It’s still September

In my blog entry Rants and Revelations » 4166 September, 1993, I expressed some hope that with AOL dropping Usenet access, it might mean that Usenet would go back to being the place where only the clueful hung out.

As usual when I express optimism like that, I spoke too soon. There is a new scourge on Usenet these days. It’s people accessing it through Google Groups (or other web interface) who think that Usenet is an invention of Google, and that Google is in charge of monitoring everybody’s behaviour. Representative quotes from this new breed of wankers:

  • “I saw a couple of spams in this group. Where are the moderators?”
  • “I’ll report you to Google if you don’t stop insulting me.”
  • “Speak english, this is an American system!”

Hello and goodbye

A few months ago, I was thinking about going to Oshkosh this year. (I’m pretty sure I’m not going after all, since we’re going to be moving house around that time.) I used to be on a mailing list for pilots of Piper aircraft, and I’d met up with some of them at Sun’n’Fun in 2002 and at Oshkosh in 2003, and I thought I’d check in with them again to see who was going to Oshkosh this year.

Now, I quit that mailing list last year because like any group of pilots, it had a lot of hard core right wingers, and not just traditional “low taxes, low regulation, no government services” conservative types, but a lot of “George Bush is always right and anybody who disagrees is a traitor to the country” rabid neo-cons. And it just wasn’t fun any more. But I missed the non-jerks on the list, so I resubscribed. I vowed to stay away from any political conversation, and not be goaded into political debates no matter how uninformed and stupid some of these people’s opinions are. (The loudest and most vehement ones were always the idiots who got their “facts” from Anne Coulter and Fox News.)

Last week, somebody on the list asked what we meant when we referred to “ripping” a CD. I, and two other people, explained that it was the process of taking music off a CD and converting it to digital files like MP3s, WMA or other format for either storing on a computer, transferring to an iPod or other (lesser) hand held music player, or even burning to MP3 CDs that some CD players can play. The person who asked was satisfied with the answers he got, and asked some follow on questions. So far, so good. But three fucking days later, somebody responds to the original question with the “fact’ that “ripping” is just a synonym for “burning”. I said no, it’s the exact opposite. I don’t know if he hadn’t read the intervening days worth of discussion, or just thought that he was right and we were all wrong. So I told him that if he’d read the several correct responses to Neville’s question that were posted in the days before, he would have seen that “burning” is the process of putting information onto a CD, and “ripping” is the process of taking information from a CD.

After this exchange, guess which one of us got flamed? The guy who provided the correct information and then three days later had to correct the guy who waited three days and then contradicted him, or the guy who ignored all the correct information and arrogantly wrote something wrong? Yeah, I think I just figured out why Bush won this election – because to these people correcting wrong information and lies is being “intolerant and snotty”.

Well, sorry Blanche, Roger, Rhandi, Neville, and all the other good people on the Piper mailing list, I’m gone. And I’m blogging this as a reminder to myself not to go back.