[erlang-questions] Re: Singh-ing the English Libel Law Blues

Toby Thain toby@REDACTED
Fri Feb 12 16:37:18 CET 2010

On 11-Feb-10, at 10:35 AM, Michael Turner wrote:

> Not to defend Simon Singh's intellectual assailants (who, to be sure,
> disgust me no end), but it appears the *legal* crux of the matter  
> is not
> in Singh in claiming that chiropractic lacked "scientific validation".
> Rather, it's in whether Singh was attributing *deceitful motives* to
> chiropractors when he wrote that chiropractors "happily" (his word)
> pursue and promote treatments he called "bogus".  No, really.
> ...
> On the other hand, I come more from hacker culture, where "bogus" can
> even mean simply "doesn't work very well" -- and in which author of
> the bogus software might actually believe that his "bugs" are
> "features".  I'm not tuned into any particular British nuances for
> "bogus",

The word isn't British. My etymology has it originating in Ohio in  
early 19th C. In my experience it's barely known to British English  
speakers, and where recognised, seen as an Americanism.


> perhaps owing to the transatlantic quantum uncertainty of
> bogons.
> ...
> -michael turner
> P.S.  A signed copy will go to 10,000 volunteer proofreaders if  
> they can
> find even one typo in my forthcoming book, "The _ Programming
> Language".
> On 2/11/2010, "Joe Armstrong" <erlang@REDACTED> wrote:
>> You're forgiven - the defense of freedom of speech is more important
>> than programming anyway.
>> I've signed up. For those of you who haven't followed Singh's  
>> dilemma.
>> Singh was sued for
>> libel for daring to say that certain alternative medicine practices
>> had no scientific validation of their
>> claims - Indeed were I to repeat his claims here - I might be sued.
>> So it seems like that with the support of the English courts nobody
>> anywhere in the world
>> can say that "this is unscientific" without being in danger of being
>> sued for libel.
>> Since I often say "this is unscientific" this is kind of disturbing.
>> /Joe
>> On Thu, Feb 11, 2010 at 10:51 AM, Robert Virding  
>> <rvirding@REDACTED> wrote:
>>> Sorry for posting something completely out of context on this
>>> mailing-list but it is something which I feel is important enough to
>>> warrant that. Posting it here is my idea so complaints goto me.
>>> Please support it.
>>> Robert
>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>> From: ?<simon@REDACTED>
>>> Date: 10 February 2010 22:32
>>> Subject: Simon Singh's weird idea that might just work
>>> To: rvirding@REDACTED
>>> Dear Friends,
>>> I致e had an idea ・an unusual idea, but I think it  
>>> might just
>>> work.
>>> As you know, England痴 chilling libel laws need to be  
>>> reformed. One
>>> way to help achieve this is for 100,000 people to sign the petition
>>> for libel reform before the political parties write their manifestos
>>> for the election. We have 17,000 signatures, but we really need
>>> 100,000, and we need your help to get there.
>>> ?http://libelreform.indiemedium.com/lt.php? 
>>> id=ZkQFVwkEBlAYDEgEBgALUg%3D%3D
>>> My idea
>>> My idea is simple: if everyone who has already signed up persuades
>>> just one more person each week to sign the petition then we will  
>>> reach
>>> our goal within a month!

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