Ghosts Of Christmas Past 
Author Message
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

I have collected a few of his posts related to his 'dream' and
'job'
in c.l.f as he has described them to us.  They are good examples
of the
nightmares of Ghosts of Christmas past and negative sound-bytes
and
hate speech directed at the Forth community.

Not much has changed in regard to the worst sort of negative
soundbytes and insults about Forth coming out of the Forth
community.  Going back to 12/04/99 we find John Passaniti
and I on essentially the Ghosts of Christmas pass thread.  John
said:

Quote:
>I'm sorry if my programming toolbox is filled with tools that I pick and
>choose at will.  And I'm sorry if I can cross-pollenate useful concepts
>from languages and environments and unify them in ways you apparently can't
>see the value in.  That's your problem, and is a typical problem for people
>who are fixated on a single approach.

I still prefer to think of myself as a Forth purist, a
simple logical position, which I always put into context, rather
than being fixated on anything.  But John loves to tell the
world about what is typical of people who use Forth.  They
are mindless sicophants and Forth cultists according to
John if they have a traditional view of Forth.

Quote:
>I do see people who mindlessly advocate a single approach as being tied to
>cult.  It happens all the time-- it isn't just with some Forth folks, but
>with lots of people.  I know consultants who think that if a system isn't
>written in their pet language or modeled in their favorite methodology,
>then it is invalid.  And no matter how much you argue with these people--
>attempting to open their eyes to the larger world-- they stand firm.  Kind
>of like your firm stance on some of what Chuck has stated, independent of
>context.

No one every said anything about valid or invalid, just
appropriate and
inappropriate in the context of Forth.

If we look back a bit to 8/99 we see Jonah Thomas ask John
why he goes off so easily on rants about crackpots, cultists,
liars, mindless sicophants, snake oil salesment, religion,
fixations etc. when he was asked:

Quote:
>>That's all it takes to set you off?  You must have
>>a lot of long, intense interactions with a lot of
>>crackpots.

I wished I had found John's response to this when the 'What's with
John Passiniti' thread came up a couple of months ago. This was
good.  We wonder where rumors about Forth being for kooks come
from...

Quote:
>Actually, yes.  It's part silly fun, part vicarious thrill, part
>consumer advocacy, and part serious examination of the fringe.  Since
>I was a kid, I have kept what I call a kook box. It's basically
>literature, advertising, and other media produced by of all
>kinds-- personality cults, UFO nonsense, neo-Nazis, {*filter*}
>theorists, perpetual motion machine goofballs, crazy religions,
>pseudo-science crackpots and flim-flam artists, history revisionists,
>paranormal fruitcakes, and so on.  What started as a box has since
>grown to several shelves of this kind of stuff.  My dream is to
>digitize all of this crap, index it, and make an online museum of the
>fringe.

John's 'silly fun' is labeling people as cultists, liars, Nazis,
{*filter*} theorists, religious nuts, pseudo-scient crackpots,
revisionists, fruitcakes etc.  His hobby is hiding behind his
terminal and trying to whip up hatred with the most despicable
slander and libel than he can muster.  When confronted he
retreats into denail, changes the subject, and goes into other
name calling.

So he told us that he was on a mission to expose the dangerous
cultists in Forth.  Sheesh, and we wonder why people snicker
and don't take Forth seriously.


in comp.lang.forth unthinking sycophants without concern that
this would alienate anyone.  His repsonse was enlightening
and a wonderful example of the sort of rumors that have been
killing off Forth.

Quote:
>>:The unthinking sycophants
>>:say yes, but then again, they say yes to everything.
>>Does the last sentence actually *add* anything to the
>>point you're trying to make, except perhaps for instantly
>>alienating part of your audience?
>There are three basic kinds of people in this newsgroup:

ie, there are three kinds of people in Forth...

Quote:
>1) There are the people who reflexively defend Forth and anything to do with
>their cult hero, Charles Moore.  These people seem think the world is stuck
>in 1984 and we're all running Atari 800's.  No rational argument or
>discussion can be had with these people.  It doesn't bother me if I alienate
>these people since they are so firmly rooted in their beliefs.  It would be
>like Barney Frank worrying if his statements (or his very existence) would
>alienate the Rev. Fred Phelps.

