Common language? [was re: black hat .cn networks]

Clayton Fiske clay at
Thu May 10 16:52:08 UTC 2001

On Thu, May 10, 2001 at 02:42:17PM +0800, Adrian Chadd wrote:
> > a network where it's the most common language spoken by their fellow
> > admins, particularly when their machine is in a position to pose a
> > security risk to others' machines and networks.
> "fellow admins" ? What, the admins they:
> * hang out with in their city?
> * on irc?
> * in a newsgroup?
> * through IM type clients?

Are you deliberately avoiding the point? I thought it was fairly
clear that "fellow admins" in this case referred to other admins,
in other parts of the world in addition to their own.

> Wanting people to speak English because the internet and computing
> in general was invented by Americans - well, guess we're all going
> to have to speak Chinese since they invented gunpowder.

And here you go again arguing a non-point. I specifically stated that
it didn't matter whether it was English or not. I never mentioned
Americans having anything to do with my argument. If the Internet had
been created in Germany and, as it grew around the world, German became
the language most used to communicate about operational issues, as an
admin I would be happy to learn German. It would make my life that much
easier (and that of those with whom I needed to interact).

> You want a globally-self-regulating internet, yet you want English to
> be the "standard language" ?

Ignoring that I never shared my feelings on a globally-self-regulating
Internet, I don't see how these two are contradictory anyway. A standard
doesn't -have- to be adhered to, it just makes things difficult when it's
not. You can make TCP behave any way you like on your machine. You just
won't be able to talk to too many other machines with it if you do. And,
once again, I don't care if it's English or not. I just think it would
be good to have a standard.

> A common language for internet operations would be a good thing.
> Now, how do you encourage people to learn and speak it?

What more encouragement is necessary? If I become part of a large
community which, for the most part, communicates in a common way,
that fact by itself will certainly encourage me to learn it. Why
would I want to potentially exclude myself by not doing so?

> As a fun thought experiment - imagine for a moment how you'd feel if
> you had to learn Chinese (and you obviously didn't speak it!),
> but you couldn't move to Chinese. Everyone around you still speaks English
> (so you don't get the practice/exposure needed) but you get net-related
> emails in Chinese. Some of your software is written in Chinese, but
> all the modern stuff has an English option.

Well, as above, if there were some motivating factor encouraging me to
do so, I would feel fine.

Are you suggesting that Chinese could become a "common language" on the
Internet? How China-centric of you.

> This is my last post on the topic.

Mine as well.


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