[NTLK] [OT] Sandy threatens financial/economic Armageddon

James Fraser wheresthatistanbul-newtontalk at yahoo.com
Mon Oct 29 03:12:19 EDT 2012


>Was Bob's e-mail enjoyed, appreciated or even tolerated?  Plainly not.  

Statistically speaking, I'm not clear on whether it's possible to say that at this point.

If NewtonTalk has 100 subscribers (I'm guessing it has many more, but let's go with what I hope is a conservative estimate), we have, so far. heard from less than a dozen of them concerning the original post.  Which means that the thoughts and feelings of the other 88% are still a mystery.

The few mailing lists I'm (still allowed to be) a member of seem to have a couple of dozen people or so who are very vocal, and whose posts make up a great deal (if not most) of the list traffic.   This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the posts these folks write serve as nucleation points on which other people can focus their remarks.  Meanwhile, there is a much larger group of people who aren't heard from nearly as often, if at all (a "silent majority" if you will).  

There's no denying that, for *some* people, the original post was a source of consternation rather than delight (and fair enough).  However, without actually hearing from the "silent majority," I don't think it's fair to the original poster to make it sound as though his post had a negative impact on the list as a whole.  Meaning that, well, until we hear from a fair number of subscribers...

(and with the "about" page not being 100% operational right now: 


only Grant is likely to know what a "fair number" of NTLK subscribers is),

...the exact impact his post had on the list would appear to be an unknown quantity.  Of course, you could be entirely correct.  Personally, I feel a lot better having some supporting numbers before attempting to reach any conclusions about what an entire group of people is or is not thinking (as opposed to what I, myself, happen to be thinking). :)

>Another thing I learned is that a fair number of us hold at least a few >ideas/beliefs/theories/obsessions that some others of us consider "a
>bit strange".  

Seeing as how my own threshold for strange is pretty high (and rising all the time), I can't really contribute anything on the topic of what is "a bit strange" and what isn't.

However, one thing I've learned myself on the InterTubes is that you never know what kind of impact the things you write (or that someone else writes) will have.  So even though someone else's remarks might be "a bit strange," and not sit well with you, that doesn't necessarily mean that they're entirely without benefit to others.  Maybe someone on the East Coast saw BCD's post and it prompted them to head down to the hardware store and pick up a few things they needed?  Or flee the US entirely?  Or simply shake their heads in bafflement (I'll cop to the third one)?

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that everyone has a subject they're particularly excited about.  And while I may not share BCD's enthusiasm concerning recent weather events, I don't feel any the poorer for having read his remarks, even if I wasn't clear myself on what, exactly, the nub of the gist was.

>Not me of course; all my ideas/beliefs/theories/obsessions
>are absolutely rock-solid, sane, normal, and agreed upon by everyone here.
>I meant the rest of you folks.  B-)

For the record: you know that ceremony I conduct on the weekends?  The one with the half-dozen supermodels, the chanting, the belly button lint, and the Crisco-coated Slip 'n Slide?  Well, it's about to go mainstream (so there!). :P

>Could we return to our default of telling Bob we disagree with the >analysis of catastrophe he posted and why, and gently but firmly >reminding him that *The Destruction Of Life As We Know It* might not be >as relevant to Newtons as poutine?

Alternately, it's also possible to simply choose not to respond to a post or remark that one doesn't agree with.  This has the added benefit of making the particular thread die out that much sooner (as opposed to keeping it going as people respond to your response, etc.).

(I'm not saying it's an easy thing to do, only that it's a possibility that bears consideration.)

>PS -- I'm assuming his e-mail address hasn't been hacked or spoofed in >order to post some timely spam.  It wouldn't be the first time and if it >has been, all bets are off. 

I'm sure this sounds perfectly awful, but: if it was spam, the spam writer *really* needs to go back to spam writing school, seeing as how most spam leaves the reader in no doubt whatsoever about what they are being prompted to do (i.e. buy the chest expander being offered [or whatever]).  

Speaking for myself, the alternatives offered in *that* message seemed to be to either [reference to excretory function expunged] or go blind.  Maybe I just wasn't reading it right?  [shrugs]


James Fraser

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