Here's a nice email of the late Erik Naggumi :
How utterly predictable a response.ii Your basic problem is that you do not know how to listen to people who are not just like you, that is, just like /everybody/. You lack something quite profound, but I am not sure what. You clearly lack general empathy and need to make a choice about whom to share your feelings with ; the rest you openly favor attacking. You clearly express such a strong dislike of other /people/ that you must have failed to realize your own role in how you perceive them. It is not possible to fail to realize this unless you are functionally braindead.iii
You clearly believe that your understanding is sufficient and thus refuse to listen to anything more from the outside world.iv You believe that when you find some evidence to confirm your already clearly prejudicialv view of another person, it constitutes proof that they do not understand you. You would clearly not recognize an accurate description of yourself from another point of viewvi, but this is tremendously consistent with your basic attitude and your complete and utter failure to /think/.
You tell me that /you/ do not think I grasp what you are after. But look at this: you claim that your view and your needs represent the majority of people. You are right about that. Now, /please think/. If you /are/ the majority and I am in the minority, how could you possibly believe that I have not already and many years ago figured out exactly how you guys work?vii If you had the brain to do it, this would be a grave insult, but you do not think ahead.viii You do in fact not think at all, because the things you say can only be uttered by a mind closed shut long ago.ix
How can I detect that you do not think, you may wonder? It is very, very easy: Do you exhibit an /understanding/ of ideas or positions you do not agree with? Now, the first reaction you come up with to this point is "and vice versa" -- which is a very strong clue that you do not understand before you attack your opponent. To a thinking person, it does not matter that the other guy suffers from the same problem. It does not influence the argument one bit.x But to the non-thinking person, this is all there is to it: Hurling accusations back and forth to cause bad feelings. This is how I can tell that you are completely /unthinking/: The whole point is that you are a feeling person who does not believe in thinking. The first, and if your behavior here is indicative, the /only/ thing you do is check how you feel about something. If and only if you feel sufficiently well, can you dare to open your eyes and look at the actual contents.xi
Now, this is precisely how the majority of people react. There is nothing special about you at all. There is nothing whatsoever that could prevent anyone from understanding how these people work.xii Everywhere, and I really mean /everywhere/ people are like you, Pascal. Now, in my view, there can be nothing as insulting towards another person as a claim that he has made no distinct and personal impressionxiii, but some people have to make up the masses, too. And if they can think of themselves as something because they are non-descript, replaceable members of the masses, so be it.xiv
Pascal has given voice to the rebellion of the masses, where /not/ knowing anything means others should listen to them, where being /newbie/ and unwilling to learn is a virtue.xv The people that the world would benefit the most from attracting is, in the views of Pascal Costanza, those who have nothing to offer anyone.xvi The calls for a more popular Common Lisp is precisely this: that the more nondescript nonspecific entities we can count, the better.xvii But how do we attract the masses? Pascal thinks that I do not understand this because I retch and puke whenever I think of attracting the masses.xviii To this unthinking member of the masses, anyone who considers the masses to be the root cause of human misery, does not understand him, and proves it impressively.xix The sheer inability of members of the masses to grasp that someone could /not/ value the masses higher than the individual make them believe that others have not /understood/ them, because, clearly, anyone who /understands/ the masses has to agree with their value.xx
I watch politicians and marketing departments, I watch commercials on TV and hear them on the radio, I see ads in the newspaper and on the Net, and I read the deceptive and manipulative nonsense of large companies like Microsoft and I /know/ how it all works.xxi Propaganda and marketing are not hard to understand.xxii It is not hard to predict what will make people buy some piece of shit.xxiii All it takes is the total abdication of respect for the human being as a thinking being.xxiv /This/ is the hard part, for even the terminally comatose retain some inkling of the value of their brain. But to succeed in mass marketing, you have to dispel every notion of respect for the human being as anything other than a programmable cash machine.xxv And it can be programmed very easily. The main problem with today's mass marketing is not that not all of it works, it is that /all/ of it works, so in order to be heard in the deafening cacophony of mass market advertising, you /really/ have to go overboard. Again, this would not be possible if you thought people had a working brain. In order to attract the masses, you have to stop thinking. The only way you can keep the masses around is if you do not demand that they think, because the moment someone thinks, that is the moment they cease to be the masses. The masses are stupid by /definition/. The masses is defined by absence. Be /anything/ and you are not a member of the masses. Hell, even /yearn/ for anything and you are not a member of the masses.
The problem is not in understanding Pascal Costanza and his masses, it is in making them realize that they have been understood.xxvi Nobody likes to hear that they are stupid, but the masses are the only ones to /fight/ it. Anyone who is /not/ a member of the masses can point to something they have accomplished in their lives and say "I'm not stupid, so what made this other guy think I am?". The members of the masses rebel against the very notion that the masses are stupid with intense feelings of rejection and hatred towards those who dare speak the truth, but by doing so, they have proved the very thing they challenge.xxvii The only way to successfully challenge a criticism against your mental capacity is to put it to shame by showing what you got.xxviii Stupid people do not grasp this, while every smart person I have ever seen have figured this out long before they talked to me about it. Therefore, the whole point with denying the masses the opportunity and right to be stupid is to drag those individuals out of the masses who find that they can do better than being a member of the masses. Again, the stupid masses do not grasp this, but every individual worth his salt does.xxix Against this process, we then have Pascal Costanza, the premier proponent of hedonistic feel-goodism where only one's own feelings matter and attacking others is perfectly legitimate if it makes you feel better. (This is also how these dysfunctional idiots see other people and every form of "attack".)xxx Instead of encouraging people to take the step out of the masses, Pascal Costanza actively encourages people to remain members of the massesxxxi while he, another member of the masses, tries to pretend that he is nothing special, /everybody/ has problems with Lisp syntax and so on and so forth, It is precisely the /everybody/ aspect that makes Pascal Costanza a member and proponent of the masses.
