[plug] Re: Irony

Bret Busby bret at clearsol.iinet.net.au
Thu May 6 14:31:26 WST 1999

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Original Message <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

On 5/6/99, 2:04:13 PM, Matt Kemner <zombie at networx.net.au> wrote 
regarding Re: [plug] Re: Irony :

> On Thu, 6 May 1999, Bret Busby wrote:

> > I had assumed, apart from the use of silly pseudonyms, like B G Gruff,
> > or some of the stuff that has been posted by Leon, which clearly shows
> > that he is "funnin", that the people were sincere.

> Does that mean you fell for Greg's original message, which started the
> whole thread? (He posted that under his own name because it was, or so 
> thought, blatantly obvious he was being sarcastic. Only when people
> started flaming him did he change his name, because he thought that 
> make it more obvious)

I suppose that I did, kind of. I do remember thinking, "What's this 
doing on this mailing list?" But, I thought that it was not for me to 
do anything about it. When I saw the B G Gruff name, I thought, "Oh 
well, it was in fun, anyway."

> > Similarly, if we are not to take what is said, seriously, if we ask
> > for advice, how are we to know that someone is not sending advice that
> > will stuff our systems, as some kind of joke?

> In the Original linux-kernel mailing list I got sent when I first
> subscribed (unfortunately I don't have it anymore, and it's not in the
> current FAQ) there was a question along the lines of

> "How do I know when I should take someone's advice - how do I know 
> aren't saying something that will break my computer, as a joke"

> and the answer was to read the mailing list for a few weeks at least, 
> you can get a general sort of "feel" for the main posters to the list, 
> how well-respected they are etc.

> The same should go for all "help" mailing lists - for example if I 
were to
> ask for help, I'd be more inclined to follow the advice of someone I 
> than someone I'd never seen posting on the list before.
> This should be a rule of life, both real and net-based.

The problem with that, is that sometimes, the people who offer advice, 
appear somewhat hot-headed and arrogant, sometimes, and it is 
difficult to know what to accept, and what not to.

I have now been on the mailing list for some time, and, without having 
physically met everyone, or, had other information about everyone, 
uncertainty about some, prevails.

And, sometimes, it happens that we accidentally find, away from the 
mailing list, something about someone, that can influence our 
perception of the person  on the mailing list. As an example, and I 
hope that he doesn't mind my mentioning it, without knowing his last 
name, it appears that Christian is an honours student, who is going to 
give a lecture to data communications students, about something to do 
with the Internet. This I deduct, from what was said in a lecture. I 
hope that you don't mind my mentioning that, Christian. I assume that 
you are that Christian. Someone had a go at him, recently, on the 
mailing list, slurring his credibility. But, from what I understand, 
he is one of the guru's, like yourself. Similarly, having found that 
David Campbell contributed to Linux, by writing the drivers for the 
zip disks. Another guru. And so on. And, then, we get the people on 
the mailing list, who use pseudonyms, and never their own names, for 
whatever reason.

With limiting the exposure to people on the mailing list, to what 
occurs on the mailing list, surely, you would appreciate that it could 
be difficult to determine the nature of some of the participants.

I may be naïve, but I generally accept that what a person says, they 
mean, unless the person does something to show otherwise.

> Seriously, why would someone suggest we stop the staroffice thread, 
> mean it?  If they really did, surely they are too stupid to warrant
> replying to?

Fair enough.

>  - Matt

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