I know no one who reflexively defends anything to do with Chuck
Moore.  I
have never met one.  The very idea that such people exist should
be very
insulting to anyone who has tried to logically consider the ideas
of Mr. Moore.
But it is funny to John to tell the world that this is what Forth
is about.  No rational arguement can be had by John with these
people because they don't exist.

Quote:
>2)  There are people (like myself) who are huge Forth fans, and who see some
>of Chuck's work as very important.  But we haven't elevated Forth or Chuck
>to a pedestal, and we freely admit to the many problems not only of Forth
>but of the larger Forth community.  We look at technologies like OKAD with a
>skeptical eye.  I don't alienate these people with statements about mindless
>sycophants-- they agree with me.

>3)  And finally there are the people in the middle.  The people who recently
>found out about Forth and want to learn more.  The people who hear about
>OKAD and wonder if it is applicable to their work.  The people who with 1999
>eyes look back at Chuck's work and ask "what's the big deal-- plenty of
>languages these days provide what Forth does."  These people sit and watch
>the Forth/Chuck religionists on one side and the pragmatic/skeptics on the
>other and choose where they go.  If my *purposefully* inflammatory remarks
>help them choose sides, my work is done.

Yes, folks, it is John saving the undecided from the Forth/Chuck
religionists. Amazingly hateful speech and probably the most
damaging of the hateful sound-bytes oft directed against Forth,
our biggest problem as we all know.  John has told us that his
'work' is to be 'purposefully inflamatory' about such things.
But I know that he has his fans.  There are other
people who hate Forth.

As we know, in America there is often a debate between those
educated
in science and those who adhere to thousand year old religious
beliefs
that contradict modern science. When those who consider themselves
logical thinkers want to dismiss others are completely illogical
they
may call them names like religionists.  If they want to whip up
real
hatred they will call them cultists.  Look up cultist on the web
sometime.  No logical arguements can be had with John's
religionists.

Quote:
>Knowing who is on what side of the fence helps to separate the wheat from
>the chaff.  And just as I am sure my statements have landed me in the
>newsreader "kill files" of those who don't like to see their sensibilities
>disturbed, they should take some solace in knowing they are likewise in my
>"kill files."  They don't want to waste their time with someone who
>questions them, and I don't want to waste my time with people who are in a
>personality cult.

>It all works out.

John and his mission to save the world from the Forth cultists
and gather material for his kook box hobby.  Those dangerous
Forth cultists are John's concern.  They dress up as windmills
or visit him as the Ghosts of Christmas Past.

Quote:
>An essential property of real-world cults is the fanatic devotion to the
>ideas of the cult.  And that is what I'm riffing on when I point to
>cultists in the Forth community.

I know, I know, then John goes into wild denail that he ever says
these
things and asks people to post them again as if once were not bad
enough.
With friends like this Forth certainly does not need any enemies.

John has been 'skeptical' for years about many things.  But if you
look
closely you can see that he is clearly a pseudoskeptic, he claims
to be
skeptical but has made up his mind and will not listen to anyone
who
has any firsthand knowledge, he will just argue with them.

He has said that Forth is a collection of parts with no real
reasoning
behind it.  When those who were there then and know about why
it was designed the way it was try to explain it to him he is
'skeptical.'  He would rather tell the world that Forth is not
logical and is only suitable for mindles sheep who latch on to
anything that their hero, Charles Moore, says without any
critical thinking.  I know that many people hate Forth, but John
is near the top of the list of those who do their best to get
other
people to hate it, or his illusion of what it is.

Quote:

>problem with most of what Chuck says-- when restricted to the
>appropriate domains.  If I have a problem it is with my perception
>that whatever Chuck says is golden.  There are certainly people in
>this newsgroup who aren't mindless sheep who do question (as I do)
>what is said.  But there is also a depressing number of folks in this
>newsgroup who for whatever reason feel the need to latch onto anything
>Chuck says without a moment's critical thought.

John's own perception that Forth is for mindless sheep incapable
of
critical thought depresses him.  He wants to make Forth more like
Perl so that programmers can rush to a library to paste in code
without thinking, this will make Forth more popular in John's
mind.

