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Programming IT Technology

Hans Reiser Interview from Prison 611

JLester writes "Wired Magazine has an interview this month with Hans Reiser (of the ReiserFS journaling file system for Linux) from prison. It contains more details about the murder case against him. Some of the questions still go unanswered though."
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Hans Reiser Interview from Prison

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:01AM (#19661811)
    My theory is this: Nina went back to russia, and is now living there. The fact that the kids are in russia, and were supposed to return weeks ago, but haven't, makes me think that maybe they were reunited with their mother there. Just a thought.
  • by faloi ( 738831 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:04AM (#19661851)
    Because he can't afford the type of attorneys it would take to get away with murder. Jay-walking, maybe...but not murder.
  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:17AM (#19661959) Journal
    Judging from Reiser's obviously unstable mental state (his obsession about violent video games with his little boy is disgusting), the good grounds for suspicion in the investigation (the blood, the missing seat), and his ex-friend's admitted murderous and perverse behaviour, I think his kids are better off with the Grandmother in Russia.
  • Re:I tend to ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:20AM (#19661973)
    "The onus is on Reiser to come up with evidence - where is the chair? explain the blood, why was the car washed?"

    Hint: there's this concept we have called 'innocent until proven guilty'.

    I couldn't be arsed to read more than a couple of pages of the article with its silly format, but what's so surprising about finding traces of your SO's blood, or in washing your car?

    Maybe he is guilty, I have no idea; but it's up to the police to prove that he is, not for him to prove that he's innocent.
  • Re:First question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by timster ( 32400 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:22AM (#19661983)
    Nonsense. It shows that the interviewer cared about the guy's work and accomplishments, not just his alleged crimes. For someone who has been sitting in prison, going to court hearings and meetings with lawyers and talking about nothing else, it was probably nice to talk filesystems for a change. I imagine the interviewer was the first person he'd seen in months who knew what a filesystem even was.
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:23AM (#19661989)
    Working out the reality is clearly a challenge.

    Of course, divorce court just makes people imagine the worst about one another.

  • by antime ( 739998 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:26AM (#19662023)
    Everyone associated with the case is fucking nuts and should be locked up just out of principle.
  • Re:I tend to ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:31AM (#19662081)
    "It's also one of those concepts which looks great on paper, but is sadly shown as so much idealistic BS in the real world."

    Only if you believe it's better to send innocent people to jail than let guilty people go free.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:32AM (#19662097) Homepage Journal
    In Reiser's case, a critical piece of data -- the location of Nina Reiser -- has gone missing.

    Ugh. OK, this is a crowd that makes rough jokes, etc. In this case I am having a bit of a problem taking it. I've met Hans and have spoken with Nina on the phone. Oh shit, I found that interview very unsettling and while reading it in the audience at a conference in Norway I got upset enough by page three that I did not continue it for fear of getting too visibly upset in front of the audience.

    Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.


  • by jack_csk ( 644290 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:40AM (#19662169)
    Right, sort of like the monkey boy [], who gets hypered easily in public conferences and meetings. Oh, and let's not forget him vowed to kill one another, and threw a chair across the room.

    Well, if Steve Ballmer's children and wife gone missing one day, I bet the public may not apply the same prejudice to his case.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:43AM (#19662209)
    Yeah it was bad.

    I've listened to Hans over the years in lkml. He's an odd one. He might be a genius, it's possible, if he played well with others he'd almost certainly be a community hero. It's also possible he has some severe emotional or mental problems, maybe mild autism, I'm no psychiatrist but I'd say that this is more than possible and probably likely. He also has this incredible quality to completely ignore what someone says and just focus on what he wants. It's like he's incapable of comprehending English (or any human to human language) when he's in this sort of fit. That's why rfs4 isn't in the kernel, all he had to do was play nice with others and answer their concerns, it'd be done by now if he did but every question was always answered with some fear or something completely unrelated. You can ask him a question and he hears something else, he'll respond but it's like he didn't see or hear your question. Then at other times he's remarkably lucid.

    Now this is crappy journalism. It sounds like Hans to me though. This doesn't bode well for his case. He's going to prison when this is done. His lawyers should have kept him from saying anything. He's looking down the barrel of a long stay in prison, everything looks like he did it and was prepared to flee. An article on a popular magazine with "if( node->parent == NULL) printk("parent not found")" isn't what you want.

