Infrequently asked questions

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by jacob navia, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. jacob navia

    jacob navia Guest

    In his web pages, D. E. Knuth wrote this:
    (http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/iaq.html)

    Infrequently Asked Questions

    1. Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?
    2. Why should my country not support an international court of justice?
    3. Is my country not strong enough to achieve its aims fairly?
    4. When the leaders of a country cause it to do terrible things,
    what is the best way to restore the honor of that country?
    5. Is it possible for potential new leaders to raise questions about
    their country's possible guilt, without committing political suicide?
    6. Do I deserve retribution from aggrieved people whose lives have
    been ruined by actions that my leaders have taken without my consent?
    7. How can I best help set in motion a process by which reparations
    are made to people who have been harmed by unjust deeds of my country?
    8. If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable
    questions like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of
    making things worse?
    jacob navia, Oct 15, 2008
    #1
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  2. jacob navia

    Ian Collins Guest

    jacob navia wrote:

    {political stuff]

    Why post that here?

    --
    Ian Collins
    Ian Collins, Oct 15, 2008
    #2
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  3. jacob navia

    jacob navia Guest

    Ian Collins wrote:
    > jacob navia wrote:
    >
    > {political stuff]
    >
    > Why post that here?
    >


    Why?

    See question 8:

    If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    things worse?

    Knuth is a computer scientist, that until now never openly
    took a political position.

    I think that this change is significant, and represents a change
    in somebody everybody knows here. We discussed here his books,
    and I think it isn't without interest to quote him on this.

    --
    jacob navia
    jacob at jacob point remcomp point fr
    logiciels/informatique
    http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lcc-win32
    jacob navia, Oct 15, 2008
    #3
  4. jacob navia

    Ian Collins Guest

    jacob navia wrote:
    > Ian Collins wrote:
    >> jacob navia wrote:
    >>
    >> {political stuff]
    >>
    >> Why post that here?
    >>

    >
    > Why?
    >
    > See question 8:
    >
    > If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    > like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    > things worse?
    >

    This is an international forum. Most of the questions are irrelevant
    for those of us living in small, peaceful democratic nations who have
    never invaded anyone.

    --
    Ian Collins
    Ian Collins, Oct 15, 2008
    #4
  5. On 15 Oct 2008 at 22:46, jacob navia wrote:
    > In his web pages, D. E. Knuth wrote this:
    >
    > 1. Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?

    [etc.]

    I'm really not sure what the point of this is.

    There's no reasoned argument in this list, just a pile of emotive mush.
    Lots of people will already agree with his sentiments, some people will
    disagree with them. It's hard to imagine anyone's opinion being changed
    by it, since there's no logical argument being put forward to convince
    them.

    Everyone has the right to political expression, even famous computer
    scientists. You just wonder why he'd bother putting something so trite
    on his website.
    Antoninus Twink, Oct 16, 2008
    #5
  6. jacob navia

    jacob navia Guest

    Antoninus Twink wrote:
    > On 15 Oct 2008 at 22:46, jacob navia wrote:
    >> In his web pages, D. E. Knuth wrote this:
    >>
    >> 1. Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?

    > [etc.]
    >
    > I'm really not sure what the point of this is.
    >
    > There's no reasoned argument in this list, just a pile of emotive mush.
    > Lots of people will already agree with his sentiments, some people will
    > disagree with them. It's hard to imagine anyone's opinion being changed
    > by it, since there's no logical argument being put forward to convince
    > them.
    >
    > Everyone has the right to political expression, even famous computer
    > scientists. You just wonder why he'd bother putting something so trite
    > on his website.
    >


    Knuth is a computer scientist, not a good political analyst/historian.

    His views are solely based on moral grounds. Note question 1,

    Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?

    He doesn't analyze the war, pinpoints the people that are
    making a profit from this act, nor he names any administration.

    But he does ask the right question, the question of the right of
    a big country to invade a small one. The question of the silence
    of everyone concerning the daily killing going on in that country.

