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[P]
A Rant About Rants

By rusty in Op-Ed
Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 11:23:32 PM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)
/etc

Ranting is an ancient tradition, especially among technical professionals. I believe this is because we spend long hours with inanimate objects that never work the way we expect them to and can't understand a word we say. And then we leave our friends and go to work, and have to deal with computers all day, too!

A rant is not just an expression of your opinion. Rants brook no dissent and leave no room for uncertainty. A rant is to a "discussion" as a hurricane is to a ceiling fan. These days we're all supposed to believe that everyone's opinion is equally valid, but sometimes you just have to stand up and say "Your opinion is wrong, and here is why, in overwhelming detail." This is the time to uncork a good solid rant.

I've been frankly disturbed at the low quality of rants we've seen so far on K5. I mean, c'mon. If they get any more conciliatory, I'm gonna have to rename the section "Neville Chamberlain" and have done with it!


Consider the following two statements. They both say the same thing, but one belongs in a rant, and one does not:

Non-rant: "I think that Windows only seems intuitive to some people because it is all they've ever used. In truth, it is not at all obvious how things work to the new user."

Rant: "And then we come to the eternal argument that Windows is so intuitive. This is utter crap. Remember that Microsoft are the ones who pioneered the idea that to shut down the machine, you have to press "Start". They also introduced the "Ok" and "Apply" buttons on the same dialog. Face it: if Microsoft made toilet paper, it would be applied through the mouth. The truth is that no computer interface will ever be "intuitive." Computer interfaces, like a San Francisco bus schedule, are someone's metaphor for some else's abstraction of someone else's means of approximating something that is four degrees removed from any observable reality to begin with."

The point is, whether you agree with the argument presented or not, a rant should be entertaining, in and of itself. This used to be obvious to everyone, but it would appear that in the adolesensce of the internet (y'know, when we all got obsessed with porn), we have lost the ability to put together a proper rant.

Look at the Rants section page. You call those rants? Those are gentle good night kisses, my friends. Now this is a rant. So, for the improvement and edification of those of us who don't know any better, I want all of those who know what a real rant is to post links below to your all-time favorite rants. And let's see if we can get on the ball folks, and have some quality ranting from now on!

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o Neville Chamberlain
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o Also by rusty


Display: Sort:
A Rant About Rants | 35 comments (31 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
OpenGL vs. Direct3D (2.44 / 9) (#2)
by fluffy grue on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 09:21:30 PM EST

So I guess you'll want me to go through FlipCode and find the best of my rants about Direct3D's stupidness? Oh, and I've got some pretty good rants on Everything2 as well. Hehe, I just need a good trigger. I can't rant when I'm not in the mood, and I don't know when the mood will strike. Is reposting prior rants okay, Lord Ferrous Oxide? ;)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]

One good one from the past (4.00 / 10) (#4)
by mihalis on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 11:25:26 PM EST

Here is one that I like : The X-Windows Disaster

I work with X every day, so I can say he's got it all wrong ... it's MUCH WORSE THAN THAT!

There is also a great rant about Ada by either Henry Spencer or Henry Baker but I think I finally managed to lose it just recently. It was great whatever you thought of the language.
-- Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>

Re: One good one from the past (3.40 / 5) (#5)
by mihalis on Sun Oct 01, 2000 at 11:38:11 PM EST

It looks like Henry Baker's pages are gone, but I did eventally find the piece. It's not really quite a rant. More like parody, so be warned it's off-topic for this discussion, but since I brought it up, there's a copy on my server here.

The following gives the flavor :

...

The Ada Project's strategy for this problem was code-named `Dogfood.' Just as dog food is purchased not by the dog himself, but by his owner, Soviet programmers have little control over the computers that they use. Project Ada thus set up an elaborate top-down bureaucracy in the finest central-planning tradition that would have a special appeal for the Communist Party apparatchiks, and the Soviet programmers would then be forced to go along.

...