  • by ex-geek ( 847495 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:47AM (#19662259)
    First of all, what is it with the weird style this "interview" is written in? Joshua Davis should go off and write private investigator novels, instead of doing journalism on criminal cases. It was difficult to discern, where the claims of Reiser, Sturgeon or the DA end and where Davis' own storytelling starts.

    Hans Reiser has to be at least paranoid, which he apparently inherited from his father:

    "Reiser calls his dad and explains that unmarked cars and maybe an airplane are tracking him. In Ramon's opinion, it's an operation beyond the scope of local police. It sounds like the Russian mafia, Ramon says, or maybe the Russian spy agency, the FSB."
    Why would the FSB be interested in him? Don't they know that ReiserFS is open source?

    Another nugget is his insistence on playing violent video games with his six year old son. He defended this practise in a "32-page filing" on the "culture of manhood" during his divorce trial. That alone has nutjob written all over it.

    He believes mental health professionals scorn people who "teach the culture of manhood to little boys, with all of its inherent opposition to wallowing in wimpiness."
    Well, I don't see much of manhood in Hans Reiser's behaviour. He comes of as whiny and paranoid, accusing everybody but himself for his mistakes. And he appears even to be proud of conceiving a child in the first night with his mail order bride. That's both pathetic and idiotic!

    And don't even get me started on this Sturgeon guy. It seems like lunatics come in packs. I for one wouldn't take Hans Reisers advice on anything but file systems serious.
  • by mgiuca ( 1040724 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:54AM (#19662335)
    Read the whole article. It gets really creepy and bizzarre ... like when they start talking about brainwashing the kid and so on. The wife sounds really creepy .. but who knows, it was quite one-sided. Except for the end, interestingly enough.

    While he launches into the intricacies of database science, I'm thinking, "Where is the front passenger seat of your car?" He has never explained this. It seems a fundamental hole in his defense. But he won't stop talking. When I try to interrupt, he insists I let him finish. It's as if the file system holds all the answers.

    So I take the hint, and that night, in my office, I start scouring the 80,496 lines of the Reiser4 source code. Eventually I stumble across a passage that starts at line 78,077. It's not part of the program itself -- it's an annotation, a piece of non-executable text in plain English. It's there for the benefit of someone who has chosen to read this far into the code. The passage explains how memory structures are born, grow, and eventually die. It concludes: "Death is a complex process."
    Crazy ... does anyone know what the text of the passage is? I searched for "Death is a complex process" on Google code search, Koders, and Codase; got nothing...
  • She's in Russia (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jhRisk ( 1055806 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @09:54AM (#19662341)
    Sure I have no proof but what if she's in Russia? As I see it now, she could comfortably be there now after slipping out of the country at the conclusion of this master plan. She'd be there with her children who are supposedly with her parents and no longer allowed to leave Russia, the money she embezzled from the company and the satisfaction of sticking it to her husband who she likely gained apathy towards over time after a combination of drugs and a more "macho" man comparison came into play.

    Seriously though... she was involved in a number of circumstances individuals or their loved ones eventually have no recourse but to take drastic and dramatic action at times involving faking your own death or disappearing (e.g. hardcore drug spirals, weird religions/cults, severe psychiatric problems, mafia involvement in any way and so many more!)
  • by MoralHazard ( 447833 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:00AM (#19662433)
    There are two problems with machine-assisted lie detection: People who train to control their responses on a polygraph, and people who believe what they say, even though it isn't true. The brain activity monitoring method only attacks the first problem, not the second.

    Part of this is a philosophical problem: Someone with a false grip on reality (to a greater or lesser extent, all of us have some false perceptions or memories) may make a factual statement that is not consistent with objective reality, but if that person *believes* in the truth of the statement, should we even consider them to be lying? I think that the common definition of lying implies intent--you have to know that what you're saying is false. Otherwise, you're merely wrong or delusional.

    It doesn't take a complete nutter to believe in false things, either. Most people believe they are more attractive, more competent, and smarter than the rest of us would rate them. A fair number of people have body image or confidence issues that cause them to vastly underestimate their charms. Sometimes, people just ignore the unpleasant realities of life by not thinking about them. Even better examples come up in looking at objective assessments of eyewitness identification in criminal cases--people can fool themselves into believing all sorts of things.

