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  1. The Facts
  2. Opinions
  4. Xah Lee's first response
  5. More comments
  6. First banning
  7. Second banning
  8. Xah Lee's second response
  9. The Decision
  10. Status as of 2006-08-30
  11. Status as of 2006-10-15
    1. For a permanent ban
    2. For active "policing" (time-based bans, kicking each time justified)
    3. For "leave it to the discretion of the channel ops"
    4. Against any kind of action towards XahLee
    5. Against any kind of "policing" generally
    6. Against This Page
  12. Status as of 2006-10-29
  13. Status as of 2006-12-13
  14. Xah's 3rd Response

The Facts

On the EmacsChannel, Xah frequently engages in the following (presumably undesirable) behaviours:

Xah occasionally exhibits the following (presumably desirable) behaviours:

The vast majority of Xah’s activity in #emacs falls into the former category.

Xah has a long history (years, if not decades) of annoying the denizens of other technical forums, particularly Usenet groups under comp.lang.



It is time for me to speak up. I propose the permanent removal and banning of a certain Mr. Xah Lee from the #emacs channel.

Xah starts constant flamewars. He insults people. He contributes virtually nothing of positive value to the channel. Instead he is constantly flooding the screen with various diatribes.

I think the EmacsChannel is crucial to the Global Emacs Community due to its longstanding service to newbies and veterans alike: a place for communicating about emacs, sharing solutions to common problems, helping newbies, and generally being a community focal point. Xah is reducing its value by his endless spamflooding of the channel that has now been going on for months. I think questions from newbies go off the top of the screen before people see them, due to Xahflooding. I think Xah is a serious detriment to the emacs community by virtue of his actions, and should therefore be kickbanned.

Thank you.


I agree. Xah Lee and ErikNaggum made me loose interest in CommonLisp back in the days because their flaming posts made news:comp.lang.lisp a very unfriendly place for newbies like me. I don’t want anybody to stop using Emacs because the community is represented by trolls. – AlexSchroeder

Xah Lee does occasionally make relevant remarks, though these are few and far between. I don’t think he disrupts the regulars much--we just ignore him--but he frequently gets into shouting matches with newbies. We need to ask

If Xah Lee’s antisocial tendencies can be ablated then it is our resposibility to do so rather than simply banning him. But we have a greater responsibility to the community, and if he is infecting newbies, then Xah Lee’s must be abandoned in order to cauterize the problem.

As I believe our chances of curing Xah Lee are low and his virulence is high, I support this motion. – TrentBuck

JorgenSchaefer made the following analysis in-channel on 2006-05-10. – TrentBuck

The problem with Xah is not that he’s stupid, but just that he’s full of himself. He can’t be wrong, he can’t be corrected, he isn’t interested in learning, he’s only interested in being right. Everyone who disagrees is either a fuckface, blind, or just didn’t see the light yet. If many people disagree with him, they’re deluded and their social context forces them to be blind to the Truth. Of course, he loves the social fact that flame wars tend to make people stick to their points beyond reason, hence his flame war posts. He derives personal satisfaction from seeing people behaving irrational, because it reinforces his belief that he is the only really rational being in existence.

Interestingly, Erik Naggum made me stay with Common Lisp. And I do miss his posts. But he had a very different level of flaming than Xah has.

Of course, when we kickban Xah from the channel, he’ll see a bunch of retards being unable to cope with the Truth he has to offer, and enjoys how we got angry about him. Not that that matters, but I had to mention it for Xah, who’s surely reading this page. (Hello Xah!)

I’m usually against kickbanning people. But Xah has shown both an active desire to be harmful to the community, and stated that he wants to be harmful. Contrary to jordanb, he’s not funny most of the time and gets annoying sometimes—he’s annoying most of the time, and funny rarely if ever. So far, I have tried to see the useful points in his remarks, and sadly, none of them had been really new to me. In addition to not being new, it was quite annoying to find the points Xah had to offer.

If Xah wouldn’t be on the channel anymore, I don’t think any of us—including Xah—would lose anything. So if no one speaks up against this with some argument, I won’t stop a ban, but would advise for using a silence mask (ban mask prefixed with %) so he can still join, but not talk. Maybe he changes one day.

No Blame.


I’m hesitant to globally ban someone unless we have some sort of globally agreed-upon metric for behavior that should cause people to be banned. While searching through the Wiki for such a page, all I can find is EmacsChannelTabu (which humorously mentions acting like a vi user) and EmacsChannelHarassment, which is a discussion about inappropriate behavior, but without any concrete results (other than, perhaps, that the best kind of IRC channel is a very lightly governed one).

I’m more in favor of /kicking people (and only temporarily) only when they begin ranting (which might involve, say, 5-6 unanswered lines). Newbie-baiting is also not so good, and should perhaps deserve a reprimand.


I’d disagree.

For one, I find xah’s expression of his “funny” views entertaining, (and sometimes even insightful) :-). Surely, some/most of xah’s views are outside the mainstream #emacs views. He may use strong words for groups like “techgeeks” in general, but he seldom resorts to personal insults. In fact, I have seen more personal insults directed against and initiated against xah. He may use strong words like “fuckfaces” for groups like “FSF fanatics” in general, but of late has even controlled that, at least when on the channel, because of the strong majority opinion. These strong words are no stronger than what a FSF fanatic (like me) would use for M$. To a large extent, I see that xah manages to rise above personal insults, and continues in the face of “adversity” – it is mostly others humiliating him, and he seldom responds in kind. To some extent, he is like a free punching bag for you.

He may certainly have shortcomings like failing to learn from you, but I don’t see that as a reason to ban him. I think occasional kicks are ok, when some people feel annoyed by xah. Personally, I don’t. The reason people feel annoyed is that what xah says sparks their interest, and they feel compelled to express the opposing viewpoint. one then feels that it wastes one’s time. It is easy to alt-tab to another application.

I’d much rather kick or ban a Naggum or a Rahul, people who may have a lot of tech knowledge, yet resort to personal flames for no reason, making the whole place unwelcoming, and spoiling the atmosphere.

I have never seen xah being rude to newbies, for example.

I must also say that I have seen some channel regulars resort to humiliations with racial overtones when they flame xah.

That said, I personally couldn’t care less. If you all do see the need, ban him. Xah’s primary value to me so far has only been mild entertainment. :) – deego

I’m not in favor of permanently banning him. I’m not really even in favor of having this page. I am in favor of kicking him or silencing him more frequently. I prefer that swearing be avoided in the channel, but most others seem to disagree with me about that, and anyway lots of people swear. Actually my primary concerns have been his racial slurs and gender harassment. Those behaviors have been infrequent, but haven’t always led to a kick. They should. Otherwise, I plan on just flipping the /ignore switch when I get agitated. – johnsu01

I generally agree with johnsu01 on this one. Also, I won’t hesitate to kick him when he acts up and I’m paying attention to the channel. – EdwardOConnor

14:18 <forcer> dto: In what way do you see the channel degenerate when
               Xah is talking stuff even if you ignored him?
14:20 <dto> forcer: i can tell xah is around when i have /ignore on
            because it becomes quiet, and i can see some things about
            him that aren't matched by the ignore. I don't have
            conclusive proof, but i have been in here long enough
            without using /ignore, to know that this quietness is
            because Xah is where the channel's energy and attention
            are really going. 

Never argue with a fool, they will lower you to their level and then beat you with experience. This one-liner would summarize what i think. – v0|d

No kill the horta. --Wolfbone.

Consider the following scenario: a spambot joins #emacs and begins spamming; what is the response? It’s kicked, of course. Why is it kicked? Because it’s a bot– if you say, “hey spambot, stop that please, it’s really annoying”, does it stop? No. Because it’s a bot, it doesn’t understand you. Now, the main difference between Xah and spambot is that he is human and humans have the remarkable attribute of being able to be reasoned with. What this means is that it is possible to get a human to do something if you can just convince them of your point of view. Look at it as a challenge, not as a problem. Another way of looking at it is that by kicking and banning a human, you are, in essence, equating a human with a bot. In closing I would like to quote Simone Weil– “Those who are unhappy have no need for anything in this world but people capable of giving them attention.” --LuisFernandes

I recently suggested banning Xah from the channel because I thought he violated the logging policy. But I’ve been convinced that what he did wasn’t actually the kind of logging that people are concerned about. So I suggest lifting the ban. --JohnSullivan

Well, some people were concerned about it - as Alex said, it can make one feel a bit like a monkey in a cage. But to me the issue is not so much that he broke a rule. When told about it and how some people didn’t feel comfortable, his response was reportedly just to mock the rules. For this reason I think he should spend a few days off the channel.

As far as the long term goes, I think xahlee is a problem. A number of people have expressed surprise and frustration that xahlee has been able to stay on the channel for so long without getting banned.

The usual counter for this is “use /ignore. Ignoring should be a personal choice,” and “the rules for banning someone should be well defined and everyone should agree on them.”