As I have often said, we have to look no further than
comp.lang.forth
for the source of the real problems with Forth, the haters, and
those
who feel that what Forth really needs is to be written in Perl or
something popular.  There are people who are convinced that
there is no one who hates Forth, but they keep trying anyway!

best ...

read more »



Wed, 06 Apr 2005 04:58:25 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:
> I have collected a few of his posts related to
> his 'dream' and 'job'  in c.l.f as he has described
> them to us.  They are good examples of the
> nightmares of Ghosts of Christmas past and
> negative sound-bytes and hate speech directed at
> the Forth community.

When I started to read your slew of quotes from past messages, I immediately
thought "here we go again."  I knew that you would do what you always do--
personalize statements that weren't even about you, generate intricate
fantasies about my views and agenda, and finally come up with a incoherent
and bizarre set of accusations.  And true to form, you didn't disappoint!

But in reading quotes of my own messages echoed back at me, I realized that
if one chooses to ignore your paranoid interpretations and read what I wrote
flatly-- without trying to read between the lines or find a hidden agenda--
that I still stand behind every word I've written.  If one realizes that my
comments about some Forthers as a "cult" is a metaphorical statement, then
my comments are still as relevant today as they ever were.  And if one isn't
saddled with the ridiculous persecution complex and {*filter*} theories Jeff
evidently has, then my main thrust amounts to an attitude of questioning
everything, and demanding that extraordinary claims be given extraordinary
proof (or in the case of this newsgroup, sometimes *any* proof).

So thanks Jeff!  Your commentary in response to my messages is as paranoid
and agenda-laden as ever.  You have inaccurately characterized many of my
views.  But for those who ignore your text and want a quick summary of what
I have written, you did a great job.  Of course, you have made plenty of
other ridiculous claims about me over the years that you haven't bothered to
substantiate.  But that's okay.  I accept these defects in your character as
just who you are, and I look forward to yet more bizarre and unsubstantiated
claims from you in the future.  From your claim that I was fired from a past
job for incompetence to the claim that my web site has racist commentary.
I've asked you in the past to substantiate such claims, but you either never
respond or respond with the same claim dressed in weasle words.  Whatever.

Still, I would like to close by addressing two comments you made:

Quote:
> John's own perception that Forth is for mindless sheep
> incapable of critical thought depresses him.  He wants
> to make Forth more like Perl so that programmers can
> rush to a library to paste in code without thinking, this
> will make Forth more popular in John's mind.

Ironically, the ability to create high-quality libraries of reusable code is
a skill in itself that Jeff dismisses with the "paste in code without
thinking" comment.  Funny that Jeff claims I offer "hate speech" when he
does it himself by diminishing other programmers.  Jeff is the living
embodiment of "we have seen the enemy and he is us."

No matter, Jeff gets my position wrong, as usual.  I believe that Forth is a
language that is suitable for more than the embedded systems niche it has
largely found itself in.  Forth can be equally useful for programmers who
write every last line of code themselves as it is to programmers who look
for reusable libraries of code from others.  Unlike Jeff, I see Forth as
being flexible enough to support *both* extremes-- and everything in
between.  Forth is all about options and extensibility.  Jeff weirdly seems
to want Forth to be about following a rigid mindset and agenda.

Further, I see bringing more programmers of *every* skill level to Forth
will benefit by giving Forth a larger perspective.  I think the Forth
community should actively welcome programmers of all skill levels with open
arms.  Jeff apparently wants to put up a metaphorical gate with "members
only" on it.

Quote:
> As I have often said, we have to look no further than
> comp.lang.forth for the source of the real problems with Forth,
> the haters, and those who feel that what Forth really needs is
> to be written in Perl or something popular.  There are people
> who are convinced that  there is no one who hates Forth, but
> they keep trying anyway!

Jeff's continual fascination with referencing incidental comments I have
made (such as a prototype for a Forth-like interpreter I wrote in Perl)
boggles my mind.  What was a weekend experiment in quickly trying out some
ideas with typed stacks and polymorphic dictionary words has become
something far greater in Jeff's mind.  He seems to reference it and other
side projects I've had as if they somehow reflect my goals.  They don't, but
Jeff persists with such characterizations anyway.

