Double Irony! (was Re: [linux-elitists] ruben's stupid filter)

Rick Moen
Mon Mar 25 08:25:31 PST 2002

Quoting Dan Wilder (

> I'll say farther, that tools to originate such reports are an evil 
> in themselves, as they will inevitably fall into the hands of the 
> clueless who will never take the time to tune them to even mediocre 
> performance.  You may say, "autoreporting isn't the problem, the
> clueless are the problem" to which I'll say, "the clueless will
> ever be with us.  Don't publish attractive nuisances."

I wish I still had a copy of some correspondence I had with Bob
Metcalfe, from back in the days when InfoWorld was still worth reading. 
Metcalfe had been touting to his readers some Web-based tools to do some
sloppy substitute for tracerouting, to help them find "Internet outages"
and auto-report those to bandwidth providers.  This, he said, was going
to be a boon for users, who could now put the screws to their ISPs much
more easily.

Great, I said:  So, people who know fuck-all about routing and packet
types will have automated tools to send irrelevant but voluminous
reports, making claims about matters they don't understand, to harried
netadmins, deluging the latter in even more dumbass second-guessing of
their job.  This, I said, was some previously unknown sense of the word
"progress".  Delivered by, I pointed out, a magazine whose SMTP server
was still an open relay.

Metcalfe's response was to call me an elitist.  I said that was
irrelevant to the merits of my argument, for which he had no answer.

Cheers,      "Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first
Rick Moen     woman she meets, and then teams up with three complete strangers       to kill again."  -- Rick Polito's That TV Guy column,
              describing the movie _The Wizard of Oz_

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