The problem is, it’s near impossible to get people to agree on what constitutes decent behaviour on the channel. People have different standards when it comes to things like swearing, being argumentative, having an abrasive personality, the amount of on-topic conversation required, etc. Short of typing in random characters it’s pretty much impossible to have any action taken against you. And with ideals like “everyone should be equal” and “we don’t need big brother when we can manage ourselves”, the channel always seems to be divided when it comes to xahlee.

Personally I don’t think total libertarianism in #emacs is something to strive for. I don’t want newcomers to the channel to be scared off by long, off-topic arguments, excessive offensive language and things like sexism or racism. People who have been on the channel for a while will usually either tolerate or ignore xahlee (while perhaps wondering why they have to), but for people new to the channel, first impressions matter.

I posit that instead of requiring a total consensus before action is taken against someone, a handful of complaints should be enough for a short ban. There should be some minimum standards necessary for participation in the channel - no personal attacks, and a minimum level of on-topic conversation. Why do we allow people to stay on the channel when they openly admit to having nothing related to emacs to say? – DamienElmes

I disagree. Xah doesn’t have a clue and doesn’t make useful (technical) contributions, but (sometimes) he is funny. – Royce Gracie

What do you disagree with? You’re happy to admit he doesn’t have anything technical (read: emacs-related) to contribute. Do we really need a channel jester? And is the “sometimes” funny things he says worth all the frustration it causes others? I’d rather we put a link in the topic to #funtimeswithxah for those who find him funny. --DamienElmes

Let me first state that I am against any ban on anyone. Using /ignore provides people with the capability of ignoring someone. However, the behaviour of Xah does present us with a problem, and I am not talking about the alledged logging he did, as I do not consider his action logging, nor as falling under the reason for the `no public logging policy’, lest it be proven that the attendees to his lecture were familiar with any of us. What I am also not talking about is the dull monologues he presents to us; I myself tend to follow them, and sometimes even engage in conversation with him, in some as of yet vain hope that he might actually say something funny, original or interesting. In this course, I must say I am amused by the mere fact that he is so indulged with himself and that he amazes me with his total lack of humour. This amusement and amazement I appreciate. Therefore I value the presence of Xahlee. I have even begun to write/think about grammar checking in elisp to cope with his obnoxious abuse of the english tongue, refusing to write what he knows would be right. If he would keep annoying me so much that I would fulfill this job, this would be a plus for the community. What I am talking about is his harassment of youngsters we have come to witness, inviting them to join in webcam sessions with him, most probably for some non-intellectual gratification. This I consider to be wrong, and I consider myself and others on #emacs guilty in a moral sense when not verbally reprimanding Xah when this happens. I do acknowledge that this demands a more active stance of long time users, but that’s probably only natural in any community. Expulsion of the unwanted or insane is more indicative of the weakness of a community than of that of the person under attack.

– pft

Well, that’s what some people call RadicalInclusiveness. Larry Sanger is cited on that page, talking about Wikipedia, as saying: “So there was a growing problem: persistent and difficult contributors tend to drive away many better, more valuable contributors” – and I fear that is what Damien and I would like to prevent. It is true that there are abrasive people on many IRC channels, and that learning how to use /ignore is an important skill for any newbie. But I think it is clear that not every newbie will know how to use /ignore, and not every decent person joining #emacs will “suffer fools gladly”. I know that I don’t. There’s no reason we should choose to have it that way. We could choose to do the thing that we would do in a classroom, in a conference, in a restaurant, under our own roofs: Expulsion of the unwanted. If you, however, feel that you do want people around that others find obnoxious, then I’m not sure what to do.


It is quite easy not being a troll on a irc channel (or any other forum). xahlee is actively working in making the #emacs channel an unpleasant site. He is definitely not stupid, so his unpleasant activities are not due to stupidity, but to the fact he is a troll. He could choose to be a pleasant person and a fellow hacker. An active community response (such as a kick or even a ban) would be convenient in this point, IMHO.


– waddletron2k

Xah Lee's first response

12:00am xahlee
i have just realized that my name is in the topic
12:00am xahlee
and, there’s a refreshed ban consideration on me
12:00am xahlee
that’s good.
12:00am xahlee
i’m in a math conf in a hotel now
12:01am xahlee
so i don’t have access to my home comp or other convience
12:01am xahlee
so i’ll say a few things here first.
12:01am xahlee
First of all,
12:01am xahlee
the facts listed there are not very correct.
12:01am xahlee
«derailing the conversation into flaming matches»
12:02am xahlee
i challenge this. For example, is it me who is doing the deraling, or is it people who hates me or dislike me or otherwise “troll”?
12:02am xahlee
i believe, if you exam the logs, since i ever came into irc this year Jan
12:02am xahlee
you’ll find, that it is me who derail the conv, but rather
12:03am xahlee
it is the people who have issues with me as a priori.
12:03am xahlee
«posting off-topic, NSFW links»
12:03am xahlee
this a concede, without admitting wrong doing.
12:03am xahlee
first of all,
12:04am xahlee
(scratch the “first of all”)
12:04am xahlee
well… actually, first of all
12:04am xahlee
what does Not Safe For Work mean??
12:04am xahlee
of course, normally it means somewhat nudity that is most offensive to WASPs.
12:05am xahlee
since most people here are WASP, conditioned with the WASP culture outlook,
12:05am xahlee
of course they find it not “SAFE” for work
12:05am xahlee
do these judgemental people have consider other cultural outlooks about “safe” and for “work”??
12:06am xahlee
«# flooding the channel with long, off-topic monologues»
12:06am xahlee
the phrasing here is persecuting.
12:06am xahlee
however, i concede starting monolgues, and not on emacs subject, by myself, but do not admit any wrong doing. Because
12:07am xahlee
again, if you check the logs of entire history of me on irc,
12:07am xahlee
you’ll find that
12:07am xahlee
my monologues do not start when the channel is busy.
12:07am xahlee
e.g. like right now, and
12:07am xahlee
whenever in my monologue there’s someone talking, in particular some emacs related thing,
12:08am xahlee
you’ll see a break from me.
12:08am xahlee
the length of the break is often proportional to the topicality level of the question.
12:08am xahlee
again, as i said, all and everything i said above (and below) can be checked against the logs of me since i even came to irc in 2006 Jan or
12:09am xahlee
2005 Dec.
12:09am xahlee
« * deliberate abuse of language (e.g. “no unstand” instead of “I don’t understand”)»
12:09am xahlee
monther fuck you whoever wrote that.
12:09am xahlee
motherfuck fuck you mother fuck.
12:09am xahlee
how can there be someone so hateful on this earth,
12:09am xahlee
to actually persecute others who do not use the lang the way they fucking do?
12:10am xahlee
so, these hateful persecuting geeks, now find my abbrev a “abuse”??
12:10am xahlee
fuck you.
12:10am xahlee
and, what about you people using s/this/that/ fucking syntax? huh?
12:11am xahlee
motherfucking abuse geek shit.
12:11am xahlee
«Xah occasionally exhibits the following (presumably desirable) behaviours:»
12:11am xahlee
Note that i don’t “occasionally” do these “presumably” desirable fuck you things.
12:11am xahlee
in fact, if you check the logs,
12:11am xahlee
i’m prob the most helpful among the regulars.
12:12am xahlee
prob top 5, from Jan to April preiod.
12:12am xahlee
you can verify this by simply checkking the number of thanks, thank you, thks etc attached to my nick xah, xahlee,
12:12am xahlee
12:12am xahlee
the fuckers has this to add:
12:12am xahlee
«The vast majority of Xah’s activity in #emacs falls into the former category.»
12:13am xahlee
they had to add this line for emphasis.
12:14am xahlee
now,as i said, i’m currently away from home, so i can’t compose a well written stuff to refute and rebuke some of the hatred and ignorance displayed here.

However, i find it rather said that people actually say these things. Now, the fuckheads perhaps never could have imaged, that actually if peolpe didn’t want me to be around, all they have to do is to ask respectfully. I see the above fuck, i find it wrong. However, i’m in fact fully aware of my standing with others, and in full control of my behavior, and know quite precisely the consequences and in fact my behaviors are mostly meanful. I feel sad about this incident, but i will now be off #emacs for a few days. (if not weeks) (i’ll just paste the above irc mologue. others can edit it to make it look nice, or i may edit it when i get back home)

Also, in the case of a ban, the following things should be observed, and should be done so in irc in general: • the banner should listed togther with the banned. • a brief one-sentence message should be listed together with the banned, given by the banner. • a ban should expire in 3 days or a week. • a 1-month ban should be possible, but must have 3 banners doing it together.