    I know this is off topic, but it is precisely that the tragedy.
    It is nowhere on topic. Everyone goes on making AS IF nothing
    serious would happen.

    I find the position of Knuth correct, correct in the moral sense,
    and I was surprised when I saw that, I just did not expect it.

    And then I reflected that it would be nice to remember that
    silence is surely not a good reaction to this kind of
    atrocity.


    --
    jacob navia
    jacob at jacob point remcomp point fr
    logiciels/informatique
    http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lcc-win32
    jacob navia, Oct 16, 2008
    #6
  7. jacob navia

    Flash Gordon Guest

    jacob navia wrote, On 15/10/08 23:54:
    > Ian Collins wrote:
    >> jacob navia wrote:
    >>
    >> {political stuff]
    >>
    >> Why post that here?

    >
    > Why?
    >
    > See question 8:
    >
    > If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    > like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    > things worse?


    I discus politics, just not here.

    > Knuth is a computer scientist, that until now never openly
    > took a political position.


    So?

    > I think that this change is significant, and represents a change
    > in somebody everybody knows here. We discussed here his books,
    > and I think it isn't without interest to quote him on this.


    It may well be interesting somewhere that politics is topical. He might
    have written interesting books on Coral 66 as well, and those would be
    about computing, but they also would not be topical here.

    There are plenty of places where politics are either topical or
    acceptable, and at least some of them have people who are interested in
    computing and even programming in C as well.
    --
    Flash Gordon
    If spamming me sent it to
    If emailing me use my reply-to address
    See the comp.lang.c Wiki hosted by me at http://clc-wiki.net/
    Flash Gordon, Oct 16, 2008
    #7
  8. jacob navia <> writes:
    > In his web pages, D. E. Knuth wrote this:
    > (http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~knuth/iaq.html)
    >
    > Infrequently Asked Questions
    >
    > 1. Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?

    [...]
    > 8. If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable
    > questions like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of
    > making things worse?


    9. Why do newsgroups other than comp.lang.c exist?

    There is no shortage of people discussing these issues, myself
    included. Most of us, unlike you, have the common sense not to
    discuss them *here*.

    On a partially related issue, it's ironic that you post using a
    "nospam.com" e-mail address. First, though your most recent message
    is not actually spam (unless you've posted it to multiple newsgroups),
    it's certainly inappropriate and unsolicited. Second, nospam.com is
    an actual domain; it's likely that you're cauing their incoming mail
    servers to receive some of the spam that was intended for you. If you
    want to avoid spam by using an invalid address, try "nospam.invalid".

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    Nokia
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
    Keith Thompson, Oct 16, 2008
    #8
  9. jacob navia <> wrote:
    > Ian Collins wrote:
    > > jacob navia wrote:
    > > > {political stuff]

    > > Why post that here?

    >
    > Why?


    Yes why? Have you also spammed comp.compilers.lcc?
    [checks] I see you haven't. Now I wonder why that is...

    --
    Peter
    Peter Nilsson, Oct 16, 2008
    #9
  10. jacob navia

    Richard Guest

    Flash Gordon <> writes:

    > jacob navia wrote, On 15/10/08 23:54:
    >> Ian Collins wrote:
    >>> jacob navia wrote:
    >>>
    >>> {political stuff]
    >>>
    >>> Why post that here?

    >>
    >> Why?
    >>
    >> See question 8:
    >>
    >> If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    >> like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    >> things worse?

    >
    > I discus politics, just not here.


    Good for you. Jacob wishes to in one thread with people he discusses
    things with every day. Maybe he wants ISO C programmers views. Well,
    there's the place to get them.

    >
    >> Knuth is a computer scientist, that until now never openly
    >> took a political position.

    >
    > So?
    >
    >> I think that this change is significant, and represents a change
    >> in somebody everybody knows here. We discussed here his books,
    >> and I think it isn't without interest to quote him on this.

    >
    > It may well be interesting somewhere that politics is topical. He might
    > have written interesting books on Coral 66 as well, and those would be
    > about computing, but they also would not be topical here.
    >
    > There are plenty of places where politics are either topical or
    > acceptable, and at least some of them have people who are interested in
    > computing and even programming in C as well.


