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.

2 thoughts on “Hello and goodbye”

  1. Well, there was a little more to it than that single exchange. Plus your summary of “neo-con” behaviour is a bit too simple. But I agree on one point: the piper mailing list has so little technical content now, that unless one has met these folks in person, and thus can enjoy a purely social chatfest, it’s not worth it staying on.

  2. You’re right, there was the previous exchange where somebody said that iTunes was bad because it helped Apple enforce their DRM, and I said that Apple’s DRM is irrelevant if you don’t buy tunes from ITMS and don’t steal songs from people who do. I was trying to imply that you can be perfectly happy with iTunes if you don’t do either of those things, but the person I was responding to went off his rocker about me accusing him of stealing music, which is not what I was doing.

    And I don’t read the Piper list for the technical content – there is a Piper web forum that is far better for that. For me, it was and always has been a social chatfest.

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