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

"Oliver Wong" <>
Wed, 29 Nov 2006 14:07:46 -0500
"Twisted" <> wrote in message

Oliver Wong wrote:

    Well, in my example, Einstein didn't indicate that he disagreed, nor
he give a rebuttal to being called an idiot.

In your *first* example maybe. In your *second* he did.

    In both examples, he just asked for permission to continue his lecture
uninterrupted. In neither examples did he counter the claim that he was an
idiot or that his theories made no sense.

Notice how a lot of people on this thread are
calling you a troll, for example. That's the USENET parallel with the
crowd getting upset and asking the person to leave.

You've got that completely backwards -- that would be like the crowd
asking *Einstein* to leave because a jerk called him an idiot, rather
than asking the *jerk* to leave.

    If the entire crowd asked Einstein to leave, I think the smart move for
Einstein would be to leave, and not to try to argue with the crowd. See next

A widespread, incorrect perception that he was an idiot could not be
allowed to go uncorrected, though. It would spread through half the
population and Einstein would have difficulty getting *anyone* to take
him seriously after awhile, because the rumor that he was an idiot had
been allowed to get started and then to become widespread.

    Perhaps, but the more important question you should ask yourself is:
Einstein had stayed at that podium, arguing with the crowd that, no, he
not an idiot, would that have "corrected" the perception that he was an

Not in the minds of the die-hards, but he may have swayed moderates
that had started leaning toward the position of the extremists, lacking
until then any other outside force influencing them.

    If the entire crowd is asking him to leave, then probably the entire
crowd consists of die-hards. If some of the crowd was undecided, then he
could ask all those who are uninterested in hearing the rest of his lecture
to leave, and for the rest to remain and hear the rest of his lecture. Or if
only 2 or 3 people were willing, then they could leave with Einstein and go
to a quiet cafe somewhere, where he could continue explaining his theories

I'm not aware of any such game actually being played. In any case,
"walk away" should be interpreted as "refuse to continue the game".

    What if the goal of the game was seeing who would refuse to continue
game first?

There is no such game.

    What makes you believe this? Perhaps you and I are playing that game
right now. ;)

Learn to become invulnerable to insults slung your way.

That's also not possible.

    I think a couple of people have achieved this, demonstrating that it
actually is possible.

You then proceeded to snip the reason why it is impossible, but I will

    Right, you have some arguments explaining why it's impossible, but these
arguments are not very convincing to me if there do indeed exist some people
for whom this is true. That said, out of politeness, I'll leave your
arguments here unsnipped.

to be invulnerable to insults means that they must be
incapable of harming me. But if they are believed by third parties, who
then treat me worse than they would have otherwise, I have clearly been
harmed, regardless of whether hearing the insult directly bothers me or
not. It follows that to be invulnerable I'd have to control the minds
of everyone who might come into contact with the insult, at least to
the extent of being able to make them ignore it, fail to perceive it,
or scoff at it automatically, or some mixture of those. Without that
capability, I am clearly capable of being harmed by the insult,
therefore not invulnerable; and therefore to behave as if I were would
be irrational.

The "couple of people" you mention either don't exist or became
celebrities with reputations too rock-solid to be shaken.

    Yes, the ones I could name that you would probably be celebrities by
virtue of both you and me knowing about them. I'm thinking of Buddha (spl?),
Ghandi, etc.

That clearly
isn't a useful example for the rest of us, the vast majority of whom
can never aspire to the level of fame required to be shielded in such a

    Actually, I think they became famous because they had found this shield
(as opposed to they were shielded because they had become famous).

Not to mention that most people of significant fame are
constantly the subject of vile rumors and dirt-digging by the tabloids
and others anyway; they may be relatively shielded, but they're also
bigger targets, and the effects probably approximately cancel out.

    You can say bad things about Buddha, Ghandi, et all, but I don't think
these bad things would harm them. I think Ghandi even directly addressed
being insulted as part of his strategy for success: "First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."


In actual practise, my observations indicate that the "credulous
subset" is actually either everybody after all, or at least the vast
majority of people, so you'd lose that bet 100% of the time. Somebody
would be swayed, and you would be harmed.

    You and I have had different experiences, which would explain why we
have different outlooks on life.

