Bug#210879: Reopen: revise odd language in 'constitution.txt' -- "K Developers" ... "not integers"
Was MJR's discussion pronounced over? Yes indeed, and yet...
On 24 Oct 2003, at 21:40, MJ Ray wrote:
> I do not tell you to go away.
Though your last post ends with a "*PLONK*". The difference is only
> I tell you to try another approach. To be clearer, I advise you to:
Is that like "to be clearer" in the sense of "to be precise" where Thompson &
Thomson are always trying to clarify what they've muffed, or were you advising
me to revise my own murky meanings?
> 1. stop adding irrelevant information to this bug report;
Yes yes, but I maintain all that stuff is relevant. Roundabout sure, but it
connects. Some of it, in hindsight, probably could have been pared down, or
have been better arranged, oh especially the dictionary bits, but it all
branches from the same scary tree.
> 2. develop a clear and generally understood description of the bug on
> -project or -devel;
Describing bugs is what a BTS is for. Should I go to the '-devel'... that
place of flames, where I read a lot of 'em while inspecting various
contributors to this prolonged #210879. Some jaded posters of '-devel' mention
conflicts persisting without progress for years and years. Brrr.
On "clear"... well I think it was clear, just not to this crowd. It's greek to
On "generally understood"... that's the tough part. What's it take to get this
generally understood? For other little typo bugs, I've taken pains to name
which parts of speech were wrong... the details can help if somebody's new to
English or just confused. Example, look up:
Bug#212943: coreutils: typo in 'tr' info page: "Changing one characters to
But for #210879, I figured, "crikey, this is a constitution... surely the
authors of a constitution, whoever they are, should be a cut above" -- at the
same time, worrying, "but if they were, they wouldn't write that way would
they?" Well I was too lazy to describe the error down to its parts of speech,
(which might offend the smarties anyhow), and was also hopeful its nature would
be obvious to the maintainer. Wrong.
It has turned out pretty interesting though. The problem isn't just a bit of
bad prose, it's a deep abiding love of cliquish dreck. A Debian horde bent on
being smarter experts, honored for their density; winners. Can there be any
general understanding among specialists who refuse to be general? Not original
to Debian, it's the plague of the sciences and arts too, business, government,
yadda yadda yadda, and there is no cure that's free of embarrassment, it
infects concealed pride making sufferers delicate and sensitive.
Peck away at 'em with Criticism I say. Is Debian curable? Don't know. If it
was slowly dying of word-rot, maybe this sort of crit could help some future
> 3. get agreement from developers that this really is a bug;
Now there's a BIG problem underlying that. If they're philosophical egoists
and epicureans, (or worse), then it follows that cliquish lingo** is not a bug,
it's a feature. They understand the lingo, that's all that matters. Those who
don't understand, or who object, are outside-people, idiots, inferiors. Plus
there may be money in being the only men who know the words, and it's less work
to talk like you're in with the in crowd, once you're used to it; and, on the
other hand, it's perilous to offend one's brethren who might throw an uppity
egoist outside in the cold. We are living in a material world. From an
egoist's view, jargon is simply natural selection at work, there's no right or
wrong, it simply is. Adapting to this environment is playing the game to win.
There's no agreement possible without enough philosophy to see through that.
Which you think is irrelevant, why I don't know. Round and round we go...
Thus arguments on -devel go on for years and years. Nobody ever breaks the
damn pinata, they just tap it, the candy never falls out.
Maybe they haven't learned to think outside the PC. The best they can do is
say something pious about "well that's one point of view", then "agree to
disagree", fearing that "personality" and "opinion" are invincible. By not
disagreeing we all can resolve any conflict by not having any. We're thinkin'
Let's have a round of applause for specialized education, where youth is just
decades of loans away owed perhaps to people like you... decades from freely
tilling a field (of study), mining a vein (of knowledge), or serving a purpose
(to humanity). Win cash & neat prizes. Have a drink. Take a well earned
vacation. Then back to work. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's brain, nor
the contents thereof, or any ideas which belong to him, his wife's brain, his
ass's brain, his wife's ass's brain, nor any bytes thereof.
(** "developers"! Who were "developers" first? house builders, lot buyers, or
who; programmers didn't need their self-esteem boost til much later. What made
programmers feel like such punks that being "developers" was a step up?)
> 4. possibly seek their assistance with the bug;
It's not deep, just rewrite it in English.
> 5. reopen the bug;
You seem here to be leaning towards the possibility that it exists, or that it
might exist. In either case, it shouldn't have been closed.
> in that order.
The wrong order. Treat the cause before the effect. If Debian devolves into
a club for me-firsters and techie hedonists, its future is going to reflect
Bugs can have social and philosophical causes. Those causes are germane and
wholly relevant. If the notion prevails that such causes may not be
"technical" enough to be worthy of discussing, or too good for the BTS, or are
insoluble, then such bugs will be virtually sacred. Totems, idols; witch
doctor programmers will blame them for bad weather and demand we make appeasing
> I also urge you to accept what I say at face value, instead of writing
> random accusations.
Random? "I paint what I see." Again, if MS can't even answer if he's read a
bug report or not before and after closing it, that's wrong. Defending that
practice is also wrong.
> I was most amused by your lengthy comment on the obvious usenet-related
Er thanks, which obvious usenet-related reference? The "seen it" URL gag
> If you didn't get it, just leave it alone.
Sorry for asking. Did you mean the "mother's basement" Google search? Try
"my time is valuable" (3700+ hits)
"I couldn't care less" (102000 -- often not an insult...)
"nobody here cares" (2790)
"ask me if I care" (5670)
"everything you say is" (16,000 -- often conciliatory...)
"shut your pie hole" (4250 -- high for an unusual expression)
Are those relevant? Alas yes. The way a gerbil running in wheel is.
> It is just the way that I sometimes write, possibly a side-effect of the
> culture that I am from.
Isle of The Queen, and Viz Magazine...
> Some apparent cultural references in your email leave me cold, but I do not
> comment on them unless they obscure the meaning.
Not to say I seldom miss the mark, but sometimes it might be the accent, think
flat accent, nasal. Words are sound, too much text makes people forget.
Again??? That last take must have been a rehearsal. How do you get an
Elephant out of the theatre?
(Google's usenet "PLONK" count is 573,000. Poor old usenet.)