Re: Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

Discussion in 'Python' started by Peter Hansen, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Peter Hansen

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Terry Reedy wrote:
    >
    > (I think it safe to say that during the 20th century, 99% of the 100s of
    > millions of murders were committed by armed govern-men rather than by
    > private persons acting alone.)


    It may be safe to say it, but is it true, or merely hyperbole?

    Were there "100s of millions of murders" in the 20th century, assuming
    commonplace definitions of "murder" (killing humans), "million"
    (10 to the 6th power), and "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?

    That's a lot of people getting themselves killed, whatever the cause...

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Aug 27, 2003
    #1
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  2. Re: Celebrity advice

    Peter Hansen wrote:
    > Terry Reedy wrote:
    >
    >>(I think it safe to say that during the 20th century, 99% of the 100s of
    >>millions of murders were committed by armed govern-men rather than by
    >>private persons acting alone.)

    >
    > It may be safe to say it, but is it true, or merely hyperbole?
    >
    > Were there "100s of millions of murders" in the 20th century, assuming
    > commonplace definitions of "murder" (killing humans), "million"
    > (10 to the 6th power), and "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    > January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?
    >
    > That's a lot of people getting themselves killed, whatever the cause...


    Here's a page with exactly this topic:
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm

    I seem to remember that during World War II alone 50 million people died
    because of the war. Not necessarily with weapons, because for example
    the Germans invented more efficient ways of mass murder :-( And that
    number probably includes indirect deaths caused by famine, etc.

    -- Gerhard
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Gerhard_H=E4ring?=, Aug 27, 2003
    #2
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  3. Re: Celebrity advice

    |Terry Reedy wrote:
    |> (I think it safe to say that during the 20th century, 99% of the 100s of
    |> millions of murders were committed by armed govern-men rather than by
    |> private persons acting alone.)

    Peter Hansen <> wrote previously:
    |It may be safe to say it, but is it true, or merely hyperbole?
    |Were there "100s of millions of murders" in the 20th century

    The 99% seems like an overstatement. But the 100s of millions does not.
    "State sponsored" murder was awfully prevalent in the 20th C (and
    before, and since).

    A good resource is:

    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstats.htm

    It's unlikely that a single one of those listed occurrences would have
    been substantially different because of local ESR-style gun-nuts in the
    various places. In fact, in many or most of the places, the murdered
    populations -were- armed in the way ESR advocates.

    ESR's "arguments" boil down to: (1) Wow, isn't it fun hearing guns make
    a loud bang; (2) Oh yeah, be careful not to point them at people by
    accident; (3) This bunch of invented history kinda-sorta supports my
    nutsiness, if you squint and don't think about it too hard; (4) Did I
    mention that I like to hear loud bangs?

    Yours, Lulu...

    --
    mertz@ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/ THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:_/_/_/_/ v i
    gnosis _/_/ Postmodern Enterprises _/_/ s r
    ..cx _/_/ MAKERS OF CHAOS.... _/_/ i u
    _/_/_/_/_/ LOOK FOR IT IN A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU_/_/_/_/_/ g s
    Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters, Aug 27, 2003
    #3
  4. Peter Hansen

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Peter Hansen
    > Were there "100s of millions of murders" in the 20th century, assuming
    > commonplace definitions of "murder" (killing humans), "million"
    > (10 to the 6th power), and "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    > January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?
    >
    > That's a lot of people getting themselves killed, whatever the cause...


    I think Terry means deaths related to war, genocide, and various
    internal purges. Here's one source
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/atrox.htm
    which totals 155 million.

    Not all were deaths from arms. Bombs, knives, disease, famine all
    played a role. I read one account of the Armenian massacre which said
    that people were just forced over a cliff. (Though the people doing the
    forcing were armed.) Figure, what, 1/2 of the people died directly as
    a consequence of an "armed govern-man"? gives 77 million.

    US homicide rates are 9.2 +/- 1.0 per 100,000 claims
    http://www.sumeria.net/politics/homrate1.html

    Given a population of 4 billion (roughly, over the century) and assuming
    the US rate is average for the world, that's

    >>> 4000000000 / 100000. * 9.2

    368000.0
    >>>


    or roughly 0.5% of the deaths attributed to murders in the cause of
    war. Roughly in line with Terry's claims.

    Only we don't normally call those murder. "killing humans"
    because you want to do it is usually considered bad. "killing humans"
    because enough other people also want them dead is usually
    considered okay.

    Andrew
    Andrew Dalke, Aug 27, 2003
    #4
  5. Peter Hansen

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Andrew Dalke wrote:
    >
    > Peter Hansen
    > > Were there "100s of millions of murders" in the 20th century, assuming
    > > commonplace definitions of "murder" (killing humans), "million"
    > > (10 to the 6th power), and "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    > > January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?
    > >
    > > That's a lot of people getting themselves killed, whatever the cause...

