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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000328.txt from 1997/12

From: Mark Charette <>
Subj: Flaming and Trolls - long
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 20:27:14 -0500

I've been noticing that people have been complaining of being flamed
by others on this list. I haven't noticed much, but possibly some
who have complained don't realize that corrections to their postings
or abrupt responses to comments are _NOT_ considered flameage in
traditional Internet or ARPANet (the granddaddy of the Internet)
groups. Mailing lists were the precursors to Internet Newsgroups;
the Newsgroups, being much wider in reach than most mailing lists,
spawned a new series of colorful terms used. Let me describe a
few below:

Flame - an ad hominum attack in the purest sense; leave reason behind
and attack the person. Attack their spelling, attack their
religion, attack anything and everything that has no bearing
on the original posting.

Flame War - Flames in response to flames. The biggest reason for
people to leave mailing lists and Newsgroups. The S/N ratio
(Signal/Noise) of the list drops to close to zero as more
and more people join in flaming each other.

Troll - A posting made, usually having the words "I don't want to
start a flame war, but ...", by someone who just likes to see
blood and battle but stays on the sidelines. Every list I've
every been in has a few of these people - it's better not
to respond to the bait.

Asbestos Suit - something you'd better be wearing if you make a
statement that goes against the "list religion". You'll
probably be flamed; however, there are always those that
will discuss with you the pros, cons, and merits of your
statement. Respond to those, but don't respond to the flamers.
Hopefully the fire will die down by itself.

I see very little in the way of true flamage here; nothing like the
flame war of 1988 in comp.lang.c on the OTBS (One True Brace Style)
which caused almost every C guru to depart the list permanently.
comp.lang.c today is pretty much for newbies; luckily the gurus ended
up subscribing to comp.std.c (a moderated group for standard C)
where intelligent, albeit slower, discourse takes place.

Just because someone disagrees with you and possibly writes in an
abrupt or curt manner doesn't mean they are insulting you; factual
corrections to your postings should be taken as educational, not
as meanness (BTW - a question mark _invites_ correction!). A little
punning or humour in the correction goes a long way, too, for those
who are correcting the postings (such as the other day when I forgot
that Debussy's Girl with the Flaxen Hair wasn't written for clarinet!
The response to my mistake was hilarious!).

Many times I have thought of creating a moderated list for those
that don't have the time to wade through all the off-topic postings.
I do know (factually) that some very well known clarinet personages
have joined and left this list because they don't have the time to
go through all the postings - playing clarinet is their livelihood,
they may be on the road a lot, and their on-line time ends up being
very short. For those of you who play clarinet as a livelihood, I
_do_ thank you for staying with this list - I know it must take away
from your professional duties to put up with beginners like me. I'm
still considering the moderated list; yes, it's censorship, but
sometimes that's the only way to keep people on a list due to the
above constraints. Finding a co-moderator is pretty hard, though!

Enough for now,
Mark Charette | "This is a very democratic organization, so let's
charette@-----. All those who disagree with me, raise
Mika Systems, Inc.| their hands." - Eugene Ormandy
Webmaster of, The Clarinet Pages

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