[conspire] NYLXS Press Release on the OLPC Project

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Thu May 1 13:40:09 PDT 2008

Quoting Ruben Safir (ruben at mrbrklyn.com):

> A lot of time and effort has gone into researching 'Jihad', and it is
> not a translation for the word struggle and it ALWAYS has a meaning as
> Rick eluded to, related to a moralistic endevor.

Other than "_not_ a translation for the word struggle" (in which you 
are simply mistaken), the above doesn't contradict what I said -- so I
tentatively conclude you didn't read attentively enough.  The English
word "war", to repeat one of the prior examples, has always had a
bloody-minded sense -- in that case, the term's overwhelming usage --
but that has never prevented people from warring on injustice, poverty,
disease, lack of mirth, etc.

If you can understand the multiple layers, metaphors, and connotations
of darned near every word in English, you'll soon get around to
understanding the key point:  that the same applies to every other human
language on Earth.

> You struggle with your plumbing.  Nobody would Jihad with it.

I already mentioned that "jihad al-lisan" is perfectly unexceptional
idiom in the everyday Arabic language.  You evidently are choosing to
disbelieve my saying so.  That's too bad.  I will not belabour the point

> Pretend that the term is devoid of inherent religous meaning....

Even the English word "goodbye" is soaked with inherent religious
meaning, for reasons I explained earlier.  And "mister" and "sir" are
soaked with inherent feudal meaning.  And so on.  Perhaps you want
language to be simpler than it is, but experience suggests that language
will not cooperate.

By the way, were you aware that you're flamebaiting?  I'm betting you're
not even aware of doing so.  I don't rise to it, but, as you'll have
noticed from Ed Cherlin's attempt to tangle with you, not everyone is
quite so wary in that department.  (It's entirely possible that you're
unaware of having done that.  _That_, then, is the first of the two
problems you should address.)

I would appreciate it if you would not do flamebaiting.  The firebrand
act where you act out the classic rhetorical "poisoning the well" policy
doesn't merely _get_ tiresome; it starts out that way and never

Also, quoting _entire_ Wikipedia and similar articles without need, when
you know perfectly well how to use URLs, is a really bad habit.  (I
note, however, that pretty much all of the ones you textbombed the
mailing list with agree with what I said.)

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