I keep trying my best to figure out where Jeff gets the idea that there is
an active hate for Forth in the programming community.  In my experience, it
simply doesn't exist.  That doesn't mean Jeff hasn't experienced people who
mindlessly hate Forth, but it does mean that Jeff's experience isn't the
only one.  In fact, I see the opposite.  Maybe it's the company we keep.  I
work (and play) with a group of programmers, software engineers, and
computer scientists who actively seek out technology and are e{*filter*}d about
learning as much as they can.  Jeff apparently has had the misfortune of
being around people of the opposite extreme-- people who are afraid of
technology, and who want to maintain the status quo.  At least, that's my
guess.



Wed, 06 Apr 2005 12:17:41 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past
John, I realize that you have no problem with your
telling the world that Forth is for cultists, unthinking
parrots, etc.  I did not expect you to see any problem
with it.

I just wanted to make the point that biggest problem
with Forth as we all know is the reputation promoted
by the Forth haters.  People wonder where rumors such
as Forth being a religion come from.  As distasteful
and innacurate as your slanders comments about the
Forth community are I just wanted to show people that
you did have said that your 'job' was to be as
'intentionally inflamatory' as you could be in your
effort to expose the Forth cultists.  

My point was just to show how stupid it all is for
those who might drop in, read your comments, and
end up thinking that maybe Forth is a religion
for retards.  But as usual, just quoting you will
get one accused of {*filter*} theories, and
making bizzare accusations.  I just pulled up
some of your own stupid comments to make a point.

John sees me as the enemy of Forth because I report
what it can do.  I know that being truthful about what
Forth can do upsets people.  There are people who have
a problem with anything that is different.

I recall somone once saying that doing a job ahead of
shedule and under budget was as big of an error as
being late and over budget.  I realize that this is
just conventional wisdom and that you don't see anything
wrong with it.

But I think it exposes what I call the biggest problem
with Forth, it's too good.  When you deliver before the
other programmers or with fewer bugs it doesn't just
upset them, it really upsets managment.  They worry that
they will be expect to get other employees to perform
like that, that the schedules will be 'adjusted' and
everyone will be expect to perform like Forth programmers.
So they tell you that it was done too fast, and too well.

The whole idea that too fast and too high quality is
a problem because it is above the 'average' used for
estimates by managment is one that I have problems with.
It is why Forth isn't more accepted, even hated by
the people who can't compete with it.  I think John
explains to us how managment considers doing projects
too fast or too well is an error to be avoided.  So
we have a whole industry with governers built in
to everything.

I think the enemy of Forth are people who are 'skeptical'
even when the inventor of Forth and the first Forth
programmers take time to explain things to them and who
spread rumors such as Forth being for cultists.  This
is clearly the biggest problem with Forth, people who
don't like the idea that what the inventor says about
it might be true.

Quote:
> Further, I see bringing more programmers of *every*
> skill level to Forth will benefit by giving Forth a
> larger perspective.

I was reviewing Chuck's interview on shashdot today.
He said that not everyone needs to be a programmer and
this greatly offended several people who felt that Chuck
needed to appologize for saying it.  But the fact is
the only way to let everyone be a programmer is to find
a way to let idiots program.  I prefer Forth being
a tool for experts rather than turning it into something
for programmers who want the opposite.

We are a tiny minority.  If we invite very large communities
to do Forth in their favorite style, C, or Perl, or C++, or
Java or whatever.  What we think of as Forth will be lost
in the millions of people who will want Forth to be more like
what they are used to.  This was my concern for the last
fif{*filter*} years, but I think it may be too late now to do
anything about it.  Forth has been diluted so much that
it has virtually been lost.

Quote:
>  I think the Forth
> community should actively welcome programmers of all
> skill levels with open arms.

I agree with Chuck when he said, 'My goal is to develop tools
that augment my abilities.  If others can use them fine.  It
would be foolish to lose an opportunity to explore or excel
just to conform to some equalitarian philosophy. Too often
our culture seeks the lowest common denominator.'

Quote:
> Jeff apparently wants to put up a metaphorical gate with "members
> only" on it.

I just don't want to see Forth brought down to the lowest
common denominator.  I like it being as good as it can be,
it forces me to try to be better myself.  I don't want to
make it 'average' or make it suitable for the below average
people who probably should not be programming anyway.

Quote:
> I keep trying my best to figure out where Jeff gets
> the idea that there is an active hate for Forth in
> the programming community.

