Re: Giving an application a window icon in a sensible way

"Oliver Wong" <>
Fri, 1 Dec 2006 13:48:17 -0500
"Twisted" <> wrote in message

Oliver Wong wrote:

    I don't know if Buddha and the others did everything right. That
the point. I was just pointing out that it's possible to become
to insults.

I disagree.

[snip lots of stuff]
[snip admission he's hostile to both me and Attardi's bunch; there seem
to be 3 or more sides here]

    Haha. Actually, I merely said I'm criticizing both sides. In this
regard, I'm only as hostile as Gandhi was when he criticized the Indians and
the British for being hostile to each other.

[snip some more]

    I vaguely recall you saying something about needing to rebut every
attack made against you. That's what I'm saying to drop. Forget this "an
for an eye" stuff.

If I were out for revenge I'd be launching character assassinations
against Attardi and others, rather than simply debunking some of the
crap they keep saying.

    You go a bit further than debunking. I recall you referred to Joe
Attardi as "Retardi" or something like that, right?

Now go tell Attardi et. al to drop the hostilities. Maybe then this
execrable mess will end. Although I doubt it.

    Okay. Attardi, others; if you've been acting hostile towards Twisted,
please stop doing it.

Good luck. :P

    Why? I succeeded, didn't I? I wanted to tell people to stop acting
hostile, and I did so. Mission accomplished.

    Unless you thought that the mission was to actually *get* them to stop
acting hostile, as opposed to merely telling them to stop. In which case I'd
be falling into the trap of desiring to change others, instead of changing

You (wilfully?) misunderstand. To have a globally bulletproof
reputation you have to have global fame,

    That's not true. You gave the example of hermits having bulletproof
reputation. They certainly aren't globally famous.

OK, but they're a rather extreme exception most people would not want
to emulate. Also, if most people become hermits (leaving only those few
who become famous instead) then civilization collapses.

    I'm not suggesting that people become hermits either. You're reading too
much into my text. I'm just falsifying your claim that you need global fame
to be globally bulletproof.

Did you read a word I said? Since real harm IS done, "changing the
rules in my favor" doesn't matter. Changing the rules would be like
altering the gun laws or the penalty for murder -- it won't necessarily
stop someone shooting people.

    Actually, changing the rules would be like making it so that bullets
deal zero damage to you.

That would mean changing the way other people react to insults and
rumours though, which as I've explained ten thousand times is well
beyond my means.

    No, you don't need to change others -- only to change yourself.

Well, you sure do seem to be wanting me to pretend *something* in order
to please you, or worse, please my attackers. Obviously I can't even
consider doing anything to achieve the latter, since rewarding what
they have done will only encourage them to do it again, to me and to
other victims. Now that they have done things unjustifiable they must
be given no quarter!

    I don't see how you inferred my asking you to pretend anything.

Let's check off a few shall we?
Suggested I pretend to agree with someone just so they shut up? Check.
Suggested I pretend insults wouldn't damage my reputation? Check.
Suggested I pretend to be happy even when I wasn't? Check.
And that's just for starters...

    Citation? I don't remember making any of these suggestions. However, for
that last one, pretending to be happy, perhaps you were thinking of that
old-man-leather-shoe fable in which I accidentally wrote "should" instead of

Second, I'm advocating actually changing yourself, not just
pretending to change yourself.

That sounds like you're advocating a form of suicide, not to mention
something that simply isn't possible even if I wanted to. I don't have
the tools for do-it-yourself brain surgery, regardless.

    I wouldn't call changing yourself a form of suicide. And people have
been able to change themselves without brain surgery.

I am who I am. If I become someone different, then I die and someone
different is born. If I induce this intentionally, it's a form of
suicide (and parenting?)...and since I am who I am, I don't see any way
to change it anyway.

    If that's your definition of suicide, then I commit suicide almost
constantly. I'm always learning something new, and this changes my
perspective on things, and my reaction to events. If someone had asked me
five minutes ago if I've ever typed in the world "ventriloquised" into a
USENET post, I would have said no. If they ask me again now, I'd say yes.
I've changed just by the act of making this post.

Finally, suggesting that people should change upon request leads down a
dangerous slippery slope to some kind of totalitarianism, or a
Borg-like hive mind, or some shit like that.

    Upon internal request. When I change, it's not because you ask me to,
but because I ask myself to do so.