The C language was an exceptionally difficult case. Although the C language itself had lots of delicious ambiguities to exploit, it had some major problems. C was small and fast; it had small and fast compilers; and it had been utilized by two people to build an entire operating system that ran on small computers. This was precisely the sort of capability that would give Ivan an advantage, so C had to be buried.
-- Chris Morgan <see em at mihalis dot net>
[ Parent ]

Re: One good one from the past (2.00 / 2) (#12)
by el_guapo on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:01:47 AM EST

lord - this is making my insomnia much more tolerable. i am literally trying my best not to wake up the rest of the family laughing out loud....
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
[ Parent ]
Well Let's Face It... (3.80 / 10) (#7)
by Primis on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:15:09 AM EST

...some people were born to rant, and others are definitely not.

The ones not born to rant simply make everyone's life miserable because they don't know how to properly rant and vent. Instead they just fume and glare at you, or start to crack under pressure, or throw you through a glass window. I mean really... how hard is it to just let fly an incoherent string of vaguely-related grievances with intermingled obscenities at someone until they're left sitting there wondering why you just used the phrase "all up and in your Kool-Aid" and then brought back to their senses when you begin screaming something about Lots of Panzers and Poland and then they run into the other room very very afraid, with you all the while hummin the Smurfs theme while your left eye is spasmically twitching and you've put your fist through the wall...

So yeah... ummm... where was I again?...

-- Primis.
Like Area51, only without the armed guards.

-------------------
Primis inter pares.
-------------------

What about this? (3.00 / 6) (#8)
by el_guapo on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:21:49 AM EST

this? this post isn't as gratuitously self-promoting as you might think. this thread just hit a cord...btw it's still sort of a work in progress (ie: most of the first paragraph needs to go, methinks)
mas cerveza, por favor mirrors, manifestos, etc.
You want a rant? (3.54 / 11) (#9)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:54:04 AM EST

I'll give you a rant...

What the hell is going on? Look, I like Rusty and all, and I like the site too, but isn't he just the editor? Since when does an editor say to the readers "look, your letters to the editor aren't angry enough: I want to be called a complete shitface at least once!"

Since this is a community-written site, every post is basically a letter to the editor - if rusty doesn't like a rant, he should post that in the comments while it is being voted on, and not marr the front page with some "oh, please, let's be more abusive" crap. What would a new reader think? How about "all right, I should flame the hell out of everyone here!" I don't think so: probably "oh, MAN what an utter waste."

Point taken, rusty, good rants are hard to find - but if you need to find good rants that badly, I feel sorry for you!
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

Re: You want a rant? (3.57 / 7) (#10)
by vsync on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:20:31 AM EST

Geez, man, what do you want? Of course he can complain, it's his site! "Just the editor" is the most pathetic and disparaging summary of the work he's done on this site that I can imagine, and as someone who hopes to have his own Weblog and Random Things page up and running soon, I hope I never have to hear a lame viewpoint like that again. But it will happen anyway, won't it, because the Internet is full of people like you and statements like that.

Now, to address the actual point of your post, such as it is: I don't recall rusty wanting people to abuse him. All he said is that rants are a good thing, and that if people are going to bother posting to the "Rants" section, they should bother to make it sound at least a little like a rant. I don't know about you, but it makes perfect sense to me.

You know, as a hacker/coder/wannabe Internet pundit, I am visited by the various rant muses once every, oh, five minutes or so. The world is filled with such utter stupidity that anyone with even the slightest background in logic or technical skills is filled with mental pain at every new instance of it.

I just realized something. You have a problem with rants. You think everyone should be polite and happy to each other, and that if someone runs a Web site for their own personal amusement, they should nevertheless cater to every whim of their visitors, and oh, never ever say anything to offend them... If you can't see the reason for rants, I speculate that you have already been the cause of many rants on the part of others, and will yet leave a trail of devastation behind you in the future if you don't mend your cringing and pathetic criticism of others' views.

Heh... Okay rusty, how was that?

--
"The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
[ Parent ]

Re: You want a rant? (2.83 / 6) (#14)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:09:36 AM EST

What the hell are you smoking?
I just realized something. You have a problem with rants. You think everyone should be polite and happy to each other, and that if someone runs a Web site for their own personal amusement, they should nevertheless cater to every whim of their visitors, and oh, never ever say anything to offend them...
Perhaps you missed the part in my post where I say I agree with the sentiments, but I don't think the front page is the place. Come on, if I didn't like rants, why would I post such an obvious one? Logic, anyone?

