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Ovid (2709)

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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Friday April 21, 2006
03:46 AM

Cranks versus Quacks

[ #29397 ]

Over in my LiveJournal account, I wrote a bit about using first class functions to solve software problems. Basically, it was me whining about how powerful the technique is and how some folks don't seem to understand it. I worry, though, that I'll eventually be thought of in the same light as the Database Debunk guys. Many folks seem to think they're quacks.

They don't handle the situation well by having a To Laugh or Cry? page. The problem they have is that they're overly terse and overly acerbic. Because they're terse (unless you're willing to pay for their papers), someone wanting to understand they're positions is going to flounder. Because they're so acerbic, they come across as mean. If you read they're "laugh or cry" page links, it's not always clear what the objection is. The problem is, they're not quacks; they're cranks. I hope I don't fall into the latter role.

I might add that I've exchanged email with the dbdebunk folks. I've found them as terse in private exchanges as in public ones (not quite as acerbic, but terseness often comes across as that).

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  • Actually, I think the vast majority of DBDebunk is by Fabian Pascal. He often posts correspondence which includes Hugh Darwen or Chris Date, but their writing is markedly different in tone. Pascal is the one who is so bilious that I find it hard to read his stuff, while Darwen or Date, while often highly critical, seem to be able to couch it in politer discourse.

    Pascal reminds me of many activists I've met with, who think that the truth of their message is so obvious that they don't need to pay attention to