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

"Oliver Wong" <>
Fri, 1 Dec 2006 12:05:25 -0500
"Twisted" <> wrote in message

Oliver Wong wrote:

Anyone with a normal brain and a normal degree of caring how they are
perceived will find it unpalatable.

    You make it sound like being normal is a good thing. Why not strive
achieve something higher?

Like monkhood or nirvana or some such thing? Thanks, but no thanks. Not
my cup of tea. And it isn't your place to tell me (or worse, everyone
in the world) to become some such thing "or else".

    This might have been a bit defensive on my part. Without getting too
deeply into the issue, autism (and thus autist people) are considered
"abnormal", which I suppose is factually true. What ever the majority is, is
normal, by definition, and it just so happens that the majority of people
are not autistic. However, peopel then seem to associate an negative
connotation to "abnormal", like it's somehow "bad" being autistic. I think
being "abnormal" in the form of being autistic is no more bad than being
"abnormal" in the form of being a woman interested in computer science, or
being a stay-at-home dad, or being gay, etc. These people are not like the
majority of other people, but that isn't nescessarily a bad thing.

    So when you contrasted my brain versus a normal brain, I may have read
more than you intended. Either way, I'll just point out that not having a
normal brain isn't nescessarily a bad thing: It's usually considered a good
thing to have an extremely smart brain, for example.

    Was this an exageration, or did you seriously want to rip my fucking
head off? Because if you were being serious, I do have an alternate
strategy: Backing out of this thread, and any conversation with you as
quickly as possible.

A slight exaggeration. :P Whoa, wait, did you just say "backing out of
this thread"? OK, yes I was serious, deadly serious. ;)

    If you want me out of this thread, let me know. I'm communicating with
you because I assume you're (reluctantly?) interested in the information I
have to provide. If not, then there's no real reason for me to continue.

I post a few amusing anecdotes of my screwing up cooking dinner for
my girlfriend on my personal blog. I was making fun of myself, not of

You know damn well that that isn't how I (or many others) would
interpret it.

    You're wrong.

Oh, so now you presume to tell me how I interpret things? I'd be
rushing to find my tinfoil if I actually believed you, but I don't.

    You're wrong that I know damn well what you claim I know damn well.


    "Are you sure Z wouldn't be better?" is exactly a statement you
criticized as being ad hominem.

It depends on the tone of course.

    Any tone you might hear is all in your mind when reading USENET

The real danger sign is when the form "your"
appears in the subject (not the object), as then something about the
person is becoming the focus of discussion, instead of something about
the software.

    "Is it certain by you that Z wouldn't be better" sounds awkward to

That's why we have "I prefer Z; it has these advantages <lists some>
although those may not be applicable in every circumstance" and the

    I think even better would be for them to ask about your specific
circumstances, so they can determine which advantages (if any) are
applicable to your situation.

At anything from which at least one member of the audience is likely to
have inferred an implied or stated negative claim about me.

    So in other words, you consider every statement on the Internet to be

Don't be silly. Just the ones that imply something bad. For example
questions worded in such a way as to suggest that the person who asked
them is really thinking of this one: "Are you sure you aren't doing
something dumb?"

    There will always exist one member of the audience who will find an
interpretation that implies someone is dumb.

    I think the physical equivalent is an American making the "OK" sign
his hand, which is apparently considered to be a vulgar gesture by an
Australian, and then punching the American. From the Australian's point
view, the American started it. From the American's point of view, the
Australian started it.

That's why you respond to a rude gesture in some other way than
immediate violence, dummy. And why I responded to hostile suggestions
about my IQ with polite statements explaining why these suggestions
were false, rather than with counterattacks. I may have gotten nastier
later, towards specific participants, but only once it became clear
that those participants were indeed deliberately and wilfully being
hostile and weren't responding to reason or to the massing evidence of
the futility of trying to "sneak one past me".

    Note that you called me "dummy" in this paragraph.

    Anyway, I see you as more like the Australian in the above analogy. You
ask a question, someone answers. You think the answer is hostile, so you
tell them that you're not an idiot. The other person has no idea why you
brought up whether or not you're an idiot (since this is offtopic with
respect to which method is better), so they just repeat the solution (to use
the class loader). So you get angry, and start becoming nasty.

My "reaction" didn't include any thrown punches until there'd been
unambiguous ones thrown at me first.

    Nobody threw punches. This is usenet. That's simply not possible.

You know what I meant.

    You have a habit of making metaphors, and then extrapolating appropriate
behaviour in your metaphor into behaviour on usenet, and thus reach IMHO
incorrect conclusions. I am no advocating that you ignore or shrug off
punches, for example. Just that you ignore or shrug off insults.

    I don't know about you, but I'd much rather get insulted on the
than get punched.

As has become evident, you haven't had a nasty rumor started online
actually seriously mess up your social life before.

    And yet I've been insulted on the Internet before (e.g. in this very
thread, by you, repeatedly). Didn't you claim that insults *always* result
in damage, 100% of the time, or something like that? It seems your claim is
false, as my social life is not getting messed up by your insults.

I have. You are
singularly unqualified to make that judgment, unlike me. I'd take the
punch, as long as it wasn't going to cause actual lasting injury.

    This surprises me. You take insults more seriously that I thought.

    Anyway, I feel my statement doesn't imply that you objectively need
straightening out, only that *I* think you need straightening out. The
difference is that I might be wrong.

Well, at least you're willing to admit that when you're discussing an
area where you clearly lack expertise.

