Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Silence and Wind

I got up Sunday and I wasn't sweating. The kitchen floor was uncomfortably cool on my bare feet. It was like suddenly being in a different country. Unfortunately, the winds that brought this coolness did not bring rain, and made wildfires harder to control. We and ours were not in any danger, though we have some friends who were uncomfortably close to some of the fires.

Excuse the week of silence. Health crap, plus for part of the time, A Mood. Sometimes we just shouldn't talk in public. Often we do anyway, and our best course of action is to apologize and move on. As some wise person on one of my newsgroups somewhere said sometime or other, "We're all jerks on the internet once in awhile." But learning to recognize when we're prone to it, and keeping our hands off the keyboard, saves time and stress and people randomly coming across something we regret saying in a google search ten years down the line. If you're not willing to see it in print with your name under, don't write it down.

Of course we all know people on newsgroups who regard apologizing and moving on as - I'm not sure what, weakness perhaps. You know who I'm talking about. I recently had to put someone on ignore on a newsgroup, to prevent attempts to bully me in PM (like I hadn't gotten enough of that kind of behavior in middle school), and I gather from matter from this person's posts which gets quoted in other people's posts that I am now being pursued and insulted in public. Because that's supposed to make everyone else on the newsgroup hate me, I suppose. That it's tiresome for everyone but the would-be bully never seems to occur to her/him/it.

I often see flamewars degenerate into the worst offender taking on the group's moderators who are trying to make things civil again as attempting to limit his free speech. "I can say anything I want!" seems to be the be-all and end-all of this right to some people. Well, yes, you can. But - is it, in any given case, wise? Or kind? Or interesting? Because even sociopaths will turn against your vitriol if you commit the cardinal sin of being dull.

Now, off to see if I can be productive today.

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