—Xah Lee,, 2007-07-12

btw, in case if this is not clear: i’m exiting #emacs now not because i felt i’m under a threat, or that there are people who don’t like me, or in any way or sense that i’m defeated or cowarding. I’m existing #emacs because: • people are having some problems with my behavior, and i acknowledge it, and even i don’t consider i’ve done anything wrong, and in fact consider these people are mixed ball of ignorance and hateful fuckheads, but i do wish to give to their wishes a chance. For example, as respect and courtesy.

also again i should emphasize, most of the “facts” or opinions agains me are motherfuckingly incorrect or ignorant bull fucking shit. I’ve wrote some refutation about the facts. I couldn’t possibly answer to every fucking moron’s opinion or even intentional hateful people. (the fact that i don’t bother to fucking hateful thoughtless accusations is sometimes in fact used against me that i “don’t respond”. Go fuck yourselves)

lastly, i want to thank several people in #emacs who has been very kind and supportive of me. In fact, i would say almost all. I’m not exactly agry. I’m somewhat sensitive to the fucking igonrance of moronicity of people. In fact, if i may be honest, of all the time i ever spend on freenode’s #emacs irc channel, i did not find a single person offensive to me, even with the fact that some of the people here clearly exhited some negative opnion of me.

y’know, the more i wrote about this, the more it sounds like a big issue. No, it’s not a big issue. I just like to write a lot…. for example, i like twb, i like johnsua2, i like alex shroender, i like hober. (i dunno, perhaps some fuckheads are thnking i’m bullshitting here. No, fuckheads listen: i’m not) … also, there are people i in particular like, such as e1f, isomer … (a lot, but don’t want to get into a listing mode…) The point is, i’m extremely sensitive to the injustice and ignorance of people, which is the foundation of society. It is “injustice” (which i do not like to use words with “justice” in it because.. (another day)) and ignorance that causes war and great pain in humanity… This is the reason why, i mostly behaved the way i did. Yes, think of me as a great sage who suffers for humanity and perhaps willing to die for humanity. (you think i’m joking?)

—Xah Lee, 2006-07-12

OK, after a look at the refreshed ban, there is actually just one or two person(s) (fuckheads) who is really negative about me. Jesus, what am i fretting about with my long monologue?? In fact, this entire essay about banning perhaps even are actually subtly support of me. Jesus, i wonder if i should die for humanity for the suffering, or for the joy.

—Xah Lee, 2006-07-12

Well.. since i’m writing i might as well continue a bit on the state of my mind, and this can be a record of my thought.

(normally, i alwas write a full person’s name. But as i said not at home, i didn’t have the time/energy to put each person’s full name with nick)

Now, johnsua (suvillan sp?), alex shronder (sp) and hober (sp) are nice guys. I know these guys on #emacs since 2006 jan. Although i only new them thru online chat, so i don’t really know them as a person. By saying that they are nice is meant that i find them likable, e.g. possibly “friend” (whatever that materialistic word means) Now, all these 3 actually had som epersonal conflict of interest with me. Basically, each believed that i offended their sensibilities. (they offended my sensibilities VERY MUCH, from my point of view) The conflict of interest (aka locking horns) actually happened when they expressed their complaint and i expressed mine, they took actions to hurt or harm me in some degree. In this context, it is harassing, soliciting others to do that, or ban/kick me if they hold power themselves. Nevertheless, as i said, i consider these people nice people. Maybe i’d make a wrong judgement since i actually never met any one of them face to face, but i deem them nice in particular means that i don’t find them to be fuckfaces. In normal words, i find them to be very reasonable people, and considerate and respect of others, almost to the same degree i do to others. They are all very nice people. Alex, Hober (what’s his’ name (too lazy to lookup my db)), and Sullivan something (johnsua02).

Now, sullivan is worth a few more words. Sullivan, as i have came to know, is what i call a WASP bleedingheartist. (commonly known as extreme American leftist) First of all, i find American leftist very questionable. But the degree of Sullivan’s bleedingheartism is to a level that i find scary, to the point i wonder if really, truly want to have him as a friend. (well, relatively speaking, prob yes, because all things considered, his qualities as person i would befriend is high)

in fact, this whole refreshed ban consideration is brought about by him yesterday, when i mentoned that i showed some friends (myy collogue mathematicians and professors) who i showed irc to. Perhaps Sullivan was joking, and perhaps in combination with my persona that i never give in to shit or save-face of others when the matter i consider crital, then he started to feel perhaps hurt and this joke perhaps becomes series and more series. Then riastra (another guy i’ll have to talk about) came in and chanted… and hober and others chimed in. This is how this refreshment of ban started.

you see, often if not always, some friendly joke was thrown, but because of the fact that i do dead-pan face, they feel insulted and or other reasons (i know), things turn into a snow ball, with facts turning into fiction, and hostility agaist me grows larger and larger, by more and more people who just jumped in and haven’t the faintest idea of what’s really going on.

the real bottom line, isn’t about my off-topicness or anything other non-consensus reasons (as can be seen as described by others), but, all the hostility agaist me is simply due to me not saving people’s faces (even with full, encompassing respect and courtesy). Now, this is what drives people mad with hatred. This is seen in newsgroups recently to a rather unprecedented level. (btw, in case anyone is wondering… i havent posted recently because i don’t have time, not because any other reason. My Xah’s Edu Corner Essays will be back soon)

y’see, human animals, have reasons. They always have reasons. They have reasons to kill people, they have reasons for war. The reasons, appearances, fashions of reasons come and go. They are just reasons. Besides reasons, we really should exam the desire point of view, materialistically. Bertrand Russell has lecture this well: What Desires are Politically Important?

now, let’s apply this to the situation of this ban here. Whta do we see? In fact, we see that all the people involved here, are rather nice, as i have said, even those who started this ban business or in some degree slandered me in some mild way. The one thing we can conclude about these peoople’s wrong doings, is simply just their ignorance. Their total collective ignorance of sociology. (this may seem trite as i said it many times, but surprise! it is just what it is)

As of current, i’m banned in #adium and #python and #lisp. (i’ll get the names when i got home) All these 3 cases of banning are injustified, and is a abuse of power. For the first 2, i can forgive. They are done, largely by the male nature. i.e. the willingness to hurt someone just for little quarral) Btw, these two bans are done by single persons just because they spatted with me verbally (started as a joke). Now, i was banned in #lisp by this one single fuckface Christophe Rhodes (xophe). This is the single intolerant, hateful, motherfucking fuck fuckface that exists on earth. Let me repeat if it is not clear: of all my irc experience since i started to use irc, i have not find a person that is criminally intolerent, but i find Christophe Rhodes to be such a person. If, for example, he one day holds power, he might simply kill others who do not agree with him.

ok, a very brief log about this Christopher guy. He banned me 3 or so times on lisp, each time without much support or at all from others. all happened during sessions that are weeks apart, and each instance happened within 5 or 15 min when i came into #lisp on freenode. In short, Christopher is a fuckface who has seen my essays in comp.lang.lisp and prob deemed me a troll, therefore, when he sees me appear in #lisp, he immediately exercise his power with extreme prejudice. Since i used irc since 2006 jan (or 2005 Dec), i have hardly went into #lisp (before i was banned). On average prob not even once a week. I’m saying this to illustrate how it’s not like i was a regular in #lisp and made a reputation of my annoyance. In fact i don’t even know who frequent #lisp. I just went in #lisp when i had a question or need to discuss a concept or express my opinion related to lisp, and almost in all occasions i joined, this Christopher fuckface Rhodes immediately move kill within a few mins when i was also there.

I think i did a little homework of this guy. He may be a Christian. And that may be why he may hate me, because i often offend Christians, and Christians are the most intolent and aggresive peolpe and cause of death in the world historically and today.

maybe i’m wrong about this Christopher Rhodes guy since i don’t think i ever communicated with him online other than 1 or 2 exchange in these ban incidences. And, sorry if i expressed strong opinion about hating this guy. However, when yoeu face killers or murderers, one cannt be too forgiving.

–Xah Lee, 2006-07-12

More comments

I think this post nicely illustrates why I don’t want you to be on #emacs. – AlexSchroeder

Considering Xah’s contribution to this page, I am reconsidering my opinion on banning him. Reading that he apparently does not oppose to bans, as per the rules he proposes for a ban, I presume we can conclude that he consents to the possibility of being banned for something other than public logging. As he seems to apply an authority argument (“a 1-month ban should be possible, but must have 3 banners doing it together”), reasons even need not be given, although I would think this good policy. As said earlier, I am personally not for banning him, but having read his post I am not principally against banning this particular person anymore, although kicking on grounds of predefined criteria (esp. sexual and racial harassment) might be a better strategy. Note that I remain against banning in general. – pft

Recent events have made me support action against xah as well. -- deego

As has been the case above, Xah’s rebuttal has made me somewhat less sympathetic to his views. I would suggest a ban for a week. Anyway he doesn’t seem to be in a place where he can IRC. – AlokSingh

Regarding the “predefined criteria” pft would like to see, I disagree. Our everyday decisions happen without such clear criteria, and something that seems appropriate today may seem rude tomorrow. People change. And in fact our laws usually reflect this: They are intentionally vague, giving our courts enough flexibility to base their decision on circumstances and current values. Decisions such as banning reflect a power hierarchy that can be abused. The solution, however, is not to mechanise the process using well-defined rules. Instead, discussion, the right to know what you are being accused of and by whom, to see the evidence, the ability to defend yourself, to appeal decisions – those are the elements of a fair and open process. It doesn’t do away with the imbalance of power. But it makes it more bearable. Or so I’d like to hope. – AlexSchroeder

On Xah: With `predefined criteria’ I did not mean them to be precise nor to leave no room for deliberation. Actually, the laws AlexSchroeder speaks of are `predefined criteria’ themselves. How wide or how narrow they are depends on the field of law. One of the key maxims in theory on fair trials is nullum crimen sine lege (no crime can exist without a (prior) law, which generally is held to have to be known, or at least accessible by a person committing the crime). Another one, in criminal law, is for them to be as narrow as possible, in order to avoid abuse of power. Now, a prior law was lacking, even the most general one (but I might be wrong: from the discussion here it seems that there is some tacit predefined criterion that on trolling a ban may follow; but then it still fails the test of being known, but that might just be my own ignorance). Since now however Xah seems to have given us carte blanche on the basis of some power argument (three banners), there now exist such a prior rule, applying solely to Xah. It would be merely a matter of courtesy against Xah to tell him what he cannot do in advance. And I’d like to be courteous.

