, instead of working just a little to show that they care
for what they are doing, that they have learned that the net is based
upon mutual help, instead of giving something, even small crumbs...
instead of that I keep finding a lotta
readers ready to defend their holy right to leech whatever they want,
even that what is meant only for real students... ah, those readers
don’t seem to know the ABC of information...
> Yes but in getting back at the people who leech (and they will
always be the majority) - a rather feeble attempt -, you would cut off
everybody who has managed to donate. The people who are truly capable,
and they are not even a plurality (a smaller minority you will not
find), do not need this forum as much as those in the middle. Once
again, it is a choice between the lesser of two evils. Yes what you
have here is not to your satisfaction but the alternative is
unthinkable. You may ask, after all of this, since when was this
incumbency to my fellow (would-be) cracker foisted upon me? You did
after all, volunteer. Absolutely and irrefutably true. Nobody made you
do what you did and that was part of why we came: you meant what you
said. Your probity was above question. I am not trying to attack your
right to do as you damn well please and change the scope of your page
but don't do it under the current pretext. Then anybody can rightfully
criticize you. Don't quit for the wrong reasons. If you really meant
what you said, please consider what I have written. If, having done
that, you still firmly believe that you shouldn't continue the way you
have, I will not only stop asking you to reconsider but I will defend
you every step of the way on your way out. I don't know how much that
means. It could be, as Trevanian describes the French in his book
Shibumi (on pg.271 I think...but I don't know seeing as I haven't read
it in about a year): "the amorous antics of the ant as he climbs up
the cows leg and he assures her that he will be gentle..." :) Once
again, it is a matter of reputation :(
Should I open my advanced site-busting pages to all teenagers that
just want to brag around?
Very cogent point. That is undeniably a problem. That is a matter of
re-structuring, but not I think, removal of material. Actually, the
idea of requiring people to demonstrate competence is a excellent one.
If they want more, they must show that they not only know the material
but that they have a certain level of maturity with it. How you might
do that is entirely your decision (perhaps you might ask your
readers?:). It is a time honored method after all...
D’you really want the spammers to know how to defeat every
> Now that is actually quite scary. But there is really nothing you
can do about competent people working for the wrong side. While it is
noble to try to inculcate people with a sense of ethics, it is quite
implausible. Some more famous words: "Given the ideal conditions of
temperature, pressure, and the perfect stability of all other outside
forces, the electron will do exactly as it damn well pleases...". It
is the same old story: it is a matter of which situation is worse, not
exactly which one is actually any good. Preventing people from
learning at all is, in my opinion a much worse eventuality than not.
Should any idiot be capable of nuking his neighbour’s email address
just because he does not like the way he looks/smells/speaks? We are
speaking of (in part) real information here, and real information is
powerful (yeah, I know this sounds stupid, yet it is damn true :-(
Therefore real information deserves your own work, your attempt in
developing yourself... c'mon, at least a little. Besides myy site is
already quite dangerous as it is, as anyone can see and many
testify... and I think I’ll soon shut down most of it anyway.
As long as you do it in good conscience..."yeah, I know this sounds
stupid, yet it is damn true :-("...
See, readers, the ABC of information is that information is NOT free.
It must be found, it must be reversed, it must be passed to others...
all this requires work and understanding. Either you are capable to
work and give, either you understand the VALUE of the (free)
information you can gather on this site (and some other sites, I'm
-thanks godzilla- not the only one), or you do not, and you just want
to exploit pre-chewed info that others
> It is a matter of thermodynamics here (as a metaphor of course...).
People will do what is easier for them. Simple as that. You will
doubtless fail great deal of the time to convince anybody to sit down
and work. Yet somebody will end up surprising you every single time,
without exception. Yes, it might be the same person each and every
time. Consider the percentages of failures you are getting and then
make an educated judgement.
have gathered without your contribution and without
If that is the case (and I hope not), then, only for those readers...
> a most expetible desire...but I have little faith in it :(
anyway, best of luck and above all, thank you for your time and patience
p.s. I am not actually much good with Latin, as you have proably
already realized. I am merely trying out what little I know on
somebody who might (possibly) correct me...
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence commeth evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him god?
"I dislike arguments of any kind. They are vulgar and often convincing"
- Oscar Wilde