So the old man should go over to woodsmith and perhaps getting wooden
made for him.

This is not even close to analogous to my situation. This is more like
advocating that I buy a bulletproof vest after being threatened by a
gunman, despite being told that the gunman is threatening a hostage
that isn't wearing one rather than directly pointing it at me.

    Uh... I don't see the similarity...

That's because I need to revise downwards my estimate of your IQ;
sorry. Be with you in a moment.

Where were we? Oh yes. Er, right, if I bulletproof myself against bad
feelings when someone insults me, it doesn't stop the insult affecting
someone else's treatment of me. Which is something we seem to keep
having to go over many, many times for some reason. Maybe you don't
care if people start to mistreat you, even if former friends do and so
does everyone else without any exceptions, but I do, and if everyone
was as unconcerned with such things as you apparently are, we'd either
have a planetful of hermits or a planetful of sociopaths, and in either
case no civilization to speak of.

    In your analogy, wouldn't the hostage be the person in trouble, rather
than you? I.e. the fact that it's someone else who's a hostage does not
nescessarily mean it's a bad idea for you to wear a bullet proof vest. If
everyone followed the advice (they all wore bullet proof vests), then we
wouldn't have this hostage problem in the first place. Those who don't
follow the advice have problems, and those that do are immune to the

    I think you're confused about the analogy, but I agree that it'd take
lot of effort to bullet proof everybody. That's exactly what the fable
you to NOT do.

Well, then I have to stop the bullets even being fired. There's no
other viable choice, unless you consider "letting them turn you into a
pariah" viable, which I don't.

    If your concern is for others, then imagine the old man is now happily
walking down the road, wearing his wooden clogs, and encounters another man
who's walking barefoot and in pain. The first man shouts to the second "Why
don't you wear some shoes? I have an extra pair right here." And the second
man says "That's impossible". Sure, this first man is saddened that the
second man is unable to see the solution which seems obvious to him, but
there's nothing he can really do to force the second man to put on the

And that means the insults can still damage my future life or
opportunities despite the "bulletproofing", which makes it useless (or
worse than useless, a numbing of a pain that actually indicates a
possibly serious injury, resulting in letting the injury fester
untreated until it becomes gangrenous and life-threatening!)...

    And now you're mixing metaphors. If you're properly bulletproof, the
insults can't still damage your future life or opportunities.

Well that's just where the bullet analogy starts seriously breaking
down. It's more like a toxic gas. If you put on a gas mask, but
everyone else drops dead and you're left all alone, you're not much
better off than if you died too. Might as well try to prevent the gas
being released. (Of course, in the case of nasty rumours, the effects
are as if somehow for you everyone dropped dead, while for everyone
else it was you that did. So think of it as if the attacker has a gun
that can split the universe, into one parallel world where the target
is alone and one where everyone else is. Or something.)

    Or how about we drop the analogies and stick with the issue at hand?

There is another: you're living in a dream world, and I'm living in the
real one.

    I wouldn't call my world a "dream world". It's pretty good, but not
quite that good. I haven't been dating supermodels or swimming in cash
recently, for example.

Well, then, you haven't been trying hard enough! Since you're a reality
denialist, quite willing to replace your experiences completely with a
fantasy created by your own mind and neglect entirely your real-world
circumstances as no longer relevant, you should be able to do better
than that. It's not like in your world where no matter what you're
always happy you can't print your own money or wish up a willing and
interested version of Daniela Pestova or something ... :)

    Actually, I can't do all that stuff. I can't (or find it difficult to)
change the world around me, remember? What I *can* do is change myself. That
you made this mistake indicates to me that you still don't "get" what I'm
trying to tell you.

    If your personality is such that your happiness is conditional on dating
Daniela Pestova (I don't know who that is, but I assume she's some famous
super model), then you'll probably spend the majority of your life unhappy.
Even if you do manage to start dating her, a lot of relationships don't
last, and you may eventually end up breaking up. The trick, then, is not to
change the world so that you end up guaranteed dating Daniela Pestova for
the rest of eternity. Rather, the trick is to change yourself so that your
happiness is no longer conditional on dating her.

    Your emotions, experiences, personality, etc. all colour your world.
Most of your perceptions are not as objective as you might think.