As a general note: I understand the hesitation against setting a policy, especially a mechanical one. I feel it myself: it inhibits people to speak their minds by means of fear. My intention was absolutely not to create a general policy or even a discussion about this. Opposing banning in general, I see no need for a policy. My excuses if I have inadvertently made that impression. I am happy with the freedom enjoyed in #emacs and also very pleased that people engage in elaborate and thoughtful conversation on the topic before decisions are being made, instead of the abuse of power I have witnessed elsewhere, thereby acknowledging the delicate nature of this issue. --pft

I think Xah makes a pretty good case for banning him, at least for a week. --aadis

I oppose the banning of Xah from the channel. I do not think that his behaviour is disruptive, be it thought that it is intentional or not. He has much knowledge of emacs and also many other things, and I think there is much to be learned from him. One view may be that many people encourage Xah in to flamewars, and this may be looked on as what happens in a school class when a majority may feel threatened by a single person, resulting in them picking on that person. It takes two or more people to start a flamewar; there is no single person that starts it. --anon

If you want your opinion to be taken seriously, why don’t you provide your name? --DamienElmes

Names are not important – not-perfectly-transient pseudonyms serve most of the same purposes, without many of the disadvantages that “real names” provide. At any rate, I believe this latest banning may have taken place under false impressions (with regard to whether public logging was taking place); perhaps I misunderstand its cause. Assuming I understand correctly, I believe this current ban should not be kept permanent; people should decide about banning xah based on the other arguments hashed out above.

johnsu01’s point above regarding more frequent silencing and kicking (perhaps using temporary bans) seems apt, and less extreme. But it’d require much more extensive policing of the channel – and when police powers are used frequently, they’ll tend to expand. After all, it’d be somewhat unfair to start silencing xah when he goes on his extended rants, and not start enforcing topicality against other people….

I have no particular strong views on this ; but I think I’ve just talked myself into believing a ban would not be entirely misplaced. There’s little point in dressing a heavy penalty up in the guise of a lesser one (to stretch the example, “xah can be here as long as he doesn’t speak”). --bpalmer

In the spirit of Voltaire, I am opposed to a ban of Xahlee. I have no great experience with him, but I have witnessed some discussions involving him, both on usenet and in #emacs. His manner of discussion is often harsh, and I am no fan of the use of explicit language, but this doesn’t warrant a permanent ban. There is a point in what bpalmer says about a small amount of policing often expand into larger amounts, but I can’t honestly say that I see this as a problem in the future of #emacs, even if operators start warning xahlee or others that step over the line that a kick or timelimited ban is approaching if they don’t cool down and behave like civilized people. The way this discussion is being handled goes a long way to prove that people in #emacs are very weary of power (mis)use.

On the note of topicality, it seems to me that #emacs is very open for discussions not directly related to Emacs, which in my opinion is a good thing. I think everyone is allowed to go pretty far off course before anyone complains, so the policing of this wouldn’t really increase, as most people seem to be attentive to the amount of random babble they spit out.

Summing up, I am (strongly) against a permanent ban of Xahlee and any other thinking human being. I see no great problem in a little more active policing when it is needed, as I have never seen the operators of #emacs act wrongly against anyone. And, finally, I agree with bpalmer in that either you get to stay in #emacs and speak your mind freely (up to the point where you are telling people to drop dead Naggum style, or perhaps a little before that point), or you get booted for good. The “you can stay and watch the grown ups speak, but not talk” way of handling this is just shying away from responsibility, in my opinion. – Andre Reffhaug (aref in #emacs)

I have nothing new to say on the topic of banning Xah – I won’t ban him, but I understand that people do want to do that, and I won’t stop them.

But I have something to say about some points in this discussion.

The main thing was about “fairness”. Is it “fair” to ban Xah for being annoying or off-topic, and not ban others who are off-topic, too? To be blunt: Yes, it is. It wouldn’t be “fair” to ban anyone without the same kind of discussion that has happened here. This is integral to the whole process. We don’t need to define any kind of laws listing reasons why we want to ban anyone. If enough people get annoyed, such a discussion like this will be repeated. And I don’t want some funny document to be used in such discussions in the future, like “we wrote down we want to ban for lots of off-topic stuff” or such things. We ban because we decide in a discussion that it is what we want to do, not based on some thoughts some time ago, and the legis that “nullum crimen/poena sine lege” asks for is the repeated request to stop being annoying, which has happened a lot. A formal one isn’t needed.

Because of this perceived requirement of “fairness”, the discussion has veered off into a debate on whether it would generally be ok to kickban people, whether it should happen more frequently, etc.

No, it should not. No ban without such a discussion as this.


First banning

OK we have The Facts and The Opinions. What we need now is The Decision. Will Xah be banned? I just can hope not.

Royce Gracie

He already is banned (and i don’t agree)

[00:30] *** Ban list for channel: #emacs
[00:30] ==============================================================================
[00:30] Ban Mask
          Banned By
[00:30] ==============================================================================
[00:30] *!n=jjjj@*

[00:30] xah!*@*

[00:30] xahlee!*@*

[00:30] *** End of Ban list


At least the operator should have announced his decision here. Or why was this page created for? I am sure I am not the only one who disagrees with the Xah ban here.


OK. Seems the operator who banned Xah noticed how bad and single-sided his decision was, and now Xah is not banneed anymore:

 *** Ban list for channel: #emacs
 Ban Mask                                                             Banned By
 *** End of Ban list

Thank you,

Royce Gracie

Well, I like Damien’s comments about consensus above. I think he banned xah, and he explained his position above already. That’s what an op does. S/he gets a feel for the general mood by, say, looking at pages like this, and acts accordingly. If one waits for absolute and proven unanimity, nothing will ever get done. If you feel like it, and you are an op, feel free to unban him after a few days. Or ask another op to do so. My point is that one should not require a lengthy procedure for such actions. – deego

Heh. Practically a DoOcracy… Of course I’d like to think that you also get ops for being a responsible channel member, but unfortunately the process is rather haphazard at best. – AlexSchroeder

Second banning

In case people ask: I unbanned Xah, because, as I understood it, the consensus on this page was that the ban should be for one week only. As it was still there after two weeks, I thought people might have forgotten about it, and cleaned it up (I do clean up the ban list from time to time, regardless of whether Xah is on it or not). If it was intentionally left there, feel free to reban. – JorgenSchäfer

Why xah has been banned again:

> xahlee: even after a period of absence, you continue to write inflammatory
  remarks and troll the channel. even if we ignore obvious bating attempts
  like "c# is a functional language", comments like "<xahlee> RMS is decidedly
  a crackpot" and "<xahlee> RMS is decidedly a fuckhead." are not constructive
  and are a detriment to the channel. so i'm going to ban you again
> /msg chanserv op #emacs resolve
*** ChanServ (ChanServ@services.) has changed mode for #emacs to +o resolve
<xahlee> and these two people, both i've never encountered as i far know, are
         both forgivable but nevertheless fuckfaces.
> /mode #emacs +b xahlee!*@*
*** resolve ( has changed mode for #emacs to
    +b xahlee!*@*
*** ChanServ (ChanServ@services.) has changed mode for #emacs to +o shapr
*** shapr (n=user@ has kicked xahlee off channel #emacs: Kicked
    by shapr
* shapr boings
<fledermaus> huzzah.
<fledermaus> and there was much rejoicing.
<Cowmoo> does that settle the kickban xahlee debate then?
<shapr> If you decide to let him come back, I won't come back.
<Cowmoo> haha
> shapr: i feel the same way
<Cowmoo> okey dokey
<Sketch> there's always /ignore
<shapr> I know that worthwhile ideas may hide behind difficult people, but
        it's not worth my time to look for them there.
<Cowmoo> nah Sketch, I'm a newbie who when first joined this channel was
         confronted with many xahlee monologues
<fledermaus> xah's just here to pick fights and annoy people
> the disadvantages of /ignore have been discussed on the wiki page ad
  nauseum, sketch
<shapr> ignore doesn't solve anything.
<Cowmoo> and it made me think less of this channel because I thought I was the
         only one who thought this guy should be booted
<Cowmoo> it really is/was a distraction to when I wanted to ask questions

Royce Gracie: If you contest this decision, please be so kind as to tell us what nickname you go under on the channel.


