The Karma of Inappropriate Posting

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The Karma of Inappropriate Posting

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Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1993 16:32:03 -0800
From: (Michael 'Mickey' Sattler)

The following parable may shed some light on the karmic consequences of your net.behavior. In my humble opinion it's worth-while even though it doesn't mention email chain-letters.

Date: 10 Dec 1993 21:26:48 GMT
Subject: [comp.sys.amiga.advocacy] Pearly Gates

A woman approached the Pearly Gates, and Saint Peter asked for her social security number. The woman told him, and Saint Peter typed on his workstation:

pearly-gates:~/peter> grep 212-53-6432 /earth/human/status

The computer responded:

212-53-6432  Cindy Smith!earth naughty

Saint Peter then told her she was eternally damned, and that a minivan to hell would be arriving shortly. Cindy began to protest "but what did I do wrong? I loved my fellow neighbor as I loved myself, I was a kind, warm, gentle person! Surely there must be a mistake!" So, Saint Peter looked up on the files, and saw, lo and behold that she truly was a kind, warm, gentle person...until he saw the entry for jan 7, 1992-earth, which read:

DAMNABLE VIOLATION #69  Posted irrelevent article to newsgroup.

After probing a little more, Saint Peter explained to the woman "It seems that on Janurary 7, 1992 you posted an article to alt.religion.computers. This article gave no praise of Emacs, no snide remarks toward Microsoft, and not even a comment on the proper definition of 'hacker'! In fact, the article was not even relating to computers at all, and discussed, of all things, human religion! There wasn't even a reference to Bob or Discordianism, Zen, or the Tao of programming. Oh dear, this is terrible."

"You see, heaven is a perfect place, and we only have room for the most perfect people. Ever since we ran the T-3 line up from New Jersey we've been particularly harsh on breakers of netiquette. Didn't you read RFC-23654? The one proposing commandments 11 through 15?"

He opened up an XTerm window and searched for some files. After a few moments, the laser printer spat out a crisp sheet of paper. It read:

11: Thou shalt not flame spelling or grammer.
12: Thou shalt not have a .sig file longer than 3 lines.
13: Thou shalt not send "All fags must die" messages to 19 random groups.
14: Thou shalt not request post a frequently asked question.
15: Thou shalt not post to a group without first reading a week's worth of posts, thereby avoiding irrelevent articles.

When she was done, she began to stammer, but Saint Peter stopped her, saying "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do. To register a complaint, you'll have to send mail to

We have a group of cherubum who manage such requests. But don't send it to

otherwise your request will be distribute to the whole mailing list. They hate that! In fact, there's some discussion about making that the 16th commandment..."

At that point, a Dodge minivan drove up and came to a stop. Satan, in the form of an IBM salesperson, stepped out. "Welcome!", she said. "We've been waiting for you...." Cindy, almost in a trance, stepped into the minivan and was wisked away to the netherworld, a world of COBOL, System 36's, punch cards, incompatible network standards, and irresponsible news posters.

Satan turned to Cindy, and smiled. "You'll like it here", she said, "We have netnews, but we've greatly simplified it. We have only one group. It's!"

Michael 'Mickey' Sattler, KE6DZF |  All that is required  |  Encrypt now; ask me how.
Digital Jungle Software |  for evil to triumph   |  Finger for PGP key.   | is for {wo}men of good |  GCSy+n+f+g+t+d--p--c++u+
    +1.415.***.****     |   will to do nothing.  |  e+m++s++/rhw!l

Have you found errors nontrivial or marginal, factual, analytical and illogical, arithmetical, temporal, or even typographical? Please let me know; drop me email. Thanks!

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