Tuesday, July 3, 2001

:sigh: I wrote a lovely article about Usenet as my diary entry this morning, and forgot to save it. I don’t even know if I want to recreate it now.

I commented on a quote from Brennen‘s diary entry from Thursday:

Usenet. An all consuming mass into which my time and attention hurtle as into the event horizon of some textual black hole. And I just lurk. How does anyone actually participate actively and do *anything* else with their life?

I’ve been thinking about this, and though I’m sure Brennen meant his question rhetorically, I have an answer: posting to a newsgroup really doesn’t take any more time than lurking.

The reason is because, when one participates in a newsgroup, one begins to filter out much of the conversation. On the newsgroups that I check, I’ll only participate in anywhere between 30% to 70% of the discussion threads.

When I lurk, on the other hand, I find myself trying to synthesize as much data as possible; I skim a lot more messages than I would when participating. So they both end up taking similar amounts of time.

This reminds me that, while I’m on the subject, I should mention that Google Groups now allows posting to Usenet, a feature I’ve been taking advantage of lately. alt.fiction.original is a surprisingly enjoyable place to stretch one’s craft.

I had a long phone conversation with Saalon last night, where we talked about some potential issues with Wine. We resolved them, and I was amazed again at how well our minds sync up. We make a good team, a fact that I want to take advantage of in the future as much as possible.

I also managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour, which netted me a good nine hours of sleep last night. My brain is now functioning a little better than it has been the past few days. I’ll try to get to bed really early tonight, in preparation for a race I’m going to run tomorrow morning (starting at 7:15…ugh). It’s a “fun run;” no numbers or real competition, and it’s only 5 kilometers long (or 3 miles). I’ve been wanting to get into running competitions, though, so this should be the perfect opportunity.

And on a totally different tack, I was sort of shocked to see this ad pop up on an Angelfire banner ad. Sort of…I dunno, R-rated.

[Breast Examination banner ad]

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