Celebrity advice (was: Advice to a Junior in High School?)

Jacek Generowicz jacek.generowicz at cern.ch
Wed Aug 27 15:22:59 CEST 2003

"Tim Churches" <tchur at optushome.com.au> writes:

> Cameron Laird wrote:
> > I ask in part because, as near as I can tell, you were the 
> > first to mention him in this thread.  It appears that you 
> > regard his output as particularly hazardous.
> See the first few paragraphs of 
> http://www.catb.org/~esr/guns/gun-ethics.html

If you wish to strengthen a prejudice you might have about ESR's
writings being dangerous, then, yes, read the first few paragraphs of


and stop there. You will pass on with that warm fuzzy feeling that
smug satisfaction gives you. Whatever you do, don't read on. If you do
read on, certainly don't stop to think about what is actually written
there. If you do think about it, then don't drop the guard of your

It is particularly important to protect yourself behind your prejudice
if you reach the highlighted phrases:

-  it all comes down to you

-  never count on being able to undo your choices

-  the universe doesn't care about motives

for if you do, then you are in danger of realizing that (in spite of
the frequent references to triggers, bullets, death etc.) what you are
reading is _not_ an article about firearms.[1]

And then that warm fuzzy feeling will be replaced by a hollow pit in
your stomach, and we wouldn't want that, would we now !

I thank you (Tim) for pointing out this article.

I thank myself for ignoring your instructions and reading beyond the
first few paragraphs.

[FWIW, I am opposed to the "bearing of firearms". However, given that
 I have only lived in courtries in which firearms are not borne by
 everyone, I have not had sufficient motivation to base my opinion on
 any careful consideration.]

One learns so much more from reading opinions opposed to one's own,
than from reading ones with which you agree. If one suppresses one's
prejudices, at least.

[1] Don't stop reading at this point either, because then you will
    fail to realize that it is actually _trying_ very hard to be an
    article about firearms, after all. But that only serves to
    strengthen my point.

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