What plant it is? .....1/1 bmp

Alan J Holmes Alan.Holmes at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Oct 7 07:25:21 EST 1997

In article <3433565E.38F2 at ix.netcom.com>,
#gondwana  <gondwana at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>A day ago, I posted a letter, the gist of which was to say that a first
>time netiquette offence of an inadvertent nature does not call for
>savage attacks on the person who inadvertly errs.

>I respond below to a reply made by Alan J Holmes; I apologise for
>changing the order of the points covered.

>> [ . . . ] some subscribers _have_ to
>> pay for every byte which passes down the phone lines

>The point raised here is certainly fair. And lower income people
>undoubtedly feel the pinch more greatly and disproportionately. Data
>transfer costs can be high indeed, and we should all accordingly be able
>to choose what we pull off the wires. 

But there are many subscribers here, in england, which is where
this article was directed, _have_ to pay for _every_ byte which
passes down the phone line.  As I understand it, many of these
subscribers have _no_ choice as to what to download, they have to
accept everything or nothing.

Your email address suggests you are in the states, your access
arrangements are quite different ot the average access in this

> Moreover, it is infuriating to,
>against your will, have costly and often commercially offensive material
>intentionally thrust in your face by spammers. 

Which is how the original article appeared here.

> Everyone can agree that
>willful spammers deserve the ire of everyone. But Juan Carlos was not a
>spammer, and he was not acting with intent (see below).

It appeared as spam to many subscribers here, in england, please
note the newsgroup in the headers, starts with 'uk'.

>As a practical matter, I am curious about the following: Cannot a usenet
>download be interrupted the minute it is perceived to be undesirable? 

As I understand it, no!

>use Netscape on a Macintosh for all Internet functions, and I was easily
>able to abort the usenet download originally in question by clicking on
>the "Stop" button. Is this not available to others, who use other
>browsers/email-utilities as well? It wont work for me with email, so
>perhaps other platforms/applications may not offer this protection in
>usenet circumstances. But if they do, it might help the people who need
>to count bytes and pence, better protect themselves from this sort of

It would appear not to be so, here in england.

>> As has been said time and time again,

>Perhaps. But the very nature of usenet, especially to those who are
>trying to learn about it, causes people to miss threads. Sometimes the
>need to read threads is not evident from the brief title. Other times,
>one's own server blocks them from view for any number of reasons.
>Besides, given the growth of the Internet, there will be a continuous
>flow of new people for quite some time, all of which are not privy to
>what has gone before, and we must not be so haughty that we forget what
>it's like to be new to something and be trying to get one's bearings.
>Even you, Alan, despite your broad knowledge and impatience for those
>who do not yet possess it, must have at some point been new and
>inexperienced and bewildered and intimidated. Have you forgotten how it

> Have you forgotten how it

No, but I wouldn't be surprised if, had I made the same error,
someone would have jumped on me.

That I would have accepted as part of the learning process which
goes on up until the day we die.

> Have you never been mistaken? 


>  Made an error?

We, here in the uk, have a saying, he who never made an error,
never made anything!

I'm happy to say I've made a lot of things!

>> you should
>> be reserving your compassion for them [subscribers paying high costs
>> of involuntary downloads] not some ignorant fellow.
>I have compassion for everyone who suffers an undeserved injury: The
>struggling pensioner who had to pay 50 pence for rubbish he didn't want,
>as well as the inexperienced user who bumbles good-naturedly into an
>arena he has never before ventured, not realizing that an attempt to
>learn, become informed and maybe even have friendly cross-cultural
>contact would reward him with vicious attacks for his unforgivable
>crime: inexperience. The fact of the matter is, both are deserving of
>compassion. Besides, the problem may be technological: It would seen
>current software lacks the finesse to permit aborting an unwanted

>> >shoot him! Maybe we should virtually disembowel him as well?
>> Sounds good!

That sounds like me!

> Unproductive. 

Not so sure about that, the man appears to now know what is
acceptable, and what is not.

> For all your wit and intellect, 


>  this comment is
>more to be expected from a 13-year-old in a schoolyard. 

What on earth makes you think I'm not a 13 year old?

> How does this
>address the overall issue of education of the inexperienced to effect a
>change that benefits everyone? We are looking at a problem of education
>and technology, not a problem of intentional misconduct by miserable
>miscreants. If you want to solve the problem, a solution needs to
>address the underlying cause, rather than myopically focus on the

Like reading the articles directed towards new users, you mean?