    Note though that that wasn't what I admitted. Instead, I admitted that I
could be wrong. Sometimes I'm wrong about topics in an area where I *do*
have expertise (I've been wrong about stuff on Java, for example).

It remains true that people will
often read into such a statement a claim that it is factually true,
though, and some of them may start thinking that I might need
"straightening out".

    Right, but as I said earlier, on the Internet, for almost every possible
interpretation, there will be someone out there who will have that
interpretation, regardless of what you write. This is why I think you
shouldn't give so much importance to what people on the Internet think of
you, and is one of the reasons I think arguing that you're (the generic
you, not you specifically) not an idiot is not effective.

    If you're speaking with one specific person, you can try to establish a
common understanding via the back and forth exchange. By seeing their
responses to your message, you can try to guess what parts they understood
and which parts they didn't understood, and then focus more energy on the
parts not understood. This is what's happening between you and me, for
example. From my perspective, you are having trouble understanding my
"change yourself" advice, so I'm focusing my energy there. From my
perspective, I think I have a fairly good idea of what you're trying to say,
but perhaps from your perspective, I'm a blithering idiot who can't follow
what you're trying to say at all. But there is a feasible solution: Just
keep communicating.

    In the case of addressing the Internet at large, which seems to be what
you intend to do, there is no feasible solution. You have no idea what the
lurkers are thinking, what they understood from your post, and what they
misunderstood. I've suggested elsewhere that your arguing that you're not an
idiot may actually cause them to further believe you are an idiot, for
example. I see some evidence of this in the replies you're getting. What if
the lurkers all have this interpretation as well? There's simply no way to

    I'm not sure what you want me to do here. It seems you advocate not
"lying" or being "dishonest". I honestly do think you need "straightening
out". So under your philosophy, should I apologize, or should I stand my
ground? What would you do in my situation?

I wouldn't think that I needed "straightening out" in the first place.
If somehow I did anyway, I'd keep it to myself unless serious
hostilities were called for. And I wouldn't consider the posting you
replied to with that comment to warrant such a response.

    No, I mean, if you thought I needed straightening out, and you told me
so, and now I'm asking you to apologize for it. Would you do so, in the
interest of social graces, or would you consider it more important to tell
the truth, and say you're not sorry in the least?

[(b) was snipped, so I just snipped the whole thing, since it's all lost now

    You showed one example where it might make sense to "punish", but
doesn't mean it always makes sense, as per your original claim. For
let's say you get into a fight with someone, and he insults you.

    Now, in YOUR opinion, should be allowed to insult them back freely,
do you think that if you decide to insult them, you should be punished by
the society, as per (a) and (b)?

The latter would only make sense if he will be, and in the case that I
do so as well we both would be.

    So in other words, there are cases where it's okay to insult someone,
and not get punished for it.

You also didn't consider a purely defensive response.

    What makes you think I didn't?

    (4) would be the best decision if it ended up causing less harm
yourself, even) than either of (1), (2) or (3).

This is ludicrous. This is similar to suggesting negotiation with
terrorists now.

    How is my suggestion similar to negotiating with terrorists?

In the part you either hadn't read yet or conveniently snipped, I
described exactly how.

    I had read and snipped a lot of your text. In none of it did I see an
explanation of how my suggestion is similar to negotiating with terrorists.


Perfectly preventing the damage would make
the whole issue moot.)

    This is the epiphany I want you to focus on.

Ridiculous. Snow is a momentary issue; a nasty rumor can cause lasting

    I will forever remember the pain that snow inflicted on me (it was
zero). It's not something you forget. I mean, everybody who has
snow remembers what it was like, what it felt like, etc., right?

Unless a serious storm caused serious damage or trauma or loss, I don't
see how this can be comparable to the lasting harm mentioned above.

    I'm just saying that snow causes lasting, if negligeable, harm. In other
words, the fact that the harm is lasting does not necessarily imply that it
is significant harm. I can tolerate lasting harm (e.g. in the form of snow),
if the actual amount of harm dealt is low.

Also snow is a natural phenomenon you can't negotiate with or
blame for bad behavior. Human beings behaving cruelly to other human
beings is something society has an *obligation* to react against,
self-protectively. Besides, society *does* deploy snow-plows and other
resources to mitigate snow.

    The snow was to illustrate to you that there are scenarios where (4)
the optimal solution.

(4) in the snow is to allow it to accumulate until the city's traffic
grid is paralyzed rather than plowing it away. (Without heating fuel,
food, or the ability to evacuate, most of the population dies within a
few days, in case you were wondering.)

    No, (4) in snow is that a single snowflake falls in all the entire city,
and that snowflake happens to land on you. How unfair, right? Nobody else
suffered, but you did. So now, what are you going to do about it? Cause
global warming? Call the cops? Hide in your house? Or just do nothing?

    Again, there care cases where 4, to do nothing, is the optimal solution.
The fact that you can imagine scenarios where 4 isn't the optimal solution
does not falsify the claim that there do exist cases where 4 *is* the
optimal solution.

Once you're open to this idea, I can start to show you
how (4) might be the optimal solution in this thread as well.

That's not possible. Again, my reputation is being held hostage. If I
give the hostage-takers what they want they have a) no reason to keep
their word to release the hostage unharmed (not that in this instance
they have even said they would anyway) and b) no reason not to do the
same thing again, and again, and again anytime they please. If instead
they are prevented from doing any harm, the whole issue is moot, and if
they discover some nasty consequences from their behavior, they are
discouraged from doing it again.

    You seem to assume that you would do less harm to your own reputation in
your attempt to rescue it than the hostage takers would.

    - Oliver

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