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Anatomy of a thread
Twisting words for your own ends

By:David K. Every
©Copyright 1999

One game that the young, pissed off, or just plain annoying people, do is to twist words and take them out of context to make "new" meanings.

For example:

Jews were just stereotyped by misinformation, considered inferior, then tried to be eliminated. Macs have the same exact platform problems." - David K. Every.

Sounds pretty bad, huh? So why don't we compare it to what was really said, and in what context. [This has been edited for brevity and clarity -- there were also many different questions and threads from different sources].

After a lot of comments about how eliminating the Macs is fine, and Mac users should be driven out of comanies, and they should just seek job opportunities elsewhere (without complaining), someone said to me --

David Every "qualifies" as an expert the same way as those scientists who worked long and hard to convince us that black people and/or Jews were an inferior race...

Do you agree that someone who has much more technical knowledge than his audience is ethically bound to present a balanced view?

To which I responded:

Yes and no. Depends on how they present themselves. Remember my site is a counter balance to the entire media, every PC advocate and IS-cretin that is preaching their Wintel propaganda with no balance at all. [Complaining about this] is like whining about those nasty little Jews trying to defend themselves in the face of pre-WWII anti-semitism.

I would never advocate a policy of excluding PCs. PC magazines will fill themselves with misinformation and support or rationalize the policy to eliminate Macs. They are not afraid to spread ignorance or falsehoods to achieve that ends (or exclude relevant facts they don't like). I am definitely Pro-Mac, and don't hide that. But I am pro-Mac because of experience, and I explain why. I won't hide from the truth, and admit many of the flaws -- but I balance them, and some hate that.

For example:

The Macs memory management sucks -- from a programmers point of view. But the balance is that it isn't THAT bad, and there are many tools that help if you use them. Windows memory management sucks too -- and in some ways is worse (in most not). You really want to get into it, and work on any legacy windows code, and it is worse (model near, far, sorta-over-there, and so on). New stuff isn't that bad -- but you still have tons of uglies in Windows, like DLL's that don't unload and so on. The truth is that compared to that the Macs memory management doesn't look too bad -- and the Macs is being improved. But some don't want to face the truth that THEIR baby is just as ugly as someone else's -- so they run around pointing fingers, and call the kettle black.

I made a mistake in the anti-semitism crack in that I wasn't clear enough. But I was mentally responding to the crack that I was like a scientist advocating that Jews were inferior. I was thinking about how during that time that Jewish art would not be displayed, Jewish writers were not allowed to publish, and about how many were attacking Jews that were defended their rights. People kept acting like, "let them get jobs elsewhere, or go somewhere else". The Jews were called racist propagandizers because a few were trying to stand up for their own existance and defend themselves. But I was too brief in my crack, and didn't have enough qualifiers. But like conversations, things can be clarified.

Someone else responded:

To even DARE compare the Mac-Win debate to a era that MURDERED millions of PEOPLE is horrible and should NOT be done. This is irresponsibility at its worst... maybe compare two rival football teams and you might have a good analogy--but NOT were LIVES are lost and other atrocities. I refuse to allow it.

Which was fine of them to challenge me -- it gave me an opportunity to clarify far more:

Please think a bit about what I'm saying. (I know a lot about the holocaust, and actually have an article on it going up soon). There was an antisemitic attitude in and before WWII that existed in America, Canada, and Europe that allowed for the Holocaust to happen. It was all about eliminating that which is different, "inferior" -- and then taking their things. Jews were stereotyped by misinformation, considered inferior, then tried to be eliminated.

Macs have the same exact platform problems. It isn't about facts, but misinformation. It is about setting the stage for the final platform solution. Death of a choice is not the same as death of an individual -- but the bigotry and philosophy of the attackers can be amazingly similar. You should hear the similarities in rationalizations and even words. It is the exact same human motivations that lead one to eliminate that which is different. So philosophically I meant exactly what I said... and I hope you read enough about the Holocaust and human psychology to understand exactly what I mean.

