Replies to Seebach - attempting to post to clc moderated

S

spinoza1111

[Seebach here descends to 14 year old levels in the moderated group,
and I can't seem to send a reply. Paranoid? Who me? Anyway, I shall
start publishing my replies here]

Well, they make the slowest progress when you teach them. If you actually
teach them. If any of what you're saying is true.

You would do well to learn a discourse ethic (Kant and Habermas).

Why is it a rule on the Internet to always say this when a man reveals
he's a teacher? Could it be a normalization of an adolescent rage that
survives into adulthood that survives owing to its normalization?

Beyond ad hominem, this is not a valid argument. As a discourse ethic
it makes conversation impossible. But that's your goal, isn't it?
This is a non-sequitur. You have not offered a qualification to judge,
and if anything, you've offered a sort of non-qualification.


Nope. Java wouldn't do us any good here.


Uh, no. Simple fact.


I made no claims about "intellectual superiority".

I claimed a *reality* -- on real machines, with real compilers, believing
Schildt's crap would leave you unable to comprehend or debug a problem which
really occurred.

Your example was contrived. Schildt only gives the programmer a subset
of what she needs to know to debug an OS. But that's not what he set
out to do.

When you can make a CPU do more work in less time on less power, please
let us know.

When you stop producing wrong answers at high speed, be sure to write.
You keep asserting that this is "good practice", but I've just demonstrated
that it's genuinely harmful.

To mention stacks lest the students assume that this is all there is?
Bullshit. You're the Fundamentalist parent who takes his kid out of
sex education because he might get ideas.

You cannot explain how C works at runtime without stacks. Now, if you
wish to mystify this so that you and your butt buddies can imagine
themselves high priests, why don't you just admit it?
The student does not need to learn to think at either, but if you're going
to start thinking about how things "really work", it's crucial to think about
how actual machines work rather than about how Schildt thought some DOS box
worked.

At the time the "dos box" was in widest use. Your snobbery is unearned
since you haven't, in all probability, programmed on that side of the
fence.

Schildt wasn't trying to teach a class in computer architecture, and
even such classes focus on a smallish number of machines.

No, I am pointing out reality. Which you reject.


No, I'm not. I've merely said that people who make false claims are not
making true claims, and aren't going to get anywhere.

Learn how to craft an argument, not merely parrot your previous claim,
please.
Okay, so.

Basically, you have some kind of issue, totally unrelated to C, involving
health insurance and job security.

"Totally" unrelated? I don't think so. Everything is related to
everything else (that's why we have language: to relate). The problem
is that programmers don't want to think outside their jobs.
And in your mind this is all connected into one vast whole. But because
the connections occurred in a non-analytical part of your brain, you can't
tell anyone what they are, or show them to anyone, or offer any kind of
evidence for them.

Actually, that's what I've been doing all along. You're making absurd
mistakes in your vicious campaign against Schildt, starting with your
belief that the absence of a hardware stack implies the absence of a
stack. These mistakes betray, in a person engaged in computer science,
an ignorance of computer science, in which we learn the fungibility of
hardware versus software by way of Turing.

Having worked at Princeton with computer science majors, having had
them work for me, I can only conclude that we have to step outside of
computer science and into some pretty messy politics to discover what
a person like you is doing in the field, much less standardizing C or
destroying people's reputations.

Having started programming while you were shitting your diapers during
the scary parts of Scooby Doo, and having programmed in machine and
assembler language on stackless wonders including the IBM 1401, 360,
and 370, I learned at that time that if the stack had not existed it
would be necessary to invent it, and you, sir, have no business
telling Schildt his business.

If you're dead serious, you are schizophrenic. Not joking, not insulting,
just telling you what is fairly obvious to anyone with access to relevant
texts.

You emit "word salad" -- strings of words which aren't always even
grammatical.

You mistake me with Rosenau. And don't bother even trying to open up a
grammar flame, since while you only deserve rough drafts and Homeric
nods, I can write, period. You were incapable of organizing a coherent
Schildt attack and your document is a stream of consciousness for this
reason, the sort of infantile crap one sees on the Internet all the
time.

However, I am well aware of the irritating techie habit when
confronted with a complex thought, of yammering about "verbosity".
Trust me, you are no authority on the written word.
You experience huge and elaborate conspiracies which are

Today, to the uneducated, including technical barbarians with MSCSs
and PHDen, the most elementary political analysis is a "conspiracy
theory". The result was 8 years of George Bush. Happy?
so crystal clear to you that you can't even comprehend people not being
aware of them. Every literary reference, every cultural reference, every
experience, is somehow tied to all the others by relationships which don't
exist in normal brains.