M-x doctor RET

I am the psychotherapist.  Please, describe your problems.  Each time
you are finished talking, type RET twice.

RMS is decidedly a crackpot

Do you know Stallman?

RMS is decidedly a fuckhead

Tell me about your feelings about him.

I don’t know much of Xahlee except the soap written here.

Anybody here know what problems RichardStallman or (maybe more likely) the GeneralPublicLicense? has caused for Xah? – PatrickAnderson

<shapr> If you decide to let him come back, I won't come back.
<resolve> shapr: i feel the same way

This settles it for me. I won’t unban him.


Xah Lee's second response

I really have a ton of things to say. Sometimes during the week of 2006-07-12 on my trip in a hotel, i have wrote some 800 words essay that i didn’t complete but intended to post here. After i finished my trip and arrived home, i thought about finishing that essay and post here but just didn’t have the motivation. One thing funny about these things is that, if you post or do any activity, the very act of posting here is making a statement. So, if i actually came here, make corrections to my postings, correct people’s real names instead of the nick they habitually hides under, or add in complete logs of various ban situations, it will appeal like making a statement. So, i did not do that. Ok, this is the story up to about 2006-07-24.

— Xah Lee, 2006-07-26

I will now, find and post that incomplete essay. As well as try to post each and every log that bans me on irc. Probably somewhere on my website, and any writings by me i hope will also be more organized and made into a coherent essay on my website XahLee?.org, with a title something like Xah Lee’s Ban Record or The Hate Record Of Males Online. All names will be real names, because i want to highlight one of the problem of tech geekers habitual and customary online practice of using “nick” names, which encourages irresponsible activities and behaviors.

You should not worry about your real names being shown on my site. Because, if you are good, you have nothing to worry. And if your behavior is in fact not that good in these instances or don’t look good on your future employment or whoever searching you online, you needn’t really worry neither, because, you have a situation where you are among tens of people that are somewhat “on your side” and i’m clearly the nut case here. Basically, except the Christopher Rhodes (xophe) whom i deem a fuckface, i’m attacking humanity, and the male part of it. Your records only serve as a supporting document.

(PS is case one day i actually have put together a document about these cases on my website and you wish your name taken off, chances are, all you have to do is ask. (in case you don’t know, people have done rather not reputable deeds and have been recorded on my website, and they KINDLY ASKED me to remove it and i did.).)

— Xah Lee, 2006-07-26

Now, few words about the period 2005-07-17 to 2006-07-24.


Sometimes before this week, i got actually banned in emacs. This was funny, because i already declared on the 12th that i will take a break and not join emacs. Nevertheless, the ban is still put in as a gesture. This is funny because, this is a reflection of another example of such human behavior. Y’know, that criminals who are condemned to death, are actually actively prevented from committing suicide. Why? After all, functionally speaking, if one is to die, one is to die. After the guy suicided, the problem really ended physically, and the society actually saves the trouble of killing. But no. The human animals cannot allow such suicide, because that would miss the retribution element. Y’see, for human animals, there is a psychology need to cause pain to others. For example, if guy A killed your son and raped your daughter, and he got caught, and people decided to kill him. Then, it wouldn’t give you much pleasure if A suddenly killed himself. Instead, you want A to die on Your hands. Although things ends the same, but psychologically there’s a great difference.

Now, on IRC, this phenomenon can be observed frequently too. Often, there’s some quarrel or some person A did said some bad thing, then some room leader L wants to ban A, but before L can ban, A already exited himself. Then, we’ll often see a quick ban by L anyway, as if to say “ha, you can’t escape the ban!! I hurt you now!”, even if the “problem” of discussion disruption already went away. Of course, if A is likely to come back and continue the quarrel or other annoying behavior, then the exited ban is logical. But more often than not, such existed ban is a reflex.

In my own case, this phenomenon applies: I declared my taking a break from #emacs for a few days to a week, and i think most people here would have trusted me on my words. However, people had to add-in a ban as a gesture, as to say, hey, “you are not here not because your voluntary withdraw, but because WE BANNED YOU”.

— Xah Lee, 2006-07-26


When we judge people in society, often, we can see people’s true nature not by the official defenses and behaviors, but by looking at some subtleties, and also the statistics (past records) of their behavior and the circumstances they were in.

For example, when we look at leaders in history. Great many of them have caused thousands and millions of intentional deaths. Some of these leaders are hated by many, yet great many of them are adored and admired and respected… (ok, i’m digressing…)

Ok, the gist of matter is that: Ask yourself, when you have the power to do A (suppose A means banning a guy, to causing or killing thousands of people to die), AND suppose if you choose to do A you will still be loved by many, if not majority: Will you or will you not do A?

In other words: if you can kill or do anything you want and by some magical pre-ordinance that you know you can absolutely get away with it. What will your behavior be?

Y’see, it is from these perspectives, you will see the true nature of a person. For vast majority of people, their behavior is just a function of their personal benefits. You see, most people’s behavior when it comes to controversial morality related issues, are not really based on reasons or what they think is right, but predominantly based on what choices he makes will benefit him more, all things considered.

So, in IRC, the behavior of some room leader L to ban A, is not truly how L feels about banning someone, but more about how all other people will react to L’s ban and how A being banned by him will affect L. For example, let’s put some concrete picture here. Suppose A is a millionaire and L knows it, and L is a poor student. A is so rich that he can cause many bad things to happen to L’s life. (job, careers, even the continued room leader status). Will L ban A? L will suddenly think twice, think trice, think quadruple of times, before he commit. Now, let’s say, all other people are also aware of A’s rich power, and have actually kissed up his ass so that a ban on A do not have many supporters in the community, yet, suppose A’s behavior is truely bad. Now the problem L faces is that: if he ban A, he will have to deal with potential personal damage, and he will lose popularity with the community, and in fact A probably will be back soon, but L will be doing the community good by this ban. If L do not ban A, so much better for L, but L is not fulfilling his room leader obligation. For most people in L’s position, they simply won’t ban. Their decision is not so much of a rational, conscious thought process, but rather somewhat natural following the flow of the crowd and instinctive self-preservation.

So, when you see IRC bans, you can analyze it in the above perspectives. Self-preservation versus one’s real moral sense. You’ll see that the self-interest aspect are always predominant. In fact, it is only nature. Human animals need to survive as the first rule in accords to evolution. Moral senses, is only a afterthought.

What i’m coming to in this section, is the subtle fact that showed that although emacs people “banned” me, things indicate that it is not vicious. This, can be seen in how they banned me. The way emacsers banned me is put in such way, probably very consciously, that the banned can come back to #emacs just with a different name. This way of banning is ban by name, with text pattern to the effect of “xahlee@*”. This is a very commendable behavior. It is commendable because, ban by nickname effectively does what the ban is supposed to do, yet giving the banned the possibly of coming back to the room if he chooses to do so, but that he must use a different nickname (and to a noble person, this would be a form of disgrace). It shows that the banner as far as banning is concerned has a touch of heart in crimes and punishment called leniency. May it be that the banned needed to use the forum, or perhaps even want to comlpaint to another room leader about how the ban is unfair, that chance is not obliterated.

This name-based ban is in constrast to the other type that is most often used by fucking tech geekers. That is, a ban by matching a block of ip address, and often without any indication who is actually banned. In this pattern of ban, we can see that the banner is vicious in that he wants some severe punishment as if to prevent all possible return of the banned, and, it also indicates that, he doesn’t care much about accidently banning other people on the block of IP address, AND, such a ban pattern does not even indicate who is banned. (like a secret police making people disappear)

(by the way, i could came back to any room regardless how i was banned, if i wanted to, but i’m not doing that. I will talk about this in some other day or section)

(this section is rather badly written (content wise)… i will need to rework it on making the main point about judging human behavior more clear… this idea is a very fundamental and gravely important idea. I’ll have to do a lot more research and spend time if i wanted to get it nice, but basically the thought that human moral behavior are mostly a function of selfishness and social tide is probably a well-known theory and may even have a name. ( This is overtly talked about in radios or TVs when analysts talk about politicians’s moves in big political events such as big governmental office elections, you’ll see the analysts openly discuss politicians as strategists, who’s speeches and actions are to maximize their personal goals such as getting themselves liked and elected by the populace, but not necessarily what they actually believe or will do.))

—Xah Lee, 2006-07-26


Gosh, this is another topic that i’ve tried to lecture about perhaps twice in irc, or here and there but never have come to write a coherent essay. (it takes a lot energy, but here’s i’ll just give a cursory markup. Later i might edit and elaborate on my website)

As i have said many times, the ban, kick, ignore, killfile, slew of activities are in fact detrimental to the communication media in the long run. The most painstaking example i’ve used to illustrate this is the email spammers versus the tech geekers.

