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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Lurkers
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Apr 2002 04:52:45 -0500

On Thu, 4 Apr 2002 21:03:16 -0500, "EL" <> wrote:

>I've only been lurking for a few months -- just enough time to find out that
>we've done it All Wrong and to know that delurking will be an invitation to
>get slammed.


>And fourth, we plan on camping with our two small (45 pounds and 80 pounds)
>exceptionally well-behaved dogs (well-behaved is an exception in their

well, you were doing OK til you got to that.  Could I help you sell
your camper or your dogs?....

>Even though we did it All Wrong, we had a great trip, loved the trailer, and
>look forward to many more exciting trips.

EL, let me pass along a lesson I learned early in my professional
career.  My first mentor was a crusty old EE who was one of the
sharpest engineers I've ever met.  I was still somewhat wet behind the
ears as an engineer.  I had been out in the plant and had taken some
abuse from the blue collar types (remember these are the people who
are NOT educated).  I came back to the office highly upset.

My mentor took me aside and told me this.  He said "You know, John,
people can't get under your skin unless you give them standing to do
so."  In other words, by letting those hourly types get to me, I was
either elevating them up to my standing or lowering myself down to

That revelation just totally changed both my professional career and
my life.  It made me realize several things.  First, don't let the
underlings bother me.  They have no standing to do so.  Second, the
uneducated and unskilled types verbally assault their superiors in an
effort to pull them down to their level.  If you respond or even
acknowledge their catcalls, you've allowed them to succeed.

This business model, where the achievers rise and the rest sink down
into the ooze, also works outside of work.  Take this newsgroup, for
example.  As opposed, say, a computer language or other professional
group, this one attracts even the lowest class to stick their heads up
out of the ooze and try to achieve standing with the rest of us.

If you look at the ones who are the most offensive (easy to do using
google since these folks tend to brag about even the most minor
achievement), you quickly discover common threads.  Little or no
education beyond high school and no professional or personal
achievement.  You quickly find that this quite closely correlates with
the quality and accuracy of advice offered.

In a professional environment, you wouldn't hang around with the
custodians or laborers.  You'd want to associate with your peers and
exclude those beneath you.  You can do the same thing on Usenet, only
much more easily, by using kill files (sometimes called filters.)
Almost all usenet readers have some facility, though the quality
varies widely.

The best readers assume you won't want to read most of what is on the
net and therefor make it easy to filter the stream.  In fact, one of
my favorite readers is called "No News".  One of my favorite windows
hosted readers is Agent.  That's what I'm using right now.  It makes
filtering through all the trash to find the few jewels very easy.
Agent has a free version if you want to try it out.

Of course you need to set up your filters.  You can filter both author
and suject/thread.  Since threads normally descent into the ooze after
a couple of levels, I usually kill the thread quickly.  I was just
about to kill this thread when I ran across your post.

You'll want to kill some of the worst miscreants outright.  Agent can
do that very easily and can apply the kill across ALL groups.  Some of
the worst are fairly obvious.  Others go through phases (alcoholic
relapse, perhaps?)  Agent handles that well too.  Kill filters can be
set to either permanent or given an expiration date.  I have a list of
people who are permanently killed and another list of those who
occasionally need a "cooling off period."  I'd be more than happy to
provide you my lists.  Write me off-list.

Once you implement a good filtering system, this group takes on a
whole new and pleasant complexion.

BTW, those of us who really try to help will try to show you a better
way but we won't call you names or call you an idiot for doing it
another way.  That's what separates the truly helpful from the posers.

>In all seriousness, this newsgroup has been a wonderful resource (and a
>continuing source of amusement) in this entire process -- thank you all for
>sharing your hard won lessons so freely.
>"Steph and Dud B." <> wrote in message
>> Recently a few lurkers have popped out of their duck blinds to ask
>> questions or make comments (which is great).  One said he had been
>> lurking here for a few years before finally making his first post.  I
>> find that amazing! Makes me wonder how many other lurkers are out
>> there, hands kept well away from their keyboards, watching the
>> foolishness here like Star Trek characters obeying the Prime Directive.
>>  So how about it lurkers - you out there??
>> --
>> Dudley -
>> I'm not paranoid - I KNOW we're being watched  :-)

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: OT Elitism
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 00:43:44 -0400

On 7 Apr 2002 16:27:06 -0500, Jim Redelfs <> wrote:

>In article <Lb2s8.29139$>,
> "Wade" <No> wrote:
>> Perhaps that explains the reason for the melt down of the Three Island
>> Nuclear Plant.
>Hmmmmm...  That invokes some thought, to be sure.
>First of all, TMI did *NOT* experience a meltdown.  I'm not sure it
>could even be called "close".  They experienced some cracked fuel rods
>and vented a small amount of radioactive steam, but that was about it.