    >
    > I think Terry means deaths related to war, genocide, and various
    > internal purges. Here's one source
    > http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/atrox.htm
    > which totals 155 million.
    >
    > Not all were deaths from arms. Bombs, knives, disease, famine all
    > played a role.


    I figured it was that. I wasn't questioning the type of killing that
    should be called "murder", but the "100s of millions" thing, which evokes
    an image of something like a billion people (a mere 10 "100s of millions").

    155 million total, while perhaps mind-numbingly high still, is not
    really in the "100s of millions" according to the usual interpretation
    of such a phrase.

    Just wondering... thanks for the links, everyone.

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Aug 27, 2003
    #5
  6. Peter Hansen

    Terry Reedy Guest

    "Peter Hansen" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Terry Reedy wrote:
    > >
    > > (I think it safe to say that during the 20th century, 99% of the

    100s of
    > > millions of murders were committed by armed govern-men rather than

    by
    > > private persons acting alone.)

    >
    > It may be safe to say it, but is it true, or merely hyperbole?


    Perhaps both: revise 100s to 200 million, which is close to what I
    meant (200-300 mill).
    http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
    (thanks all for the link with the list I had in mind)
    tabulates +/ 150 million as "maybe ¾ of all deaths by atrocity in the
    20th Century".

    I am, of course, labelling insufficiently provoked mass-killing,
    direct and indirect, by gangs called armies, militias, security
    forces, or whatever as murder, regardless of the 'legal' decrees and
    excuses made by the directors of such gangs. (I am also aware that
    some would not make such a labelling, and that there are 'degrees' of
    provocation, but both topics are beyond the scope of this
    explanation.)

    > That's a lot of people getting themselves killed, whatever the

    cause...

    and whatever the even approximately exact number.

    Terry J. Reedy
    Terry Reedy, Aug 27, 2003
    #6
  7. Peter Hansen

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Me:
    > Given a population of 4 billion (roughly, over the century) and assuming
    > the US rate is average for the world, that's
    >
    > >>> 4000000000 / 100000. * 9.2

    > 368000.0
    > >>>

    >
    > or roughly 0.5% of the deaths attributed to murders in the cause of
    > war. Roughly in line with Terry's claims.


    Oops! That's *per* *year*. Multiply by 100 to get the number
    of homicides in a century == 37 million.

    Andrew
    Andrew Dalke, Aug 27, 2003
    #7
  8. Peter Hansen

    Andrew Dalke Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice

    Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters:
    > Of course, in reality, the homicide rate is much lower outside of the
    > USA, so the base rate isn't good for extrapolation.


    I thought of that when I looked up that number. But the
    comparison stats I know of are for Europe. I remember in 'Guns,
    Germs, and Steel', in the foreword the author points out that
    the homicide rate in New Guinea was quite high, pointing out
    he knew a woman whose first husband was killed by the man
    who became her second husband. He goes on to state that
    when two people first met, one of the things they did was to
    figure out how they were related, because if they weren't
    then the odds of murder was higher. (Can't find my borrowed
    copy of the book, so regard the above as a rough summary.)

    And I didn't want to do the legwork to find more precise
    numbers.

    Andrew
    Andrew Dalke, Aug 27, 2003
    #8
  9. Peter Hansen

    Asun Friere Guest

    Peter Hansen <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    > January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?
    >

    Actually the 20th Century began on January 1 1901. When it ended is a
    matter of endless debate, but a debate which is WAY more fun than the
    gun debate! :p
    Asun Friere, Aug 28, 2003
    #9
  10. Peter Hansen

    Peter Hansen Guest

    Asun Friere wrote:
    >
    > Peter Hansen <> wrote in message news:<>...
    > > "20th century" (period beginning roughly
    > > January 1, 1900 and ending on or one year before December 31, 2000)?
    > >

    > Actually the 20th Century began on January 1 1901. When it ended is a
    > matter of endless debate, but a debate which is WAY more fun than the
    > gun debate! :p


    I knew you were out there, which is why I said "roughly". ;-)

    -Peter
    Peter Hansen, Aug 28, 2003
    #10
  11. Re: Celebrity advice

    On 28 Aug 2003 04:17:56 -0700,
    Paul Boddie <> wrote:
    > P.S. And the reason why many people find ESR to be offensive or just
    > plain inappropriate is that one gets the feeling that he wants you to
    > buy into his whole agenda, whether or not that involves running around
    > with a firearm in the woods dressed as Obi-Wan or Yoda.


    For me the big problem with the recent statement is that it doesn't look
    very professional, coming from the president of a group. It should have
    been written more formally and without the invective, and having Star Wars
    references simply scream "loser in a basement".

