[sf-lug] Cancellation, Pls.

Stefano Maffulli smaffulli at gmail.com
Sun Jan 25 11:29:11 PST 2015

I can relate to Rick's feelings but I keep thinking that requests like
"unsubscribe" are a symptom of something we (the Internet early
citizens) screwed up.

I, like Rick, have been around the block for many moons, I have
administered hundreds of lists, I have been told "RTFM" many times in
the old days when Internet was domain of people who *actually* read
the manuals (and a high % of those people actually *wrote* such
manuals). Reading questions like "unsubscribe me please" feels very

But then I think how horribly behind and clumsy email clients have
stayed since the old days. They even got worse. Mailman by default
sends unsubscribe instructions but *hides them in the headers*. How
screwed up is that? No email client shows headers and no email client
that I know of makes any use of that information. A popular email
client like Gmail sometimes even *hides the footer* added by mailman.
This behaviour is not the newbie's fault: it's our fault. It's us, the
long time hackers, who failed at evolving our tools and bring them
into the twentytens.

Email (smtp+imap) is a magical tool that enables communication truly
across the world, across cultures and people and various technologies.
Only email so far is the truly cross-platform, federated, universal
communication system we have and we (the old-time, tech community)
have failed to make it any easier to use and adopt than the 80s. The
proliferation of communications via very large walled gardens like
wazzup are a direct consequence of email (clients, mostly) failing to
become smart and effective to use.

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM, jim <jim at well.com> wrote:
>     My guess is that the (very) few people who
> ask the list to remove them are ignorant of
> the easy conventions and techniques to use
> to do things. Such people join lists as their
> first forays into ListWorlds and need to learn.
>     There do not seem to be any obvious signs
> to guide them into what are easy and
> important considerations.
>     List members might consider responding
> to such requests with a message along the
> lines of "you're supposed to do <THIS>
> yourself; here's how: <HOW>." I think
> being kind is the right tone--it's likely the
> person is ignorant and needs a little insight
> (more than technical howto). Note that a
> kindly response has some chance of keeping
> good will among others.
> On 01/25/2015 12:45 AM, Rick Moen wrote:
>> Quoting Christian Einfeldt (einfeldt at gmail.com):
>>> Jim, that was a nice, straightforward, non-sarcastic, non-snarky piece of
>>> advise for someone who probably is not all that facile with computers and
>>> mailing lists.
>> People who can't figure out how to unsubscribe from mailing lists really
>> should not subscribe to them until they've grasped the basics -- or
>> maybe bothered to Google-search 'leave mailing list'.  Or bothered
>> to visit the URL at the bottom of each and every posting, which page
>> provides Web-based unsubscribing.
>> You know what I think _is_ really rude?  Writing to hundreds of fellow
>> subscribers to seek personal help with leaving the mailing list (which
>> help they cannot actually provide), instead of writing directly to the
>> listadmin (who can).
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