[sf-lug] On hearing the sounds crickets make

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Sun Feb 1 15:33:18 PST 2015

Quoting Jim Stockford (jim at well.com):

>    Per the example asking if Michael
>    should also receive weekly data, I think that's a
>    great idea, but also think that Michael should
>    respond, not I.

The reason I ask you is:  You're the listadmin (and SF-LUG founder).
(See near bottom of this message for incontrovertible proof that you are
the listadmin despite any rhetoric to the contrary.)  Impliedly, I was
also asking, basically, who should get the roster.  I finally took
initiative on my own to ensure that _someone_ got it, that being you by
default (you being listadmin).  I figured further refinement should be
as decided by you -- or whoever else I'm told should be consulted.

>        (Let me add: I am quite grateful to Rick for
>    creating this weekly dump!)

Yr. welcome.  Past time that I did it, and, as you saw, it was really
dead simple.  (Really the only significant trick to writing lines in
cron jobs is to remember that crond runs with a very impverised
environment and you cannot assume things are in its environment space
that are in yours.  In particular, you should always fully qualify the
pathnames you use, as $PATH typically has no useful contents in the cron
runtime environment.)

> * The nature of the observations preceding crickets
>    strikes me as less straightforwardly technical and
>    with a "human behavior" element that's less
>    prominent in discussions on conspire and svlug.

'I'm sorry, I don't understand your question' or 'Would you mind further
explaining [foo] before I try to address that?' strike me as better
alternatives to comprehensively ignoring someone who's trying to help

> Back to the overwhelm part.

Also 'I want to comment on that, but am under a pile of things and need
to get back to you' strikes me as a better alternative to
comprehensively ignoring someone who's trying to help you.

>     I've had cricket experiences, too. I've occasionally
> asked if anyone would like to participate in working
> on a project, primarily as a learning experience, to
> build skills.

One difference is, in every case I cited, I had directly asked a polite
question to a _specific person_.

> JS: I have no idea why to use this feature. I know of no one to whom
> it seems appropriate to send such an invitation. Seems to me best to
> let people use the URL for signing up.

Because it's a markedly streamlined process.  

Normally, joining requires a request (via Web or e-mail), followed by a
confirmation notice from the mailing list software, followed by a
requirement that the user confirm that the request actually came for
him/her.  This is called a three-way handshake confirmation processs.

The 'invitation' method streamlines the process to a two-step one
instead of a three-step one.  You as listadmin induce the mailing list
software to send out invitation e-mails to a roster of people.  Each
person receives a customised notice that includes a custom acceptance
URL.  The user loads that URL if he/she wishes to join, and immediately
becomes a member.

The attraction is less bureaucracy for both parties.

My understand that you-plural have a roster of people who you-plural
think ought to be mailing list members.  The 'invite' is the obvious and
most effective way to deal with that problem.

> >JS: at the time, VM seemed beyond me....

It's a whole lot simpler than dual-boot, which is why it's a
head-scratcher when I keep seeing people juggling accident-prone
bootloader setups -- when instlling VirtualBox, for example, is just
running through a slick graphical installer without needing to even
decide anything.

What you mean is you never _tried_, and just assumed it was 'beyond you'.
Which, in turn, is the sort of thing suggesting that I ought to give up
trying to help you, given that you keep ignoring useful suggestions
without making the least effort to even try them.

I don't attempt to help you with the _specific_ aim of wasting my time,
and there are other people who actuall do listen whom I can spend time
helping, instead.

And the point is that not merely that you didn't attempt what I
suggested, but that -- as in other cases cited -- you (or in some cases 
the other SF-LUG person in question) didn't even bother to acknowledge
what I said.  Crickets in all cases.

> For my purposes, even now, I perceive no need for VM.

Sounds crazy to me, given that problems people have with dual-boot and
the disruption to workflow that happens inevitably every time you switch
to the other OS.  However, I'm certainly not going to twist your arm.

If it's possible that I've somehow managed not to be clear about why
dual-boot is usually a bad mistake, maybe I'll get around to an essay on
that for my Web pages.

> >JS: more overwhelm. I see no need to learn PGP keysigning. 

The point is that the person I was replying to _did_ see a need -- and
said it would be a 'good idea', but, the moment I referred him to a
couple of detailed guides telling him exactly to do it, he neither did
anything whatsoever nor responded to my help.

>JS: I can sympathize with the fear that killing init would totally hose
>my system, make it unbootable, create CPU overload that burns out all
>traces on the motherboard, etc.

I can't.

Why would killing any process whatsoever risk making the box unbootable?
Killing a process doesn't even write anything to disk.  It just kills
the process.  The point is, at worst, you reboot.

If you treat your Linux installation as if it were made of glass, you'll
never learn anything.  And yet, even as you imagine that attempting to
kill init would be dangerous, which it couldn't be even if it were
successful, you have no fear of fooling around with dual-boot
configurations, which obviously _is_ dangerous?  This doesn't make any
sense whatsoever.

And why would you think I'd suggest something that might 'burn out all
traces on the motherboard' through some bizarre magic I cannot even
begin to understand, anyway?  You think I'm trying to destroy people's
hardware?  Does this sound sensible to you?  Really?

>JS: I think this is a little off base. I am, if anything, willing to
>drive to places to help people accomplish stuff. I've occasionally
>offered to drive to Rick's place and bring things or help work on
>things. Mainly my focus is on "carrying hod", which is to say to take
>on necessary but boring, non-technical aspects such as carrying
>equipment, going to the store, supplying food, etc. Also, I did not
>percieve a proposed day-time so in my mind the proposal was to some
>degree floating. Rick, I don't think it's right to suggest that I don't
>get off my duff; I get off my duff for some things and not others. In
>short, probably a sense of overwhelm and distraction.

Methinks you protest _way_ too much.  You asked me to go to extra steps
to help you compensate for your utter failure to do timely backups
during the many years I pleaded with you to do so.  And instead of
giving you the brush-off, I said yes, told you exactly how that could be
done, and waited for a reply about coming down and getting the data.

The point isn't merely that nobody (you included) drove down.  The point
is that nobody _either_ drove down or even acknowledged my offer.  It
seemed as if you lost interest the moment it became a task that required
your participation rather than all work being offloaded onto me as if I
were your unpaid servant.

And this is part of the pattern.  You guys ask me for things or ask me
for questions.  I give you help and complete answers.  *I* ask for
anything, and I get... crickets.

You say this asymmetry and piss-poor response to my hospitality is
because you're 'overwhelmed'.  Uh-huh.  You sure you want to go with


> >JS: I have a dovecot web page about mbox format open; I'm still
> >reading and re-reading, wondering here and there what it's talking
> >about, hoping I might be able to understand the format well enough to
> >create the desired email in mbox format. 

Dude.  Just import it into Thunderbird.  That's an mbox.

No index or metafiles needed.  Just the mbox.  It typically is given a
filename extension of '.mbox'.

When I said 'an mbox file', I meant an mbox file.  Not indexes, not some
other marching brass band.  _A file._  Specifically, an mbox file.  This
actually isn't complex.

>JS: yes it would, but I'm just one person in this group. I have no
>special status other than a kind of data janitor. 

Look at http://linuxmafia.com/mailman/listinfo/sf-lug  .  See what it
says at the bottom?  You're the listadmin.

This should not be news to you, as it's been true continuously for ten
years.   And we've been over it a number of times.

If you don't want to be listadmin, you can make someone else be it.  But
at the moment, you're The Man.  Don't say you aren't, because I can just
point to that page and say 'Reality does not concur.'

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