Moreover, the world needs these type of people on all sides to make sure the truth gets heard. Even if Mr. Naggum wasn't speaking the truth his opinion helped keep minds open to his side of things.
Honestly, as annoyed as I get at times by people like him I can also see how it's a noble pursuit. As much as people say they don't care what other's think just about everyone does to some extent. In that way it can't be an easy job to scream what you believe is the truth until people listen. So really people like Mr. Naggum are giving up a large piece of happiness to continue their devotion to what they believe is truth. That's admirable.
I'll quote briefly from what Erik wrote in http://groups.google.com/group/comp.lang.lisp/browse_thread/... , which someone linked to above:
I'm overjoyed that I actually hurt your feelings. I wish I could hurt
your feelings so much you would commit suicide. sadly, this has failed,
the only thing I regret is that I didn't see your fantastic stupidity as
a result of your shattered psychology -- it's fairly uncommon to be so
fucking retarded because of a psychological problem, but clearly, you
have been immensely stupid all your life, and now that I come and hurt
your stupid feelings, so you turn on me like a vicious and mad dog -- and
that's exactly what you are to me: a mad dog in need of a bullet through
his sick brain before he actually manages to hurt someone or himself.
do the world a huge favor and commit suicide tonight.
Just as I hear Paul Graham's name blasted frequently online, for a variety of reasons, I'm certain Naggum inspired as many people as he scared off. Never assume an internet personality is the whole story.
I'm certain Naggum inspired as many people as he scared off.
I realize you mean well, but this is glib. Erik Naggum, in his online capacity, was a consummate intellectual bully. (It's hard to imagine anything less true of PG than that.) You know how everyone talks about how dysfunctional the Lisp community is? Naggum did more than anyone else to poison it. Go read the archives of CLL and see for yourself how it starts out as a wellspring of intelligent and civil discourse and then decays under the influence of some smart, funny, nasty characters. The whole thing is a case study in the fragility of online communities.
As one longtime Lisper explained to me, Naggum was so smart and willing to put so much time into it that he became a torque on the whole thing. Most people who found his style obnoxious simply left, and for many (not all) who remained he became the local standard. People began to imitate him and it ultimately affected not only that group but the Lisp world as a whole. Many nice people have tried to repair the damage, but it may never happen: the niceness required to do so is orders of magnitude greater than the poison. It's like trying to clean up an oil spill.
Erik Naggum was obviously really smart and could be quite funny (I enjoyed that aspect of his writing), and for all I know he was a smashing great guy in person - but as far as the above-mentioned harm goes, those things made it worse, not better.
Edit: given that HN's defining quality is to foster intelligent and civil discourse in a way that doesn't get poisoned, your equivalence (and the place you posted it) are kind of ironic. But I know you weren't trying to make a huge point out of it.
If Erik was a 10 on the asshole/sociopath scale, you're running at about 8.5 right now.
But I can't see the man who said this advocating violence of any kind...
"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love."
I've been unable to find any mention of using violence. But it is difficult to search for an answer.