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Discussions

jj5 jj5 Yeah. We got goth served.
  • Don Box's Spoutlet

    innes wrote:
    Unfortunately in my experience, arrogance is rarely a predictor of intelligence.


    The question was about preferring stupidity or arrogance. I didn't really want to get into the answer, but I tried to comment on arrogance. Implicitly it should have been evident that I think you should hire 'smart' people, and I was really thinking in terms of the IT industry (specifically programmers).

    I didn't say anything about arrogance being an indicator of intelligence. I said that smart people can either be arrogant or not arrogant.

    I listed some reasons why smart people might be arrogant (like honesty, or 'emotional problems'), and hinted that I wouldn't necessarily trust a smart person that didn't appear to be arrogant. I also tried to comment on why 'smart and arrogant' people can get results. Put them in a room together and they probably won't like each other very much, but you can get all sorts of valuable results.

    Arrogant people get in your face and challenge you. They say: I'm am right, you are wrong. If they are also smart there is a high chance they are actually correct. If you can't understand why they are saying that then you'll probably consider their claims to 'presumptuous', or their attitude to be 'overbearing'.

    My complaint was with the use of the term arrogance. I don't think that it should be considered a synonym for obnoxious.

    If, for example, you consider the tone of Don's posts, I reckon you can see at least a hint of intellectual elitism and a subtle contempt for 'stupidity'. This is a sign of arrogance (the implication is other people are stupid, but I am not because I can see their stupidity). Even the author of the article that was linked to was arrogant. He says "if you don't see me handing out sample copies of our magazines on the show floor, please feel free to accuse me of arrogance". But I would say that not handing out magazines would just be complacency, not arrogance. Arrogance is beleiving that your magazines are the best (rightly or wrongly) and letting others know that this is what you think. The author then goes on to talk about himself, and how he is right, and how he sees other people fail, and how he doesn't fail, and how he's had a totally kick arse carreer, and how he's successful, and how he's learned from other totally kick arse people, etc. The entire article demonstrates his arrogance. He's not complacent though, and he may well deserve his arrogance. It is arrogance nevertheless.

    innes wrote:
    Arrogance is a form of laziness in interaction with others and thus is disrespectful and anti-social.


    I don't agree with this. I gave my definition for arrogance. Mine was from an English dictionary.

    innes wrote:
    Some arrogant people think that they have earned the right to be arrogant as a result of their evident (to themselves, of course) superiority.

    These people just think they are being 'honest'.


    Ouch. Come on, keep the shots above the belt. I don't agree with you anyway, I don't think we share a common understanding (English perhaps?).

    innes wrote:
    Because of their very arrogance they cant see the arrogance of their excuses for their own arrogance.
    How ironic!


    Irony: incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs.

    innes wrote:
    Arrogant pricks. Wink


    I'm glad at least you didn't say 'stupid and arrogant' pricks..

    As for the cute comment about remaining silent. I think that is possibly one of the most harmful menalities that a person can have. If you don't engage in communication you won't learn or discover anything new, or even if you do, you won't be able to share it with the rest of your species. I don't think a person should be taught to fear paticipation because others might think that they are a fool. What about the little gem about being thought a fool for a minute rather than remaining a fool forever..?

    John.

  • Best Way to avoid SPAM?

    SpamBayes.

    John.

  • MSN Messenger, MS Office ​Spell-​Checker?

    RobChartier wrote:
    I dumped MSN a long time ago.


    I use Miranda.

    John.

  • MSN Messenger, MS Office ​Spell-​Checker?

    Why stop at an IM client?

    I'd like to see spell checking built in to all text boxes in Windows, right there on the context menu with 'Cut', 'Copy' and 'Paste'. I'm surprised we don't have this feature already.

    I'd also like it if I could get IE to write a log file with all post data before it sends it to the server so that:

    1) It's easy for me to see what is actually being sent
    2) If the server fails I don't lose my work
    3) I have a record of the data that I have given to any given web site.

    John.

  • Don Box's Spoutlet

    So, Don Box asks questions on his blog, but he doesn't have any comment facility. Well not any more my friends. Wink

    I guess not having a comment section is a form of arrogance in and of itself, isn't it Don?

    Anyway, Don asks Which is more toxic? Arrogance or Stupidity?