So, Pascal, I have not spread any misinformation about you at all. What on earth (or substitute any other place as appropriate) made you think that I would try to say something I do not actually mean about you or your cause? You are the kind of person who spreads willful misinformation and tries to make people believe in falsehoods. The people you defend and go to great lengths to encourage are the kind of people who revel in making up things that they think would hurt others. Every facet of your behavior here confirms that your goal is to reduce Common Lisp to a mass market language, which means: to chase away every independent thinker, every person who has a different opinion, every nonconformist, every single person who does not agree with everybody else -- which is to say: every single person who is not "nice" to everybody else. The only way you can have people together for an extended period of time and have them all be nice to each other is if you lobotomize the lot.xxxii
Your task here is to destroy every single shred of individuality and real personality and replace them with your bland niceness and unthinking masses. The only way you can /actually/ achieve "be nice" for a large group of people is to get rid of those who think the first and foremost requirement for a newsgroup posting should be "have an interesting opinion or point of view". For people who want to think, the worst that can possibly happen is that they first and foremost need to cater to every sulking child's "feelings" and "be nice" to every aggressive idiot. Pascal Costanza has shown us that he is foreign to neither of these.
There is no misrepresentation of motives or desires here. The "be nice" crap is crap precisely because this is a diverse forum for people who are not in a parent-child or teacher-student relationship. The "be nice" line is good and works very well when the "nice" person has an actual responsibility for the person they are nice to. If the primary purpose of a group of people is to care for each other as real human beings. this is a good line. Such cannot be the primary purpose, nor even a purpose at all, of an electronic world-wide forum. I do not want to ask this forum for sympathy when my cat gets ill or when I get ill, nor do I want to read hundreds of messages that ask for such sympathy. There is no doubt that it is "nice" to have people who care about you, but a forum for the programming language Common Lisp is not suitable for it.xxxiii
I /really/ wish people like Pascal Costanza could understand that there are more ways to interact with other people than to become personal friends with everybody -- and especially that being personal friends with somebody requires something of you that you cannot spread too thin among too many people. Something very valuable in the very concept of a friend breaks down and loses all meaning when you have hundreds of "friends". Wearing your heart on your sleeve is /idiotic/ in the world at large, but is may work well in a small group of people who have an actual interest in helping each other. Contrary to what the feel-good people believe, actually caring about another person requires time and effort that has to be prioritized over something else.xxxiv A very good friend of mine battles some pretty nasty psychological after-effects of ecstasy use and I have carried him for months at a time over the past two years, but there are times when I have to take care of myself first. To someone like Pascal Costanza, who wants me to invest in such a lowlife as "Mel" and spend time to "help" her (it would not /actually/ be help), and who wants to waste his life on "helping" such people, I can only say that he has never been a /real/ friend of anyone, nor had any of his own.xxxv It is impossible for someone to ask people to "be nice" and care for somebody's feelings if they had ever really taken care of another human being. It is so easy to fake feelings of deep care over the Net -- children fall for predatory adults who abuse and kill all the timexxxvi -- but it is essentially impossible to /actually/ care deeply about another person you have only met through their choice of words.xxxvii For most people, more than 90% of communication with other people is non-verbal. On the net, 100% is verbal, meaning that not only is the non-verbal dimension /absent/, the force of their verbal communication skills completely swamp every other aspect of their personality. How many have not been infatuated with a person they have met online only to be shocked by how much that other person differed from what they had believed they were like?xxxviii How many times does a person have to repeat this experience before they learn that people are not what you believe they "have to" be just because you extrapolate from yourself or your personal experiences. The incredible injustice you do to another person by believing you "know" them because of what they have said is evidently not within the grasp of these feel-good peoplexxxix, who probably never even bother to check whether other people actually conform to their mental models or not, but if you /think/ about how /little/ of yourself you reveal in your words in a public forum, it should be so obvious that it is impossible to base anything on that information with respect to what someone might do in the future. Since the most useful feature we have with our ability to construct a predictable person out of encounters with real people in real life is that with the continuous flow of further information and correctives, our predictions are /fluid/ and our ability to deal with another person is based on the continuity of signals. On the Net, the signals are /discrete/, in response to particular situations in a context we do not know and cannot predict.xl There are people on the Net who are so devoid of capacity to reason that they say somebody else is "predictable" if they react hostilely to certain obnoxious behavior -- and yet do not understand that what they tell others about their need to taunt others is extremely predictive for their future behavior.