    It's really a pity that open source has no really effective spokesperson at
    this time.

    * RMS is unbending in his convictions whether large (such as the value
    of free software) or small (the whole GNU/Linux naming thing).
    I admire his resolution, but it hampers his effectiveness
    as a speaker to mainstream media and businesses.

    * ESR started out pretty well: "CatB", whatever its flaws might be,
    is a useful set of observations. Some bits of them might have
    been anticipated by others, but he was the first to assemble them all
    together and there are new ideas in there. (I found the idea of
    project spaces to be new and illuminating.)

    But... none of the followup essays were as notable, and he hasn't
    developed anything very impressive (fetchmail is useful, but not
    tremendously impressive). Worst, now he seems to be rewriting the
    world to match his views. NTK is reliably snarky about it, but also
    dead-on: see the second item in "Hard News" at
    http://www.ntk.net/2003/06/06/.

    * Linus does a pretty good job as a public speaker, and he doesn't have
    any of RMS's or ESR's baggage, but he's also not very interested
    in the job. (The same goes for Guido.)

    The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical background
    of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet writes and presents in a
    style that doesn't attract attention and doesn't let irrelevancies intrude.
    Compare his commentary on SCO (http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html)
    with ESR's counterblast. (To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is also
    pretty good; the OSI letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)

    Here's hoping Perens' group, Global Technology Policy Institute, becomes a
    success.

    --amk
    A.M. Kuchling, Aug 28, 2003
    #11
  12. Peter Hansen

    Damien Wyart Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice

    * "A.M. Kuchling" <> in comp.lang.python:
    > * ESR started out pretty well: "CatB", whatever its flaws might
    > be, is a useful set of observations. [...] But... none of the
    > followup essays were as notable, and he hasn't developed anything
    > very impressive (fetchmail is useful, but not tremendously
    > impressive).


    What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several important
    people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think. And
    there is a section about Python... :)

    * http://catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/

    --
    Damien Wyart
    Damien Wyart, Aug 28, 2003
    #12
  13. Peter Hansen

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice

    "A.M. Kuchling" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On 28 Aug 2003 04:17:56 -0700,


    > It's really a pity that open source has no really effective

    spokesperson at
    > this time.


    > * Linus does a pretty good job as a public speaker, and he

    doesn't have
    > any of RMS's or ESR's baggage, but he's also not very

    interested
    > in the job. (The same goes for Guido.)


    He may get drawn into it more anyway. Nothing like being kicked in
    the pants to stir up a little adrenalin. Here is his take on SCO's
    dog show:
    http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,3959,1227128,00.asp
    (much shorter than the Perens analysis). Key line: "They are smoking
    crack".

    > The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical

    background
    > of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet writes and

    presents in a
    > style that doesn't attract attention and doesn't let irrelevancies

    intrude.
    > Compare his commentary on SCO

    (http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html)
    > with ESR's counterblast. (To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is

    also
    > pretty good; the OSI letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)


    Revolutionary movements need both firebrands and sober analysts.

    The SCO suit will prompt me to keep better 'audit trails' than I might
    of overwise.

    Prediction: If Torvalds and Perens are correct in what they said and
    the courts (including the 'court of public opinion') agree, Linux and
    the Open Source Movement will emerge stronger for the SCO challenge.

    Terry J. Reedy
    Terry Reedy, Aug 28, 2003
    #13
  14. Re: Celebrity advice

    "A.M. Kuchling" <> wrote previously:
    |* RMS is unbending in his convictions...
    |* ESR started out pretty well[*]: "CatB", whatever its flaws might be...
    |* Linus ...not very interested in the job.
    |The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO...

    Bruce is great! (And Andrew is right on in his characterizations).

    But somehow my money is on the law professors, e.g. Eben Moglen,
    Lawrence Lessig, etc. They are not nearly so active, nor so "leaderly."
    But I think the real battles are (must be) in courtrooms and
    legislatures, not (anymore) on developers' mailing lists. It only does
    limited good to have "working code" if the cops will knock down your
    doors because that code violates the IP regime that Hollywood and MS
    bought from congress (and from WIPO).

    Yours, Lulu...

    [*] Btw., I had not even know just how crazy ESR had gotten lately. Not
    a shred of independence or thought seems to remain. He reads straight
    off of Faux News or the RNC, e.g.:
    http://armedndangerous.blogspot.com/2002_10_13_armedndangerous_archive.html

    --
    mertz@ _/_/_/_/_/_/_/ THIS MESSAGE WAS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:_/_/_/_/ v i
    gnosis _/_/ Postmodern Enterprises _/_/ s r
    ..cx _/_/ MAKERS OF CHAOS.... _/_/ i u
    _/_/_/_/_/ LOOK FOR IT IN A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU_/_/_/_/_/ g s
    Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters, Aug 28, 2003
    #14
  15. Re: Celebrity advice

    On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 17:03:14 +0200,
    Damien Wyart <> wrote:
    > What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several important
    > people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think. And


    I read a few of the early chapters a long time ago and quite liked it,
    though there were occasional flashes of smugness and "we invented the
    Internet" grandiosity. At some point I'll get around to reading the whole
    thing.