Speak for yourself. Yours certainly aren't objective; and of course my
emotions are colored by my circumstances, as they should be; but facts
are facts, and what I infer by logic remains true no matter what. You
seem to reject all empiricism in fact, both with that statement (it's
reminiscent of Hume and other reality-denying philosphers) and your
repeatedly not accounting for my observation that insults have rarely
*failed* to cause genuine, grievous indirect harm through influencing
other people.

    Well, you went from "insults cause harm 100% of the time" to "insults
have rarely failed to cause harm". That's some progress.

[snip more lunacy]

    The "innocent person" remark had nothing to do with what you should
should not do in this thread. It was only to falsify your claim that an
innocent person will always vehemently protest anything accused of

You can't falsify something that's true.

    Lucky for me, then, that your claim isn't true. ;)

You seem also to have
forgotten that a guilty person can fake that kind of protest to make
their guilt not obvious.

    What makes you think I have forgotten this? Anyway, if the above
evidence didn't convince, consider this simpler one:

    Accuse me of something which is trivially false. E.g. claim that I've
destroyed the entire universe. I'm obviously innocent of it, right? But I
won't vehemently protest it. This falsifies your claim that an innocent
person will always vehemently protest anything accused of him/her.

    Now, I fear you'll probably take this next part as an insult, but it's
not intended to be. It's a statement of fact about you. And you might think
it's unpleasant, but I believe that it's objectively true. So brace
yourself. Maybe make yourself a cup of tea, calm your nerves down, and try
to read this with as little negative emotions as possible: This isn't the
first time you've made a logical error. If you feel your temper rising, take
a few breaths and count to ten. We all make mistakes. I make mistakes too.
It's part of being human. No rational person would think poorly of someone
just because they made mistakes.

    Ok, so if you acknowledge you've made logical errors, would you be
willing to reconsider some of the assertions you've previously made? They
may have been made in error as well. Probably most of them weren't, but some
of them may have been. It's always good to do a little introspection, and
review and challenge your own beliefs.

Revising the model to include a certain percentage of garbling in
transmission, all of my earlier conclusions are unchanged (now a
certain fraction of rebuttals are rendered ineffective by noise in the
receiver, but a similar fraction of insults can be assumed to suffer
the same fate, and the two cancel out).

    Revise the model so that now, for every message you send out, it is
garbled in a specific way so as to cause other people to think poorly of

That's a completely off-the-wall model with no basis in reality. You're
proposing a strong systematic error rather than just noise in the
signal. That requires a persistant misalignment somewhere, which since
I am perfectly logical would require that everyone else, to the very
last one, be seriously abnormal in some respect and, in particular,
incapable of reason or basic English comprehension.

    Or that for the emitter to be broken in some form. Maybe certain English
words don't mean what you think they mean, at least to the other posters in

I suppose you're doing the usual thing and projecting your own traits
onto everyone else. Much the way thieves are paranoid about being
stolen from, and evil dictators think everyone is plotting to take over
the throne, and so forth. It's understandable -- our default model for
a generic, unidentified human being is our self-model (and for people
we know, or get to know, we add the known deviations from that model as
learned deltas). Unfortunately, when the person in question is highly
atypical, as you appear to be, the result tends to be wrong far more
often than it's right.

    Very insightful. Thank you for that.

'Cause that's what happening in this thread, right? You're posting
logical, neutral replies, and everyone is interpreting them as idiotic,
hostile ones.

You have again mistakenly confused "everyone" with "everyone posting to
this particular thread". The latter is a very tiny subset of the
former, and is dominated at this time by my attackers. In fact, you're
using the posts my attackers have made as "evidence" that "everyone"
hates me when it is only evidence that my attackers do -- which is
obvious, since why else would they be attacking me? If you were
correct, my attackers would be exponentiating in number; in fact, they
are gradually diminishing, according to my latest statistical model for
this thread.

    There may be a sampling bias, yes. But if 100% of the people posting
seem to interpret your messages as being idiotic and hostile, then it's hard
to extrapolate any meaningful figure for how many lurkers may think your
posts are logical and neutral. Personally, I'd take a long, hard look at
that 100%, as opposed to disregarding it as a statistical anomaly.

    Is the best strategy still to continue sending out these messages?

Not in the kooky comic-book-physics universe you just proposed,

    Okay, good.

then that isn't the real world is it?

    It might be.

    You've been insulting me a lot in this thread. Calling me a dimwit,
telling me I'm thick as some number of planks, that I'm a moron, etc.