    I mean, just look at the two different stories that Reiser's son told regarding the last argument between his mother and father: He had to have been making false statements in one of the two interviews, since they contain mutually contradictory statements of fact. But did he believe in the truth of what he said at the time? If you don't think this is possible, try to imagine the terrific psychological pressures on the boy's head over the last few years.

    Hence the problem with using brain activity as an indicator of truth: It can only tell you about the subjective truth of a person's statements, not the objective truth. There's a great potential for difference between the two.
  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:02AM (#19662451)
    Yeah, this was the first I'd read that his best friend has admitted to committing several murders in the past, and had been having an affair with his wife too. This has turned from a geek-commits-murder into a *really* crazy love triangle story.

    Sort of complicates the case for the prosecution. Though the missing passenger seat and condition of Reiser's car and his refusal to explain it certainly makes him sound guilty to a juror (or anyone else).

    After reading this article I did understand a bit better how a man could be driven to do something... drastic. If your wife started doing drugs with and fucking your tattoed, bi-sexual, BDSM-obsessed best friend, and then dumped you for him, and was exposing your children to that (at least until the judge forced her not to), well, I could see that pushing a guy who wasn't fully mentally grounded in the first place over the edge.
  • Reasons? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Renraku ( 518261 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:02AM (#19662453) Homepage
    Not saying its a good excuse, but put yourself in the same situation.

    Your wife is in love/lust with your bi-S&M-druggie friend.

    She files for divorce.

    They conspire to take your company and everything you've worked for.

    You know (or at least think) that after this, there's never going to be anyone else. He had to turn to a Russian bride already. I bet his social skills aren't even that great. Its easy to envision living alone forever after that, while your friend and your ex-wife run off together.

    If you want to know why he looks/talks crazy..that's why. Doesn't justify murder, but might give some insight into why he looks shitty.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:05AM (#19662499)
    Or, may be, with their mother dead and their father in jail they are just staying with their grands, who would not want them be "back" to unclear location and status?
  • Re:obHumor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by c ( 8461 ) <> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:13AM (#19662565)
    > Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.

    Well, the original quote itself was from the article. Which is one of the... oddest articles I've read from Wired. When you give something like that to /. as source material you're going to get some wildly inappropriate reactions.

    For an article which is supposed to show the more "personal" side of things, the main thing I'm taking away from this is that the author is seriously fucked up. It's like the worst tabloid journalism combined with a Dvorak column. It certainly didn't do much to help Hans...

  • by MrJerryNormandinSir ( 197432 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:20AM (#19662659)
    Hmm.. It's pretty suspicious that Han's kids are still in Russia with his former mother-in-law.
    I think she's alive and well in Russia. If she was killed her body or parts of would have turned
    up by now. And if she is alive, maybe this was her parents way of getting her out of the US? She
    was a bright woman who started to take a pretty dark path. You could see all the classic signs here.
    Hans was too rapped up into namesys. He married a hottie wife who noticed that she was getting a lot
    of attention elsewhere. I think once Nina started messing around with other stuff her parents got
    her out of the country. The fact that the passenger seat is missing from the CRX and the fact that car
    had been washed out, casts some doubt on the belief that Hans is innocent here. He needs to come clean
    with information about that.

    I think the defense needs to monitor Nina's Mom and Hans' kids in Russia to see if Nina is there.

  • by alexq ( 702716 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:23AM (#19662709)
    am i the only person who interpreted:

    When questioned by police, Rory says he and his sister went down to the basement as soon as they arrived at his grandmother's house, leaving his parents upstairs. A few minutes later, he heard them raising their voices and using "not nice words." He went back upstairs, but his father told him to go back to the basement. Rory turned and walked back downstairs. This was the last time he ever saw his mother.


    After Nina disappeared, the Alameda County social services agency put Rory and Niorline in a foster home at the urging of police. Two weeks later, the county family court released them to Nina's mother, who took them to Russia for the holidays. It's now late January. They were supposed to return weeks ago. Instead, a letter arrived from a lawyer in Russia, explaining that the kids were terrified of the US and would not return.

    as potentially implying a kidnapping conspiracy? particularly since they are now somewhat outside of the jurisdiction? ... even if reiser is found innocent, what are the chances he can actually get his kids back? (not too familiar with international law in that respect)

  • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:26AM (#19662751)
    And the wife doesn't sound like quite as much of a sweet, innocent victim anymore either. She started cheating on nutjob number 1 with even bigger nutjob number 2, the admitted murderer with bizarre sexual tastes, and exposed her children to that crap until a judge ordered her not to.