"Be nice" is great advice to give to people when the information flow about them is continuous and you deal with real people, because it amounts to predictable behavior on your part, as well. However, on the Net, we have discrete interactions, full messages at a time, with no way to determine what is coming before it has all been read. What I think is the real problem here is that the Pascal Costanzas of the world are unfit for electronic communication -- they re-create their usual continuous person-to-person interaction electronically and wonder why it does not work. Because they are also tremendously unthinking and stupid, they do not consider their failures to be indicative of something wrong in them -- it is always somebody else who is at fault when those others are not "nice" to them. So instead of creating a "warmer" environment, the Pascal Costanzas of the world create an environment of /faked/ care for eachother, where the /appearance/ of their pretend personal interaction is vastly more important than discovering the uniqueness of the medium they are actually using. I am quite certain that the Pascal Costanzas of the world are harmless beings in their natural habitats, but on the Net, they are the very anathema of intelligent discussion and debates, because people are no longer complete people with a continuous information flow about their entire person. To require people to "be nice" in such a setting is to tell them to maintain the /illusion/ of continuity between each message such that the feeble-minded feel-good people are not subjected to surprises they do not have the capacity to deal with.xli To demand this is to kill every /real/ aspect of anyone's personality, as one has to enter a newsgroup "role" that resumes unchanged from the last message posted. Instead of achieving a "warm" atmosphere, what they get is a bunch of role-playing actors who pretend to care for each other. The language they use may well bear an uncanny similarity to the /actual/ warm language of real people in a real social setting, but the only way this immature and unevolved approach to online interaction can take place is if the /only/ purpose to the interaction is to be social.xlii
Those who have studied "online addiction" have categorized people's persona on the Net in three stages: In the first stage, they adopt one or more "roles" and play various games with respect to other people who are also expected to play roles. People usually pretend to be their fantasy self, just like children at play. Most people leave this stage quickly and quit playing roles. In this stage, the purpose of the interaction is to have other people approve of their "character". People regularly use assumed names and work hard to hide their real identity in this stage. This is the "fantasy stage". The second stage occurs when people switch to be themselves and make an informed choice about what they are willing to tell people or not. In this stage, the purpose of the interaction is to let people in on a restricted part of their life, just as they would real friends, pen-pals and the like. This is the "realistic stage" where the online world is a natural part of their real lives. The third stage occurs when the entire self takes place online. People share an enormous amount of personal information with others and seek out others who are willing share just as much, but they still mainly talk about themselves. The volume of personal details is often two orders of magnitude more detailed than the typical secret diary, and some people create web pages which detail to an incredible degree what they did and how they felt during each day. This is the "absorbed stage" where the Net has taken over their lives and they display every symptom of being addicted, meaning that they would feel intense withdrawal symptoms and feel that they had ceased to function normally if they could not be online, when in fact they have ceased to function normally sometime /before/ they entered the third stage. Now, the real kicker is that some people skip the second stage and go directly from the fantasy to a self-absorbed stage, and these are the people that need the most attention and care if they are to regain normalcy. There is some indication that people who have never actually grown up in real life also fail to enter the second stage.xliii
What I see with these incredibly immature feel-good people who want the Net to be "nice" is that they, too, have skipped the realistic stage of their electronic interaction with people and either relate to others as fantasy figures mainly of their own creation or attempt to deal with "real people" by filling in all the blanks. So they live in a fantasy where both they and other people play roles, like this new JPL lunatic with his eerie "dance" mantra, or they want a world where other people are much more personal than they would be in real life, like "Mel" and Pascal Costanzas.xliv
Unfortunately, people who truly believe that all human interaction should be exactly like face-to-face interaction can never be expected manage more complex human relations and processes.xlv To them, everything is about /people/ and the continuous flow of information that people present to each other in real life. Interaction through memoranda fails. Interaction through debate articles in newspapers fails. Interaction through articles in professional journals fails. Interaction over time by reading books or articles that are one hundred years old fails completely because these people need the full /personal/ context of another human being in order to deal with anything they say at all. The concept of dealing with the expression of an idea cannot possibly arise with these feel-good people because they cannot "feel" /anything/ about, say, Thucydides, who founded the science of history with his history of the Peloponnesian war.xlvi The need to /feel/ before one /understands/ is therefore the very antithesis of the distinctly /human/ communication over vast spans of time and geography and with people one does not know personally. First and foremost to cater to the feelings of other people denies everyone the opportunity to take part in the distinctly /modern/ tradition of /not/ having to know the person in order to trust his words.xlvii When facts can offend before they illuminate, when ideas can hurt before their meaning is grasped, when the expression of a thought has to be crushed because someone becomes ill at ease, we abandon the concept of civilization and of learning from the experience of others.xlviii
What we need to become more civilized is not residents who cater to the unknowable feelings of "newbies", but newbies who are mature enough not to take offense at facts and advice offered in good faith.xlix If someone is likely to feel bad for having received appropriate advice or answers to his questions, that person should grow up in the confines of people who care about his development before being let out in public. To attack, or to defend such attack, someone because one has personal sensitivities that are deemed to be "offended" on purpose when they are not explicitly catered to by others is the kind of immaturity that loving parents should take care ofl, not other people in a forum where the exchange of ideas and experiences should be unfettered by the emotional problems of people who do not have the decency to curb their expression of same.li If it is the ability to learn from the experiences of others we want, we cannot suffer the debilitating lack of development found in people who think only of their own feelings and nothing of others.lii It is precisely /because/ we all have "sensitivities" that would stifle all communication if all of us were to rise to demand respect for them that /none/ of us must abuse the public forum for personal emotional needs.liii To demand that a public forum be turned into a /private/ forum where only a few people are allowed to field their emotoinal needs -- and it will always have to be only a few -- is to make a demand on some people to suffer in solitude while others are allowed to demand the attention of everybody to cater to their needs. The injustice of this scheme is reason enough for its indecency.liv
So now, I finish this piece completely confused. Who is the scum and who is the hero in this piece ?
I can not tell. They both seem to be arguing for the same things, in the same manner, disagreeing in minor implementation details. People I like (which is to say, people to whom I tend to be nice, not because I have to but because I feel like it!) tend to think the author is pretty cool. Good for them. Am I being nice nitpicking at the writs of a guy they like ? Mostly yes, because perversely enough to them this is what being nice is like. People I dislike probably also dislike Naggum, and so to them too, I'm being nice. Should I be worried, then ?
Other times, I blast random people out of orbit for what appear minor infractions if wrongful at all. This is obviously not nice to the blasted. Other noobs may think it's nice, who's to know. People that like me think I'm not being nice, or who knows, maybe they enjoy the fireworks. So what of it ? I similarly punish my slaves, when I consider it appropriate and only then. They don't have to agree, nor do they have to understand. They definitely don't have to think I'm nice. Some do, some don't. Some figure it out later, others never do. Some stick around, others leave. Should I be nice ?
In the end, this is as much wasted time : there's no objective way to be nice, and there's absolutely no value in the consensus of others. If you agree with their points you probably would do things differently next time, and probably apologize this time. If you don't agree with their points, they don't matter. Why even care about it ? Why even discuss it at all ?
Why try and establish good ways and bad ways to dance around the inexistent nice ? Might as well have a competition of imaginary dancing, where everyone sits and imagines himself dancing and then they have an open floor oral arguments session as to whose dancing was more better and disco-er. What the shit, seriously ?! And replete with deep insight of a purely psychological nature into the - clearly - make-up and characteristics of everyone involved, as if psychology were now a science or something. Yo! Not even the so-called professionals and academics have a clue, not yet anyway, and they've been mucking with it for about three centuries. Lay off already.
