Sun, 15 Sep 2002

Usenet Anthropology

I stumbled across this a while ago.

Much of the discussion in newsgroups makes no sense at all unless you understand it in the context of primate psychology. There are battles for dominance. There is a pecking order. There are alliance groups. There is a clash of different styles of humour, particularly in international newsgroups such as these. Just keep in mind the creators of all the posts are hairless apes and it will make a lot more sense. The other thing to consider is many of the people on the Internet are social misfits banished from live company. Here, they are immune to violent reprisals to their antisocial actions. You can train your newsreader to just filter these whackos out once you identify them, or you can treat them as just part of the day's entertainment. Part of the problem comes from expecting posts, which you read on your computer to somehow me more logical, accurate etc. than the equivalent live conversations would be. The other problem comes from reading emotional content into the text. In a live conversation you would hear the jocularity, where you might read in a severe reprimand emotional tone into the bald text. You can also mistake brevity for curtness. A one line response that answers your question is not rude, it is just way of serving more people per day. -- Roedy Green

:: 13:07
:: /humor/net | [+]
::Comments (0)

The Magic Word:
Which planet is closest to the sun? (hint -- it's Mercury...)

And so it was, later,
As the miller told his tale,
That her face, at first just ghostly,
Turned a whiter shade of pale.
— Procol Harum