    Time to kill thread 0.1 seconds. Time for you to construct your nagging
    reply about 2 minutes.
    Richard, Oct 16, 2008
    #10
  11. jacob navia

    Guest

    On Oct 15, 6:50 pm, Ian Collins <> wrote:
    > jacob navia wrote:
    >
    > {political stuff]
    >
    > Why post that here?
    >
    > --
    > Ian Collins


    I believe it is almost a "tradition" for nerds to promote political
    views via strictly technical channels. I just recently browsed
    http://www.linuxhq.org/ and received this:

    Nathan.
    , Oct 16, 2008
    #11
  12. jacob navia

    Ian Collins Guest

    Richard Heathfield wrote:
    > Ian Collins said:
    >
    >> jacob navia wrote:
    >>> Ian Collins wrote:
    >>>> jacob navia wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>> {political stuff]
    >>>>
    >>>> Why post that here?
    >>>>
    >>> Why?
    >>>
    >>> See question 8:
    >>>
    >>> If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    >>> like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    >>> things worse?
    >>>

    >> This is an international forum. Most of the questions are irrelevant
    >> for those of us living in small, peaceful democratic nations who have
    >> never invaded anyone.

    >
    > I'm struggling to think of a single example of a small, peaceful democratic
    > nation that never invaded anyone.


    Try New Zealand.

    --
    Ian Collins
    Ian Collins, Oct 16, 2008
    #12
  13. jacob navia

    Guest

    On Oct 16, 1:30 am, Richard Heathfield <> wrote:
    >
    > > I just recently browsed
    > >http://www.linuxhq.org/and received this:

    >
    > >
    , Oct 16, 2008
    #13
  14. jacob navia

    Guest

    On Oct 16, 1:30 am, Richard Heathfield <> wrote:
    >
    > > I just recently browsed
    > >http://www.linuxhq.org/ and received this:

    >
    > >
    , Oct 16, 2008
    #14
  15. On 16 Oct, 06:22, Richard Heathfield <> wrote:
    > Ian Collins said:
    > > jacob navia wrote:
    > >> Ian Collins wrote:
    > >>> jacob navia wrote:

    >
    > >>> {political stuff]

    >
    > >>> Why post that here?

    >
    > >> Why?

    >
    > >> See question 8:

    >
    > >> If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    > >> like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    > >> things worse?

    >
    > > This is an international forum.  Most of the questions are irrelevant
    > > for those of us living in small, peaceful democratic nations who have
    > > never invaded anyone.

    >
    > I'm struggling to think of a single example of a small, peaceful democratic
    > nation that never invaded anyone. Nevertheless, the OP's question - though
    > important - is off-topic. It is a question that SHOULD be discussed, but
    > that does not mean it should be discussed HERE. The distinction is an
    > important one.


    Island. They don't have any armed forces to invade with.

    > Incidentally, when I read the subject line, I assumed the article was going
    > to be about Peter Seebach's IAQs. They, at least, would have been vaguely
    > topical.


    http://www.seebs.net/faqs/c-iaq.html

    --
    Nick Keighley

    Is C an acronym?
    Yes, it stands for ``C''. It's another of those funky recursive
    acronyms.
    -- The C IAQ
    Nick Keighley, Oct 16, 2008
    #15
  16. On 16 Oct, 00:33, Flash Gordon <> wrote:

    > [Knuth] might have written interesting books on Coral 66 as well,


    I find it vanishingly unlikely that *anyone* could
    write an interesting book on Coral 66. I suppose BITS
    and TABLE were pretty cool. Oh, and UNION and DIFFER and MASK.
    And CODE BEGIN!

    stop it.