I propose we just stop talking about this altogether. Unless that's unfeasible, in which case you're all scum and clearly unthinking, bad massive people. Okay ?———
- Some very minor edits included because the guy obviously doesn't re-read. [↩]
- It really does not matter what he's responding to, I assure you. [↩]
- Actually, this must be false. A good case study is encapsulated in the older Nu exista prosti online, but even without that : people who are quite clever are nevertheless quite capable to not realise plainly obvious things. This proves nothing. [↩]
- This is not necessarily a failure mode of the thinking agent. Would you listen to anything more "from the outside world" in regards to the construction and safe operation of perpetual movement engines requiring no energetic input ? Well... why not ? [↩]
- Too much clearly in this paragraph, which is problematic. For one thing, if it's that clear why does it need to be stated ? For another, if the clear does need to be stated, wouldn't that mean that it's both the case that it's not clear and the situation won't be helped by the restating ? This sort of clearly generally translates under my eyes to "please don't understand what I'm saying". More concerning : doesn't this make the author functionally braindead as per his own criteria ?
Unrelatedly, is prejudicial used correctly, to denote something negative, or incorrectly, in lieu of prejudiced, ie, formed afore the fact ? [↩]
- This is a rather universal problem. Would you ? [↩]
- Through being an insane fuck that isolates himself into a bubble of nonsense, which is perhaps self-coherent but not particularly persuasive to the general (as opposed to "average" - mind that in many contexts people mean "general" when they say "average") intellect. [↩]
- Well, certainly not on this path. Let's look at it from a distance : is it a grave insult to be speaking English ? It is a rather common idiom. I also speak Romanian, which is a rather obscure idiom. For which fluency should I count as an intelligent person, and for which an idiot ? The rare or the common ? [↩]
- This very strong claim is what's made me work the text. It seems to me it's still an open problem, discerning the closed shut mind. [↩]
- This is very true, the entire "well you neither" approach to "you aren't very intelligent" is pure transactional bullshit, a broken approach flowing from the baseless assumption that the speaking parties acquire some sort of social relation through the speech, as if the entire universe was simply them. This may work well in the small village that birthed it, but it has little place in modernity. [↩]
- This is actually a rather common mode of people who weren't thought to think deliberately, much like subvocalisation is a common mode of people who never had much practice reading.
I would propose it doesn't speak to the person's structure as much as to the person's experience : any one can be trained to proceed towards the most threatening recipient first instead of selecting only the unthreatening ones, just like any one can be trained to read properly (baring some otherwise rare cases of severely limited IQ).
Furthermore, I would propose that inasmuch as one's goal is to limit his own interaction with his peers, it's good policy to construct everything with barbs on top : it'll keep out the goats. Or, to quote :
Her : Do you actually not grasp that this does not come through at all? Or do you just not care?
Me : I just do not care.
It's easy not to care about the drawbacks of getting paid, as it were. [↩]
- This is quite the reach there. Something being common makes for poor grounds to presume it's also well understood. For instance... magnetism is very, very common. And I fully agree that there's nothing whatsoever that'd prevent anyone from understanding how magnetism works. So why don't you ? And why didn't Newton ? (The folly of men, I mean, not magnetism.) [↩]
- This seems more like identity fear than anything. I don't perceive there's some sort of major threat or insult in there, and the entire "impression" thing smacks of vanitas, of a very particular, protestant type. There's entire religious traditions predicated exactly around not making an impression. Those people don't just go mad from it, and besides, the simple fact that it evolved as an equilibrium point indicates that the impression isn't all that central to human experience. [↩]
- Everyone everywhere is replaceable. This is a necessary property of the universe, which, as the expression goes, "it is not possible to fail to realize this unless you are functionally braindead". How many times has the world ended to date because irreplaceable schmuck X bit it ?
There is a great Romanian poem, perhaps the greatest Romanian poem, which is in my view the definitive capture of this problem. It goes like this :
Moartea lui Fulger The death of Fulger
În goana roibului un sol, By running alezan a herald
Cu frâu-n dinţi şi-n capul gol, Reins in his teeth, and bare head
Răsare, creşte-n zări venind, Appears, grows on the horizon coming
Şi zările de-abia-l cuprind, Yet the whole compass can barely contain him
Şi-n urmă-i corbii croncănind And in his wake crowing ravens
Aleargă stol. Chase and swarm.
El duce regelui răspuns He brings the king an answer
Din tabără. Şi ţine-ascuns From the camp, and holds
Sub straiul picurând de ploi Under the cloak dripping of countless rains
Pe cel mai bun dintre eroi - The very best among the heroes.
Atâta semn de la război, That sign sent back from battle
Şi-a fost de-ajuns! That sign's enough.
Pe Fulger mort! Pe-un mal străin Fulger dead! On foreign realm,
L-a fulgerat un braţ hain! An evil arm hath fulger'd him
De-argint e alb frumosu-i port, His chest is all in silver wrought
Dar roş de sânge-i albul tort, But red of blood his white garb
Şi pieptul gol al celui mort And the dead man's bare chest
De lănci e plin. Is full of spears.
Sărmanul crai! Când l-a văzut The poor king! As he saw
Şi, când de-abia l-a cunoscut, And, barely recognised him
Cu vuiet s-a izbit un pas He hurled himself a step away
De spaimă-n lături şi-a rămas In fear, to the side, and stood
Cu pumnii strânşi, fără de glas, With gathered fists, without a voice,
Ca un pierdut. Among the lost.
Să-i moară Fulger? Poţi sfărma His Fulger dead ? Can you break
Şi pe-un voinic ce cuteza A brave who dared lift
Să-nalţe dreapta lui de fier His iron left
Să prindă fulgerul din cer? And grasp the lighting in the sky ?