Besides, I ranted so severely precicely because this is a story about rants, and I thought I'd phrase what I wanted to say in a very rant-like manner. I'm sorry your sense of humor is so impaired.

In the spirit of the article: if you don't like it, you can cram it up your assembler. :P
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

Re: You want a rant? (3.00 / 3) (#20)
by fluffy grue on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 10:45:49 AM EST

You missed the joke.

He was ranting.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Re: You want a rant? (4.00 / 5) (#15)
by GandalfGreyhame on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:53:31 AM EST

n, and not marr the front page with some "oh, please, let's be more abusive" crap.

Pay attention to how Kuro5hin is run. He submitted it to the story queue like every one of us would've. I know, I saw it and I rated it. +1 Section only.

The readers of Kuro5hin as a whole voted it front page, rusty didn't put it there.

-G

[ Parent ]

Re: You want a rant? (4.50 / 6) (#16)
by rusty on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 04:32:43 AM EST

Look, I like Rusty and all, and I like the site too, but isn't he just the editor?

Depends on who you ask. Some people claim (wrongly) that I'm the Owner and God of the site and therefore My Word Goes. (Do please note all the sarcasm caps in the previous sentence ;-). I think of myself as basically tech support. I help people who have problems with stuff, and I write a lot of the code. Content-wise, I'm just one more vote. I do try to kinda set the general tone of the place, sometimes with stories, more so with comments and stuff like the FAQ.

Since when does an editor say to the readers "look, your letters to the editor aren't angry enough: I want to be called a complete shitface at least once!"

Since this is a community-written site, every post is basically a letter to the editor

I don't see the logic here. Every story is just that-- a story. In fact, lately things have proceeded as though they were letters to the editor, but I think that's just because people haven't quite gotten used to the way it works yet.

Every story submitted is, and should be, addressed first to the readers of K5, and second to the world at large (which is another way of saying "the readers of K5", since to see the story, they'd have to become such, even if only for a minute). Anyway, they are not, and should never be, directed at me. I am just another reader, when it comes to selecting stories. I do proof and edit for grammar when necessary and possible, but usually I'm struggling to keep up-- stories do not have to get through me to go up on the site. So, no, they aren't letters to the editor.

if rusty doesn't like a rant, he should post that in the comments while it is being voted on,

I often do.

and not marr the front page with some "oh, please, let's be more abusive" crap.

First, I'd much rather have seen this go to section only. It's only really relevant to the Rants section. Dammit, people, that's what sections are for! Use them! :-)

Second, I definitely didn't say we should be more abusive. Read again. I said that ranting is an art form -- maybe I should have been more specific. Ranting is a comedic art form. A good rant will make you laugh, in spite of yourself. A good rant will make you laugh, even if you are the target of the ranter's ire. The point is that we can't all be nice all the time, and I don't think we should be. Sometimes you just need to unload, and if you do it in a good rant, it's usually pretty funny, and you feel better, and no one feels hurt because you were only joking (ha-ha-only-serious). Everybody wins.

Have you ever seen a Friar's club roast? Ranting is pretty much the internet equivalent of that. Good rants are never engendered by sincere hatred and loathing of the rantee. Usually (as in the case of the X-Windows diaster refered to below) they are the result of very close contact with and intimate knowlege of the rantee.

And perhaps most importantly, ranting != flaming. This is important. A flame implies a discussion, a rant is a standalone entity. There is no need to defend a rant, because it ought to say all that can be said by the ranter on the matter. It's a soliloquy, basically. A flame only exists as part of a flame war, and so is a more Socratic mode of argument.

Point taken, rusty, good rants are hard to find - but if you need to find good rants that badly, I feel sorry for you!

Not so much that I *need* good rants (but I don't think that's a bad thing -- good rants are hilarious). I just didn't want to see the rants section littered with lame half-ass rants. If you're gonna rant, well shit, get your rant on boy! :-)

HTH.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Re: You want a rant? (4.00 / 2) (#26)
by cesarb on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:48:04 PM EST

Dammit, people, that's what sections are for! Use them!

