"Proving" someone wrong?

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Mr. Timms
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"Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Mr. Timms » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:18 pm UTC

I'm in high school, taking Introduction to Computer Science, and the language is Python, much to my dismay. I settled down eventually, and now I've started having fun. There's a kid in my class who's maybe a year older than me, and he likes Linux, specifically Ubuntu. I prefer Debian, so before long, he's asking me why I don't like Ubuntu or Python. The conversation converges, and all of a sudden he said, "How couldn't you like Python? Linux was coded in it."

I was in shock. Not because he thought an operating system was written in a high-level, interpreted language, but because I couldn't imagine that anyone would ever think that Linux wasn't coded in C. I told him so, with more stammering involved. Then he elaborates, and says that he'll look it up over the weekend. I sincerely hope he's doing so.

A few minutes later, I'm sitting at the bus stop, and I suddenly remember that he's the guy who walks by me with his weird long-haired friend. Then they walk up to me, and the long-haired guy starts talking. It's obvious almost immediately that he's a poser, who apparently told the guy in my class that Linux was coded in Python. I told him I disagreed, very politely, with much less stammering. He then started telling me that there were all these "flavors" (I assume he meant distributions) of Linux and that they "all used Python." He even listed "Linux," and "GNU/Linux," as if these were more distributions.

I imagined telling him, much less politely, that he was an idiot.

He continued on to say that if I disagreed with his "certifications" that for some reason "all say that Linux was coded in Python." He then tells me, very patronizingly, that if I care to give any evidence of Linux not being written in Python, he would reconsider and, oh wait, he told me nothing of the sort at all. I'm pretty sure that if I gave him any evidence, such as the Linux kernel code printed out into a very thick book, his cognitive dissonance would kick in, and maybe give him a stroke, hopefully.

I then proceeded to make a fool of myself, as I'm not as good an extemporizer (aka bullshitter) as he is. I now see where confusion can be had, because I assume that at least some GNU software that was written in Python, and maybe he was just saying that most distributions came packaged with Python by default, but maybe that's too much to hope for. I know I specifically mentioned the Linux kernel, and that didn't faze him at all, so I can only assume that he thinks he knows whatever the fuck he's talking about.

So, Internets, what should I do? All I'll say is that I want to give him a very hard kick in the balls.
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby ++$_ » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:17 am UTC

Ignore the idiot.

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Hooch
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Hooch » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:43 am UTC

I used to be a "think with the balls before the brain" individual. Wrong or not, I would constantly (if not blindly) support my side of the argument. When I finally came to truly realize that I was wrong....Well, I was at peace, really. I accepted it pretty well.

Hopefully, the same will happen to this guy. Be ready to prove your point if he ever decides to confront you again, but if he makes no contact, let him figure out on his own. Hell, he's probably done so already.
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googlyeyesultra
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby googlyeyesultra » Sun Jan 09, 2011 3:49 am UTC

Email him a source. It shouldn't be terribly hard to find a few sources that explain how to compile a linux distro, a few links to code repositories, etc. Quote some code directly out of the Ubuntu source.

If that doesn't change his mind (and he doesn't present some other evidence or explain why he thinks yours is invalid) then there's no reason to pursue it further.

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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:34 am UTC

Is there a reason this is in the school forum rather than one of the computer ones?
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Mr. Timms
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Mr. Timms » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:48 am UTC

My reasoning was that it had more to do with the people at school than with the actual code, but I guess it could have gone there.
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nbonaparte wrote:You'll learn this around here. Everyone's pretty damn blunt.
I am not! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a huge shit.

keeperofdakeys
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby keeperofdakeys » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:09 am UTC

Here is the linux kernel source: http://kernel.org/.

I'm sure you can use Wikipedia to prove that linux is the kernel, using revisions from before this all happened if he is paranoid. Hell, even get a distro on your laptop, remove python, and show him that it boots up (you might need to find a configuration that doesn't use python for programs, not sure about what services may use it).

Durin
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Durin » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:55 pm UTC

I know using Wikipedia is obviously not the be-all of solutions but it says so right under he history section that Linux was originally written in assembly language then rewritten later in C.