Cum pier mişeii dacă pier How do the cowards die if
Cei buni aşa? The good die thus ?
Dar mâne va mai fi pământ? But earth will there still tomorrow be ?
Mai fi-vor toate câte sunt! Will all that are still there be!
Când n-ai de-acum să mai priveşti When you can't now look down upon
Pe cel frumos, cum însuţi eşti, The awesome one, as you yourself
De dragul cui să mai trăieşti, For love of whom to live still
Tu soare sfânt? You holy Sun ?
Dar doamna! Suflet pustiit! But the Lady! Raped soul,
Cu părul alb şi despletit Her white, undone hair
Prin largi iatacuri alerga, Through wide chambers running
Cu hohot lung ea blestema, In lengthy cries cursing
Şi tot palatul plin era And the whole palace filled
De plâns cumplit. With terrible cry.
La stat şi umblet slabă ce-i! How weak she stands and walks,litany
Topiţi sunt ochii viorei Melted her deep blue eyes
De-atâta vaiet nentrerupt, For so much endless howl
Şi graiul stins şi-obrazul supt Her voice is gone, her cheeks wasted
Şi tot vestmântul doamnei rupt And all her dress is torn apart
De mâna ei! By her own hand.
- "De dorul cui şi de-al cui drag, For love of whom, for longing whom
Să-mi plângă sufletul pribeag, Shall my departed soul now weep
Întreagă noaptea nedormind, The whole night not a shade of sleep
Ca s-aud roibii tropotind, So I may hear the horses gallop
Să sar din pat, s-alerg în prag, Jump out of bed, run to the door
Să te cuprind! To hold you tight.
Nu-l dau din braţe nimănui! I won't let go of him for naught
Închideţi-mă-n groapa lui - I wish to go inside his grave
Mă laşi tu, Fulgere, să mor? Will you, Fulger, allow my death
Îţi laşi părinţii-n plâns şi dor? And leave your parents crying, sad ?
O, du-i cu tine, drag odor, O, take us with you dear jewel
O, du-i, o, du-i! O, take, take!
Ah, mamă, tu! Ce slabă eşti! Oh poor mother, you, how thin you are
N-ai glas de vifor, să jeleşti; No voice like the winter winds to cry
N-ai mâini de fier, ca fier să frângi; No iron hands, that iron break
N-ai mări de lacrămi, mări să plângi, No sea of tears, seas to cry
Nu eşti de foc, la piept să-l strângi, You're not of fire, to hold him
Să-l încălzeşti! And warm him up.
Şi tu, cel spre bătăi aprins, And you, so quick to fight one day
Acum eşti potolit şi stins! Today all calm, extinct
N-auzi nici trâmbiţile-n văi, You hear not the trumpets call
Nu vezi cum sar grăbiţi ai tăi - You see not your own kin jump up
Râdeai de moarte prin bătăi, You used to laugh at death in frays
Dar ea te-a-nvins. But she has you.
Pe piept, colac de grâu de-un an, On your chest, bread of the dead
Şi-n loc de galben buzdugan, And in place of your mighty flail
Făclii de ceară ţi-au făcut You're holding now a wax candle
În dreapta cea fără temut, In your fearsome right
Şi-n mâna care poartă scut And in the shield bearing left
Ţi-au pus un ban. They've put a coin.
Cu făclioara, pe-unde treci, Your little candle, where you go
Dai zare negrilor poteci You'll give some sight to blind old paths
În noaptea negrului pustiu, In the dark night of darken night
Iar banu-i vamă peste râu. The coin is payment cross the river
Merinde ai colac de grâu And food you have your bit of bread
Pe-un drum de veci. For a forever trip.
Şi-ntr-un coşciug de-argint te-au pus In a silver casket now you go
Deplin armat, ca-n ceruri sus With all your arms, so up in heaven
Să fii întreg ce-ai fost mereu, You may be whole what you were
Să tremure sub pasu-ţi greu So it may tremble under your foot
Albastrul cer, la Dumnezeu The blue heavens, God's own place
Când vei fi dus. When you are gone.
Miraţi şi de răsuflet goi, In shock and empty of all breath
Văzându-ţi chipul de război, When gazing upon your war face
Să steie îngerii-nlemnit; Let angels stand like blocks of wood
Şi, orb de-al armelor sclipit, And, blind of weapons warlike glitter
S-alerge soarele-napoi Let the Sun run backwards
Spre răsărit!... Towards the East!
Iar când a fost la-nmormântat, And when it was that he was buried
Toţi morţii parcă s-au sculat All the dead seemed to walk again
Să-şi plângă pe ortacul lor, And cry for their good friend of yore
Aşa era de mult popor So very much people had gathered
Venit să plângă pe-un fecior To cry the passing of a son
De împărat! Of an emperor!
Şi popi, şirag, cădelniţând And priests, a row, censing away
Ceteau ectenii de comând - Reading the litanies of wake
Şi clopote, şi plâns, şi vai, And bells, and cries, and oh
Ş-oştenii-n şir, şi pas de cai, The soldiers rows on rows and horse
Şi sfetnici, şi feciori de crai, And ministers, and princes all
Şi nat de rând. And everyone along.
Şi mă-sa, biata! Cum gemea His poor mother, how she cried
Şi blestema, şi se izbea And cursed, and smacked,
Să sară-n groapă: - "L-au închis To jump into the grave - they have closed
Pe veci! Mi-a fost şi mie scris Forever. It was my fate
Să mă deştept plângând din vis, To wake crying from a dream
Din lumea mea! That was my world.
Ce urmă lasă şoimii-n zbor? What's left behind an eagle's flight ?
Ce urmă, peştii-n apa lor? What trace, fish in water leave ?
Să fii cât munţii de voinic, Let you be strong as mountains are
Ori cât un pumn să fii de mic, Let you be smaller than a hare
Cărarea mea şi-a tuturor Your road, and mine, and his
E tot nimic! It's all the same.