When someone mentioned Forth haters this week, I noted
that some people simply don't want to believe that they
exist.  Take a poll sometime.  There are lots of people
who hate Forth.  They are your fans too.

John has often said that we see different things. It is
very true.  I have worked with Chuck, I have worked in
places where everything was done in Forth to get a big
advantage over the competition.  This makes me familiar
with how this was done.  John has worked where he can
occasionally get Forth used for testing a new device,
where Forth IS just a layer that gets pasted in occasionally
rather than the basis for the processor design, the basis
of the CAD software, the entire compiler, and all the tools
that we used and sold.  

To me Forth competing with Perl is not an issue.  I don't
have any convern that making Forth more like Perl will
make it more popular because Perl is popular.  I just
want to augment my abilities.

Technically Forth is very rewarding.  It gives one a
sense of accomplishment when it lets you do so many things
that would not otherwise be possible.  But socially it
is a problem because of the Forth haters out there.

It is very hard to deal with people who say that they
HATE Forth because they read that it was a religion not
a programming language.  People may think that encouraging
them is fun, and it may be for some people, but it isn't
fun when you do Forth for a living and have to deal with
people who have been told things, like the things that
John says, that have made them simply hate Forth, I mean
HATE Forth.

Quote:
> Maybe it's the company we keep.  I work (and play) with a
> group of programmers, software engineers, and computer
> scientists who actively seek out technology and are e{*filter*}d
> about learning as much as they can.

Right. ;-)

Quote:
> Jeff apparently has had the misfortune of
> being around people of the opposite extreme-- people
> who are afraid of technology, and who want to maintain
> the status quo.  At least, that's my guess.

People such as Chuck Moore a man who invented his own
language, designs his own chips, and found pervasive
industry wide bugs in both hardware and software design
and has spend fourty years crafting solutions. ;-)

But I have also worked with lots of people that
say some of the things that John says, about lowing
things to level of the least competent people,
maintaining the status quo as long as there are
suckers stupid enough to keep giving them cash
for doing it.  Conventional wisdom is, after all,
that no responsible company will invest in innovation
unless forced to by the competition.  Decent hardware
or software is not on their radar.

best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Wed, 06 Apr 2005 16:58:48 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

> I was reviewing Chuck's interview on shashdot today.
> He said that not everyone needs to be a programmer and
> this greatly offended several people who felt that Chuck
> needed to appologize for saying it.  But the fact is
> the only way to let everyone be a programmer is to find
> a way to let idiots program.  I prefer Forth being
> a tool for experts rather than turning it into something
> for programmers who want the opposite.

Oh I forgot.  One person wrote that Chuck must be on
crack.  He wrote this because Chuck mentioned the 'right
by design' methodology in which errors are avoided,
rather than being a big part of the overall plan.  People
are so used to dealing with the errors that are planned
that the idea of just avoiding those errors in the
first place to be more productive is so far from
their reality that they think Forth is just a
crackhead fantacy.  That doesn't sound like someone
who likes Forth very much.  

best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Wed, 06 Apr 2005 17:46:01 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Jeff> One person wrote that Chuck must be on crack.  He wrote this
Jeff> because Chuck mentioned the 'right by design' methodology in
Jeff> which errors are avoided, rather than being a big part of the
Jeff> overall plan.  People are so used to dealing with the errors
Jeff> that are planned that the idea of just avoiding those errors in
Jeff> the first place to be more productive is so far from their
Jeff> reality that they think Forth is just a crackhead fantacy.  That
Jeff> doesn't sound like someone who likes Forth very much.

I don't follow your reasoning. Because someone critizes Chuck's way of
viewing methodology, that would necessarily mean that this person does
not like Forth?

  Sam
--



Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:47:17 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

> I don't follow your reasoning. Because someone critizes Chuck's way of
> viewing methodology, that would necessarily mean that this person does
> not like Forth?

I guess you do not know what it means to say that
someone must be on crack.

Best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 01:33:29 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:


>> I don't follow your reasoning. Because someone critizes Chuck's way
>> of viewing methodology, that would necessarily mean that this
>> person does not like Forth?

Jeff> I guess you do not know what it means to say that someone must
Jeff> be on crack.

I do know what it means. But I still don't understand why when someone
says that Chuck is on crack when he talks about "right by design" you
think that this person doesn't like Forth.

