<insert favourite flame-bait here> broken

Fernando Mato Mira matomira at iname.com
Tue Jun 15 05:50:07 EDT 1999

Fredrik Lundh wrote:

> btw, while we're on this topic, here's an interesting
> article by kent pitman:
> http://world.std.com/~pitman/pfaq/cross-posting.html
>     "Why are crossposts generally antisocial?
>     - Physical Burden of Reading Crossposted News
>     - Consumption of Community Resources
>     - Targeted Audience
>     - Inclusivity and Exclusivity"

Well, I have no time for reading that. Obviously crossposts
are useful. I'll tell you how it works:

1.There's one issue A you want to investigate,
   and the people with a balanced view read different newsgroups,
  B, C, D, E. You even know that some people in E are too young and E is
  a contender with A. As the people in E is quite alike that in D, you
leave out E, even if you think
  it's more probable there's more people that actually know about A in E
than in D.
  You know that B is a contender with A, but there's nothing you can do
about it, as that
  seems to be the most promising group.
  So you _crosspost_ (not multiple post) to A,B,C,D
2. You have to explain that you want to be straight regarding A, so you
give an example of how
    some  thing C and is obviously not in a D tradition is `wrong' but
good. So that the same could
    be true about A.
3. You correct a point regarding C (still on the same line), which
relates to F, that you know
    about and it's good, but where something bothers you, specially
because sometimes you
    _do_ consider F. You obviously have to add F to the discussion.
4. Nobody comes up with anything against A. So you learn that your
preconceptions about
    A are wrong, that all the bad things that were said about A were
religious, and that all you can do is express your stylistic and
philosophical objections against A, but nothing more. The A people is
happy. It has been a great victory, and something has changed from
today. The A people fade off.
5. Suddenly, the silent B people start compaining. What vibe did you
touch? Was it an explicit G vibe (you don't care about telling G because
it's pointless, and you don't care about fixing G either, even if you
`are a G' (by force)), or an implicit B vibe? Is it just some people
that think they own the truth? And that do not like learning? (If
something tells you you're right, and you already believe that, you
learn nothing. If they tell you you're wrong, at least you'll
contemplate the issue) Or is it that they were silent only while
something bad about A was looming?
6. Suddenly, your beliefs about B are changed. It seems that even if B
were good, you don't want to have anything to do about it, because then
you would have to hang around with the Bs. And you think that maybe A is
better just because the As are more mature (of course you've never set
foot in A). Oh, are the As having a party.

In conclusion, when choosing a language one must not underestimate the
style of its community. And actually,
not wanting to hang around in G, even if I have used G for the last 4
years has always struck me as basically perverse (actually, I even went
offline for a couple years, as there was not a compelling reason to be
wired. Occasionals emails and FTPs were enough).

May I have my PhD in Anthropology now? ;-)

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