>> He could have investigated the groups first, made a few enquiries
>> as to how he should post, what he should post.

>To "investigate" groups first, you must assume conversant knowledge of
>usenet and the Internet. Not only is this not universal knowledge, but
>indeed, if one is unaware that one is lacking information, one can't
>realise that the information must be sought. Many people are bewildered
>and even frightened by the 'Net, which slows down their assimilation
>into this extremely arcane sub-culture. Snarls, snaps, and personal
>attacks cause further intimidation, and reduce motivation for learning
>and research of information. Gentle, informative communication, on the
>other hand, reduces intimidation and encourages learning and sensitivity
>by the newbie to issues like this.

So, if they read the articles directed to new users, they would
have no trouble, or he could have done what newusers frequently
do, come on, say they are 'newbies' and ask.

When I see an article like that I'm as sweet as an angel.

>People make mistakes. You take your own knowledge for granted and the
>resulting knee-jerk reaction merely curses the darkness, but doesn't
>even attempt to light a candle.

See my comment immediately above.

>Another thing you may take for granted as well, is that not everyone has
>easy access to usenet, other than through DejaNews on the web. If that
>is the case, the only way to get responses to postings made through
>DejaNews would be through responses supplied via email. Moreover, this
>could also explain why someone lacks access to threads regarding rules
>and such (as you know, DejaNews is search-engine and key-word based, so
>the entire wealth of threads and topics might be invisible to her/him

But the man was able to access the newsgroups, otherwise we
wouldn't be have this exchange now.

>> But he didn't bother, just pushed all the rubbish all over the
>> world in a _large_ number of groups.  Some of them possibly
>> unrelated

>Perhaps my newsreader is mistaken, but I counted only 4 newsgroups he
>posted to, all of which were either gardening or botanically oriented,
>and his post (including his large binary) was for the sole purpose of
>plant identification. Moreover, if he has reason to believe the plant is
>exotic or rare in his native country, it is altogether reasonable to
>post globally in the hopes that someone, somewhere on the planet would
>find the plant familiar. That is, after all, part of the magic of the
>Internet: that ability for all peoples, throughout the earth, to
>communicate, share and exchange ideas and information. His
>implementation (i.e. use of attached binary image) may have been
>inappropriate, but his intentions were entirely reasonable and
>consistent with the purposes of the medium.

Yes, but he could have had the decency to have asked first
whether this was the right way to go, If I went into a bar in the
rough part of town, barged my way to the front and thumped the
bar, demanding that I be served first, what sort of reaction do
you think I would get?

>> but did he care, not on your nelly.

>The unstated assumption you are making here is that caring must be
>equated only with doing all the investigation and enquiries you insist
>upon, and uncaring must be equated with a failure to do these things and
>with the intentional pushing of "rubbish" all over the world. Care
>requires intent, but you seem to suggest as well that lack of caring
>also requires intent. Therefore, when you conclude Juan Carlos is
>uncaring, and imply that he engaged in this conduct either with intent
>or reckless disregard of his acts on others. Q.E.D.

He didn't bother to ask first, see example above.

>Not quite. As I explained a moment ago, ignorance, failure to know or
>investigate, and the posting of his "rubbish" can be explained through
>inadvertence and good faith lack of knowledge, and difficulty with
>mastering the Internet. It would be another matter altogether if he
>repeated his conduct after being warned or notified, but this is not
>evidenced by the facts here. So your absolutist, easy-way-out, black and
>white logic does not necessarily result in a reliable conclusion. In
>fact, you really just don't know what the circumstances were surrounding
>his state of mind, and you lack the knowledge (i.e. you are yourself
>ignorant of the facts) to accurately judge Juan Carlos, much less to
>berate him as severely as you seek to do. Juan Carlos' ignorance could
>well have stemmed from good faith error...but yours stems from a willful
>rush to judgment.

As would the occupants of the bar example given above, only for
me it would have been far more painful.

>A little temperance is in order. People who are willing to learn the
>rules should be informed of them in a friendly and constructive fashion,
>and should be given the benefit of the doubt at least once. The ire and
>vitriol that you and others have shown thus far should be reserved for
>those who, once so informed of the rules, knowingly repeat their

But the damage had already been done, many people had been put to
a lot of unneccessary expence, and all for what?

This will be my _LAST_ word on the subject.

I want to get back to helping people with their gardening


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