    Specifically I guess wrt to the kind of people that are going to help a company succeed (or fail).

    I'm not really sure what the answer is, partly because I don't have a moral basis for determining 'success', but here's a few musings:

    I don't like the way people use the word arrogance. In the same way I don't like the way they use egotistic (and the rest of the English language).

    Arrogance: a feeling or an impression of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or presumptuous claims

    Egotistic: an exaggerated sense of self-importance

    These are really used to describe 'behavioural' patterns. Compare 'self-esteem':

    Self-esteem: a confidence and satisfaction in oneself
    This is not a 'behavioural' pattern, not in the sense that it is 'externalised' at any rate. It's about a state of consciousness, or belief.

    Now, popularly "arrogance bad, self-esteem good". In junior school your teachers and family will tell you "it's important to have high self-esteem", or "we don't like bullies because they hurt children's self-esteem". Basically, it's OK to be me, I'm worthwhile, and it's OK to succeed. On the other hand, if you did well at something, many of your peers might make comments like "oh, you think you're soooo good! Don't you?", or other nasty comments, basically excluding you for standing out and succeeding. Typical mob mentality, most honestly witnessed among school children. But, erm, you *are* good, you just proved it... Adults learn to hide it, which brings me to my next point:

    If you are smart (or successful) after a while you can't help but know it. Being smart (or successful) is a 'good thing', so you can feel good about this, and gain some self-esteem. This is all very 'good' (TM). However, under no circumstances can you let anyone else know that you realise this, because that my friend is arrogance, and arrogance is all very 'bad' (TM).

    What I tend to realise is that smart people who are arrogant are really just 'honest'. Smart people who are not arrogant are much more of a worry in my opinion, for a whole heap of reasons.

    So, I don't want to answer the question (stupid people upset me in a bad way, arrogant people do it in a good way Smiley, but I did want to gripe about the use of the term arrogance. Arrogance is not a bad thing, it is the result of someone 'externalising' their self-esteem. When they are smart, it's generally deserved. Certainly, arrogance 'is involved in' social problems, but I don't think it should be singled out as the 'cause'.

    A real geek defines their sense of worth around how clever they are. They want to be the smartest and when they are they want you to know it. If you rub their tummy and tell them how clever they are, they'll do *anything* for you. If they won't do something for you, then tell them that someone else would be able to do it. If you don't tell them how clever they are, THEY WILL TELL YOU. A geek will not lie down in the face of people just like them. They *, and whine and try to get to the top of the "everyone thinks I'm the smartest" heap. To the 'normal' person, this is cute, but it is this raw motivation that keeps the common geek awake until 2am trying to figure out [insert whatever your working on here]. They just need everyone to know they are the best (it's probably a phycological 'problem', but it tends to get results).

    The real risk with arrogance is that you actually start to believe your own publicity. The truth is, there are lots of clever people out there, and if you become complacent they'll crawl over you into your spot on the 'smart people heap'. But I reckon arrogance is at least honest, and honest is doubleplusgood.

    The trick is just a little bit of doublethink, you *know* you are the smartest, but your never *completely* beleive it. Of course every now and again you have to remind everyone that you are. Wink

    John.

  • Whats your fav Band or artist?

    miies wrote:
    Ehm, what kind of 'Tech' don't you understand? I think this new forum is meant to contain programming questions only..


    What about 'Tech'no..?

    This thread seems on-topic enough for me. Smiley

    John.

  • Whats your fav Band or artist?

    SCOOTER! ARE YOU READY!?

  • MyGeneration Software - Free .NET Developer tool

    You know, I actually came here to flame you for having the audacity to advertise here..

    Then I realised that this entire forum is really only a PR campaign for a software vendor anyway..

    Then I had a look at the doco for your so called 'dOOdads .NET architecture' and I had some strange emotion, something between disbelief and pity.

    I really had to say something, but in many ways I'm just speechless.

    John.

  • Are computers becoming more human, or are humans becoming more like computers?

    eagle wrote:
    How about the present moment, what YOU feel, see, hear and taste. 

    Our thinking has obviously been effected by our use of computers, they have isolated us from some human contact; yet they brought us hereā€¦.   