Că tot ce eşti şi tot ce poţi, For all you are and all you can
Părere-i tot dacă socoţi - A fancy's all if you think of it
De mori târziu ori mori curând, If you die now or somewhat later
De mori sătul, ori mori flămând, If you die hungry or well fed
Totuna e! Şi rând pe rând It's all the same, and one by one
Ne ducem toţi! We shall all go.
Eu vreau cu Fulger să rămân! I wish to stay with Fulger now!
Ah, Dumnezeu, nedrept stăpân, Ah, God, unfair master
M-a duşmănit trăind mereu Has always had a bone with me
Şi-a pizmuit norocul meu! And envied my good fortune
E un păgân şi Dumnezeu, He is a pagan, God himself,
E un păgân. A pagan is I say.
De ce să cred în el de-acum? Why should I now have faith in him ?
În faţa lui au toţi un drum, Before him all the same for all,
Ori buni, ori răi, tot un mormânt! Be good, or bad, it's still a grave
Nu-i nimeni drac şi nimeni sfânt! No one-s a devil or a saint
Credinţa-i val, iubirea vânt The faith is wave, love is wind
Şi viaţa fum! And life is naught.
Şi-a fost minune ce spunea! It was a wonder what she said,
Grăbit poporul cruci făcea The people quickly crossing all
De mila ei, şi sta-ngrozit. - For her soul, and watched terror
Şi-atunci un sfetnic a venit Then an old minister came up
Şi-n faţa doamnei s-a oprit, And right before the Lady stood
Privind la ea. Looking upon her
Un sfânt de-al cărui chip te temi A saint of whose face you shy
Abia te-aude când îl chemi: He can barely hear your call
Bătrân ca vremea, stâlp rămas, As old as time, pillar left
Născut cu lumea într-un ceas, Once born within an hour of the world
El parcă-i viul parastas He seems the living, walking wake
Al altor vremi. Of other times.
Şi sprijin pe toiag cătând And in his staff supported looks,
Şi-ncet cu mâna ridicând Slowly his hand lifting his
Sprâncenele, din rostu-i rar, Eyebrows, from his slow speech
Duios cuvintele răsar: Sweet words arise :
- "Nepoată dragă! De-n zadar My dear girl, for what
Te văd plângând. I see you cry ?
De cum te zbuciumi, tu te stingi Why do you struggle, why you waste
Şi inima din noi o frângi - And why you break the heart in us
Ne doare c-a fost scris aşa, It pains us that it worked this way
Ne dori mai rău cu jalea ta: You pain us more with your gloom
De-aceea, doamnă, te-am ruga Which is why, Lady, we would pray
Să nu mai plângi. Do no more cry.
Pe cer când soarele-i apus, When in the sky the Sun has set
De ce să plângi privind în sus? Why cry when looking high ?
Mai bine ochii-n jos să-i pleci, Better cast down your eye
Să vezi pământul pe-unde treci! So you may see the ground you thread
El nu e mort! Trăieşte-n veci, He is not dead, he ever lives,
E numai dus. He's merely gone.
N-am cap şi chip pe toţi să-i spui I have no head nor way to say
Şi-aş spune tot ce ştiu, dar cui? And I would say all I know, but how ?
Că de copil eu m-am luptat I fought since I was a child,
În rând cu Volbură-mpărat Together with Volbura the Great
Şi ştiu pe Crivăţ cel turbat I know Crivat the wild
Ca ţara lui. As his own country.
Ce oameni! Ce sunt cei de-acum! What people were! What are those today...
Şi toţi s-au dus pe-acelaşi drum. And yet they all went down that road
Ei şi-au plinit chemarea lor They filled their calling as it was
Şi i-am văzut murind uşor; And I saw them die easy
N-a fost nici unul plângător, Not one among hath cried
Că viaţa-i fum. For life is smoke.
Zici fum? O, nu-i adevărat. Smoke you say ? Tis not true.
Război e, de viteji purtat! A war, fought by the brave it is.
Viaţa-i datorie grea It's heavy burden,
Şi laşii se-ngrozesc de ea - The cowards tremble at its feet
Să aibă tot cei laşi ar vrea They'd like to have it all,
Pe neluptat. Without a fight.
De ce să-ntrebi viaţa ce-i? Why should you ask what life is ?
Aşa se-ntreabă cei mişei. That's what the scum wonders away.
Cei buni n-au vreme de gândit The good have no time for such thought
La moarte şi la tânguit, Of death and of regrets
Căci plânsu-i de nebuni scornit For crying was by fools invented
Şi de femei! And by the women.
Trăieşte-ţi, doamnă, viaţa ta! Live, dear Lady, your own life
Şi-a morţii lege n-o căta! And do not look for rule in death
Sunt crai ce schimb-a lumii sorţi, There are kings that change the whole Earth
Dar dacă mor, ce grijă porţi? But should they die, what is to you ?
Mai simte-n urmă cineva Does then anyone feel
Că ei sunt morţi? That they are dead ?
Dar ştiu un lucru mai pe sus But I know one thing above all
De toate câte ţi le-am spus: Of everything I've said so far
Credinţa-n zilele de-apoi The faith in days of later day
E singura tărie-n noi, Is our only streght
Că multe-s tari cum credem noi For much is strong we reckon now
Şi mâine nu-s! And then it's not.
Şi-oricât de amărâţi să fim Whatever bitenress we feel
Nu-i bine să ne dezlipim It's not so smart to tear apart
De cel ce vieţile le-a dat! - From he who lives gives all
O fi viaţa chin răbdat, Maybe life were a torture endured
Dar una ştiu: ea ni s-a dat But nevertheless : it was so given
Ca s-o trăim! To be lived.