Football teams are not out there trying to eliminate the other football team from existence. I've talked to many PC advocates and IS personelle that are about ELIMINATING the Macs. They not only want to eliminate them out of their company, but they want to eliminate them completely. "Why won't the Mac users let the platform die already?". That is not a sports team, that is deep seated platform racism that is usually based on ignorance and intolerance -- exactly like the human failings that lead to many atrocities, including the holocaust. I know that trying to eliminate freedom and choice in a platform, is not the same as doing it with people -- but philosophically the motives and methods are all too similar, and it was not a casual unthought about comment.

Notice this where the quote was taken from -- completely out of context. Reread what I said in context and you get a completely different perception of what I am saying. Of course I kept qualifying that there is no comparison in deed to mass murder. But I keep trying to get into the underlying philosophies of hate and fear -- and even methods as far as hate-labeling, ignorance, stereotyping and so on.

The article about the Holocaust is in with the FDR articles. But that article is more tailored to our complacency during and before WWII, rather than the true complacency that went on or the deeper antisemitism. The Germans were not the only ones involved in the Holocaust -- most of Europe, U.S., Canada and many other countries turned their backs on what was happening. It was about attacking that which is different (those who are different), usually from a point of ignorance -- or ignoring the issue when those were attacked. Complex subject -- but I'm very concerned with the social attitudes and deep resentment that ran deep into many cultures for a generation before the Holocaust -- which allowed it's existence.

But people see what they want to see. Some ignore the relevant information or what you are trying to say, because they don't want to learn. There were many other opportunities to discuss the issue more -- and my views were clarified more.

Others attacked:

Forget it Dave, you're emoting a chunk of plastic and an OS with a real human tragedy. To rationalize the comparison of the deaths of millions of people to the possible discontinuation and attitudes to obsolete hardware and marketing practices is beyond pompous, it's patently offensive, and beyond warped...

compare all you want, but once you start dredging up nazi's you loose too much ground in rational circles to be considered worthy of attention... worse, you become the focus of the worst sort of attention. The attention of millions of families that have endured a real holocaust, not a "percieved" one.

Same goes for people who equate the plight of racism with plastic - not people.

And I replied

No, I'm not [emoting a chunk of plastic with an a human tragedy, directly. As is obvious by my qualifiers] Please don't tell me what I'm saying, especially when you do it poorly. I'm relating the similarities in philosophy which allow humans/subculture to attack that which is different and try to eliminate it. To fail to think and understand the similarities between similar actions [philosophies] is beneath reason and is tragic. We are discussing the morality of humans that allows them to try to destroy that which is different [or have contempt for those people]. It is a fundamental flaw in many human beings, and has lead to many tragedies throughout history. The Mac is a very very minor one -- but the underlying poison is still the issue.

I realize that many are close minded [and won't discuss Politically Correct issues] -- which goes to my point. But I won't ignore the truth just because it is unpopular -- hence the existence of my site. If they are too shallow to understand what I'm saying then that is their short coming. The other PC (Political Correctness) is not only historically inaccurate, it is also a way to try to shut down communications and drive people away from learning and discussions through the use of intimidation. I will stand up against that as well.

So [are you saying that] having my career destroyed [and being driven out of a company] because I am different (a Mac user), versus having it destroyed because I am different (a Jew) is not at all alike [philosophically]? Again I reiterate -- I'm not comparing tragedies. There is no comparison. I'm comparing motivations that lead up to the tragedies -- the philosophies -- and in that there are a lot of similarities.

People forget about much of the early things that lead to the holocaust (and other holocausts). Imagine you are in Germany or Stalin's Utopia or Pol Pets Cambodia (and many others) and the people decide that you are so unworthy / different that you should not be able to be employed. Now flash forward to today's Fortune 500 IS depts where it can be proven that Macs are at least competitive (if not superior) in lifetime costs for many applications [departments] -- and yet you will be banned anyway, and forced to change [and you said, "they should just go elsewhere" -- where they might ban Macs as well. It is always about] forced adaptation, not because the change is better, but because they can ONLY tolerate sameness... Many are so ignorant/hostile that they can not consider alternatives and must attack and ridicule them. (This is not just the territory of the majority -- it is just that the majority has more power -- and so their sins are usually more harmful).

So the issue is not about "adapting" -- it is about force and freedom. It is about control and politics and driving minorities into little niches and ridiculing them and trying to destroy their ability to exist (piece by piece). It is a "follow the herd, or be squashed under the stampede" mentality -- and right or wrong becomes irrelevant. That is where the problem lies. And when some rationalize that behavior, or won't stand against it, it says a lot about them, and humanity.