Rusty, how many times do I have to tell you that Don't Care votes should count towards section?

People who want to see a story posted vote Front Page; people who don't care vote Don't Care; people who want it dumped vote Dump.

As it is now, I have to vote Section instead of Don't Care to try to avoid making it go to the front page, and even that don't work because of silly people who pretend the system is designed correctly and vote "Don't Care" when they in fact mean "I Don't Want To See This Again But Other People Might."



[ Parent ]
Re: You want a rant? (4.00 / 2) (#27)
by RadiantMatrix on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:05:30 PM EST

My lack of sarcasm identifiers is going to kill me, I can tell. :)

Yes, the point I was making is that I thought this should be a section-only article, but I thought I'd rant instead, however unneccessary my tone was. There's a subtle underpoint, too, which is that ranting with a level head is, in a way, an art form in itself -- and now we can see what happens when a rant becomes abusive in tone! :)
--
I'm not going out with a "meh". I plan to live, dammit. [ZorbaTHut]

[ Parent ]

a good rant... (4.11 / 9) (#11)
by TheLocust on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:25:07 AM EST

...is one that is at least PARTIALLY backed up with some sort of insight or knowledge. Don't come to me bitching that "$APPNAME sucks, just because!". At least throw some weight, some iota of intelligence into it, damnit! Otherwise, it turns into some sort of baseless flame-war.

p.s. - rock on Rusty, with the Neville Chamberlain citation. We need more of that here. (for those of you who didn't catch it, Neville Chamberlain is the PM of the UK who "appeased" Hitler by allowing him to take the Rhineland and Czechoslovakia (i *think* that is what they let him take), and thusly attempted to appease Hitler into not rolling over the French like some sort of crepe)
.......o- thelocust -o.........
ignorant people speak of people
average people speak of events
great people speak of ideas

Agreed (3.71 / 7) (#13)
by h2odragon on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:02:29 AM EST

I saw the section titled "Rants" and rejoiced, for I love a good rant. I might even be capable of producing one every once in a while. Until then, I'll just provide a link to an example which shows how it is to be done.

Thank you! (1.75 / 4) (#17)
by aphrael on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:35:32 AM EST

That;s the *funniest* thing i've read in weeks. :)

Rants just fueled by anger? (3.83 / 6) (#18)
by blixco on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 07:11:09 AM EST

So a rant is just an angry diatribe wherein you plug all the holes in your own arguments and try to destroy the "opponent" with the sheer impact of your words? That's all it takes?

I'm all for anger, mind you, but it would serve you well to not limit a good rant to just being really angry and verbal about something. Maybe impassioned is a better label, if you need one. Don't focus your definition too tightly....looking at things through your lense, every drunk has a great rant.

Passion, that's what some of the rants out there lack. Passion, conviction, maybe some truth. It's not just "I'm so damn fed up with this f!$#@ing thing...."

Not to get off on a rant, or anything.
-------------------------------------------
The root of the problem has been isolated.
Re: Rants just fueled by anger? (3.75 / 4) (#19)
by fluffy grue on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 10:42:22 AM EST

So a rant is just an angry diatribe wherein you plug all the holes in your own arguments and try to destroy the "opponent" with the sheer impact of your words? That's all it takes?
Basically, only the person ranting is always right. ;)

Passion, that's what some of the rants out there lack. Passion, conviction, maybe some truth. It's not just "I'm so damn fed up with this f!$#@ing thing...."
Ahh, if only I could rant-on-demand about the things I'm impassioned about. 3D APIs, the shittiness of modern soundcards and computer hardware in general, problems with the distribution and development model of the Linux kernel, blind and insane GPL zealots, idiots in general...

But sadly, I need a trigger to spark my ranting. Next time I'll try to remember to record a log of whatever it is and reformat it for K5 though. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Personal reason for rants... (3.80 / 5) (#22)
by simmons75 on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 11:06:58 AM EST

...and the reason I personally post the "your opinion is wrong, and here's the nausiatingly long list of why."