    --
    Nick Keighley
    Nick Keighley, Oct 16, 2008
    #16
  17. On 15 Oct 2008 at 23:31, jacob navia wrote:
    > Antoninus Twink wrote:
    >> I'm really not sure what the point of this is.
    >>

    > Knuth is a computer scientist, not a good political analyst/historian.
    >
    > His views are solely based on moral grounds. Note question 1,
    >
    > Why does my country have the right to be occupying Iraq?
    >
    > He doesn't analyze the war, pinpoints the people that are
    > making a profit from this act, nor he names any administration.
    >
    > But he does ask the right question, the question of the right of
    > a big country to invade a small one. The question of the silence
    > of everyone concerning the daily killing going on in that country.


    OK, but I don't see how just asking the question is significant - it's
    not like people won't already have thought about it.

    I imagine there'll be two sorts of people:

    Some will say "Hell yeah, the war was illegal and immoral and we have no
    right to be occupying Iraq".

    Others will say "Iraq was a hostile nation that supported terrorism and
    we believed before going to war that they were developing WMD. That
    gave us every right to act in pre-emptive self defense".

    Now the question alone achieves nothing, because opponents of Knuth's
    position already think they know the answer.

    Instead, it would be more productive for him to provide *evidence* and
    *careful argument* to refute the specific beliefs that the second group
    rely on to answer his question.

    > I find the position of Knuth correct, correct in the moral sense,
    > and I was surprised when I saw that, I just did not expect it.


    Really? I don't find it surprising at all - a huge proportion of
    academics hold almost identical political and socio-economic opinions,
    and academia is one the least diverse political arenas there is. Is it
    surprising that Knuth is part of that wide majority consensus?
    Antoninus Twink, Oct 16, 2008
    #17
  18. On 16 Oct 2008 at 5:30, Richard Heathfield wrote:
    > said:
    >> McCain is a moron.

    >
    > This isn't overly informative. Who is McCain? (I know some people will
    > think I'm being disingenuous, but I'm not - as far as I'm aware,
    > McCain is a brand of oven chip.)


    I don't think you're being disingenuous. I think you're LYING, plain and
    simple.

    You seem to enjoy parading your anti-Americanism in this group - or
    "anti-USAnianism" as you'd probably describe it using your favorite word
    that just happens to be deliberately provocative and insulting.
    Antoninus Twink, Oct 16, 2008
    #18
  19. jacob navia

    Ian Collins Guest

    Nick Keighley wrote:
    > On 16 Oct, 06:22, Richard Heathfield <> wrote:
    >> Ian Collins said:
    >>> jacob navia wrote:
    >>>> Ian Collins wrote:
    >>>>> jacob navia wrote:
    >>>>> {political stuff]
    >>>>> Why post that here?
    >>>> Why?
    >>>> See question 8:
    >>>> If day after day goes by with nobody discussing uncomfortable questions
    >>>> like these, won't the good people of my country be guilty of making
    >>>> things worse?
    >>> This is an international forum. Most of the questions are irrelevant
    >>> for those of us living in small, peaceful democratic nations who have
    >>> never invaded anyone.

    >> I'm struggling to think of a single example of a small, peaceful democratic
    >> nation that never invaded anyone. Nevertheless, the OP's question - though
    >> important - is off-topic. It is a question that SHOULD be discussed, but
    >> that does not mean it should be discussed HERE. The distinction is an
    >> important one.

    >
    > Island. They don't have any armed forces to invade with.
    >

    Or banks to pay for them...

    --
    Ian Collins
    Ian Collins, Oct 16, 2008
    #19
  20. jacob navia

    Ian Collins Guest

    Antoninus Twink wrote:
    > On 16 Oct 2008 at 5:30, Richard Heathfield wrote:
    >> said:
    >>> McCain is a moron.

    >> This isn't overly informative. Who is McCain? (I know some people will
    >> think I'm being disingenuous, but I'm not - as far as I'm aware,
    >> McCain is a brand of oven chip.)

    >
    > I don't think you're being disingenuous. I think you're LYING, plain and
    > simple.
    >

    No, he isn't. McCain is a brand of oven chip.

    --
    Ian Collins
    Ian Collins, Oct 16, 2008
    #20
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