Remember, all this frailty and sensitivity about the issue comes from people who didn't seriously complain (and frequent) an Anti-Mac website (or two) that uses Swastika's and Macs, or other Nazi imagery to try to relate the Mac to a murderous fascist regime. Since, in my mind, they have brought up the references to racism (antisemitism) and Nazi imagery on their site, I'm trying to really discuss it. During all this, I'm trying to be very specific and discuss the fear and loathing of that which is different and stick to the attitudes of intolerance, and am stating many times that this is not the same as killing people -- just philosophical intolerance must be explored (and resisted).

Some responded politely and tried to communicate:

I suspect that the scope of the horror invoked by the image of the German Jews -- and the lingering pain felt for families of survivors - would make it difficult for many people to *hear* without it evoking images of the people *themselves.*

What I believe you are saying is that you see commonality in the notion of eradicating *anything* different. That you are aware that once a person allows themselves the rationalization to eradicate even a *machine,* then it becomes that much easier to eradicate humans.

And I reply:

I agree that political correctness is only willing to look at the shallowest parts of some issues. That is sad. I will explain myself clearly when given the chance -- but I think all people should learn to give others the chance before they jump down their throats.

[I partly agree with the second paragraph] But no, I wouldn't even delve into the human side of the equation [or claim that one leads to the other]. My point is more that when you allows yourself the power to trample on others rights because they are different, or minimalized them (their view) because they are different, then we have lost something valuable in and of itself. All the great holocausts started by deciding that a central authority knew better than individuals about what the individuals were doing. We tolerated the vilification of those which were different, and "conformity for the good of the many". Only in the most extreme cases did it lead to genocides -- but in all cases it was wrong. We shouldn't stupidly be on the lookout for more genocides -- because people don't see them coming [until it is too late]. What we should be on the look out for is the policies and philosophies that are wrong in and of themselves.

But others still don't want to listen or communicate. My words don't matter, their intentionally false impressions matter more. They want to see me as equating two things that I have tried multiple times to refute:

This is how I see your analogy between Mac elimination and the Holocaust. Like comparing a drop of water to the Pacific Ocean.

Of course I filtered out the more extreme statements, because many were calling me a revisionist and of directly comparing the two things, without reading what I said, and so on. Some wanted to get very nasty. I kept getting back to the philosophy (or trying to, with people who won't listen) --

No... more like teaching kids about erosion and channels in their back yard, by using the grand canyon as an example of what can happen.

I am saying that hate is hate, ignorance is ignorance, vitriol is vitriol, and so on. So if you hate, are ignorant, spout vitriolic over generalizations about someone because they are black, yellow, women, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, Muslem, Armenian, Mac users, PC Users, gay, straight, fat, short, what difference does it make which is your particular hate? The problem is the hate / fear -- not the color, race, religion, and so on.

What I was discussing is the systemic attempts to drive groups or individuals out, based on bias and ignorance (which many of these policies are), are akin to the fear and ignorance of other people's -- which has always been a precursor to tragedies like holocaust. The micromanagement and desire to eliminate freedoms for the good of the few (in the NAME ONLY of the good of the many) has lead to many atrocities. Which you seem to defend.


I have views for reasons, and am willing to stand by them, and admit mistakes when I make them. What I was saying was a little loose at the start (too sloppy) -- but there was plenty of opportunity for people to understand my points if they wanted to. I kept clarifying and qualifying, and knew that conversations are often like this -- two way communication. But for it to work, people have to want to listen.

It became a waste of energy. Many didn't listen because they didn't want to. So I left the thread. But I just wanted to support my point in writing -- so that if someone read a quote (out of context), they might know the whole context of the thread. The little hate-mongers are out there using my quote out of context (taking too seperate fragments and running parts of them together to make something new) -- and I don't like that. The irony is that the hate-mongering and their use of Nazi imagery (to try to hate-label Macs and Mac users) on various anti-Mac sites all supports my exact points far more eloquently than I could. Too bad many of them don't realize it.

Created: 04/17/99
Updated: 11/09/02

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