Yep, that's pretty close.  See my previous post in this thread.

>And that was surely MORE than enough.   <whew>

Actually, had this been a chemical or steel plant instead of a nuclear plant,
an incident of the TMI magnitude wouldn't even have merited a press release.

>Secondly, it's just as likely that the engineers and "grunts" working
>well together PREVENTED a meltdown.

No, actually the inherently safe engineered safeguards kept the core from
melting in spite of everything the operators did.

But yes, after the accident, we all did work together quite well during the
recovery.  Except for that pesky wildcat strike by the IBEW.  I volunteered to
be locked in (to avoid crossing the picket line) and had a ball.  Six of us
engineers worked out a 6 week "backlog" of instrument shop work orders in
about a week.  Didn't make the 40 man instrument shop look very well though.

Anyway, TMI was a lot of fun. Between the background checks required of
everyone and the fairly stringent certifications required of even the crafts
types, only the very best worked there.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: OT Elitism
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 00:30:48 -0400

On Sun, 07 Apr 2002 20:43:23 GMT, "Wade" <No> wrote:

>Perhaps that explains the reason for the melt down of the Three Island
>Nuclear Plant.

Since I'm one of the consultants GPU hired to help bail them out after the
accident, I could help you learn what happened there if I thought there was a
chance of your understanding.  I don't. But I'll try anyway.  Let me see if I
can make it simple enough.

A blue collar type started the accident by hooking a water line to an
instrument air line, pumping the system full of water and shutting the unit
down. The air line had, of course, been fitted with a water fitting by another
blue collar type.  This event progressed into an accident because yet other
blue collar guys didn't do what they'd been trained to do (this sounds and is
unduly harsh on the operators, many of whom are my friends, who did many
heroic things during the accident but I just can't figure out any other way to
make it simple enough for Wade to understand.)  It was, of course, the
incoming day shift engineering supervisor, the guy who hired me, who
identified the problem and terminated the accident.

To be perfectly clear - we engineers are like that - The TMI core didn't melt.
Crumbled would be a more descriptive term.  I was right there on the Unit 2
refueling deck watching the monitors while they dropped the underwater camera
into the core to see what happened.  Looked just like an underwater gravel
bed.  I know that "meltdown" is a popular blue collar type term but as usual,
it is quite inaccurate.

John, 4 year veteran of the TMI wars.

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: OT Elitism
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 00:03:47 -0400

On Sun, 07 Apr 2002 18:56:58 GMT, Frank <> wrote:

>On Sun, 07 Apr 2002 11:46:08 -0700, Ralph Lindberg & Ellen Winnie
><> wrote:

>After quite a few years as a tool and die machinist, I developed the
>attitude of, "tell me what you want done, not how.  I don't tell you
>how to do your job, so don't tell me mine."
>I have seen a engineer yet, that has never been a machinist, actually
>know what the heck he is talking about when it comes to telling me
>what he want's done.
>And Neon John is typical of the laughing stock of the shop.  Real dip
>shit with his head up his ass and his "I'm better than you 'cause I
>got a degree" attitude.  No wonder you got catcalls and derogatory
>remarks when you go in the shop.  I've seen dozens of his type come
>and go.

Actually, smart engineers like me quickly identify the one or two guys in the
shop who have a clue and then work with them as colleagues.  These are usually
the guys who are in my office wanting to borrow books or to have advanced
science or math tutoring.  They take continuing education courses to expand
their skill base.  And when I do find someone like this, >I< pick his mind
because I figured out a long time ago that I can learn something from almost

The rest like you, well, similar to cheap toilet paper, we get what we can out
of you and then we throw you away.  You're the type who make fun of the guys
who hang around with the engineers to try and learn something.  Then you whine
like a baby when you get the pink slip. Whether your type laughs or not is
something that never even enters the picture.


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