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Mr. Timms
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Mr. Timms » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:57 pm UTC

I'm in class with him right now. He says he looked it up but this is his response, approximately:

Him: "I looked it up, and you were right... partially. The stuff it was written in was C, but [Linux] was written in Python."

Me: "What was written in Python?" (I didn't know exactly what he was implying.)

Him: "Python was written in C."

Me: "No, what was written in Python?"

Him: "Linux was written in Python."

Me: *Shocked Silence*

Him: "My friend took the Linux+ Certification Test, and it said Linux was written in Python."

Me: *Shocked Silence*

Now by this point I was starting to think that this was what the other guy had answered on his test, and was probably one of the questions HE GOT WRONG.

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Decker wrote:
nbonaparte wrote:You'll learn this around here. Everyone's pretty damn blunt.
I am not! Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go take a huge shit.

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Ivor Zozz
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Ivor Zozz » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

Hasn't Linus Torvalds himself said that he only uses C, or only likes to use C?

Here is an interview where he talks about why he wrote the kernel in C, at least:

http://coding.derkeiler.com/pdf/Archive/Cobol/comp.lang.cobol/2008-02/msg00923.pdf

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Jorpho
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Jorpho » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:38 am UTC

How about:
Python reached version 1.0 in January 1994.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Python
As Torvalds wrote in his book Just for Fun,[7] he eventually realized that he had written an operating system kernel. On 25 August 1991, he announced this system in a Usenet posting to the newsgroup "comp.os.minix."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Linux

But I fear this argument will not stand up to an idiot's level of scrutiny. ("Obviously Linus was using the pre-1.0 versions of Python!")

EDIT: We must also not of course discount the possibility that right now on some other forum or whatever he's going "Durr hur hur, I told this guy in my class that I think Linux is programmed in Python! He thinks I actually believe that!"

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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby enjoyeverysandwich42 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

Similar experience:

In my digital logic class, a kid one day was talking about static electricity, and was like "Did you know static discharges are actually thousands of volts?" I said "Yes, sort of like lightning on a much smaller scale." He replied "No, lightning is millions of volts." To which I replied, "Yes, but fundamentally it's the same principle." His reply? "No, you're wrong." Gave up.

The same kid one day tried to say that Windows XP was really just a newer version of Windows 98, and anything that runs on 98 should run on XP no problem. I tried to explain to him that aside from massive amounts of other differences, Windows XP is based on the NT kernel and is more totally different OS than 98, and while MS has tried to make things as backwardly compatible as possible, there is no law that states software written for 98 will work in XP, and in fact much of the time simply won't work at all. His reply? "No, it's the same. Anything that runs on 98 will run on XP." *facepalm* I could have told him that I've personally experienced that not to be the case, and even once had to put together a 98 machine for a customer so she could play her favorite old game that wouldn't run in XP, but it was hopeless. Some people can't be convinced.

Also, this same fellow - one day, I had printed something out in the lab, had the printer jam, and cleared the jam, only to notice it still wouldn't print. Read the error message on the printer, it said to open and close the rear door (or one of the trays, i forget now), it did so, job printed. Saw the kid have the same problem 5 minutes later, walk over, say "watch", and go to open and close it. He says "Hey, I fix printers for a living, I *think* I know what I'm doing." Watched amused for a minutes as he obviously struggled to get the thing to print, then finally noticed the error message, opened and closed it but apparently not far enough, continued to struggle, finally opened it all the way and closed it - and voila, it printed.

Some people just know everything already. When they learn more, they may or may not realize how much they in fact, didn't know everything.

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Jorpho
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Re: "Proving" someone wrong?

Postby Jorpho » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:52 am UTC

I'm not sure if this is particularly common knowledge, but I learned today that the Sugar desktop environment used in the OLPC project is, in fact, written in Python.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_%28d ... ronment%29

Of course, that certainly doesn't apply to all desktop environments and certainly not to all components of Linux running on the XO-1, but it does suggest that one is not completely, totally, and utterly wrong should one say that Linux is written in Python - just so very, very, very wrong.


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