  Sam
--



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 01:52:15 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

> I do know what it means. But I still don't understand why when someone
> says that Chuck is on crack when he talks about "right by design" you
> think that this person doesn't like Forth.

I guess I have seen actual crack {*filter*}s, they are delusional,
dangerous, and have so much accumulated brain damage that
they could not complete a sentance let alone a computer
program.  In effect what this person was saying was that
Chuck Moore's invention, Forth, was the fantacy of a
delusional retarded dangerous person, ie. worse than
just total garbage.  Right by design is Chuck's description
of his idea of Forth.

To listen to the inventor of something explain it and
then call him a crackhead is a complete dismissal.  How
could anyone think anything else.

Are you defending crackheads as good and competent people?
Do you use a programming style from a crackhead?

Best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 02:41:12 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

>> I do know what it means. But I still don't understand why when
>> someone says that Chuck is on crack when he talks about "right by
>> design" you think that this person doesn't like Forth.

Jeff> I guess I have seen actual crack {*filter*}s, they are delusional,
Jeff> dangerous, and have so much accumulated brain damage that they
Jeff> could not complete a sentance let alone a computer program.  In
Jeff> effect what this person was saying was that Chuck Moore's
Jeff> invention, Forth, was the fantacy of a delusional retarded
Jeff> dangerous person, ie. worse than just total garbage.  Right by
Jeff> design is Chuck's description of his idea of Forth.

Jeff> To listen to the inventor of something explain it and then call
Jeff> him a crackhead is a complete dismissal.  How could anyone think
Jeff> anything else.

Did you really take "crackhead" literally in an Internet posting, as
in "going in the street and buying crack and smoking it"?

Btw, I couldn't find any single post or web page where "Chuck Moore"
was called a "crackhead". What document were you referring to? It
would help to see whether you missed a smiley or not.

If you intended to write "crackpot", I found quite a lot of them,

   "In fact Chuck is a crackpot.  So am I."

You don't literally mean that you and Chuck are really crackpots, do you?

  Sam
--



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 04:05:06 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past
=== much snipping of sniping

You guys ought to get together, preferably before Christmas, drink a
little too much beer, and spend time falling down rather than falling
out.

---
Regards
Alex McDonald



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 04:41:20 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

> Did you really take "crackhead" literally in an Internet posting, as
> in "going in the street and buying crack and smoking it"?

The name of the thread was 'this guy is on crack', while
not to be taken literally it was clear that this was
his way of saying that Chuck was an idiot, delusional,
and knows absolutely nothing about computers or the
real world.  He was not saying that a computer language
from a crackhead is a good thing.  I don't think anyone
could take it as a complement, well maybe a crackhead. ;-)

Chuck had make the comment:

cm: "There is no hardware protection.  Memory protection
can be provided by the access computer. But I prefer
software that is correct by design."

'this guy is on crack'

should point out that this guy has no clue about real world
software design.  People make mistakes, big one, they're not
always caught in the debug cycle."

Quote:
> Btw, I couldn't find any single post or web page where "Chuck Moore"
> was called a "crackhead". What document were you referring to? It
> would help to see whether you missed a smiley or not.

Before you accuse me of missing a smiley, or try to convince
people that saying that Chuck is on crack meant that his guy
liked Forth you might try looking in the place where I said
I found it. Need a URL?
http://slashdot.org/interviews/01/09/11/139249.shtml

There were a number of other comments, and some people
posted examples showing that buggy software running under
Unix would crash without hardware error protection which
thus proved to them that Chuck doesn't understand that
bugs are part of the system plan.

Quote:
> If you intended to write "crackpot",

I didn't.  I was refering to a thread labeled
'this guy must be on crack'  To which one of our
c.l.f regulars posted:

William Tanksly: "Your incredulity shows your almost unspeakable
insularity. Your use of a Unix-based, system-specific command
to provide evidence against me is solid proof of your insularity."

About Chuck's comments on memory protection:

sigwinch: "Idiocy, written by a person who has never designed
a system with significant complexity." "This page, colorforth,
is *full* of idiocy."

The guy also didn't understand scaling at all so he
didn't understand how scaling is combined with a double
precision intermediate calculation as a substitution for
floating point in traditional Forth.

