[Techtalk] Politeness and the purpose of Techtalk

gebhard dettmar gebhard.dettmar at student.hu-berlin.de
Sun Oct 31 09:51:31 EST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Saturday 30 October 2004 20:21, Piglet wrote:
> Hmmm, it seems to me that every time this discussion comes up, it's
> about the list having gone thru a bit of time where the answers have
> started to be either *mostly* by men or *mostly* by one man.
Once again Hmm ;-). But seriously, I don't really look through anymore. It 
seems to me there are two directions now: one like you (too many answers 
by the oh so clever, superior male sex (unfortunately that's true)) and 
one like e.g. Carla who wrote
- --snip--
And it might be good to re-read Val's original post on Oct 27, 'Politeness 
and the purpose of Techtalk,' which started this whole discussion.
- --snap--
The thing is: in the original post the list admin said explicitly
- --snip--
I've received several complaints about emails on this list being
insulting, arrogant, or rude.
- --snap--
She also said (this goes in your direction):
- --snip--
Don't dominate the list.  If you answer questions a lot, please
wait a day or two before answering a question to give other people on
the list a chance to answer.  This is similar to not answering all the
questions asked by a teacher in a class, or not dominating the
conversation at dinner.  It's just polite.
- --snap--
But insulting, arrogant, rude postings are a bit more serious matter than 
the typical male posing/profiling 
> I don't think anyone's said squat about a serious proposal of "men are
> not allowed to answer questions."
David said, but, i think, not because he liked the idea but because he 
felt a bit uncomfortable with suggestions like not sending male newbies to 
techtalk anymore and answers like: there must be other non gender based 
but newbie-friendly places. I mean, this can really make one feel a bit 
> Let me put it this way: there is a social pattern in the world outside
> Chix that's been around for hundreds and thousands of years:
> "you dumb little women can ask questions and we big strong men will
> answer them for you."
> Since that's the antithesis of what Chix is about, I'm not sure why
> anyone would get upset with any of the women (or men, for that matter)
> here calling "Whoa, time out" when she sees that a list is falling into
> exactly that pattern.
> The two primary points I've heard have been "guys, please don't rush to
> pounce on every question first; let's have some time for
> answers-by-women" and "hmm, can we have more *questions* by guys"---
> instead of guys appearing as 'I'm here to help you because I know all
> the answers", how about a more egalitarian level of "I don't know
> everything, you don't know everything, let's help each other."
> The only two really productive responses to those points are "Hmm, I'll
> try to watch for that" or "No, that sucks, I'm outta here."
That's absolutely true. But, as I said above, I understood the matter 
being discussed here in a different way: rude, insulting postings --> no 
more male newbies here --> David' mail that described matters qite similar 
to yours in the 'women are clueless about whatever' section but was then 
lead to the 'no answering'-suggestion to which I wanted to point (a bit 
ironically, I should have added a ;-) to the underlying implications of 
such a solution and the consequence (women-only) 
> Responses of "I did too ask a question, in October of 2001" or getting
> snarky because "how dare you say "guys" when not *every* guy here is a
> problem" aren't productive.  If nobody's said to you, on or off list
> "Hey, you're the problem", then there's no point in taking it as a
> personal shot: it's a "hey, we all need to work on this a bit", not
> guy-bashing or you-personally-bashing.
<smile>Well, of course I'd love to be the problem. I'd love to post answer 
after answer up to the point you write me:
C'mon Gebhard! Give us a break. We all can tell from your brilliant 
postings you must hold several degrees in computer sciences. But this is 
not the 'Ladies ask - Gebhard answers-List. 
But unfortunately ... my lack of knowledge doesn't allow me ...</smile>
Just to add a little humour to this unpleasant matter: You know those 'big 
car, big HiFi, fast computer'-type of guys. in my other Linux-list, 
debian-user-german, one guy once seriously asked for a script that reads 
systeminformations and generates a picture that he wanted to use as 
signature. Nobody knew what he wanted but anyway, this was the first reply:

- --snip--
harald at shadowland:~$ cat bin/dicksize.sh
echo `uptime|grep days|sed 's/.*up \([0-9]*\) day.*/\1\/10+/'; \
cat /proc/cpuinfo|grep MHz|awk '{print $4"/30 +";}'; free|grep '^Mem' \
| awk '{print $3"/1024/3+"}'; df -P -k -x nfs | grep -v 1k \
| awk '{if ($1 ~ "/dev/(scsi|sd)"){ s+= $2} s+= $2;} END \
{print s/1024/50"/15+70";}'`|bc|sed 's/\(.$\)/.\1cm/'

harald at shadowland:~$ dicksize.sh 


- --snap--
> It's a two part issue being brought up: not only a "hey, guys, back off
> a bit" but "hey, women, speak up a bit."  If you get huffy about half of
> that, you never even see the other half.
> --pig
keep smiling
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