RE: Samples & Steve Jobs.

I Find Karma (
Tue, 26 Aug 1997 18:46:48 -0700 (PDT)

Joe Barrera writes:
> Last night and this morning I was wandering around the house, looking at
> all the books I have, and realizing that I have a hell of a job in front
> of me assembling the "Joe" list of recommended books.

Yeah, you should have heard how loudly Rohit scoffed when I said he
should do the same. I could hear him all the way from California.

> At any rate... 1984 (and Animal Farm) are definitely going on the list.


Animal Farm:

And, for good measure, Brave New World:

All linked from the books page:

> [Oh no, here he goes again... well at least he's not talking about
> Infinite Jest again!]

Too lazy to look up the post reference for this. Write up a new post
that reviews it, will you?

> Don't you remember what Winston Smith did for a living?

Actually, I don't. Too lazy to look that up, too.

> I am completely sickened by the concept of editing history. For me, the
> associations with fascism are so obvious. And child abuse as well. Why
> so serious? Probably because I believe that there is a very strong link
> between accountability and the immutability of the past. Need I spell
> this out? If so, I will do so from home where my Primo Levi books are.

Spell, spell...

I'm not necessarily for editing history. Just the parts that make me
look like an idiot.

Besides, isn't revisionism a fundamental historical philosophy?

> Furthermore, once you start altering the historical record, you threaten
> the consistency of that record. If you post something and I respond to
> it, and then you retract your posting, you alter the context of my
> response in a way that may make my response look irrelevant. Then what,
> do I have to retract or edit my response? And how about those messages
> triggered by mine? A naove retract could wipe out most of the remaining
> posts in the archive.

This is sort of like in Back to the Future when they go back in time and
small changes affect everything thereafter...

> If you're just concerned about wasting other's time on a post that you
> immediately realize to be stupid/bogus/wrong, then just follow your post
> with an empty post with a subject line like
> Subject: Ignore my last post <eom> [was: Re: Samples & Steve Jobs. ]
> (That's the internal Microsoft convention, at least.)

So I assuage the misdeed of one pickled antibit by pickling another antibit?

> But in the case described below - where you misunderstood Tim and didn't
> realize it until he replied - I just totally disagree with retracting
> your post and his reply. What if other people misunderstood Tim's
> original post the same way you did? You would then nuke Tim's clarifying
> post just because *you* ...

That's not my intention.

My intention is more like when you publish a book with things wrong with it.
Which is better, publishing a list of errata that anyone in the future who
buys the book might buy also (but probably won't)? Or fix the things wrong
with the original book so that future pressings are correct as-is?

I'd say, the latter.

> Perhaps I should just say: Adam! You aren't perfect!

You sound like my parents.

Or Rohit.

Or any of my friends.

> None of us are!

Okay, you stopped sounding like my parents. And Rohit. And any of my friends.

Now you sound like the youngest of my shrinks.

> We all make mistakes! Get used to it!

You'd think I *would* be with all this practice.

> The solution is NOT to pretend that the mistakes didn't happen!

The solution is to acknowledge that I'm incredibly, undeniably fallible,
and move on to the next round of mistakes? I can live with that.


The only completely consistent people are dead.
-- Aldous Huxley