[nSLUG] Re: Please do not use Reply for new topics

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Fri Oct 9 17:56:08 ADT 2009

Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> What a pain, to have to page through three screens of headers just to
> compose a reply.

Not to be picky or argumentative, but that's not a problem.  Incoming
email (say, the last mssg from NSLUG) can have over 50 lines of
headers.  I only see the ones I have cued Emacs to show me, although
they're all available at a keystroke.  Outbound email shows me
References: and In-reply-to: but I could make them go away were it not
for the fact that eliding them manually is easier than correctly
typing an email address for a new message.

> Fun yarns. Not sure what the point was...

Just to illustrate your point that people don't want to change how
they do stuff, even in the face of evidence that it's useless, wrong
or actually counter-productive.

> Telling someone to change their email habits when their method "works
> just fine" is like talking to a wall. They will only change if those
> highly paid people you speak of tell them change in a way that makes
> it sound like a win for them, rather than for everyone else in the
> world.

That's an excellent point that runs deeper than the matter of
behavior in a protocol-dominated networked environment.

       The view has been gaining widespread acceptance that corporate
       officials and labor leaders have a 'social responsibility' that
       goes beyond serving the interest of their stockholders or their
       members. This view shows a fundamental misconception of the
       character and nature of a free economy. In such an economy
       there is one and only one social responsibility of business --
       to use its resources and engage in activities designed to
       increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of
       the game, which is to say, engages in open and free
       competition, without deception or fraud -- if businessmen do
       have a social responsibility other than making maximum profits
       for their stockholders, how are they to know what it is? Can
       self-selected private individuals decide what the social
       interest is?  
                 -- Milton Friedman (Capitalism and Freedom, 1962)

>From the dominance of corporate structures in practically everything,
we're gradually learning to adopt corporate attitudes and behavior.
But large corporations are intrinsically psychopaths [1], witness
Friedman, whose acolytes most corporate execs are.

       Milton Friedman's misfortune is that his economic policies have
       been tried.                   -- John Kenneth Galbraith

>> So MMT is bad?
> Never heard of it. (the name or the acronym).

Adjunct to tetra-ethyl lead in gasoline, then a replacement for
it. Toxic risk via dermal absorption from liquid gas or fumes.  Jury
is still out on potential chronic toxicity of manganese.  AFAIK,
currently legal in US and Canadian gasoline.

> I feel that at least I am throwing out ideas and generating
> discussion, while most of the replies have been getting are of the
> tone that I should not be questioning the authority of the
> RFCs. This disturbs me.

I think the predominant notion is that users should conform to RFC
protocol because RFCs are the central place one looks to figure out
what the software (and thus other people) can be expected to do.  

> RFC 822 is 25 years old. It is:
>  - dated and possibly obsolete

RFC 2822 is 8 years old and is pretty clear on the construction of the
References: and In-reply-to: fields.  Your mail reader can to anything
you know how to make it do but you can expect other people to look at
2822 to figure out what the canonical mail software format is and

> - a request for comment. My comment is: we need a new system

Verbal conversation has all kinds of highgly evolved tricks to change
the subject, continue a suspended subject, hijack a thread etc.  RFC
2822 seems to me to be working if you pay attention.  Maybe not for

- Mike

[1] DSM IV: antisocial personality disorder, aka psychopath, aka

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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