Only when you keep either ignoring something I say every time I say it
or failing to parse it even when it is stated in plain, fairly simple
English, and this happens hundreds of bloody times!

how I didn't bother to dispute any of these accusations. Notice also how
your insults don't seem to harm me at all.

If you did nothing and I kept it up, you'd develop a sullied reputation
that would probably interfere with getting a job or having much of a
social life.

    Somehow, I doubt it. But it'd be an interesting experiment. Please
continue to insult me, even when I do nothing. I'd like to see how much
control you can exert over my life. I suspect it to be none, and would like
be to corrected if it turns out I'm wrong.

I won't keep it up, since I only have outbursts like that
when faced with genuine idiocy or unbelievably mulish stubbornness
worthy of a Guiness record, so you probably have nothing to worry
about. (Your persistent confusions of fantasy with reality are probably
a much greater hindrance to your employability or social life than a
rumor I started could ever be, anyway.)

    Yes, you are right. *I* have a lot more control over my life than you
do. And that's mostly true for everyone (perhaps not for young children):
They are in control of their own lives. You are in control of your life.
What you do or do not do has a much greater impact on your employability and
social life than a rumor someone on the Internet might start. Or so says my
experience. I know you claim to have had a different experience. However,
your experience really is unimaginable to me.

    Hopefully, this is evidence enough for you that it's not the case
damage is always done when someone gets insulted over usenet.

If someone somewhere is now less well-disposed towards you, then damage
was done. I'm not sure if I should apologize, but given that you've
admitted to hostility towards me, and given that you really do seem to
have a real hard time letting me get some points across, I'm leaning
towards "no" on that one.

    Don't apologize. As you said, damage was done, but it's as negligeable
as the damage a single snowflake causes when it lands on my winter jacket
while I'm wearing it. My jacket, and thus my body temperature, has cooled
slightly, and thus I will need to eat a slightly more calories to maintain
good health. But again, it's such a trivially small damage that I just
ignore that snowflake.

    (1) I don't think I ever called you lazy.

You don't think, then. You certainly did, and not that long ago.

    Can you provide a citation?

No, but it's true. You specifically said my not googling Ant was lazy;
I remember that much; and you used the exact word "lazy".

    This is the passage I'm assuming you're referring to. Notice that the
word "lazy" never appears in there:
It's not your "obvious lack of google-fu" that they're pouncing
on, but your "obvious lack of effort". The problem wasn't that you put in
the wrong Google query. The problem is that you didn't even bother to try
googling at all. And the even bigger problem is that you automatically
assumed that Google would not return useful results without even trying it.
And an even bigger problem than that was when people told you googling for
"ant" *would* return a useful result, you argued with them, despite that
there existed a trivial, easy to repeat experiment to demonstrate that you
were wrong: namely to try actually googling for "ant".

    So really, your google-fu level had nothing to do with why you got
pounced on, IMHO.

The technical term is "efficient". "Lazy" is pejorative. Don't use it
to describe me.

    Okay. So maybe you should stop being so efficient that you don't
to google "ant" before making assertions about what such a google query

You've gotten confused again. Let me help you.

What actually happened was:
* Everyone was raving about ant, but nobody had mentioned how to obtain
it or get more info when endorsing it, which I found rather curious.
* So I asked why.
* People misunderstood that as my demanding they post the URL, rather
than wondering why they hadn't done so spontaneously. They asked me why
I hadn't googled it.
* I then told them that I wasn't really looking for it at this time
anyway, and besides, it was highly unlikely to work seeing as the name
of the thing was a three-letter word with a far more commonly used,
mainstream meaning.

    You seem to have a different memory of the events than I did. People
tell you to learn Ant. You cliam the reason that you didn't was that no one
has provided you with the URL. Note that it's not that you're asking WHY
people don't provide you with the url, but that you really are complaining
that no one provided you with the URL.

You refuse to learn ant because it is "yet another thing"
but correct use of this tool will solve most of the problems you have.

Actually, there are several other reasons. Notable among them is that
nobody has yet mentioned anything remotely resembling a URL for it, and
it should be fairly obvious that a google search with the query "ant"
is unlikely to produce anything relevant here.

    Many people tell you googling for "ant" is indeed useful.
Twisted wrote:

Actually, there are several other reasons. Notable among them is that
nobody has yet mentioned anything remotely resembling a URL for it, and
it should be fairly obvious that a google search with the query "ant"
is unlikely to produce anything relevant here.