The most recent example is the opinion column here stating that Linux isn't for everyone. Yeah, I posted a nausiatingly long rebuttal...but I wasn't telling the author their opinion was wrong. Shame on you for all that spin. :^)

Articles like that one are quite frustrating to me, and other people who care strongly for a subject. We'd personally like to see, for a number of reasons, something succeed. Other people come along who have a particular beef and post such a story somewhere and write with something resembling authority. As in many cases, the post in question was not exactly authoritative. The author is right...many Linux distros, in their current incarnations, aren't right for everyone. OTOH I feel that if everyone had to install Windows themselves at home, Microsoft would not have the mind-blowing share of the market it does. Windows is not an easy install IMHO. Easier than the typical Linux install (although this is changing) but fixing something when "something goes wrong" during the install can be far worse. It's my opinon that if companies started shipping home machines with Linux installed rather than Windows, then we'd have desktop domination within 5 years. :^)

In that special case, I feel that the rant is warranted...as long as the rant makes sense. :^)
poot!
So there.

Re: Personal reason for rants... (none / 0) (#29)
by gblues on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 02:20:37 PM EST

Windows isn't hard to install at all. Windows 3.x is pitifully easy to install, and Windows 98/ME are so easy, you literally don't need to be at the computer for the majority of the process. Win95 was a bit of a problem child, but even it installs without a hitch (most of the time) that you can just keep clicking "Next".

Now, contrast this with, say, Debian. Debian could be every bit as easy to install as Windows ME, but it's not. You have to set up your packages. You have to know what IP address you want. You have to know how to set up qmail. You have to know how to set up Xfree. It's just so.. manual. And, unlike Win95, you can seriously hose your configuration if you simply accept defaults (or, at least, leave potentially dangerous services running).

Mini-debian rant: what is it with debian and obscure package names? I tried to find a package with sz in it, but did 'apt-get install sz' work? Noooooooo. It was something like "xvsz" or something idiotic like that. There is also no apparent way to get a list of installed packages using apt. I *hate* dselect. If dselect was any less friendly it would call your momma a crack ho and reach out through the screen to slap you.

But saying Windows is difficult to install is like saying bananas are difficult to peel. It all depends on your perspective.

-Nathan

... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
[ Parent ]
Re: Personal reason for rants... (none / 0) (#30)
by superfly on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:24:18 PM EST

Now, contrast this with, say, Debian. Debian could be every bit as easy to install as Windows ME, but it's not. You have to set up your packages. You have to know what IP address you want. You have to know how to set up qmail. You have to know how to set up Xfree.

You can use DHCP instead of specifying an IP address.

The default mail server is exim, AFAIK, and exim's setup has a lot of explanatory text. The setup may be somewhat more confusing, but you get more software, too. Windows ME doesn't include an SMTP server, does it?

The XFree setup is the nastiest part. It's slowly getting better, though. XFree86 4.0.1 detected everything about my monitor and video card. The only problem was that it decided a reasonable default resolution was 1920x1440. On a 17" monitor, that makes for very small xterms.

Mini-debian rant: what is it with debian and obscure package names? I tried to find a package with sz in it, but did 'apt-get install sz' work? Noooooooo. It was something like "xvsz" or something idiotic like that.

I find the packages usually have decent names. The main goal seems to be consistency within Debian (eg, all the libraries start with 'lib').

Try apt-cache search --names-only sz.

There is also no apparent way to get a list of installed packages using apt. I *hate* dselect. If dselect was any less friendly it would call your momma a crack ho and reach out through the screen to slap you.

Try dpkg -l for a listing of all packages (that's `l' as in `llama').

I used to hate dselect, too. One day I decided to actually read the help screens, and now I'm quite used to it. The dependency resolution is useful enough that I usually use dselect rather than apt-get when I'm getting more than one package.



[ Parent ]
Re: Personal reason for rants... (none / 0) (#32)
by simmons75 on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 06:26:16 PM EST

>Windows isn't hard to install at all.