If normal brains and normal hearts conduct vicious and childish
attacks on minor computer authors for shits and giggles, I'm glad to
be statistically an outlier.

The windiest militant trash
Important Persons shout
Is not so crude as our wish:
What mad Nijinsky wrote
About Diaghilev
Is true of the normal heart.

- WH Auden, Sep 1 1939

Even if true, so what? He described them incorrectly; even on x86, his
description of how things work is only true some of the time.


This is simply untrue.


Well, that's the thing.

People who didn't read Schildt know that there are different computer
architectures. People who are steeped in Schildt's madness frequently
come out of it convinced that he actually described "how computers work"
rather than giving a specific example of one common implementation, and
are thereby gravely disadvantaged when they come to other systems.

Absurd. Yes, "programmer training" minus a four year university degree
in computer science produces many programmers with only a dim grasp on
what happens at run time...although many of these individuals self-
educate on this. If you believe that programming as a job should
require a four year degree from a reputable school, fine. Lots of luck
persuading corporations to go along with this. It is the tendency in
India these days, and I'd support it as long as more decent allowance
was made for scholarships, loans and grants.

But Schildt wasn't claiming to teach "how computers work". When the
book was written, and to a large extent today, companies did not seek
people widely educated in comparative computer architecture to do
basic C programming: quite the opposite: within banks and insurance
companies with legacy C applications, an anti-intellectualism holds
that such people might be troublemakers.

He did have to explain semantics, and semantics is often explained by
using model or representative, simplified machines.

In short, yes, there is a real risk of creating a class of disadvantaged
programmers who can't compete effectively or adapt to new environments.
That risk is Schildt's books.

That would be the case if they were labeled "How to be an Ace
Programmer and Pull Down the Big Bucks", or "Computer Programmers Eat
Steak", or "Programming Iz Da Bomb". But no, they are labeled "The
Complete C Reference" and other boring titles which imply that they
are about C.

I agree that there is a "class divide" in computer books, which I
noticed when I first checked out the computer section in the basement
of the Kroch's bookstore which used to be on Wabash Ave in Chicago.
The computer science books, such as JAN Lee's Anatomy of a Compiler, A
Compiler Generator, and Knuth's first editions, had sober covers and
some math. Other books, such as a series by one Ivan Flores at
Columbia, a professor of statistics, had more sprightly covers and
were concerned with specific hardware and software systems.

Schildt's books have always been in the latter category. This
"literary genre" is concerned with imparting specific information
about real platforms, not computer science.

In a way, O'Reilly and my own publisher Apress sought to remedy the
deficiencies created by this sharp divide, by importing more hardened
compsci into practical topics, and this was a good idea. But the
traditional tradesman's book still exists from publishers like SAMS,
and none of them pretend to create computer scientists.

If anything, you should attack my book for like other Apress titles it
seeks to unify the artisan and scientist by showing how to write an
interpretive simple compiler. It is "Build Your Own .Net Language and
Compiler". It, more than artisan handbooks from McGraw Hill, tries to
teach a small amount of applied computer scientist and as such, it may
be your worst nightmare, even as rhetoric handbooks written in Plato's
time by the so-called Sophists gave that old bastard the willies. Of
course, if you do roast my book I shall be on your ass until Kingdom
Come, save where you discover genuine errors and aporias.

But in its genre, Schildt merely promised to get C programmers started
on common platforms, and made no claim to teach comparative computer
science. Get off his case.
I have been reading Usenet far too long to credit people with common
sense.

Self-hatred is not an argument.
But not about the things Schildt describes as "how the stack works".


Not just that. Schildt is teaching people falsehoods, which will make
it harder for them to learn what they need to know to do their jobs.

"Then, clearly, we ought as soon as possible to divide the image-
making art, and go down into the net, and, if the Sophist does not run
away from us, to seize him according to orders and deliver him over to
reason, who is the lord of the hunt, and proclaim the capture of him;
and if he creeps into the recesses of the imitative art, and secretes
himself in one of them, to divide again and follow him up until in
some sub-section of imitation he is caught. For our method of tackling
each and all is one which neither he nor any other creature will ever
escape in triumph."

(Plato: the Sophist).

The Platonist is concerned that teachers might teach "falsehoods". The
paradox of Plato's The Sophist, however, is that the assertion that
the Sophist is teaching a falsehood is the assertion of the contrary
to that which the Sophist says. It assumes NO MIDDLE GROUND between
absolute truth and absolute falsehood.

