[buug] El Blog del Narco
ezekielk at goct.net
Tue Aug 17 14:57:30 PDT 2010
Quoting Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>:
> You probably need a better news feed.
I don't think so; I've tried some commercial ones. Even when most of
the trash and spam are snipped away, on many formerly useful
newsgroups, what relevant posts remain, are quite scant. Not like the
old days. Of course, *some* newsgroups remain that are worth one's
time...but that is a relative handful compared to the total number of
> Most ISPs cannot be bothered to administer NNTP service, let alone
> competently, because it is no longer a trendy service, i.e., it's seen
> as costing money and expertise without being strongly in demand.
And they saw *to* it that Usenet would never be trendy, by so quickly
eliminating that option. Google saw it's value: still does, at the
cost of new users never knowing what Usenet really was, and should
be...and having to put up with phenomenally awkward browsing and
> Actually, text-based BBS forums suffered from nearly all of the ills
> that I cite, equally as much as 'Web boards' do -- and I speak as a
> longtime BBS sysop.
I was also a sysop of several boards during that era...not
simultaneously, mind you. Still, I found BBS message boards far more
workable than web-based boards.You would prefer Usenet format as the
best...and I would like to see that, too.
> Actually, 'like minds' are part of the problem. Ideological echo
> chambers are a huge waste of time -- and it's difficult to imagine
> anything more stultifying than talking solely to people who share
> my views. (Of course, you do not agree.) The reliance on 'handles'
> instead of something approaching real-world identities also does little
> to elevate the tone of discussion.
Seriously now, Rick, you seem far more intent on disproving anything I
post, than speaking the truth. How on earth could I agree with such a
false remark like this one? You know, I really should have to explain
what I meant, it would seem totally clear to anyone, but there you go
once more, muddying the waters as if your pretentious veil impresses
anyone as to your superior intellect. But here goes:
Say one seeks help and support re. insomnia. If he's lucky these days,
he can find it in a medically or socially oriented newsgroup. (By
"lucky" I mean, if all such formerly-useful newsgroups have not been
sabotaged by spam and trolling.)
Or if a gay person living in rural Amerika seeks a break from our
pathetically macho society, he would seek some sort of gay friendly
Of course, there are "like minds" in these newsgroups...else there'd
be no need to break them down into specific topics. Why, even mailing
lists (such as the very one in which you participate) lives by the
same rule: to attract like minds by a topical group name. In our case,
that is Berkely Unix User Group...which I presume, is intended to
attract people who have a common interest in Unix.
Now, what I believe *you* (oh excellent IQ king that you surely
are...it's just your EQ that I question) mean by 'like minds' are
those groups that turn into self-serving cliques. There is always that
danger in most any group...and I suggest that perhaps BUUG like any
group, is not immune to such an unsavory outcome.
> In any event, Web forums have all of the cited inherent techological
> drawbacks. Plus, they tend to have very low Web-search rank, plus they
> make it gratuitously difficult to preserve an independent copy of one's
> postings for reference and archival purposes.
That is most certainly not true in every case. The are some very large
and successful forums such as Alternet.org and Ubuntu Forums, where I
often find my search results pointing to their boards (political
topics for the former, and of course Linux topics for the latter).
There are numerous other highly successful web forums out there, I
know of them, and such forums are easy enough to track down via a
Plus, one can always save one's posts (and that of anyone else) in his
own text file or database. Which is what I do.
But in a backdoor way, you've affirmed the thesis of my original post:
that is one wants the best chance of having his voice hear in a public
venue, use the Internet, and find the most popular ones know for their
thoughtful and intelligent posts.
Usenet just doesn't cut it any more. Sorry. I wish it did!
> typically you
> end up walking away without even the means to re-establish contact with
> the fellow former participants, because your sole means of contact was
> via the Web forum (unless you've taken active measures to the contrary,
> as I do when I put my real name and real contact information at the
> bottom of all Web-media posts).
And it is just such "measures to the contrary" that others use, on
those forums that really matter. Granted, person-to-person contact is
not facile as it was in pre-web, but I still think the odds are much
better striking up new online allies via the better forums, than our
now spam-ravaged Usenet.
You are aware of course that many Usenet denizens use fake email
addies. But I guess pointing that out wouldn't make your argument
appear so solid.
In conclusion: I would never dream of steering someone who seeks a
voice, to Usenet exclusively, or even more than a secondary resource.
And my original post covered all this, in a nutshell. As well as being
a celebration of how open source has helped in a big way, towards
Thanks to all the brilliant Unix wizards such as yourself (whether or
not sometimes seeming way too full of themselves to the point of
driving away potential future OSS/anti-M$ advocates).
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