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Re: Ode to Karl Larsen



Craig White wrote:
> Why is it so hard to delete or simply not reply to messages that you
> don't like?

While I don't generally go for name calling, I think this part of your
mail deserves reply.  To rephrase the question: what is hard about
deleting or not replying to numerous threads which often violate
several general standards of net decency?

* they decrease the signal to noise ratio, making it harder to
  those seeking help to get their questions seen and similarly harder
  for those looking to help to weed through the needless duplicated
  and pointless threads.  It's akin to one person in a classroom
  always raising their hand and asking a thousand questions.  It's
  disrespectful to the other people who may have questions.

* they diminish the usefulness of list archives and threaded mail
  clients.

It's also highly annoying when many people have politely pointed out
that this practice is frowned upon.  (Yeah, many others have pointed
it out not-so-politely as well.   This should only reflect on those
folks and not be a reason to disregard the valid complaints of the
others that have been nice in their requests.)

Additionally, I'm sure that not everyone is proficient with filtering
tools to sufficiently weed out the poster(s) they think are abusing
the list as well as the many replies that are spawned.  Sure, dropping
every post from one person is trivial.  It's less trivial to drop the
ensuing discussions that they start.  And it's a waste of effort to
need to do so.

Basic list etiquette rightly frowns on:

* starting multiple threads which clog up threaded mail client
  displays and the list archives

* answering questions with completely incorrect information

* ignoring the useful replies to your own questions by others on the
  list

It's not surprising that when requests to follow such simple etiquette
is repeatedly ignored, that some resort to mockery.  It's similar to
what many do with politics.  When you can't get anywhere with reason,
try playful bashing.

I'm not speaking in favor of that, but I am not surprised to see it.
Unfortunately, it further decreases the utility of the list.

Personally, I've used procmail to work around the problem, to a small
extent.  But it has made this list much less of a place to want to
spend time reading, learning, and helping others.

-- 
Todd        OpenPGP -> KeyID: 0xBEAF0CE3 | URL: www.pobox.com/~tmz/pgp
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Process and Procedure are the last hiding place of people without the
wit and wisdom to do their job properly.

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