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How To Make Things Appear More Dramatic

From: cbbrowne(at)cbbrowne(dot)com
To: pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: How To Make Things Appear More Dramatic
Date: 2002-08-26 18:34:02
Message-ID: 20020826183402.3CFC23D705@cbbrowne.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
> An alarmist style when posting a serious error is a good idea.  "Hey
> guys, I found a possible problem..."  Does not seem to generate the
> needed level of excitement.  DOS attacks means that business stops.  I
> think that should generate a furrowed brow, to say the least.

Obviously people have forgotten past history.  The Symbolics guys had
_great_ techniques for this that were well documented:

It is considered artful to append many messages on a subject, leaving
only the most inflammatory lines from each, and reply to all in one
swift blow.  The choice of lines to support your argument can make or
break your case.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
State opinions in the syntax of fact: "...as well as the bug in LMFS
where you have to expunge directories to get rid of files....."
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
People can be set wondering by loading obscure personal patchable
systems, and sending bug reports.  Who would not stop and wonder upon
seeing "Experimental TD80-TAPE 1.17, MegaDeath 2.5..."?  The same for
provocatively-named functions and variables in stack traces.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Know the list of "large, chronic problems".  If there is any problem
with the window system, blame it on the activity system.  Any lack of
user functionality should be attributed to the lack of a command
processor.  A suprisingly large number of people will believe that you
have thought in depth about the issue to which you are alluding when you
do.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Know how to blow any problem up into insolubility.  Know how to use the
phrase "The new ~A system" to insult its argument, e.g., "I guess this
destructuring LET thing is fixed in the new Lisp system", or better yet,
PROLOG.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Never hit someone head on, always sideswipe.  Never say, "Foo's last
patch was brain-damaged", but rather, "While fixing the miscellaneous
bugs in 243.xyz [foo's patch], I found...."
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Idiosyncratic indentations, double-spacing, capitalization, etc., while
stamps of individuality, leave one an easy target for parody.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Strong language gets results.  "The  reloader is completely broken  in
242" will open  a lot more eyes than  "The reloader doesn't load files
with intermixed spaces, asterisks,  and <'s in   their names that  are
bigger than 64K".  You can always say the latter in a later paragraph.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Including a destination in the CC list that will cause the recipients'
mailer to blow out is a good way to stifle dissent.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
When  replying, it  is  often possible  to cleverly edit  the original
message in such a way  as to subtly alter  its meaning or tone to your
advantage while  appearing that you are  taking pains  to preserve the
author's intent.   As a   bonus,   it will   seem that your   superior
intellect is cutting through all the excess verbiage to the very heart
of the matter.  -- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Referring to undocumented  private communications allows one to  claim
virtually anything: "we discussed this idea in  our working group last
year, and concluded that it was totally brain-damaged".
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Points  are awarded for   getting   the last   word in.   Drawing  the
conversation out so long  that the original  message disappears due to
being indented off the right hand edge of the screen is  one way to do
this.  Another is to imply that  anyone replying further is a hopeless
cretin and is wasting everyone's valuable time.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Keeping a secret "Hall Of Flame" file  of people's mail indiscretions,
or copying messages to  private mailing lists for subsequent derision,
is good  fun  and also  a worthwhile  investment  in case  you need to
blackmail  the senders later.   -- from  the Symbolics Guidelines  for
Sending Mail
%
Users should cultivate an ability to make the simplest molehill into a
mountain   by   finding   controversial interpretations   of innocuous
sounding statements that the sender never intended or imagined.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Obversely, a lot of  verbal mileage can  also be gotten by sending out
incomprehensible, cryptic,  confusing or unintelligible  messages, and
then iteratively  "correcting"  the "mistaken  interpretations" in the
replys.  -- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Trivialize   a user's bug report  by  pointing out that   it was fixed
independently long ago in a system that hasn't been released yet.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
%
Send  messages calling for fonts  not  available to the  recipient(s).
This can (in the case of Zmail) totally disable the user's machine and
mail system for up to a whole day in some circumstances.
-- from the Symbolics Guidelines for Sending Mail
--
(concatenate 'string "aa454" "@freenet.carleton.ca")
http://cbbrowne.com/info/emacs.html
Frisbeetarianism: The belief that when  you die, your  soul goes up on
the roof and gets stuck...



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