    This is an admittedly fascinating story for some reason. But when you remember that it's all real, you can't help but shed a few tears for these kids, who are going to grow up with no mother, with a twisted father who probably killed their mother and will be rotting in jail for years to come, with a paranoid, delusional grandfather and kook for a grandmother in the US.

    Maybe they're better off being in Russia after all. You come away from that story sort of despairing of their chances for growing up to be reasonably mentally healthy adults.
  • by junglee_iitk ( 651040 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:33AM (#19662833)
    There is nothing wrong. It is just some person (GP) projecting his own belief of how to raise a kid on Hans Reiser and calling him weird for not qualifying it. It is quite probable that Hans did wanted to raise his kid as "a Man", after all, how many of us have not thought of raising our kids "unlike" us? Add with this the affinity his wife had with "Manly" people (his other boy friend is in hard code BDSM), it is quite understandable.

    Ofcourse his being weird does not shed even a bit of light on how he could be a murderer.
  • by Choad Namath ( 907723 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:33AM (#19662849)
    I know that sounds nice, but it really doesn't seem to be the case. The missing seat, blood and "perfect murder" books in his car, and the fact that he tried to hide the car really make it seem like he did it. I'd like him to be innocent too, but it takes a lot more than "misunderstood geek" to explain everything.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:35AM (#19662865)

    Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.
    Why? What makes Reiser above everything everyone else is subject to.

    It's going to happen every time someone dies, is killed or whatnot. It will happen when you die, when RMS dies, when Linus dies and when any celebrity dies. It might be hard to take for those who knew the person, but the vast majority of the world didn't and shouldn't be expected to act as if they had.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:35AM (#19662869)
    Henry Ford was a Nazi.

    Of all the problems Ford has, the fact that the company is named after its Nazi founder is the least of them.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dougmc ( 70836 ) <> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @10:39AM (#19662915) Homepage

    Until that time, I'm all about the gallows humor.
    As am I. But only if it's funny. And in that case, it wasn't funny. Poor taste, not funny ... pick one, not both.

    The code fragments throughout the article were dumb and really added nothing but something to skip over.

    But overall, the article was informative ... it had a lot of information about the case I wasn't aware of. I twas even reasonably well written, though more as a story than a new article.

  • Re:I tend to ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:04AM (#19663261)
    Hate to point this out, but in the best interests of society as a whole, IT IS BETTER to send innocent people to jail than let quilty people go free.

    The thing is: For every innocent person in jail, there's a criminal that got away with the crime. Having an innocent person in jail isn't just bad for that person, but bad for society as a whole.

  • by Slashdot Parent ( 995749 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:24AM (#19663587)

    Nina is not dead. Either she's hiding, or she's lost somewhere, or possibly has lost her memory. I presume she loves her kids to much to put them through this ordeal, so I consider this hypothesis unlikely.
    Well, Nina is a Russian mail-order bride. According to the article, Nina and Hans conceived a child their first night together. Really roped Hans in pretty quick, no?

    The kids are currently known to be in Russia, and the Russian mom is conveniently nowhere to be found.

    I'm ....well... just saying....
  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:28AM (#19663645)

    1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.

    It doesn't make any claims about determining truth. Now *that* is the philosophical question you were talking about.

  • The rest (his geekiness, lover of death literature, alledged row) is completely circumstancial and not very relevant.

    For some reason, people think circumstancial means irrelevant. Smoke is only circumstantial evidence of fire, but that doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

  • by mgiuca ( 1040724 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:43AM (#19663859)
    Well, sort of. The passage does say "memory structures" so it isn't taking it totally out of context per se. But applying it to imply that Reiser was thinking about death (or whatever the author is implying here) is a bit odd and out of context, especially since he concluded the entire 5 page article with this random quote which implies he is guilty.

    I'm quite confused because the author seemed to be portraying Reiser as innocent up until that point.