(some about killfile aspect has been written here )

The tech geekers, due to utter ignorance of society and their vicious nature of males, have long been fighting with the spammers in the very beginning, by tech battle. That is, the tech geekers device technological ways to thwart or defeat spammers. While, the spammers, do exactly the same: they use more technology to bypass the tech geeker’s walls. (e.g. tech geekers have black lists, honey pots, web traps, bayesian filtering et al, while the spammers have email harvesters, spam bots, zombie farm, forged header, et al.)

Long story short, in mid 1990s spam is just a annoyance constitution perhaps 1% of email traffic, but today it is some 80% or 90% of email traffic. Personally, for the past year i’m getting tens of spams in my inbox, most of which are either entirely image based or have lots of plain texts that are very difficult to distinguish from a Joe Bloke’s email. (i.e. today the spammers either sends a pure image file, of which technology is unable or costy to discern, or they have sampled average email contents and use that as their message body, while putting their payloard (often advertisements) thru some mis-spelling or rearangement so that computer programs don’t recognize it while humans still get advertised.)

(note: i get tens of emails spams in my inbox, but i actually receive literally thousands of spams a day. As far as i know, i started to lose real emails since 2005.)

(about the spammer versus the tech geekers, my earliest writing of it is here: dated 2002-08-21 Excerpt:

«Recall that Spy vs Spy was a popular comic by Antonio Prohias that appears in Mad magazine.

Here’s a few snap shots:

the theme being two archenemic spies, colored one white and one black, who better each other on schemes and technologies. One creates a voice-recognition missile, then the other invents a voice-exchanging device. The final frame of the comic would have the second spy shrieking with mirth and a victory pose over the mishaps of the other. Turn to the next installment and the winner & loser are reversed: We see one spy excitedly plans a booby trap. When he enters the other spy’s house to install the bomb, he got blown up because the other spy has spied on his scheme. Again the hilariously smug victory pose over the misfortune of the other.

Their fight is endless. Over and over we read with glee over the silly stratagems and incredible technologies they devices that befall on themselves.

As i sit here and read the technology geeking morons fighting with spammers. » )

Now, let’s consider newsgroups. Every tech geeker knows about newsgroups. Now, newsgroups softwares have “kill file” feature from the very early beginning. Newsgroups have been around for what, 20 years? With each generation of newsgroup clients, the kill-file feature or otherwise various mark-up mark-down features get better and better all the time. But has any of these features abated the so-called “trolls” or “noise” in newsgroups? or, have they reduced or eased the fights and hostilities in newsgroups? Frankly, the noises, fights, troll-cryings only increased and in fact today you can not go by passing a few days without hearing a troll cry or fight broke out. What is wrong? Again, due to the tech geeker’s total ignorance in sociology, they perceived wrong problems, and their actions only exacerbated the situation.

Likewise, on irc, we often see various bot attacks or other non-stoppable disruptions. Does any one think, that these have nothing to bo with the practice of bans and kicks across irc?


to Shae Erisson (shapr) right after he kicked me in emacs. 2006-07-26 (PST time)

7:19am xahlee
not cool.
7:19am xahlee
i get very tired of this…
7:20am xahlee
i’ve been msg to 3 people know, wrinig long explanations in each case
7:20am shapr
Emotional remarks like “fuckface” will get you banned from any channel on which I have ops.
7:20am xahlee
but really, i get tired to explain this or that.
7:20am xahlee
shapr: that’s fine. But that is rather inane.
7:20am xahlee
there are million and billions of people around the globe,
7:21am shapr
Ok, go talk to them instead.
7:21am xahlee
quarreling about this or that little matters.
7:21am xahlee
what does it matter that i get banned or not??
7:21am xahlee
i’m a insignificante little being, like a ant in the billions of gazilions.
7:21am xahlee
you are a insignificante little being, like a ant in the billions of gazilions.
7:21am xahlee
what’s with this little petty power games get you?
7:21am shapr
A better community.
7:21am xahlee
upholding some justice in humanity?
7:22am shapr
I want to pursue knowledge, I do not want to fight.
7:22am xahlee
shapr: no, in fact the opposite.
7:22am shapr
Wherever I see you on IRC you start a fight.
7:22am xahlee
you know about those bot attacks? and all sort of spams?
7:22am xahlee
where they came from?
7:22am shapr
Fights don’t communicate knowledge.
7:22am xahlee
they don’t appear for nothing.
7:22am shapr
You say things that sound like attacks, so people feel they have to defend themselves.
7:22am xahlee
they are caused, by this collective ban and ignorance of sociology.
7:23am xahlee
you and me and little quarrels doesn’ matter.
7:23am xahlee
look at the big picture.
7:23am xahlee
what you are doing, and you are saying that we should do,
7:23am xahlee
is the same as the tech geeker has done to the spam.
7:23am xahlee
where, today, 90% of email traffic are spam.
7:23am xahlee
it’s like spamer vs tech geekers,
7:24am xahlee
each thing they got better tech to kick the other.
7:24am shapr
I keep my communities clean.
7:24am xahlee
it gets worse and worse.
7:24am shapr
You’re talking at me, you’re not listening.
7:24am shapr
Nor are you having a conversation.
7:24am shapr
You’re just saying things at me rather than interactin.
7:24am xahlee
shapr: so what do you want me to say or answer?
7:24am shapr
Each person in a conversation must step outside of themselves a bit to have real interaction.
7:25am shapr
I want you to understand that argument detracts from communities.
7:25am shapr
And when you visit a community, arguments happen.
7:25am shapr
And you are at the cause of those arguments.
7:25am shapr
So no matter what I think of you personally (nice site, I’m glad you write lots)
7:25am shapr
I still cannot allow you to detract from the communities that I maintain.
7:25am shapr
Do you understand that?
7:26am xahlee
7:26am shapr
So what do you want?
7:26am shapr
Do you want arguments? Or do you want knowledge?
7:26am xahlee
do you see a point i’m making?
7:26am xahlee
about the spammer vs tech geekers?
7:26am shapr
No, I don’t. Can you make that point in one sentence?
7:26am xahlee
7:27am shapr
Hey man, I don’t have to talk to you :-)
7:27am shapr
I’m trying to be nice.
7:27am shapr
I have paying work to do, but I am giving you the benefit of the doubt here.
7:27am xahlee
well… lol
7:27am shapr
I am hoping that by describing to you how you can become a productive member of communities like #emacs and #haskell, then maybe you’ll figure out how to fit in.
7:28am xahlee
shapr: you are getting more and more ridiculous
7:28am xahlee
first, i listened to your points,
7:28am shapr
Ok, that’s enough.
7:28am xahlee
and i thought maybe you didn’t get my point.
7:28am shapr
I don’t wish to continue this discussion.
7:28am xahlee
and indeed, you didn’t, but you want me to put it in one setence
7:28am shapr
Either put it into one sentence or I’ll ignore you.
7:28am xahlee
then, you started with some attitude, as if you are pitying me, as if you have a job and i don’t.
7:28am xahlee
what’s that attitude about?
7:29am shapr
No, none of that was meant to be implied.
7:29am xahlee
you are not pitying me, and i’m not pitying you neither.
7:29am shapr
I was only saying that I have other stuff I could be doing.
7:29am xahlee
you don’t have to talk to me, and what make you think i need to beg to talk to you?
7:29am shapr
7:29am xahlee
i talk to you, because i find you respectable.
7:29am shapr
k, bye
7:29am xahlee
and i try.
7:30am xahlee
yeah, you spend the past hours on #emacs. What makes you think i don’t have other things to do?
7:30am xahlee
and, come to this: what is the point for you to tell me that you have other things to do??
7:30am xahlee
other than implicating a pity or belitteling?
7:30am xahlee
let me repeat, i talk to you, spending me time telling you about my point,
7:31am xahlee
because formost, i like you and respect you.
7:31am xahlee
And, you get more respect when you actually answered.
7:31am xahlee
while the other 2 today who kicked me did not.
7:31am xahlee
(and i don’t even know them)
7:31am xahlee
and, i listened to what you have to say.
7:31am xahlee
and i agree.
7:32am xahlee
I see your point.
7:32am xahlee
but you refuse or put on a attitude about what i have to say.
7:32am xahlee
telling me to put in one sentence, then followed by a bunch of belitteling remarks about how you have other things to do and so on.
7:32am xahlee
that’s not proper, if you meant to be proper.
7:33am xahlee
and more specifically, i don’t think you kicked me in emacs is proper, because
7:33am xahlee
you are not a regular there, and
7:33am xahlee
since i was using irc since 2006 Jan and about every day in #emacs, i have hardly seen you there during this period.
7:34am xahlee
the reason you are quick to kick me in #emacs, is because (yes i know),
7:34am xahlee
because you wanted to make a point.
7:34am xahlee
and that point being,
7:35am xahlee
i got kicked in #haskell today, and you said you are the boss there and think it’s proper, and you want to kicked me in #emacs right there at the moment so that you can show that your authority and decisiveness
7:35am xahlee
to all the others to see.