    --amk
    A.M. Kuchling, Aug 30, 2003
    #15
  16. Peter Hansen

    Terry Reedy Guest

    Re: Celebrity advice

    "A.M. Kuchling" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 28 Aug 2003 17:03:14 +0200,
    > Damien Wyart <> wrote:
    > > What about his forthcoming "taoup"* ? Proofreading by several

    important
    > > people from the Unix world should make it quite solid, I think.

    And
    >
    > I read a few of the early chapters a long time ago and quite liked

    it,
    > though there were occasional flashes of smugness and "we invented

    the
    > Internet" grandiosity. At some point I'll get around to reading the

    whole
    > thing.


    He switches from Part 1 Context (Philosophy, History, Other OSes) to
    Part 2 Design at chapter 4. One could easily skip some of 1 and
    perhaps all of 2 and 3. I am up to 11 of 20 and have learned quite a
    bit. And the price is right for the online copy
    http://catb.org/~esr/writings/taoup/html/index.html

    Terry
    Terry Reedy, Aug 30, 2003
    #16
  17. Peter Hansen

    Aahz Guest

    Open Source leader? (was Re: Celebrity advice)

    In article <>,
    A.M. Kuchling <> wrote:
    >
    >The best candidate is Bruce Perens, IMHO. He has the technical
    >background of working on a non-trivial project (Debian), yet
    >writes and presents in a style that doesn't attract attention and
    >doesn't let irrelevancies intrude. Compare his commentary on SCO
    >(http://www.perens.com/SCO/SCOSlideShow.html) with ESR's counterblast.
    >(To be fair, ESR's analysis of the code is also pretty good; the OSI
    >letter is where it becomes unacceptable.)


    OTOH, Perens is also (like me ;-) a self-described asshole. When I saw
    him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
    that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
    community. Linus and Guido are obvious counter-examples in some
    respects, but as you point out, they're not really interested in a
    spokesmodel position.
    --
    Aahz () <*> http://www.pythoncraft.com/

    This is Python. We don't care much about theory, except where it intersects
    with useful practice. --Aahz
    Aahz, Aug 30, 2003
    #17
  18. Peter Hansen

    John J. Lee Guest

    Re: Open Source leader? (was Re: Celebrity advice)

    (Aahz) writes:

    > In article <>,

    [...]
    > OTOH, Perens is also (like me ;-) a self-described asshole. When I saw
    > him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
    > that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
    > community.

    [...]

    Why?


    John
    John J. Lee, Sep 2, 2003
    #18
  19. Re: Open Source leader? (was Re: Celebrity advice)

    Quoting John J. Lee ():
    > (Aahz) writes:
    >
    > > In article <>,

    > [...]
    > > OTOH, Perens is also (like me ;-) a self-described asshole. When I saw
    > > him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
    > > that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
    > > community.

    > [...]
    >
    > Why?


    I think the sentiment is just a variant on the "politicians always
    lie" theme. Open source is socio-political, and so it's the
    charismatics that succeed. "Asshole" is one manifestation of a strong
    personality.

    --G.

    --
    Geoff Gerrietts <geoff at gerrietts dot net> http://www.gerrietts.net/
    "Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the
    systematic organization of hatreds." --Henry Adams
    Geoff Gerrietts, Sep 2, 2003
    #19
  20. Peter Hansen

    Cliff Wells Guest

    Re: Open Source leader? (was Re: Celebrity advice)

    On Tue, 2003-09-02 at 15:09, John J. Lee wrote:
    > (Aahz) writes:
    >
    > > In article <>,

    > [...]
    > > OTOH, Perens is also (like me ;-) a self-described asshole. When I saw
    > > him at the Waterside Conference earlier this year, he basically claimed
    > > that only assholes could make significant progress in the Open Source
    > > community.

    > [...]
    >
    > Why?



    I think it's a less eloquent version of the George Bernard Shaw quote:

    "A reasonably thinking man expects to adapt to nature. An unreasonably
    thinking man expects nature to adapt to him. Thus, all progress is made
    by unreasonable men."

    Substitute "asshole" for "unreasonable" and the sentiment is similar.


    Regards,

    --
    Cliff Wells, Software Engineer
    Logiplex Corporation (www.logiplex.net)
    (503) 978-6726 (800) 735-0555
    Cliff Wells, Sep 2, 2003
    #20
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