Meta-question: anonymity makes me cranky

Fellow mongrelians,

forgive a slightly off-topic rant; my hope is that it can lead to a
better
world.

In the past few months, I have seen an increase in “anonymous” questions
on
this list, “anonymous” in the sense that the sender names do not
resemble
real human names, and also in the sense that the messages have not been
signed. Just today, we have seen “Geek M. [email protected]” and
“gmail <
[email protected]>”, neither of whom signed their questions.[1] In the
past
months, there have been many more.

Of course, each individual may have good reason not to disclose his or
her
name and affiliation, but they don’t say so. And frankly, I’m not
terribly
inclined to help someone who doesn’t introduce himself and doesn’t greet
me
or say goodbye at the end of his message. In fact, unless you all tell
me
that I’m a sour old git, I will not answer anonymous pleas for help in
the
future.[2] It might be that my reaction is more anti-social than their
lack
of manners (as I perceive it), but at least I’m not making people cranky
by
shutting up.

My ceasing to answer anonymous questions won’t lead to a huge dip in the
traffic on this list, of course, but perhaps others have already reacted
in
the same way, and we are missing a lot of good traffic already. What do
you
think?

Best regards,

/David

[1] I don’t feel that I’m pointing fingers here, because I can’t see
whom I
am pointing at.

On Nov 7, 2007, at 9:14 AM, David V. wrote:

[1] I don’t feel that I’m pointing fingers here, because I can’t
see whom I am pointing at.

See? I can change two lines in my email client and I’m you! (Note:
this is HORRIBLE MANNERS… but essential to remember. Also, you can
usually examine the mail headers to see where a message was sent
from, though this has its own shortcomings…)

Anyhow, my offtopic diversion is now over, and I’ll go back to being
me before I accidentally answer mail as David :wink:

My take: don’t sweat the anonymous questions.

Cheers,
-Nate…?

On Nov 7, 2007, at 9:14 AM, David V. wrote:

My ceasing to answer anonymous questions won’t lead to a huge dip
in the
traffic on this list, of course, but perhaps others have already
reacted in
the same way, and we are missing a lot of good traffic already.
What do you
think?

I think that SMTP makes absolutely no guarantee that I am actually
Nathan V. [email protected], nor that you are actually David V.
[email protected]. All unsigned email is fundamentally unverified
and should be treated as though it’s essentially anonymous.

It’s all good and nice to put in a real name in your email client…
but how would anyone know if you’re lying?

Cheers,
-Nate…?

I think everybody should be required to be MUDCRAP-CE before being able
to post…

Joe

On Wed, 7 Nov 2007 09:47:50 -0600
Nathan V. [email protected] wrote:

I think that SMTP makes absolutely no guarantee that I am actually
Nathan V. [email protected], nor that you are actually David V.
[email protected]. All unsigned email is fundamentally unverified
and should be treated as though it’s essentially anonymous.

It’s all good and nice to put in a real name in your email client…
but how would anyone know if you’re lying?

Yep, and most of the anonymous questions are good questions without any
astroturfing or trolling. Be thankful this isn’t the many other ruby
lists where the problem is combined with griefers.

Now if I can just get back to working on Utu.


Zed A. Shaw