PS I think shapr is a nice guy. The above is more or less slacker’s quarrel.

The reason Shae Erisson (shapr) is quick to spring to action, and decisive, and as one can see in other places to make a non-requested, proactive statement about permanent banning me: “<shapr> If you decide to let him come back, I won’t come back.” is a exhibition of MEANNESS.

I have in my life chatted to Shae no more than perhaps 4 times. (and as far as i know except this one time in #emacs, they all occured in #haskell). (the first time to my recollection he helped me in #Haskell, pointed to a Haskell cheatsheet that i was looking for) Let’s analyze his statement: “<shapr> If you decide to let him come back, I won’t come back.”.

If me and Shae have run into each other in #emacs now and then, then there’s a logical reason to his statement, that is: to prevent my presence while he is present. But, since we are almost never together in a room, his statement is there to showcase a male trait of decisiveness and meanness. From psychological-political perspective, the function of such statement is to establish leadership and authority.

Regarding what Shae had to say in the above chat, it is extremely reasonable and cool headed. I was even taken aback a bit by the calm tone. It presented his views, and in fact most other people’s views in a cogent manner. However, it is marred by his “i’m holier than thou” attitude which he quickly followed up with. Regarding his message, i clearly understand it and see his point. I’m not perfect person, and i too, have my views i wish others to see. I’m aware of my disruptive nature, and my point is that, it is my personality and behavior that i raise issues. Put it this way, there are many great heros who are put to jail by the government and society for their social activities, but some nevertheless gained certain Hero status. (for example, Gandhi, Bertrand Russel, and to the WASP mind, Martin Lurther King, to name some chantable names.) So, the question here becomes, to what degree you allow or restrict dissenting views or disruptive behavior? I don’t mean to say every thugs in society need to be heroically considered. But the problem pertaining me as you see are indeed some dissenting opinions in the software industry (from Microsoft Hatred to the Unix Pestilence to the tech geeker ignorance to the Open Source lies).

To further this point, for example, i’m not someone who disrupt by doing things like coming in and keep posting porno, or post spam or flood, or hide my name and pretend i’m someone else etc. My “disruptions”, is almost always about some issues related to the IT industry, together with my rampant use of fuck word and disrespect of the status quo. So, in this section, my point is that i’m not some “troll” or anti-social fuck as some tech geeking fuckfaces want to hat me. And i want people to consider the aspect of social disruption from the point of view of dissenting opinions.

For many Open Source or Free Software tech geeker themselves, are in fact a minority or dissenting voices with respect to most societies, and they often participate in some demonstrations or lobbying in public places against the status quo or social norms. (for example, against various laws about patents, commercial software, licensing, cryptology tech, and so on, in fact many are put to jail willy-nilly.) As most of you know, RMS himself has run into troubles with local police in various countries. (don’t know if he ever actually been put to jail for his computing related behaviors)

So, if my behavior is social disruption, then to what degree you tech geeking fuckers are a disruption to society on the whole and viewed by majority as a problem?

(my behavior in #emacs and my person in general with respect to the computing world are sometimes condoned or even loved precisely because i’m in a sense one of them/you, just a more severe case.)

Also, let me here point out a very well written essay on the issue of trolling, named “To Catch a Troll” by Bill Palmer

msg to Damien Elmes (Resolve) right after he banned me in #emacs. 2006-07-26 (PST time)

the statement by Damien right before he banned me is this:

“xahlee: even after a period of absence, you continue to write inflammatory remarks and troll the channel. even if we ignore obvious bating attempts like “c# is a functional language”, comments like “<xahlee> RMS is decidedly a crackpot” and “<xahlee> RMS is decidedly a fuckhead.” are not constructive and are a detriment to the channel. so i’m going to ban you again”

in which i refute by /msg him and typed quickly. He didn’t make any response.

7:12am xahlee
huh?? C# is not a functional lang?
7:13am xahlee
and, about RMS, it is my rightful and honest opinion,
7:13am xahlee
i was watching the vid of RMS talk in Tawian,
7:13am xahlee
and if you put economiists or sociologists in the talk,
7:13am xahlee
say, 100 economists and 100 sociologists choosen randoms from around the world
7:14am xahlee
chances are, 90% will say RMS is motherfucking talking shit.
7:14am xahlee
no, i take that back. They will say, RMS is motherfucking bending the truth with words.
7:14am xahlee
So, just what the fuck is your statement?
7:15am xahlee
just because you are a tech geekers who are clouded inside a tech geeking cave,
7:15am xahlee
does not mean the world of people should follow your opinions and agree with your ideas.
7:15am xahlee
In fact, RMS himself, when looked in the context of all human animals,
7:16am xahlee
is in fact rather a weird person, and his opinions supported by a minority.
7:16am xahlee
AND, besides, RMS and other opensources openly said fuck Bill Gates and things like that
7:16am xahlee
and Bill Games has won many awards from around the world’s most renowned and respected instutitions.
7:16am xahlee
So, what the fuck are you saying??
7:17am xahlee
you(s) little power games i’m really tired of.
7:17am xahlee
ban this ban that.
7:17am xahlee
can’t you people have any conscience outside of your little group?
7:17am xahlee
i’m a little small insignificant being.
7:18am xahlee
you are a little small insignificant being.
7:18am xahlee
like a ant in the billions of gazilions.
7:18am xahlee
why is that, the little power games seems so important to you guys??
7:18am xahlee
what does it really matter, that i get banned or not?
7:18am xahlee
such little quarrel is going on around the world with millions of people here and there.
7:19am xahlee
yeah, i get tired.

PS I think Damien is a fine person. This ban, i condone. However, as indicated, he’s got major ignorance, but not necessarily worse than most people. Later i realized, that C# is a typo, I meant F#. (due to Damien’s ignorance of technology here, he is quick in his mind to attribute this typo as my “trolling”. Such mis-understanding happens a lot. Even though often they are intentionally perpetrated by me to raise a issue. In today’s crowd of tech geeking moron’s minds, there dwells the concept of “troll”. This term and concept, has done massive amount of damage to society by encourage unthinking. Their “troll/trolling” may mean raising a issue (as Ganhdi did), being a non-conformist, gadfly, or being a outsider, that it’s so abused that one can almost attribute any thing one doesn’t like online as “troll” without raising a eyebrow.

(more about trolling and its ignorance is here )

(the essence of the today’s usage of “troll/trolling” is a subsconscious belief that there exist people who are pure evil. This mindset corresponds to today’s WASP’s mindset as perpetrated by their countless media (such as WASP Superheros or Star Wars, where the villains are often evil lords that don’t have much motivation other than pure evilness) )

I condone this Damien ban because i started to rant about some personal issues as if i have some special status in #emacs. (i was announcing how i was banned in quick succession in #math and #haskell both i deem not justified) However, Damien’s own reason for the ban (about his perception of me being “inflammatory remarks” i.e. my statement on RMS or C#/F# ) is due to his ignorance. It would be more pertinent, if he simply kicked me out. (and you will believe me when i say, in general, when i’m kicked out in a irc room i do not actively rejoin, unless the kick is clearly a prank, in which i rejoin as a etiquette to be amicable to the one who did the kicking. (i do rejoin usually when there’s a wireless disruption and my client automatically rejoins me.))

But consider my foregoing problems with some #emacs regulars, i think it is reasonable for this to be a ban, and it should last no more than another week.

I think i spend 4 hours writing the above. I have yet to look for the some 800 words incomplete essay i wrote in my hotel, and yet to fetch and collect and post the various irc ban logs, have yet to begin to address the so many issues i have in my heart, have yet to prepare a page on my website for all these to go into… it will easily take another 10 hours… but i think i’l take a break now.

im not a normal person. There is so much pain in me… the ignorance in society, the hatred. Another section above i wanted to write is about Intolerance versus Hatred. It is curious, with all these bans and concerns about bans and kicking going on all over all types of online forums… has any one actually thought about the concept of forgiveness? I mean, we are all grave and serious about all the justice and community values, but where did tolerance and forgiveness go? Was it not in the bible, that Jesus is supposed to turn the other cheek?… too much to write…

Think less your righteousness and moral values. Live, and let live.

 — Xah Lee, 2006-07-26

lastly, i may or may not actually write more here. But in any case, after all’s said and done, i hope people will go and make the following come tru in irc:

General IRC Policy • the banner should listed together with the banned. • a brief one-sentence message should be listed together with the banned, given by the banner. • a ban should expire in 3 days or a week. • a 1-month ban should be possible, but must have 3 banners cosign.

 —Xah Lee, 2006-07-26

The Decision

As it is a wiki, of course people are free to update the comments section with further discussion of this topic. But to sum up the current state of affairs: it was decided by several of the channel operators to ban Xah. Thus, as of July 26th, 2006, Xah Lee is banned from

Status as of 2006-08-30

Why am i still banned? —Xah Lee, 2006-08-30.