Again, your personal experience, which is what I'm getting at. On my machine, it's not that easy to install...I'm talking about a clean install, nothing on the drive, go from 1. blank drive partition to 2. fully functional system. A while back, due to reasons that were my own fault, I had to re-install both Windows and Linux. Windows was *such* a pain because my manufacturer didn't ship a rescue CD and I've purchased new hardware since then. I had NO clue how they had the damn thing set up and Windows still isn't set up 100% right. For some reason, every once in a while Win98 gets a wild hair and decides I don't have some particular piece of hardware installed; usually, it's the monitor, somethimes it's the printer, many times it's the gameport, all of which demand I insert a CD or floppy with drivers, or the hardware is no longer configured. Half the time the modem won't work right (which for some reason only a reboot will fix.) Compare that to my Linux-Mandrake partition, where I stuck in a CD, booted from the CD, and kept pecking the mouse button to click "Next." :^) It runs smoothly and without complaints.

Also, I was comparing Linux-Mandrake to Windows...Linux-Mandrake is in most cases as easy to install as Windows, and in my case actually easier. :^) Most home users would despair at having to swap disks when Windows demands a disk to install drivers. No such thing in Linux-Mandrake in many cases. Plop CD in, boot up from CD (or supplied bootdisk) and you're on your way, in most cases just clicking Next. How Debian wormed its way into the conversation, I don't know. :^) My original reply said nothing about it; I've never used it so I can't comment. I like my distro to be a bit more up to date. :^)
poot!
So there.

[ Parent ]
I know how to rant. (3.57 / 7) (#23)
by commandant on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 11:45:04 AM EST

I always rant on sites like Slashdot and Kuro5hin. I have a unique art:

  1. Post a small "lure", stating your opinion briefly and critizing the opinion that got you posting in the first place.
  2. Wait for responses.
  3. If the responses are rally-calls of support, don't bother doing anything. If a poster says, "Here's what I think," and says nothing about your post, don't bother; he's a moron.
  4. If the responses are dissentious, let 'er rip! Tear into your dissenters like they've never felt before.

Good rants do more than leave your opponent with nothing to say, they leave your opponent asking, "What?" My rant style is to make my point in the first three or four paragraphs, then use the remaining half of the post to segue into another (somewhat) related topic that deserves ranting.

You want a rant to make your point, so people don't think you're a moron, but you also want them dazed, because if someone isn't dazed, there is room for a response. Every rant has mistakes, because it's so god-damned long that nobody wants to correct it. There are spelling errors, gramatical errors, and things that, while good in your head, just don't make it onto the paper in any sensical form. Therefore a rant must be so destructive, the little mistakes are completely missed, like you'd miss noticing small scratches on the barrel of a gun if someone had it pointed at your head.

A recent rant I'm quite proud of is available at linuxpower.org. I rip someone a new ass hole because he thinks it's bad that the Slashdot clan has developed an air of superiority about them (I can't say if they have or have not). Further, I attack him for talking about the "Linux community", which is full of shit. Linux is an operating system. I use it because it's stable, light, fast, and cheap. You can't have communities about electrons and conductive materials. You don't choose to use, or develop for, an operating system because it's the right thing to do, you do it because it offers what you want. Anyway, go read it. It's near the bottom, it's the longest post; it's almost longer than the article itself.

For another good rant of mine, you can check out Bob Cringely's "Baloney", entitled "Kids Killing Kids". Look for all the posts by Andrew H. and chris_h. This is a two-way, multiple-post rant that went on for over two weeks! I'm Andrew H.

So don't ever tell me I don't know how to rant.

Re: I know how to rant. (4.00 / 4) (#24)
by warpeightbot on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:06:47 PM EST

yeah, but the ultimate in responses to Rusty would've been to make your "how to rant" broadside a real rant. Needs a few more paragraphs, and half a dash of vitriol.

(Dontcha just hate those little one and a half liners that just utterly crush somebody's half-assed attempt at a rant? :) :) :) :)

warp eight bot
student of Pope Curley II, who knows a thing or two about rants
Praise Bob, the ultimate Rant King
yeah, yeah, flame away, no karma ho'in over here.....

[ Parent ]
Re: I know how to rant. (none / 0) (#31)
by commandant on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 05:32:22 PM EST

Except my post wasn't a rant. Follow my links and you'll see my rants.

So your line did nothing but make you look like an asshole.

