Usenet falsehoods (was Re: Bitching about the documentation...)

skip at skip at
Tue Dec 6 12:46:18 CET 2005

    >> Hmm, I though he explained it:
    >> 1) Not using your real name.
    >> 2) A yahoo, aol, or hotmail address.
    >> In the ancient and hallowed (by net standards) history of Usenet, both
    >> of these (particularly the first one) have been pretty good predictors
    >> of crankness.

    aahz> I've been on the Net for more than fifteen years, and while this
    aahz> canard about real names gets trotted out from time to time, it's
    aahz> quite clear that many many people have been active on the Net
    aahz> *and* taken seriously using names that aren't what you'd call a
    aahz> "real name".

As the person who raised this particular flag, I will note a few things:

    1. Monty Python humor aside, this is generally a serious mailing list
       and newsgroup.  In my experience, most people deal professionally
       with others of like interests by using their real names.

    2. While I haven't been to many PyCons, I've been to enough to have met
       many Python folk.  Hell, maybe I've met rurpy and don't even know it.
       Real people have real names.  Using your real name on the net makes
       you less virtual to the people you communicate with.

    3. I'm an Internet dinosaur.  I date from the time before l33t speak,
       the Morris worm, spam and Windows increased the need for people to
       hide behind virtual masks and throw away email addresses every few
       months.  At the dawn of time, basically everyone used their real

It's probably just my misunderstanding about how people use avatars on the
net nowadays, but I still expect professional people to communicate
profesionally.  That includes using real names.

For completeness, though I usually don't here, my full sig:

Skip Montanaro
Katrina Benefit Concerts:
skip at

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