Ea n-a mai plâns, pierdut privea She ceased her cries, and looked lost
La sfetnic, lung, dar nu-l vedea At the old minister, but saw him not
Şi n-a mai înţeles ce-a zis And never understood his words,
Şi nu vedea cum au închis And never saw them close the lid
Sicriul alb - era un vis On white casket - twas a dream
Şi ea-l trăia. She lived within.
Senini de plânset ochii ei, Cleared of cries her bright blue eyes
Vedea bărbaţi, vedea femei, Saw men, saw women
Cu spaimă mută-n jur privea. With much fear looked around
Din mult nimic nu-nţelegea; From all that lot nothing got through
Şi să muncea să ştie ce-i. She struggled to comprehend what
Şi nu putea. For naught.
I-a fulgerat deodată-n gând It suddenly just came to her
Să râdă, căci vedea plângând To laugh, for she saw crying
O lume-ntreagă-n rugăciuni. - A whole world in prayer caught
"În faţa unei gropi s-aduni "Before a hole to bring
Atâta lume de nebuni! All this entire world of fools
Să mori râzând... Enough to die of laughter.
Şi clopotele-n limba lor The bells in their language own
Plângeau cu glas tânguitor; Cried in a plaintive pace
Şi-adânc, din bubuitul frânt And deep, from the broken grumble
Al bulgărilor de pământ, Of earthen clumps
Vorbea un glas, un cântec sfânt A glass was speaking, holy song
Şi nălţător: And enlightening
"Nu cerceta aceste legi, Do not research these laws
Că eşti nebun când le-nţelegi! For you're mad when you comprehend
Din codru rupi o rămurea, Should you break a branch in the forest
Ce-i pasă codrului de ea! What of the branch from the forest ?
Ce-i pasă unei lumi întregi What for an entire world
De moartea mea! Of my own death!
Indeed, exactly so : what for an entire world, of my own death ? [↩]
- While this is definitely a problem, and the easiest way to distinguish the inferior from their superiors, nevertheless... Naggum is leading us.
I couldn't care less for some random guy sharing a name with George Costanza, but... It goes both ways. What, should I harp and charge because the green flag was waved, the one with proper symbols sown on it ? Come on. [↩]
- The direct counter example here is, of course, cunt. Cunt is something the world seems to believe it's beneficial to attract, and yet... cunt shouldn't be distinctive, particular, or personal. Quite the contrary, it's its very warm familiarity and universal banality that makes it quite so alluring. It's the fact that any penis fits pretty much equally well in any vagina that makes the entire thing work. There's something to be said for compatibility, after all, even in computer programming.
There's plenty that banality has to offer... to everyone. [↩]
- Maybe not the better, but maybe not the worse, either ? The counter has never been examined, what exactly is the drawback of having a lot of cunt around the house ? And no, it can't be that it'll be poorly disciplined, that's an entirely different story. Learn to discipline it, rather than proposing it's evil. [↩]
- In general it's good policy to diss it after you make it. A billionaire may disdain his billion, but your random clueless "student" in "a transitional phase right now" may not. Which is why I retch and puke every time some worthless twentysomething, not worth on his own the price of a decent burial, harps and whines about how important money is or isn't or shouldn't be or whatever. You can say religion is stupid after you understand it, not before you've read anything, and in this sense my antireligious vituperations are quite unmiscible with the general consensus on the topic : I was rhetorician feared by the bishops in my youth, for I know what the books say.
So in this vein... When and how has the author dominated a mass ? It doesn't have to be a huge mass, but it has to be a mass. [↩]
- In simple terms : the masses can not be the root causes of anything. For the exact same reason, they're the mass. Causes come from other parts. [↩]
- The confusion at work here is between mass and aspiring populist politician. It's an important distinction, this : the moment any member of the mass steps out of rank, by doing things such as... writing, even something as minute as signing his name on some letter he wrote, he's no longer "mass". He's not "a representative" any more than Stalin was : he's just a twerp that would like to use and maneuver the mass for his own, personal and quite private benefit. The happenstance that he's completely clueless, utterly uninstructed and entirely innocent has no bearing, he isn't differentiating from the mass through ability, but through intent. The mass is, and forever shall remain, intentless. [↩]
- It doesn't all work the same way. [↩]
- Neither is the game of Go. [↩]
- This is naive engineerism. Sure, if the chicken were spherical and lived in a vacuum, it'd not be hard to predict what'd make it buy something : that something being available to be bought. The actual chicken however lives in a soup where marketeers have to compete with one another, and that makes the battle quite fair. It's not easy to figure out how to sell, or else we'd all be rich selling. What and to whom ? [↩]
- This notion that "the others" are "winning easy" because they're doing things we "easily could do" but choose not to "stoop to their level" is well covered in an older article about stupid women. Any woman can suck cock and go to parties naked, it's easy, supposedly. But you see... the stupid women choose not to do this, the story goes. A poor excuse if there ever was one, and nothing any woman that can't and hasn't may ever be allowed to raise.
It was a common explanation in the mouth of communists, back when some people were stuck behind the iron curtain, in stupidlandia. It's all the time and everywhere the stock explanation of the defeated, the purposefully lazy : we "easily" could do something we've never done, because "we understand" and "it's easy". But it's below our dignity to do it. So there!
Needless to say, I have my doubts. [↩]
- If it works that way, who says it shouldn't be used that way ?
My objection to marketing (which is rape) stems from the inconvenience it presents to the minority, not from some sort of misguided Kantian universalism proposing to treat the entire mass as if it were human or something. These are very different things, and the author's fury could be well explained by this very tension : he harbors the deep seated if unexamined notion that all people are equal, then discovers empirically that this is not the case. What to do now ?! Perhaps blame some Costanza fellow, why not. [↩]
- But... why ? [↩]
- But perhaps... they also have accomplished things in their lives they can point to ?
Perfection is a small thing, maybe they jack off just right. What then ? [↩]
- This is not actually true. If it were, being smart would be the bane of all things, and I'd much rather be stupid.
