Many years ago, I used to enjoy the alt.guitar.amps newsgroup. There
were some incredibly helpful people there, real experts who had very
useful advice that was accurate and truly helpful. It was a fun,
interesting, good place to be. I enjoyed it.
A couple years later, the political crap started. Buttheads from all
corners of the political table started changing the topic to goofy
political arguments. It got angrier and angrier.
Now it's a wasteland. It's no fun, and I don't go there anymore. I
used to share, but no more. I never posted politically there, and
never will, but it was no fun to pull headers and see two on topic
posts and 50 off topic posts that were mostly just people being jerks
to each other.
I see that the slippery slope is here too. Here's how to avoid it.
1. Never post off topic.
2. Never respond to an off-topic post. People who post off-topic are
looking for a reaction. If they don't get it, they try a few more
times and then stop.
3. Never try to convince someone they are wrong. Doing this on a
newsgroup is like writing your message on a baseball bat and then
hitting someone in the back of the head with it. Guess what - they
didn't read or care about the message, they are simply mad at the jerk
who hit them with the bat!!
4. If you have to write OT on it, then you are off topic. Don't post
5. I don't care how conservative, liberal, religious, or whatever you
are. In this newsgroup, you are a woodworker. There are not any
enemies in here. If you start a fight, you are just creating more
anger and tension and not solving anything. You are more likely to
make a difference and convert people to your way of thinking if you
are first an ethical, moral, and well-behaved person inside this
newsgroup, then make friends who you contact outside the newsgroup,
and then have actual discussion with them. The bat won't work. Really.
6) If you write or repond to an off-topic message, don't send it right
away. Walk away, then return an hour or two later. Read what you
wrote. (This is the most forgotten rule of writing on the internet.)
Then you will probably delete it.
Hint: Almost anybody coming to this newsgroup is looking for
information or discussion about woodworking. They are not interested
in politics when they access this group, but that does not mean they
are uninterested, they just choose to also find information about
woodworking. Even the most politially active people on any side of any
argument have other interests. This is where we go for those
Now I will go play with my son and figure out what type of lathe to
replace my dead one with.
woodturnerr, cabinet maker