    Interesting that they found this passage in the program too. Death is mentioned an awful lot in computer science really. We speak of "killing" processes and the like.
  • Re:She's in Russia (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:58AM (#19664107)
    I agree there is a good chance she is in Russia. She's a mail order bride for Pete's sake! It's really hard to believe you can find a supposedly hot obstetrician in the mail order bride department unless she has some serious emotional damage. Given the description of her life style choices in the US I'd say it's just as likely she was a hooker working for a Russian pimp. Now Nina is back in Russia and so is a lot of Reiser's money.

    I don't have any proof either but the whole mail-order-bride knocked-up-on-the-first-date thing just reeks of a set up.

  • Re:obHumor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by plague3106 ( 71849 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @11:59AM (#19664109)
    Unfortunately circumstancial "evidence" is given too much credence in this country. There was a Dateline recently about a small Texas town (I believe) that had at least four convicts on death row.. two have recently been proven innocent thanks to DNA. The system there simply railroaded the two (likely more though).
  • Why Confine Hans? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ann Coulter ( 614889 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @12:32PM (#19664549) Journal
    Even if Hans is guilty, he would serve society better if he can work on his filesystem instead of idling in prison.
  • Re:I tend to ... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rodoke3 ( 681504 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @01:02PM (#19664967)

    And then you have guys like the one released a few years ago after multiple years in jail for a rape he didn't commit, who then murdered a woman after being released. Some of the innocent aren't *that* innocent.

    I dunno.

    People who've been unjustly stripped of their freedom don't tend to come out of prison with too great respect for the law. Add that to the financial ruin and social ostracism that being sent to prison entails, and you can get someone with a genuine grievance against society and nothing left to lose but their lives.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @02:00PM (#19665837) Homepage Journal
    A wrestler and his family died recently, allegedly at the wrestler's hands.

    And that did not get on Slashdot, because it wasn't anyone we know. Reiser is interesting to Slashdot readers because he was connected with the kernel developers, and some of us here identify ourselve as being connected with that community.

  • by SL Baur ( 19540 ) <> on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @02:34PM (#19666341) Homepage Journal

    Another angle: The friend, through the wife, may have started running errands for the Russian mafia. (Yes Virginia, there really is a strong, nasty Russian mob presence in parts of the US today.) The kids now in Russia, HR fears for their lives if he implicates his friend.
    The involvement of the Russian mafia must be considered. The odds are overwhelmingly in favor of the Russian mail order bride people being involved in organized crime. Hans may fear for his own life as well as the lives of his kids.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fxer ( 84757 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @02:50PM (#19666575)
    Greatest. File system. Joke. Ever.
  • Re:Guilty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fweeky ( 41046 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @03:50PM (#19667379) Homepage

    If I was a juror I would vote "not guilty" on this evidence. I'm a big believer in "proven beyond all reasonable doubt."
    Quite, but I have serious problems trusting a selection of my "peers" to be quite so impartial and clear thinking. Especially when a massive proportion of them repeatedly demonstrate their poor reasoning skills and/or ethics with beliefs like the creator of the universe has a personal relationship with them, crystals have healing energy, homosexuals are evil, atheists are worse, Bush is awesome, American Idol is pretty good, and the Iraq war is about the 9/11 terrorists.

    What's the criteria for deciding whether someone's mentally competent again?
  • Re:obHumor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @03:55PM (#19667457) Homepage Journal
    Maybe we should have a bit more respect this time.

    "Respect" != "being quiet." People joke about tragedies all the time--from the famine in Ethiopia to the Challenger disaster to the 9/11 attacks. It's what people do. Jay Leno's career got a huge boost by making jokes about O.J. (for a long time, Letterman didn't)--and we had a body in that case! I'm sure every slashdotter--even the ones posting the most tasteless jokes imaginable--respect Hans, the work he's done, and the contributions he's made.

    Everyone is offended by something. Does that mean that no one should ever joke about anything? As it happens, this is one of the few places where a joke about this would be understood--can you imagine Leno going on the air with a filesystem joke?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 27, 2007 @08:59PM (#19670593)
    What if it is a setup? What if Nina, all by herself, or with the help of the rusian mob poured a pint or two of her own blood all over the front seat of his car and then disapeared.

    Put yourself in his shoes - what would you do? You come out to find your blood all over the seat of your car and put that together with the rest of what's going on. Maybe you stash it out of sight while you try to locate her - but she's disapeared. Do you really think going to the police with that story is going to hold up ... "Gee officer, I really didn't kill my estranged and recently missing wife - she just poured her blood all over the seat to frame me."