So now you'd suggest that becoming a monk be a prerequisite for using
Usenet? But doesn't it mean giving up all your worldly possessions too,
such as your computer? Oh, I get it ... nice try, but I'm not falling
for it! You'll have to find some other way to shut me up, if that's
your aim. :P

    No. I'm not a monk, and I didn't give up all my worldly possessions
my computer. I don't know how you inferred that from what I wrote.

I didn't say you were, just that you were suggesting it as something I
should do.

    I wasn't suggesting you become a monk either. Just that you do as I do,
if you want the same kind of success I've been having.

    Great! You've got the pets already, so now you won't allow yourself
slowly die of euphoria. Now the only part that's missing is actually
becoming happy.

Yes, but I prefer to do so by bettering my circumstances rather than by
cheating, tyvm.

    Recall though that's it's easier to change yourself than to change the
word around you.


    Could it be that the large number of people developing poor opinions
you is *due* to your "rebutting" the attacks?

That is completely irrational. The rebuttals have been a damn sight
more civil than many of the attacks, and that's just for starters.
Regardless, it makes no sense for e.g. "I am not a bad person" to
*increase* the listener's credence in the hypothesis that the speaker
is a bad person. It should decrease it or have no effect, to an extent
depending on the strength of evidence provided and the listener's
tendency to be credulous (effectively determining their standard of
evidence). Only in the case of one of those mythical island dwellers
that always lies would it make sense for the reverse to occur.

    I don't know about that... It's a technique used in a lot of comedies:

A: "Hey, what's up, B? How are you doing?"
B: "I didn't set fire to the orphanage!"
A: "Huh?"
B: "Uh... nothing... What's up?"

    B's claim "I didn't set fire to the orphanage" actually increases the
listener's credence in the hypothesis that B actually did, in fact, set fire
to the orphanage.

    But back to your situation: perhaps people are developing poor opinions
of you, without actually really reading the contents of your message.

    It happens both way, because of all those hidden connotations I
mentioned above. It usually happens subconciously too, so it's not like
people are misreading you on purpose.

The connotations that I don't actually put into most of what I write,
you mean?


I don't have the luxury of rewriting the rules. The rules derive
directly from the facts that a) the insults are in earshot of third
parties and b) uncorrected, such things have time and again *proven* to
result in adverse consequences. I can't change those facts without
somehow mind-controlling the whole fucking audience, which would be
ethically dubious even if it was within my power.

    You're mistaken. You *can* change the rules.

This is ridiculous. I've already told you the plain facts. One of those
was that some people *are* swayed by the kind of trash-talking that's
been going on, and another is that those people *will* sometimes
subsequently treat me worse. The rules therefore *must* include
considering an insult to be taking damage in some form. It then follows
that any such attack must either be mitigated or retaliated;

    Actually, it doesn't follow that any such attack must either be
mitigated or retaliated. You can react in any way you want, including
ignoring the so-called "attack".

the former
would undo the damage whereas the latter would deter any further
damaging attacks.

    Not always...

Doing nothing encourages the attackers to continue
until the damage becomes arbitrarily severe, which obviously cannot be

    I disagree that doing nothing encourages the attackers to continue.

You can change the rules without mind-controlling others. Not everybody
has to play the
same game you're playing.

You advocate solipsism here then -- that I go off into a dream world of
my own where (regardless of my actual physical circumstances)
everything is a fantastic paradise and nothing can hurt me.

    Doesn't the solipsim assume that you can control all of reality? I
thought I was being clear in saying that it's much harder to change the
world around you than to change yourself, thus implying that yourself and
the world around you are two distinct things, which contradicts solipsism.

    There are other ways: Get out of this losing "game" you're stuck in,
start playing a game you can win.

But this isn't just some game I can forget about afterward. If I leave
it with a negative score, that will affect me for a long time to come,
similarly to a bad credit rating or something of that sort.

    If you're playing a losing game, your score can only get lower and
lower. The "trick" to "winning" a losing game is to quit as early as
possible, so as to lose as little as possible.

I know,
BECAUSE IT DID BEFORE. I learned my lesson then, and I will NOT just
sit back and let it happen again, no matter how much effort you put
into trying to trick me into doing so.

    I'd tell you that you don't have to worry about me tricking you, as I
don't really care what you end up doing, but maybe that's all part of my
trick, to get you to lower your guard.

    - Oliver

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