Furthermore, you cannot say it need a few more paragraphs to be a rant. A rant is proportionate in length to the length of its parent. The length depends on the bredth of the material in question, and the number of subjects that could (should) be tied into it.

Even if this were a rant, its subject is not very deep, and brining extra subjects in is just pointless. You don't bring subjects in unless they're on your mind at the time, and the can be connected (even by the thinnest thread).

Thank you.

[ Parent ]

But that's not ranting at all... (4.00 / 1) (#35)
by mdxi on Mon Dec 18, 2000 at 01:38:44 AM EST

You are *trolling*, not *ranting*. Just like you are now.

A rant stands alone, self-contained, self-sufficient, self-important. Like the thesis of an essay, it presents itself as truth and resolutely remains, refusing to even consider other possibilities, much less concede to them.

Rants are early American in flavor. They are bold, independent, high-minded, and willful but never crude. They may be offensive to some, but are just slightly above the rabble in tone. They are a tool of the well-educated and thoughtful, as opposed to cretins who use ad hominem attacks and mindless shouting of derisions, but even you, you stupid fuck, should know that to be flaming, not ranting.

Neville Chamberlain could never have written a good rant; he was too soft; placatory; conciliatory. Likewise Hitler could never rant, though his early European campaign was a masterwork of trolling. Rants, you see, are almost always, almost of neccessity even, tongue-in-cheek; cheeky even. They tweak and lightly jab their way around the enemy's flanks while preparing for the main thrust. Nay, in addition to the main thrust. They mock and belittle mercilessly but shrewdly, making the knowledgeable even more sympathetic and leaving the clueless nonplussed.

Lastly, I should point out that this is most definitely not a rant, because it lacks what I consider to be the two most important aspects of a good rant: righteous anger and a strong ending.

--
SYN SYN NAK
[ Parent ]

A decent rant (3.75 / 4) (#25)
by shadowspar on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 12:29:13 PM EST

This self-nominated bitch has a number of what I would consider decent rants, not that I would agree with all or any of them.

IMHO, a good rant blends fervour, rage, reason, and fact, thus differentiating it from a (mindless) flame, and hopefully resulting in a diatribe that is both difficult to rebuke and so vitriolic that it makes its target want to hide under a rock.
-- Drink Canada Dry! You might not succeed, but you'll have fun trying.

on ranting (2.00 / 1) (#28)
by jcterminal on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 01:44:09 PM EST

rock on brother rusty! (wait, was i supposed to rant right there?)
---==*==---
mind: www.crashspace.org
body: i.jcterminal.com
soul: www.jcterminal.com
It's all subjective... (none / 0) (#33)
by infinitewaitstate on Mon Oct 02, 2000 at 09:20:04 PM EST

First, something expedient I grabbed from mydictionary.com:
Function: verb
Etymology: obsolete Dutch ranten, randen
Date: 1602
intransitive senses
1 : to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
2 : to scold vehemently
transitive senses : to utter in a bombastic declamatory fashion
- rant.er noun
- rant.ing.ly /'ran-ti[ng]-lE/ adverb

Function: noun
Date: 1649
1 a : a bombastic extravagant speech b : bombastic extravagant language
2 dialect British : a rousing good time

The main requirement seems to be passionate speech of one sort or another. If so, I can see good rants being harder to come by in a medium that encourages you to review, correct, and re-think before posting. [Even then I still manage to generate typoes galore].

Personally, I've always held rants to be an off the cuff response. Accuracy, common sense, logic (and explitives) are entirely optional. Denis Leary going off the deep end about animal rights activists, is as much of a rant rusty's initial post.

Sure, sometimes rants can be weak in fact, poor in turns of phrase, or there's an over-use of 4 letter words, but style matters just as much or more. If you're looking for (the seeds of) coherent debate, don't look for rants, look for essays or papers; if you're looking for someone's (usually more immediate) thoughts, then a rant is the better forum.

---
... but then again, what do I know?

a rant about fat people (none / 0) (#34)
by rayl on Tue Oct 03, 2000 at 09:00:38 PM EST

i laughed my ass off at this one...

A Rant About Rants | 35 comments (31 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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