    Me - I'd do what he did. Clean the car and hope I could swing some reasonable doubt from the jury. Which there is plenty of in this case. My gut says he did it - but hopefully the jury votes with their heads and not their gut. My head tells me there are to many what-ifs to send a guy to prison for the rest of his life based on what we've heard so far.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Thursday June 28, 2007 @12:57AM (#19672203) Homepage
    Tragedies don't exist in space. They exist in minds. A tragedy is a tragedy become of the perspective we have on a series of events and its protagonists. The pain of the protagonists is real, but our framing of that pain - as tragic, as just, as comic, as absurd, as pathetic, as brute fact - is another story. This is true for the invasion of Iraq, the holocaust, the invasion of Lebanon, the fall of the USSR, the colonization of the Americas (talk about wildly divergent framing), for someone's unemployment, for infidelity (one person's betrayal is another person's self-discovery), and so on.

    The question is, given these divergent framings, how do we deal with each other in a space of discourse? Some of the responses to that problem are now characterized as an excess of consideration, "political correctness." Which I think is a shame, because it leads to the collapse of the possibility of respect outside of very closed communities. At the same time, calls for "respect" are also power plays: demanding that we respect the sacrifices of (our) soldiers is a way of muting protest and deflecting the critique of their behavior. Likewise, antiwar activists can also be selective - and just as maudlin - in their selection of the space of the tragic.
  • Re:Guilty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mqduck ( 232646 ) <> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @03:39AM (#19672951)
    I think you have one of the most reasonable takes on the article here on Slashdot. But I have some comments.

    "Male geeks, such as myself, are one of America's most hated cultural minorities," he writes. "Unlike racial hatred, it is considered socially acceptable to indulge in such hatred." This is obviously completely ridiculous.

    Yes, it is, as stated, a totally wrong opinion, I agree (anyone who thinks that personal_opposition_to_racism = lack_of_racism is sadly a fool). But there is some validity to the "it is considered socially acceptable to indulge in such hatred" argument. This is clearly what he's reacting too, but he just as clearly takes it too far. And I also get the feeling that he takes it too far not just in his words, but in his own mind - but I could certainly be wrong.

    He then proceeds to use this as an excuse for a lot of strange behavior, such as wanting to "teach the culture of manhood to little boys, with all of its inherent opposition to wallowing in wimpiness" (talking about playing hours and hours of Battlefield Vietnam with his six year old son).

    Not only that, but he believes in this so strongly that he has his son learn these "lessons" behind his mothers back and apparently considers them VITAL, psychologically. Also, in my personal opinion - take it or leave it - he makes FAR too much of the difference between the male and female psyche.

    All in all it seems likely to me that Hans did indeed murder Nina.

    That's what I kept thinking too. Here's the main reason I wanted to respond to you: none of this is direct evidence of guilt. However, it is my opinion that he is fully capable of falling so far into the deep end at least long enough to believe that such drastic measures as murder are necessary long enough to follow through with it. Is that direct evidence or guilt? Of course not. You don't think so either. Anyway... I just thought that that was the clearest way to put it.
  • Re:obHumor (Score:3, Insightful)

    by doom ( 14564 ) <> on Thursday June 28, 2007 @12:44PM (#19677563) Homepage Journal

    You are quite possibly the only person on Slashdot (Or at least, the only person who posts under their real name) who has a personal connection to Hans & Nina Reiser. You shouldn't be too surprised that the vast majority of posters arn't going to take it as seriously.

    Try this idea on for size: suppose that Hans Reiser is an odd, cantankerous computer programmer, who really didn't kill his wife, and is now rotting in jail largely because he's an odd, cantankerous fellow.

    There are a lot of odd, cantankerous folks in these parts. You might think they'd be worried about being tossed in jail for it.

    As far as evidence goes: the strongest thing they've got is the car gymnastics. The blood smears sound impressive but aren't really, e.g. the blood-in-the-car as I understand it was inside an old sleeping bag stuff sack. It's not at all hard to explain things like this, e.g. it was used to stash a tampon on a camping trip at one point. And the behavior of the cops on this one seems pretty funny to me, actually: they're doing their best to get the man convicted in the court of public opinion... what for? How do you get an impartial jury after this circus?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.