I thought Chuck had a wonderful point:

cm: "Most platform differences concern hardware interfaces.
These are intrinsically different.  Any attempt to make them
them same achieves the lowest common denomonator. That is,
ignores the features that made the hardware attractive in
the first place."

But this sort of thing 'really squicks' people.  Whatever that
means.  Idiocy is not a word of approval.

Quote:


>    "In fact Chuck is a crackpot.  So am I."

> You don't literally mean that you and Chuck are really
> crackpots, do you?

Did you ever see the page in the whole earth catalog
about the book Laws of Form?  Newton was a crackpot,
Einstien was a crackpot, Turing was a crackpot,
many people thought they were simply nuts. There are
people who have said that they would have recommended
electro-shock therapy for people with such radical and
revolutionary ideas.  One just has to accept that
the future does look like crackpotery to those without
the courage to pursue it.  One has to have certain
amount of pride in the fact that anyone capable of
independent thought will be consider a fool by the
masses.

For three years after the Wright brothers had publicly
demonstrated controlled flight the prestigious magazine,
Scientific American, continue to publish articles that
it was just hoax and had never happened.  The Wright
brothers were crackpots.

My sense is that the longer time one is considered a
crackpot before the facts are understood more widely
the greater the discovery.  Einstien's predictions
about gravity in general relativity were proven only
a few years after he published, but his statement that
matter and energy were interchangable was not widely
appreciated for decades, not until the A-bomb was
made public information.  

The more profound a discovery the more it makes its
discoverer and everyone else a fool for not having
discovered it earlier.  Crackpot, noun, adjective,
informal, (a person who is) foolish or stupid.
One has to accept that appear to be a fool or
crack goes with the territory.

Of course history will also show when the person
was stupid.  When people say that Charles Moore
is an idiot I know they are wrong.  I have met
some of the smartest people in the world and
Chuck fits in quite well.  They tend to be very
quirky and are seen as crackpots by the average
or below average person.

best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 06:13:00 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Quote:

> You guys ought to get together, preferably before Christmas, drink a
> little too much beer, and spend time falling down rather than falling
> out.

Sorry if I get carried away.  I don't like being called names.

Where and when?

best wishes,
Jeff Fox



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 06:15:23 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past


Quote:

>    "In fact Chuck is a crackpot.  So am I."

> You don't literally mean that you and Chuck are really crackpots, do you?

    Well, Chuck isn't, anyway...

--

-Gary Chanson (MVP for Windows SDK)
-Software Consultant (Embedded systems and Real Time Controls)

-War is the last resort of the incompetent.



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 11:46:01 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past


Quote:
> John, I realize that you have no problem with your
> telling the world that Forth is for cultists, unthinking
> parrots, etc.  I did not expect you to see any problem
> with it.

And again, you distort my statements.

My use of the metaphor of "cultists" started with the observation that
*some* in the Forth community (certainly not all) are dogmatic absolutists
when it comes to their particular views on Forth.  For example, you Jeff.
There are people in comp.lang.forth who apparently think that the only valid
views on Forth are those that come from (or are approved by) Charles Moore.
That doesn't mean that "Forth is for cultists" as you wrote.  Indeed, most
of us take a far more liberal view of Forth-- that it is for *everyone* and
that the Forth universe is plenty big enough to support a multiplicity of
ideas.

This appears to bother you Jeff-- and bother you deeply.  You have a rigid
view of what Forth is, how people should use it, and how it should be
promoted.  Anyone who doesn't fall in line is a "Forth hater" (which of
course means that they have different views from you).  Anyone who dares to
question anything from The Gospel According To Chuck is part of a {*filter*}
to keep Forth down.  Anyone who believes in a more blended, integrationist
view of Forth is out to destroy all that is good with Forth.

Quote:
> I just wanted to make the point that biggest problem
> with Forth as we all know is the reputation promoted
> by the Forth haters.  People wonder where rumors such
> as Forth being a religion come from.

People have used religious metaphors for *all* things related to computers
before I was born.  Go into any computer-related newsgroup and post "what is
the best X" type of message.  I guarantee that in response, someone will use
a religious metaphor.  It's a natural thing to do, since for many people
there are clear and obvious parallels between religious faith and the kind
of "faith" involved in a committment to a particular view of hardware and
software.