    I'm inclined to starting waxing philosophical about that, but instead I'll just say that my reading and comprehension skills (along with my typing skills) have gone *through the roof* over the past 4 or 5 years. I consume and filter so much information daily, that I almost find it funny that I could still by a 'book' that contains such a finite, limited and static amount of information.

    I regularly catch myself forgetting that there are actually 'real people' on the other side of this message talking back to me. I mean, I'm sitting in a dark room by myself on the other side of the world.. it's brains in vats all over again..

    Erm, "Hello, world!".

    John.

  • Are computers becoming more human, or are humans becoming more like computers?

    Manip wrote:
    Isn't it theoretically possible to build a non-deterministic structure on a deterministic one (the hardware). Although this kind of cuts the entire binary mind concept out, it doesn't make using a computer as a mind impossible. What about 'random' number generators for instance. Although it is difficult to make truly random ones as CPU speeds increase there numbers and the technology should produce MORE random results.

    Anything that your computer does that has the appearance of being non-deterministic will invariably be the result of external (or simply unknown) state being consumed. If the scope of the system you are describing is 'computer' or 'hardware' then you might consider this to be non-deterministic, because within your scope you won't have the information you need to be able to state that the outcome will be consistent regardless of the fact that all state within the scope of the system is in the same configuration (or more simply you may not know what that state is even if it is bound in the scope, classic example being the system clock). The only reason you can't make this claim is because inside your scope you can have no knowledge of the external state that will impact the system.

    Again, I want to stress my point that I don't like the word deterministic. The problem is that everyone uses it to imply 'not random' or 'we can know what the result will be', but this is not true. The definition I have for deterministic is "an inevitable consequence of antecedent sufficient causes", which does not imply anything about the need to be able to predetermine those inevitable consequences. It's not my fault that people hear big words and start using them (I too am regularly guilty as charged, and I suppose we should pride ourselves on our ability to learn from the results of engaging in experimental activity. It is after all this ability that is really at the heart of this thread (before I hijacked it to preach about determinism)).

    I have the same complaint with the word 'fate' btw, which has equally been watered down through popular romantic use such that it now carries all sorts of unwanted connotations. The definition I have for fate is "an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future".

    There are any number of things that make your computer so complex that it has the guise of being non-deterministic. But it draws on all manner of unknown internal state (timers, counters, the present value of the fifth field in row four of table A, which sector the last blob of data got dumped to the page file on the disk, etc.), external state (electrical, thermal, physical (i.e. tangible), etc.) and is of itself only the result of very crude configurations of physical stuff (like copper and silicon) performing crude manipulations of stuff also bound to physical reality (like electrons, electromagnetic interference, etc.).

    I defined the universe as everything that can impact me. This means that I exclude the possibility of a system that can have any dependency on state that is not contained by the system. I did not exclude the possibility for other systems, but deny that there is any ability to receive state from them (otherwise they would be 'in scope').

    Before someone throws keywords at me like "Heisenberg's uncertainty principle" or "Chaos theory" please do me a favour and read about them. They only comment on the ability to configure state, observe state, or predetermine resulting state. This is about sensitivity to initial conditions which, based on current (solid) theories, can not be known or recreated.

    Something that is deterministic, can not by virtue of the fact that it is deterministic, render results that are non-deterministic without constraining the scope in which you define determinism such that you can rely on unknown state. Since that is what I believe, I deny that the universe contains anything that is non-deterministic. I don't deny that I can limit my scope and claim non-determinism, knowing that if I expanded my scope I would find determinism.

    Anyway, as a result of this conversation I realised something this evening. If it was indeed possible for the universe to arrive in an exact state that it had already been in, assuming the rules were constant (and really they must be, otherwise they are themselves state) then the universe would be stuck in an infinite loop! I thought that was a cool thought.

    Anyone else feel like standing up and being counted as a believer in a deterministic universe? I've heard people argue against it, but then again the only seemingly intelligent arguments pretty much discussed the ability to predetermine state, or the possibility for loosing and gaining state. But if the universe can 'loose or gain' state then I say that the scope of the universe has been too narrowly defined, and reiterate that determinism is not pre-determinism, and does not require an understanding of the rules, simply the observation that with respect to your frame of reference there is only one past that is effecting you.

    John.