Christmas Interruptions (and SPAM)

Steven R. Newcomb srn at
Tue Dec 23 19:24:01 GMT 1997

I hope this is the VERY LAST comment on the excrement in our
mailboxes.  (Sorry, Peter, this needs to be said.  You can't shoulder
the burden that we must each shoulder ourselves.)

> ... take immediate
> action which might well involve us instituting more complex (and therefore
> costly) procedures.

No.  As a practical matter, where obnoxious anonymous speech is
concerned, there are only two choices: respond with counteracting
speech, or pretend it's not happening and wait for it to stop.

The former choice, responding with more speech, is at best a waste of
our time.  Nobody on this list is persuaded by this infantilism
anyway, so there's nothing to counteract.

The latter choice is the best: pretend it's not happening.  Delete and
forget, in one quick motion.  Send no replies.  Do not forward
anything to anyone.  Do not discuss it with anyone, publicly or
privately.  Take no action whatsoever.  It is a scientifically proven
fact that positive and negative reinforcement are both reinforcement.
In other words, any reaction whatsoever, positive or negative, is
likely to reinforce a childish bad behavior.  The more we react to
these notes, the more likely we are to receive more such notes.  So
far, even by discussing this, we are giving this person exactly what
he wants.  Let's stop reinforcing the poor boob.  The bad behavior
will eventually cease, and we all will have lost the least possible
time and effort.  To take any other course is to consume scarce
resources and produce nothing.


Steven R. Newcomb, President, TechnoTeacher, Inc.
srn at

voice: +1 972 231 4098
fax    +1 972 994 0087

3615 Tanner Lane
Richardson, Texas 75082-2618 USA

xml-dev: A list for W3C XML Developers. To post, mailto:xml-dev at
Archived as:
To (un)subscribe, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
(un)subscribe xml-dev
To subscribe to the digests, mailto:majordomo at the following message;
subscribe xml-dev-digest
List coordinator, Henry Rzepa (mailto:rzepa at

More information about the Xml-dev mailing list