- E04 - Leadership! Google, Guido van Rossum, PSF

Steve Holden steve at holdenweb.com
Tue Jan 10 01:03:20 CET 2006

Anton Vredegoor wrote:
> Alex Martelli wrote:
>>I just don't understand, always assuming you're in the Netherlands, how
>>attending Europython in Belgium (as opposed to Pycon in the US) could
>>have cost hundreds of euros.  Conference registration is free to
>>speakers, bicycling NL->BE not costly (many were driving from NL, so
>>bumming a ride was far from impossible either), many attendants arranged
>>to "crash" for free thanks to the hospitality of others, food costs in
>>Belgium aren't much different from those in NL.
> Ah, I see. You're approaching this from a 'speaker' scenario. You
> already have a lot of contacts, know where you can sleep, where to eat
> and so on.
If you can't afford to go to conferences, don't bitch about it if you 
are (as you apparently claim to be) impecunious by choice.

I personally expended a lot of effort to reduce the costs of US 
conference attendance by converting the International Python Conferences 
(expensive, "professionally" organised) into PyCon (cheap and cheerful, 
community-oriented). It's my understanding that EuroPython is even more 
community-oriented than PyCon.

Maybe you just weren't prepared to *ask* about how to attend cheaply?

>>I'm not saying a few hundred euros is 'cheap' -- it obviously isn't, if
>>your income is low to nonexistent; rather, I'm wondering where that
>>"hundreds" amount comes from.  You originally mentioned only pycon
>>(where the need to fly to the US, for people living in Europe, can
>>obviously account for "hundreds of euros" already); Europython is
>>specifically held in Europe to be cheaper and more convenient to attend
>>for Europeans, and I've always met many people there who fell in the
>>"income low to nonexistent" bracket for one reason or another.
> Now going back to my claim that elitism is bad, I think you are the
> perfect proof of my point. You live in luxurious (with respect to
> community, education and financial aspects of being a computer scientist
> or programmer) conditions and can just not understand why some people
> have problems entering that same environment and privileged conditions
> as yourself. This attitude is very common and needs only some kind
> Blair-alike kind of selfhypnosis in order to effectively not being aware
> of lying.
On the available evidence that seems completely untrue. Alex, as I know 
from personal experience, has no problems accepting the material rewards 
of a lifetime spent developing expertise, but that doesn't make him 
elitist. I have seen him helping Python programmers without any monetary 
reward (and he got precious little for all the time he spent as a 
technical editor of "Python Web Programming"), and I know him to be 
quite far from elitist.

> What is shunned is any form selfanalysis, because it would immediately
> reveal that you yourself are violently keeping all these people out of
> opportunities (the backstabbing), in your case for example by requesting
> certain degrees, without realizing that what you are selecting for is
> not what you think it is. It is selection for socialization and
> belonging to some kind of social group, not any mental ability really,
> not even the likeliness of being able to grasp Haskell which you somehow
> seem to link to having a mathematical education. 
Are there *any* mirrors in your life?

> Seriously, this is just a fraction of a unit above craniometry and you
> would be wiser if you dropped this attitude.
I think the chip on your shoulder is forcing you to stand crooked.

How sad the world isn't organised the way *you* think it should be. Of 
course this naturally means the world needs changing, not you ... or are 
you just "linear combinations of social peer pressure vectors"?

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC                     www.holdenweb.com
PyCon TX 2006                  www.python.org/pycon/

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