Actually that simple query returns the required item as the very first

See it for yourself.

    You then argue with them:
Mark Thornton wrote:

Twisted wrote:

Actually, there are several other reasons. Notable among them is that
nobody has yet mentioned anything remotely resembling a URL for it, and
it should be fairly obvious that a google search with the query "ant"
is unlikely to produce anything relevant here.

Actually that simple query returns the required item as the very first

That is illogical. The top hit for "ant" should be entomological in
nature, since the most widespread mainstream use of the word "ant"
refers to insects.
<quote> wrote:

You should do stand-up, either that, or go and work for google, clearly
they have much to learn from you.

If, as you claim, the top hit for "ant" isn't the dictionary definition
or even remotely related but is instead for some obscure software that
only a minuscule fraction as many people have even heard of, then
Google clearly does have much to learn -- from *somebody*, anyway.
Daniel Pitts wrote:

Google tends to rank things based on relevancy...

Yes. So I assume that the types of results most likely to be relevant
for Joe Blow will dominate the first N hits. Esoteric software used by
only a narrow demographic is unlikely to be relevant for Joe Blow.

    Why you argued with them, instead of just checking it out yourself, I
have no idea.

Apparently it turns out to be the exception rather than the rule in
this case, but it remains true that you're probably wasting your time
if you google such a thing. Hindsight is of course irrelevant, since
you don't have it yet at the time when you're making the decision of
whether to invest any time in a search before asking for more info or
not. When I judge that asking someone carries a higher probability of
success than googling, and that having to wait hours or even days for
the information isn't a problem, then I ask instead.

    If one of your main concerns is not having the lurkers think you're an
idiot, I don't think arguing with people about what a google query for "ant"
would return, without actually trying that search yourself, is the optimal
strategy. Your actions are not consistent with your words.

    If you want to call it a "close part of the environment", then fine.
Change the "close parts", and don't bother changing the "far parts". The
moral of the fable remains the same.

Unfortunately I don't see how it can possibly apply to insults and
rumours. Instead of changing everyone's minds to reject the insults,
I'd just have to change mine and anyone who got close by. But the
latter is still not actually possible...

    For me, you just ignore the insults, and other people tend to also
ignore them automatically. For your specific case, I don't know what advice
I can provide without knowing what problems you've specifically encountered
when trying this strategy.

Conclusion 2 - Everyone's social life and probably economic life tanks

    Conclusion 2 seems to assume that everyone decides to play (and thus
lose) the insult game.

You seem to have forgotten that anyone can draft anyone else into it
involuntarily simply by insulting them. I don't see a practical way to
ensure against being thus drafted, short of becoming a recluse.

    No: I don't get drafted into the insult game just because someone
insults me.

there's an obvious solution: Move to Japan.

Out of the question.
1. Budget(!)

    This one is a biggie, yes. But if I place happiness over money. I'd
rather be in debt and happy than rich and miserable.

2. I'd quickly starve and die in an environment in which I was unable
to procure food or engage in other basic transactions due to mutual

    Actually, it's very easy to get food without speaking Japanese (assuming
you have the money to afford it). Every restaurant I've been too either had
food, or actual 3D model replicas of the dish they're serving. The prices
are written in Arabic numerals (the same numerals that English uses, i.e. 1,
2, 3, etc.), and the value of the Japanese currency is also written in
Arabic numerals.

    For a job, apparently it's easy to get one if you're caucasian, as
there's a lot of demand for caucasian mascots. You don't even need to speak
Japanese. I'm out of luck in that regard, because I look Asian.

3. If everyone did as you suggest, the whole island-chain would
probably sink under the weight, and certainly its carrying capacity for
H. Sapiens would be overwhelmed(!!!)

    I'm not suggesting everybody move to Japan. I'm only saying given the
problem description unique to you, it sounds like moving to Japan might be a
solution worth considering.

    You called me a moron. I won't dispute it. And I claim that I haven't
lost any friends as a result of your calling me a moron and my not

You might yet, or lose friends before even having the chance to know
them (so ones you won't even know you've lost!)...

    Right, but for every action, this is true. The fact that you posted this
reply, instead going out to socialize, means you might have lost the
opportunity to make friends there.

    - Oliver

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