Little techies flee the harsh world of politics and sex for technology
because it presents a reified and dazzling fantasy world in which one
can be "right": a reified Platonic "world of forms".

Along comes hairy old Herb, who tells stories (as did the Sophists) to
cause the student to see and remember how C works. These stories
aren't lies, but like Elwood Blues says, they are bullshit *sub specie
aeternitatis*.

The trouble is that to conduct a war against a man's reputation by
yourself and through the proxies you enable for fifteen years, and to
cause offensive biographies to be made of that man on wikipedia, is
the worst form of idolatry, for you are treating things of glass
(computers) as more important than people, whether that be Herb, or
the thousands of people who have learned from him.

You have a very dim grasp on categories of truth. It is indeed
"Platonically", eternally true that you cannot interpret a language
with recursion without some sort of hardware or software stack, but
this is provable, not by some dazzling vision but
constructively...probably by mathematical induction.

Whereas it is only pragmatically true (or false) that readers will get
the message from Herb that all computers have hardware stacks.

You should have stayed awake in English class, and read the assigned
material.


He's certainly making it worse.

Talk to his publisher. Apress and O'Reilly arguably improved the
situation of poor and education-deprived programmers versus SAMS and
McGraw Hill, but this isn't Herb's fault, and where he uses the stack
he's making it better by explaining something fundamental.

I didn't.

I merely pointed out that his strategy demonstrably renders people unprepared
to deal with real-world systems.

A more effective solution, by far, is to teach C without trying to explain
how it "really works" as though there were a simple answer, then get into the
details of implementations in more advanced courses. That works beautifully.

....if you have four years and thousands of dollars, yes. But as it
happens, CS 101 profs talk about the stack all the time as a
representative example, and only a bonehead would assume that it is
the way "all computers work".

When I took my first computer course, my university was in chaos
because that rat bastard Nixon invaded Cambodia. My draft status had
changed from 2-S (student deferment) to 1-A (next stop is Vietnam)
illegally because of my anti-war activism. I'd decided to take a
computer course although I was a philosophy major in the event I
needed to go to Canada, because I was damned if I was going to serve
in an evil war.

Our textbook was about the IBM 7094 in the sense that it was an
introduction to what was then known about computer science which used
the register-oriented stackless 7094, but my school had an IBM 1401
with a radically different architecture (but also stackless). Because
we were on strike, the professor couldn't tell us that the textbook
was only about theory and that we needed lecture notes about the 1401.

I posted an order to McGraw Hill for a book about the 1401 and this
cleared everything up. Towards the end of the class, I went for my
draft physical and told the shrink I was crazy. He believed me because
I was white and lived in Wilmette, but je ne regrette rien.

In other words, sonny boy, a real programmer overcomes obstacles and
gets off his ass. If the author provides incomplete information or
even wrong information, the best student doesn't whine. He learns from
the author's mistakes using empirical research.
That would be an exceptionally stupid conclusion. I think everyone should
be allowed to read everything -- but that "everything" includes clear warnings
about significant errors in technical books.

Outside of criminal libel, I agree. I regard your treatment of Schildt
as criminal libel.
Again, here's where you get off into schizophrenia land. You're wandering
off into unrelated politics, and come *ON*, the phrase "untruth of C" is
just plain crazy talk.

I coined it for a reason. I did so because I saw John Nash (a formerly
"crazy" man in your adolescent world, right?) struggling brilliantly
with multiple versions of C in order to return to real mathematics,
and abandon C for Mathematica.

C is a lie.
If you've got meds, go back on 'em. If you don't, see a doctor.

The great Seebach has spoken...in precisely the same way as the worst
sort of 14 year old boy on the Internet. Thank you for a most
interesting time. If I had my doubts that you attacked Schildt
maliciously, these doubts have been laid to rest by what you have
written here!
 
S

Seebs

[Seebach here descends to 14 year old levels in the moderated group,

Uh, lolwut?
and I can't seem to send a reply. Paranoid? Who me? Anyway, I shall
start publishing my replies here]

I have no intention of changing the moderation policy on your behalf,
no worries. Whether or not you can send a reply is entirely on your end;
I rubber-stamp anything that shows up and looks remotely topical.
So far, no post like this one has shown up in the queue. That's on your
end, though; other posts from you, including more recent ones, have made
it just fine.

