Subject: AFU Survival Guide Date: 28 Feb 1993 05:21:23 GMT Summary: Excellent Introduction

---
Master Index Current Directory Index Go to SkepticTank Go to Human Rights activist Keith Henson Go to Scientology cult

Skeptic Tank!

From: twcaps@tennyson.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban Subject: AFU Survival Guide Date: 28 Feb 1993 05:21:23 GMT Organization: Department of Redundancy Department Lines: 174 Expires: 13 March 1993 Message-ID: <29310@dog.ee.lbl.gov> Reply-To: TWChan@lbl.gov (Terry Chan) NNTP-Posting-Host: 128.3.12.117 Summary: Excellent Introduction to Posting on AFU The following is a repost of Antony Cooper's excellent guide to posting on AFU. Suggested reading. Terry "But don't believe everything you read" Chan --------------------------------------------------------------------------- AFU SURVIVAL GUIDE 27 February 1993 A brief guide that should enable newbies with something to contribute, to do so without being flamed into submission. ********************************************************************** * First, the usual DISCLAIMER: * * ============================ * * While this survival guide might taste like chicken, it does not * * contain any rat's meat whatsoever. Also, it is such a turkey that * * if you leave it out in the rain, it will die. It was not written * * by Churchill or Disraeli (or was that Gladstone?), and Craig * * Shergold does not want an excellent collection of survival guides. * * The survival guide does not freeze, whether or not the Twinkie has * * been boiled, and it does not cost two-fifty. It is not the script * * of a snuff film about a CIA plot to transmit AIDS from humans to * * monkeys, nor do gerbils have 100 words for it, and it will not * * dissolve in Coke. Finally, the survival guide's pussy has not been * * tickled on TV, nor has it been found drugged, disguised and hidden * * in the lyrics of a Disney record played backwards. Film at 11. * * * * A FOAF has claimed that an impeccable source has assured them that * * there are absolutely no in-jokes in this survival guide, and that * * it is hilariously funny. * * * * While it would be nice if the CSIR had a passionate interest in * * AFU, nothing contained herein reflects their opinion or position * * on anything. I hope that the contents of this guide will ensure * * your survival here, but I could be completely wrong. * * Antony Cooper (acooper@nuustak.csir.co.za) * ********************************************************************** It is essential that you understand Usenet's netiquette before you post anything here. This probably sounds like trite and boring advice, but while you might survive sending a botched and messy posting to some newsgroups, you will not survive that easily here. There are many postings made to several newsgroups that explain netiquette, especially the groups news.announce.newusers, news.newusers.questions and news.answers, which include regular postings such as "Answers to frequently asked questions about Usenet" and "Emily Postnews answers your questions on netiquette". Believe it or not (a possible motto for this group), but reading these informative postings actually help ...... Read the FAQ! While it might be a bloody long document, and while your attention span might be measured in seconds (making the reading of the FAQ a difficult and tedious process), there is a lot of very interesting information contained therein. It is also a good guide as to what you should not post. Don't post in your first five minutes of gaining access to the newsgroup. While you might know something about the subject under discussion, you don't know what was said about the subject yesterday, or the day before, or last week, or last month. For example, thanks to about a hundred Americans who responded to a Canadian query about the slogan "54 40 or fight", I now know about the dispute over the western reaches of the USA/Canada boundary - but unfortunately, the responses included about 20 disparate versions of the story. There are a few of us here who have been reading this group for a while, at least since last year, and it is amazing how often the same thread comes up over and over. Of course, this is why there is a FAQ. Remember, there are many thousands of people who will read what you post, and quite a few of them will have encyclopaedias, dictionaries and other reference works near at hand. While such books or CD-ROMs do occasionally contain errors, you need to have reliable references to dispute them. Read the FAQ and watch your netiquette. Watch your grammar and spelling. Poor grammar and poor spelling has been known to make many posts ambiguous, if not actually unintelligible. I always have a dictionary close at hand when working on my computer, and while it will not eliminate every error that I might make, it will at least reduce the frequency of my errors. It also helps me understand those obtuse and ornate posts by the imitators of John Fowles. To understand some of the in-jokes here, you must know all about the Star Trek series in great detail, though of course, you must not actually be a fan of Star Trek, otherwise you might take this news group (and others) far too seriously. Now, I don't catch all of the Star Trek jokes because I dimly recall seeing only one or two episodes of it (it was a sort-of rip off of the Star Wars movies, wasn't it?), but such is life. Speaking of which, don't panic if you do not catch all the jokes the first time you read them - and don't post here asking for them to be explained. After all, while you might think that you have been reading news groups for a long time, you will probably be reading them for years and years to come (that is, of course, if the Death of the Net is not imminent), so let each joke reveal itself to you in the due course of time. That way, you can savour each new revelation, and you will have lots of things to look forward to in the years to come (or are you one of those people who only play adventure games when you have been told all the secrets on how to win?). For example, certain terms are common here. You might be tempted to enquire after the meaning of words such as the following: Furrfu FOAF AFU ObUL T Kibo FAQ While you might or might not be flamed for such a query, the responses that you will elicit might not be as informative as you might have anticipated. However, hidden in them might be the answer you desire (These are also what are known as "in jokes"). Rather, let some other newbie post the query, and you can chuckle at the responses they receive (while you silently note the answers to your queries). Relax, think about what you are posting, and rather describe the story you wish to relate as a rumour rather than gospel fact, if indeed it is. Try to make your posting interesting, informative and/or witty (OK, so this posting fails those criteria). Don't adopt an inflexible attitude on the story, otherwise your errors will be treated with minimal kindness. Don't flame, unless you really know what you are doing - even the net.deities have been known to misread a post and flame in error. Try to keep the invectives under control. Like similar newsgroups, this newsgroup is a bit of a clique with its own culture, in-jokes and net.deities (are there any sociologists out there studying life in a news group?), but it is always looking for new participants to contribute new and interesting threads. So, once you feel that you have caught the vibe of this group, trust your instincts (if they are trustworthy), and contribute a great maiden posting. If you are a bit nervous, you could always try it out on a net.deity near you. If you think you have an interesting variation on an urban legend already noted in the FAQ, please feel free to share, subject to the considerations mentioned above. Don't brag about being the first newbie who has been diligent enough to have studied the FAQ, the netiquette documents, the survival guide, and the postings to this news group for months before posting - you are not. Some of the net.deities in this group might feel that this survival guide is inappropriate as it will reduce the number of careless newbies who post garbage without thinking, and hence some of them might feel that it will take the fun out of this news group. However, there is no danger of that as no one takes seriously advice proffered on news groups, least of all advice on how to post. After all, its worth what they pay for it. [I don't worry about it. All the more reason to flame people when they do end up posting garbage without thinking. - tc] Happy AFUing! Antony -- Antony Cooper | Voice: +27 12 841 4121 acooper@nuustak.csir.co.za | Fax: +27 12 841 3037 INFOTEK, CSIR, Box 395, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa | ICBM: 25 45S 28 16E [Posted with very minor tweaks by Terry Chan on 27 February 1993. First edition posted 6 February 1993 by Antony Cooper.] -- Energy and Environment Division | Internet: TWChan@lbl.gov Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory | Berkeley, California USA 94720 | Yeah, right.

---

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank