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

#gondwana gondwana at ix.netcom.com
Thu Oct 2 05:39:14 EST 1997

Don Staples wrote:
> If you don't like what you see, TURN THE DAMN MACHINE OFF!

Mr. Staples:

Two points made in this thread are valid, albeit offensively delivered:

1.) It appears that many people cannot shut off or select which usenet
downloads come in, and get stuck with a lengthy dowload against their
will. Moreover, many people in Britain and elsewhere don't have "flat"
internet access rates, and must pay substantially for every scrap of
data sent their way, even if they don't want it and can't stop the
download. Therefore, there is legitimate consternation (especially on
people with limited budgets) when somebody crams a huge bitmap file into
a seemingly innocuous post, and they are forced into an expensive and
time-consuming download. What is inexcusable is a reaction wholly out of
proportion to the wrong. But the underlying reason for frustration is
valid, and you are mistakenly opposing it. What perhaps you should
oppose is the manner of the response, rather than the reason for it.

2.) uk.rec.gardening is a newsgroup which focuses of issues and
information that benefits or interests British gardeners, and quite
properly so. People are not being "colonial" when they try to prevent
questions or input that can't either be answered by or do not address
British conditions (i.e. can I plant coconuts in Minnesota, Alice
Springs, Bujumbura, whatever). The problem arises because some
overzealous people take it upon themselves to silence or chase away
posters merely because they hail from another geographical area,
regardless of whether the information may be useful or germane to
someone in the UK. The person who started this entire thread came from
Spain and was asking for information which could reasonably be assumed
might be possessed by participants in the uk.rec.gardening newsgroup and
others. His question, IMHO, deserved a place in the forum (although his
manner of placing it was innocently innapropriate). While I myself
vigorously object to censorship on the basis of nationality of the
poster (something which appears rampant in uk.rec.gardening), it would
be unfair, unbalanced and innappropriate of myself or you, to criticise
a newsgroup merely because it seeks to create and maintain a topical

Accusations of colonialism are a dangerous, double-edged sword. It would
not be difficult to direct such an accusation at citizens of the US of
A. Ironically, it would seem you invite such action, when in the same
breath you complain both about British colonialism and about others
using "our" net. If you read this thread you will see I am not friend of
anyone who would jump on Juan Carlos, but acquiring an understanding of
the problem of Net misuse, and solving it, is something that transcends
nationalities, and deserves thoughtful, constructive actions, not the
simplistic, tit-for-tat, jingoistic rhetoric that everyone (save one
other person) seems to have applied to the problem.

David Deutsch

More information about the Plantbio mailing list