(Knowledge + Love) / Disrespectfulness

By Xah Lee. Date:

John wrote:

Besides your bad english and lack of respect, etiquette and manners makes it less than rewarding to discuss with you.

The respect in my response to people's writings is based on this ratio: (knowledge+love)/disrespectfulness exhibited in their posts. For example, if disrespectfulness is constant, then the greater their knowledge and love, the greater will be my respect for them. Suppose the knowledge+love is constant, then the greater their outward disrespect, will gain greater of my disrespect. If their knowledge+love is greater than their outward disrespect, then overall they still gain my respect. However, if their knowledge+love is less than their show of disrespectfulness, then i despise them.

We all have different levels of IQs, environment we grew up, areas of expertise, weaknesses. No human animal, knows all (in fact in modern world hardly any human animal knew 1/10^googolplex percent of knowledge). This is when discussion, comes in. When you know something, and you sincerely believe you know it, don't be shy. When you don't know something, don't be a ass. The problem with most sophomorons, is not knowing the extent of their ignorance. Coupled with the male nature, they become aggressive in pissing fights.

When i encounter tech geekers, usually they don't know shit of the subject relative to me, yet they are outright insulting to point of views outside their community (may it be unix ways; perl, lisp…). If you don't take the extra mile to kiss their ass when presenting unorthodox views, they either call you stupid outright, or become aggressive and hateful, to the point to kick/ban you or whatnot (For example, eliminating any possible discussion or explanation i could contribute or defend of their accusations). That is when, you begin to see faakheads and motherfucks sprinkled in my writings.

O, i almost forgot, you wrote: “Besides your bad english…”.

The vexing level of my english, is proportional to the number of grammar pundits in the world (you can see them slaving in alt.usage.english, for example). When society ceases to be influenced by these morons, my english might become something you would characterize as orthodox. [see Language and English]

The above is originally posted to newsgroup “comp.lang.lisp”.


After having worked through most of your web site, and hence I came across the “Disrespectfulness” essay. I do have a question: How would you see valid value ranges for the Knowledge, Love, and Disrespectfulness parameters? Thanks for sharing.

it's just a general sense… that essay roughly describes my reactions in newsgroups. As such, probably not worth digging into.

knowledge includes tech knowledge (For example, comp lang, protocols, OS), and it includes any academic field, such as economics, sociology, history… or even non-academic ones like business experiences, running a company, managing a shop, knowing about gardening, fishing, sports, good restaurants of a city … all sorts.

love is the love of other people in the most basic sense… captured in this quote:

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back. —Abigail Van Buren

disrespectfulness is any of rudeness, male aggression, etc.

My “knowledge and love” is inspired by my favorite author Bertrand Russell's essay titled “What I Believe”. Excerpt:

The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge.

Knowledge and love are both indefinitely extensible; therefore, however good a life may be, a better life can be imagined. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. In the Middle Ages, when pestilence appeared in a country, holy men advised the population to assemble in churches and pray for deliverance; the result was that the infection spread with extraordinary rapidity among the crowded masses of supplicants. This was an example of love without knowledge. The late War afforded an example of knowledge without love. In each case, the result was death on a large scale.