What does Python fix?

Mike C. Fletcher mcfletch at rogers.com
Fri Jan 18 16:11:48 EST 2002

Just to play devil's advocate (and I prefer top-posting as well, as it 
provides the opportunity to write a properly crafted rhetorical letter 
;) , not a fragmented and disjointed attempt to mimic conversation):

	The greatest minds of all time have almost invariably failed to follow 
the cultural norms of their time.  The eccentric genius, the artisan, 
and the rebel are the archetypes charged with the ability to push 
society forward, explore new boundaries, and define new norms for the 

	Sure, sometimes the rebellion is just a flaunting of the rules of 
society.  Sure, sometimes its manipulation by forces seeking control of 
the society (money) (the "counter-cultural clothing" industry, for 
instance).  But this doesn't mean that we should instantly dismiss those 
who feel it necessary or preferable to venture beyond the boundaries 
that some "elite" among us have set up.

	We are not _required_ to listen, of course.  But as a society, do we 
really want to become so rigid and assured of our own truths and ideals 
that we are unable to even listen to viewpoints, ideas or forms which 
don't match our world-view?  We are, after all, the _Python_ list, known 
for discussions of everything from esoteric points of grammar through 
time-travel conspiracy theories.

IMO, it is silly to focus too much on the forms, to ossify ourselves 
into a strict and fussy set of guidelines, or to demand that all comers 
pass a bar of peculiar social niceties before we will grant them the 
respect we reserve for humans.  Top-posting is a trivial and arguable 
offense, some (myself included) even consider it the polite approach, we 
will hopefully not splinter the group over the issue, as I'd miss your 
posts Aahz :> .

We must allow them to break Rule 6 sometimes ;) ,

Aahz Maruch wrote:


> Tell me, if you're not willing to follow cultural norms, why should
> people pay attention to you?

   Mike C. Fletcher

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