That said, while I'm not about to adjust the moderating policy for you,
I think at this point it's adequately established that, as people warned
me, you're simply not communicating. You're not talking about C, and
all this stuff you're writing about Schildt has no conceivable frame of
reference. It's not clear what you think you're talking about, or why
the Schildt books are justifying what appears to be a fairly epic time
commitment on your part, when they're generic crap and there are many
better books out there, widely available, which anyone could go read.

So have fun. I would recommend that you seek local counseling rather than
trying to fight your inner demons on the internet by accusing random people
of elaborate conspiracies to suppress innovation in programming.

-s
 
S

spinoza1111

[Seebach here descends to 14 year old levels in the moderated group,

Uh, lolwut?
and I can't seem to send a reply. Paranoid? Who me? Anyway, I shall
start publishing my replies here]

I have no intention of changing the moderation policy on your behalf,
no worries.  Whether or not you can send a reply is entirely on your end;
I rubber-stamp anything that shows up and looks remotely topical.
So far, no post like this one has shown up in the queue.  That's on your
end, though; other posts from you, including more recent ones, have made
it just fine.

That said, while I'm not about to adjust the moderating policy for you,
I think at this point it's adequately established that, as people warned
me, you're simply not communicating.  You're not talking about C, and
all this stuff you're writing about Schildt has no conceivable frame of
reference.  It's not clear what you think you're talking about, or why
the Schildt books are justifying what appears to be a fairly epic time
commitment on your part, when they're generic crap and there are many
better books out there, widely available, which anyone could go read.

I write fast.

Yes, there are better books. What I'm saying is that you're being
Pharasaic, because people at your level never answered Dijkstra's
question: how not to make a mess of it, and you take this, the secret
contour of your weakness, out on Schildt.
So have fun.  I would recommend that you seek local counseling rather than
trying to fight your inner demons on the internet by accusing random people
of elaborate conspiracies to suppress innovation in programming.

I don't think there's an elaborate conspiracy to suppress innovation
in programming. Instead, I feel that owing to cultural and
generational factors, there's a lack of common decency on the
Internet. I've had it up to here with innovation that helps Israel
brutalize Gaza, and I've had it up to here with innovative ways to
kick the shit out of people whose employers may be looking at this
material.
 
N

Nick Keighley

[Seebach here descends to 14 year old levels in the moderated group,
and I can't seem to send a reply. Paranoid? Who me? Anyway, I shall
start publishing my replies here]

there's a problem posting to moderated groups from google.
This may be your problem
 
S

Seebs

There's also a problem posting unmitigated nonsense to moderated
groups. This, too, may be his problem.

I don't think so. The post in question, so far as I can tell, just
didn't show up in the queue. Given that he's regularly posting
quoted articles in which his quotes end at the "read more..." part,
my guess is that the problem is somewhere between his keyboard and
his chair.
Since comp.lang.c.moderated's moderation policy appears to be "if even
vaguely topical, authorise the article, otherwise don't", that, also,
may be his problem.

While his rants are really pushing the limits of what might be seen as
topical, I don't see a scaling problem from allowing them, so I don't
care.

-s
 
S

spinoza1111

I don't think so.  The post in question, so far as I can tell, just
didn't show up in the queue.  Given that he's regularly posting
quoted articles in which his quotes end at the "read more..." part,
my guess is that the problem is somewhere between his keyboard and
his chair.


While his rants are really pushing the limits of what might be seen as
topical, I don't see a scaling problem from allowing them, so I don't
care.

They're not rants. They are articles which cite properly and which are
based on a social theory of programming, a theory which is both
verifiable and falsifiable. Sure, they take detours, as it were using
a deep stack approach to programming sociology as related to applied
mathematics, but as in the case of the stack, I always return to the
main() procedure and I always return a meaningful (nonvoid, if you
please) result: to wit, you're fucking with Herb like a bunch of 14
year olds and you need to knock that fucking shit off.

An academic sociologist today (unlike a Max Weber, C Wright Mills, or
Adorno) would not in general "do" participant-observer and learn or
relearn C to be able to anthropologically observe the ways of the "C
tribe" from inside, but that's why most academic sociology sucks and
blows, isn't it? Furthermore, sociologist Diane Vaughan learned all
she could about the performance of alloys under low temperatures for
her book "The Challenger Launch Decision" and she's my role model.

I'm not TeeVee. Part of the problem is the artificial creation of
"deadlines" and the theft of time from programmers by management which
creates brutalized overspecialists who don't read outside their field,
and who, after work, snap on TeeVee to learn that a "rant" is Dennis
Miller (a Republican conservative now that he's filthy rich) mocking
social criticism.
 

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