Status as of 2006-10-15

I’ve recently rejoined the EmacsChannel after a long hiatus, and have thus been confronted with this issue for the first time. Reading up on this wiki-page pretty much got me nowhere, unfortunately.

In the short time I’ve been on the channel I’ve seen hostility towards XahLee? as well as hostility from him. The channel seems a mess, honestly. Many people are obviously ignoring XahLee?, and many people seem to listen to him only in order to chastise everything he says, or advice newbies not to listen to him. The signal-to-noise ratio has diminished into the unknown.

Reading over this page to get a feel for the decision the community has made, while I was away, and comparing it with the status of the channel confuses me. XahLee? is currently banned with three different banmasks, yet, he is still on the channel. Is he ban-evading, or should those old banmasks be removed?

One thing that confuses me the most is that the only person consistently against any kind of action is “Royce Gracie”. I must admit I have a hard time taking his comments serious, without an attachment to the channel and/or the wiki that consists of more than just the name of a professional wrestler. My own research has been unable to find any other link to Emacs from this pseudonym. An EmacsChannel nick to connect this name to, would be much appreciated.

A regular whose opinion seems against above is DavidHansen. Yet he mentions this only once, and very much in brief, in connection to the first ban. LuisFernandes makes a (good) point about the good nature and capabilities of human beings, yet his position is not clear to me. Deego has changed his opinion during the course of this discussion, but where do people stand now?

I don’t want to come back into this community after such a long hiatus, and reawaken an old discussion you’ve all grown tired of, but I would like to get this issue cleared up. Is XahLee? banned, or isn’t he? And is there a consensus on something, or isn’t there?

It seems that people are leaving the EmacsChannel based on this (and relating issues), and I’m sad to see that happen.

Some people have made it clear that they very much dislike the idea of any kind of banning from the EmacsChannel, but even some of those seem to think this case merits it.

I suggest the following. List your names under the category which you belong to, so we can get the overview of who stands where. I wish no further discussion of the topic, merely a listing of names to see where the community stands, summarized, so this page can give a clear picture of the situation. If I have missed a category that should be included, I apologize. My name is added to the list, so it should be clear where I stand, and my writing should of course be judged relative to this. In any case, in the hope of a cleared up situation, here goes. – TerryPatcher

For a permanent ban

TerryPatcher, AlexSchroeder, AadityaSood, KamenNedev, AlokSingh, LucasBonnet, DamienElmes, EdwardOConnor, DavidOtoole

For active "policing" (time-based bans, kicking each time justified)

Horst Burkhardt (PeanutHorst?), DeanScarff, BrianTempleton

For "leave it to the discretion of the channel ops"

MichaelOlson, DeepakGoel, wolfbone, MathiasDahl, bpalmer

Against any kind of action towards XahLee

Royce Gracie

Against any kind of "policing" generally

Against This Page

Good grace, this must be one of the largest pages on this wiki. Please stop it.


Status as of 2006-10-29

John Sullivan (Johnsu01) set a ban by a static IP on me on 2006-10-29. I will not try to come in. After a week, i hope all the bans can be lifted, and we can restart fresh. —Xah Lee, 2006-10-30.

Status as of 2006-12-13

Xah Lee is still banned in the forum. John Sullivan (aka johnsu01) has become vigilant about the ban. He kicks me whever he saw me in the forum, and put a new ban on my ISP’s IP. This on-the-spot kick/ban happened at a frequency about once or twice a week.

Xah's 3rd Response

(note: I can change my IP address by rebooting my modem by pressing the power button twice. I also have access to other IP addresses such as google wifi, and am aware of onion routing and similar technologies))

btw, i want to make a official complaint to all the ops, about John Sullivan (aka johnsu01)‘s continual vigil of banning me. I understand, possibly a majority of ops will support him. Nevertheless, it is my belief that this decision is wrong.

If we consider the #emacs channel on to be merely communal group and without any serious laws and processed etc. And that if the ops decided to ban someone, and that is the end of the story. That is fine with me. But given this understanding, please also understand, i will use any (legal) means, if i desire, to come in despite the “official” ban. (So, in a sense, this become a cat/mouse or cops/robber conflict. see )

However, if the emacs ops or community, consider that the’s emacs channel is a certain formal polity, with strict processes, rules, and hierarchy of judicial body, then that point of view is fine with me too. In this case, i’m making a formal complaint about john sullivan. And, if emacs ops is on his side for the ban, i’m further making a formal complaint to irc controlling body about this ban. (or, the ops themselves can appeal to the higher power to resolve our conflict) If, the hierarchy of power continues upward, i am making a formal complaint or appeal to the United States legal system. (which i don’t think this case is ever gonna be serious or big enough to become. But, if it becomes so, it is my intention do so (If the case ever comes that large, i woud of course have to have practical consideration on the time and money that would cost me, and the possible benefit i might receive.))

It is my belief, that one should act out of love and be guided by knowledge. (This is the principle belief expressed by Bertrand Russell.) I have spend several hours writing defenses and reasons in the flurries of bans and misguided hostilities against me. ( )

i believe, some of my most important reasons, are ignored. (i.e. that i was actually the most helpful person in #emacs since the the discussion of banning me started, and have given a easily method to verify this by grepping logs for the number of occurrences of my name and expressions of gratitude. And the other thing is, how kicking and banning in irc should be limited in duration, and also suggested a loose legal structure how ops should work for everyone’s fairness. (namely, make the ban publicly announced, with reasons and banner, and how to handle longer bans etc.))

Most of these are simply ignored.

Regarding the last ban and continual vigil by John Sullivan… i think John is the type of person which the enthusiasm for morality has cause him to do more harm than good. (in this regard, it is not unlike USA today and George W Bush, or the priests in the dark ages)

I may post log evidences if necessary, but the particular incidence that caused John to ban me is his sensibility about copyright and privacy issues. (it is caused by, when i lisp pasted some url posted in this channel, that is related to a discussion about a emacs logo. John was not a participant in that discussion, but he felt that i violated other’s privacies and the loose policy of no log for this channel.

The very concept of the prohibition of publishing logs of Emacs channel is questionable in many aspects. (in its moral soundness, its praticality of enforcement, and the problems of propergation of the rule’s existance) Which i have discussed in the past (somewhat with Taylor R. Campbell (aka Riastradh)). But this will be another topic.

 Nevertheless, a important issues here is that we should not use the existence of such prohibition to eliminate any evidence in criminal investment. For example, it is my “right”, to post or show logs, if others accuse me saying bad things or behavior which i deny. One cannot use the rule of no logs to eliminate the accused of proving himself innocent.

This issue of publishing logs and law, has come up before, and it has in my impression several times touched the sensibilities of this bleedingheartist John. Another bout of ban of me, is in fact started by John, because he thought my showing the emacs channel to my professor friends is some violation of privacy. And he later personally apologized to me about it. (i believe i have this logged)

This John Sullivan is a funny bleedingheart American-leftist-extreme moron. When the kick ban xah discussion appear on emacs wiki sometimes in 2006 July ( ), John is of the opinion that that page shouldn’t exist, because he believed it to be a form of persecution of me. (i don’t agree here, but i do thank him for the support) Then, due to his bleeding heart sensibilities, he caused one of the ban that happened on me. (and which he later apologized. This is about me showing my math friends of emacs irc) Then, the last ban, is entirely singled handed and single sided sensibility of him. Feeling that i caused copyright or privacy violation because i posted the url of emacs logos discussed here to lisp paste. (in fairness, this incident is just the hair that broke the camel’s back. The incidence caused him to kick ban me, with continual vigilance whenever he sees me in the room, in part i believe because the sum of all my alleged anti-social behaviors on #emacs in the past warranted this)

Note that, although our irc fights are insignificant in the world of affairs. But, i’m willing to defend it all the way to the US’s highest court of justice, in multitudes of aspects. (e.g. the unfairness of the banning me as it is being carried out by John. My legality and ethical soundness of posting urls pasted here to lisp paste. My legality and ethical soundness of showing irc channel discussions to my friends. My legality of expressing controversial and offensive opinions with swearing. (Please note here, i accept bans and kicks when they are executed properly. In this regard, consider my actions civil dis-obediance.) However, i do not accept some such bans, and consider it a abuse of power. And, i consider John Sullivan, has done this. (even though he “tries to be a good man”) )

Well… ok the above is quickly written. I felt i should voice my own views about the situations, being unable to do so in #emacs.

Few words in summary. Love and Knowledge, Live, and Let Live.

The ultimate reason for kick ban me is that i cause bad things in the emacs community. But is that reality? Frankly, i believe i have contributed the growth of emacs comparable to many longtime regulars. My help to newbies, my popular tutorial and contribution to the thoughts (essays on emacs’s keyboard shorctcut design, modernization of its docs etc), and entire HTML valid elisp documentation of 900+ pages nicely formatted.

To the ops: make your kick/ban one-week in duration (and try to base your judgement on love and knowledge, as oppose to rules and process). Do this, and you will have done a good thing humanity, in the context of being a op.

  Xah, 2006-12-13∑

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