But if you really believe that religious metaphors are destructive to Forth,
then maybe one solution is for you to stop using them.  When I visit the
Ultratechnology web site, I see that you are using the hosting services of a
Mr. Michael Alyn Miller.  Click on his "Forth" link, and he offers this
quote:

    Forth is like Tao: it is a Way, and is realized
    when followed. Its fragility is its strength,
    its simplicity its direction. -- Michael Ham

Hmm, looks like someone framing Forth in Taoist religious metaphor.  But as
you might argue, that's Mr. Miller.  Let's instead look at the content of
your very own web site.  You offer some writing from Dr. Ting titled "eForth
and Zen" where he goes on at great length forming comparisons to Forth and
Zen in several areas.  His use of religious metaphor is not only obvious,
but the very point of the essay.

So Jeff, if you have such a problem with religious metaphors related to
Forth, why do you have such content on your system?

Quote:
> As distasteful and innacurate as your slanders
> comments about the Forth community are [...]

No, not the Forth community.  Just the small little slice of the Forth
community that people like you are in.

Quote:
> John sees me as the enemy of Forth because I
> report what it can do.

No, I see you as the enemy of Forth because you want to restrict Forth to a
narrow and rigid view.

Quote:
> I recall somone once saying that doing a job ahead of
> shedule and under budget was as big of an error as
> being late and over budget.  I realize that this is
> just conventional wisdom and that you don't see anything
> wrong with it.

And here is yet another example of how you take my statements out of
context.  My statement was that in project management, one should seek to
reduce error.  If a project comes in late and/or over budget, that
represents an error in project management.  Clearly, the project manager
didn't understand some aspect of the project, and came up with a poor
estimate.  This is a bad thing.

Likewise, if a project comes in early and/or under budget, that also
represents an error.  Clearly, someone thought the project was more complex
or costly than it was.  Perhaps the error came from using too-conservative
estimates.  Whatever the cause, the error here was the same as for late
and/or over budget-- something wasn't understood.  This is also a bad thing.

The goal is to be on-time and on-budget.  What this means is creating
accurate and realistic project estimates up-front.  This is part of a larger
process of better understanding the complexity and various costs of
software.

Quote:
> I just don't want to see Forth brought down to the lowest
> common denominator.  I like it being as good as it can be,
> it forces me to try to be better myself.  I don't want to
> make it 'average' or make it suitable for the below average
> people who probably should not be programming anyway.

And I don't understand how any of this affects you or anyone else.  If Joe
Programmer chooses to use Forth in a way that you don't like, that is his
choice.  You aren't in any way forced to follow his decisions.  You are free
to code in Forth however you like, and promote whatever set of programming
philosophies you think works best.  But everyone else shouldn't be forced to
follow.

Forth is about options.  If someone wants to use a "fat" Forth that doesn't
stop others from using a "thin" one.  If someone wants to use Forth on top
of an operating system, this doesn't affect if someone else doesn't.  If
someone wants to come up with new extensions to Forth that makes their job
easier, that doesn't prevent others from completely ignoring those
extensions.

Jeff keeps putting forward the idea that I am somehow promoting that Forth
should be brought down to the level of some lowest common denominator.  How
exactly would that work?  If ANS Forth suddenly turned into PL/1, would that
mean that Charles Moore would be forced to stop work on ColorForth?  If
libraries of code designed for reuse became popular, would Jeff have to stop
work on Aha?  Jeff presents a bizarre world where competitive ideas can't
exist without somehow ruining the whole.  He has yet to explain how this
would (or could!) happen.



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 18:51:10 GMT  
 Ghosts Of Christmas Past


Quote:

> > You guys ought to get together, preferably before Christmas, drink a
> > little too much beer, and spend time falling down rather than falling
> > out.

> Sorry if I get carried away.  I don't like being called names.

> Where and when?

> best wishes,
> Jeff Fox

Love to meet, but I don't think we're in the same timezone. There aren't
many Forthers where I live.

"Each of us has his own little private conviction of rightness and almost by
definition, the Utopian condition of which we all dream is that in which all
people finally see the error of their ways and agree with us. And underlying
practically all our attempts to bring agreement is the assumption that
agreement is brought about by changing people's minds -- other people's." S
I Hayakawa

That goes for me too...

---
Regards
Alex McDonald



Thu, 07 Apr 2005 18:55:50 GMT  
 
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