There are multiple ways to challenge a criticism to your mental capacity, infinitely many in fact. Why shouldn't there be ? [↩]
- Definitely this works in practice, and after all to nobody's detriment : the masses will be upset at your impoliteness and flail helplessly, the actual people lost among that mass like solder suspended in paste will be thankful for the rescue and there we go. Another successful voyage on the fields of white. [↩]
- So basically the complaint here is that the masses are trolling respectable, intelligent (say they) townsfolk like the author ? But this is ironic! [↩]
- Can this be done ? How ? [↩]
- Well it definitely could do with less paranthesises. [↩]
- There are some major problems here, chief among them that this seems an ad-hoc appropriation of the "offtopic" methodology. (If you're curious, all "offtopic" discussion stems from and is reducible to the ancient soviet politburo practice of maintaining a false agreement through the exclusion of topics of conversation. Marriages survive - of sorts - through the concerted effort of all involved to keep particular topics off the table. Hierarchies once constitute tend to try and maintain themselves by limiting challengers as "offtopic". I am always very suspicious of a deployment of this technique, and to be honest I treat it just like any other mass marketing ploy. Which is why #bitcoin-assets doesn't have a topic.
Otherwise, why should people be required to behave asocially in some contexts ? They're social beings. People discussing X on Y can't be friends ? Why, because someone's an intolerant sourpuss ? Come on. They can ask you to be nice and you can ask them to blow your rusty trombone and all is well, what of it. [↩]
- This is very true. [↩]
- Maybe he likes her, what. [↩]
- I'm curious what the total count is. I suspect it reduces to "people get hit by lightning twice all the time". [↩]
- If this were true the world would be very, very sad indeed. I care deeply for a number of people I've only met thus, and they're mostly dead. Their ranks include an obscure and generally ignored Romanian poet whom I've taken hours to sort-of translate earlier.
For the choice of words! [↩]
- Actually, my personal experience is the reverse. All the people I've met online turned out to be exactly what you'd expect, offline. Maybe the selection process is broken ? [↩]
- This part is outright offensive. Taking people at their word is doing them injustice ? God help us.
Does this render the legal system inoperable, and incidentally : should a system be devised where candidates to political office may only reach the electorate in writing, would that result in worse presidents ? [↩]
- This difference seems wholly imagined. [↩]
- I am completely lost. How does "being nice" boil down to a feeble-minded request to maintain coherence, and why is such a thing an imposition ? [↩]
- But... why ?
Take 4chan, which the author may or may not have known of. Clearly, it's only purpose is to be social, there's nothing else there. And yet.. are people nice on 4chan ? In what sense can this possibly hold I wonder ?! And for that matter, is it immature ? In what exact sense, simply as a knee jerk reaction to its form ? [↩]
- This is somewhat a strange notion.
I would have pretty serious problems functioning normally if I could not be online, because everything I make I make with people whom I know remotely. I guess bills would continue to get paid out of bank accounts indefinitely, but I'm not a carpenter, and I'm not a mathematician. I'm mostly a manager, and management means dealing with people, and dealing with people in 2014 means Interwebs, no doubt about it. So, am I addicted then ? I'm pretty sure I could take an indefinite period off, much in the sense a nursing mother could you know, just forget about the kid for a while. Is she addicted ? Mayhap this addiction thing is thrown around a little haphazardly.
I probably put on this blog a lot more than even the braver fellows used to put in their secret diary pre 1990. This is mostly for my own benefit, because I truly enjoy going back and reading extremely well written, honest and detailed accounts of my own past. Much like you may enjoy reading a well written book, except it's with me in it. It doesn't really require anyone else reading it, as far as I'm concerned, not that I mind, but consider that I average about 3 articles a day over 2`306 days. Nobody does something like that for others, I don't care if you're Mother Theresa or what, it's just not possible. [↩]
- I confess I don't particularly care for this "real life" bullshit. I get it, early people on the webs had serious trouble handling the experience in a sane manner, much like early car driver people thought 50mph is a speed far far outside of human ability. This sort of nonsense needs to end, people are by and large quite capable of being exactly the same online and off, even if some ridiculous generation early on had a lot of trouble with it (influenced perhaps more by selection bias - ie, that roleplayers and other assorted nuts were more likely to go online at first than sane people - than any sort of enduring or typical characteristic of mankind). [↩]
- This is rank nonsense. I believe all human interaction is like all human interaction, as there are not types due to medium. What a ridiculous proposition, too, and also reminescent of early noobishness. Recall the old days when people proposed that there are "some things" you can't render through email, having to use a paper letter instead ? [↩]
- But this is such nonsense. Here, read this. You did not feel ? [↩]
- This is not a tradition, and in no sense "modern".
It's just US otakuism and nothing more, with a vague faint whif of retarded sectarism (of whatever protestant kind). It has absolutely nothing to do with anything worthy of memory. You can not, nor should you try trust persons you do not know. Ever. [↩]
- "We" ? What "we". They. So let them, what of it ? [↩]
- Actually, mature noobs who understand that beatings are the best thing that can happen to them : someone cares. The newbie thankful for his beating is indeed the one trait of civilisation and hope, online as well as off. [↩]
- Not really. This sort of nonsense should not be catered to under any circumstances. Let the parents "take care" of it by beating the child every time it displays the behaviour, it's the best way. Spare the rod, spoil the babe. [↩]
- Ideas and emotions do not separate well in practice. I have a lengthy experience using large heaps of pathos to get ideas across to those who can get them much faster and cheaper, and to efficiently discourage everyone else from wasting their time. I would rather part with the entire Western tradition than with this capacity. [↩]
- If we can not suffer we can not endure. [↩]
- So to get this straight : it is precisely because everyone would like their cock sucked that I can not rise up and demand my cock be sucked, and well ? Because everyone would like a nice ribeye I can not order a ribeye ? What is this, the future ?! [↩]
- Indecency is never a good objection. Inequality is never a good objection. Some will have to suffer in solitude for the benefit of others, this is exactly the point of human existence. [↩]