An Upstart Newbie's Rant

Having only recently discovered SDMB, I’ve found that most of my fellow dopers are generally polite to one another - 'cept in this 'ere Pit of course. :wink:

My one concern is that I’ve seen fellow newbies ask innocent questions about “words ending in gry”, etc, only to see the poor buggers shot to pieces by old-timers who seem to have memorised every thread by heart.

I wonder if I can reach my first hundred posts without becoming another victim?

Uh oh I think I’ve done it now.

Anyway, about those baby pigeons…

Nobody “memorizes” posts.

I had a couple of questions that I wanted to pose in GQ, but I did a search first to see if those questions were already asked. They were, and I got better answers than I even hoped for, without posting the questions.

Some people here get ticked off by laziness. Others get pissed off at blatant stupidity.

Stupidity and laziness together infuriates most people.

And the gry riddle is the stupidest, most inane riddle ever devised, and anyone who asks it should be set on fire.

Besides, Cecil himself put this baby to bed long ago, and if you’re not reading Cecil, well…

You don’t have to memorize any threads. If you will direct your attention to the upper right hand corner of the frame, you will find an assortment of icons, including on for a “faq” and one for a “search.” Newbies not availing themselves of said icons are probably going to get flamed. If you take a moment to search before posting a new question, you never need worry about being flamed–over that issue, at least.

If there is a word in the English language ending in “diot”, I seem to have found the answer sitting in front of my computer.

I shall henceforth avail myself of the search function as a matter of course.

D’uh. thanks.


Also, in a dream world, people posting to The Straight Dope Message Board would know a little bit about The Straight Dope. I joined this board because I have long been a Cecil fan, for almost 15 years now. I don’t memorize posts, but I just about have the BOOKS memorized, and I still see questions from the books posted here. I saw a thread the other day where a poster was shocked to discover there WERE books!!!

I realize that this board veers wildly off the Straight Dope Path and is a community unto itself independent of the column, but at some point we have to all remember why we’re here.

Also, when you do search…I can’t emphasize this enough…set the parameters to ANY DATE not just FROM 5 DAYS AGO. I’ve suffered the wrath of that twice already.

Look how nice and helpful we’re being…in the pit even!


Why not ask about the moon landings being faked. The same day someone is shot down in flames for the “gry” question someone else gets the five star treatment for another frigging post on the fucking moon landings. Everyone indulges him, moderators included and it pushes all the other more worthy questions to the arsehole of nowhere. At times I wouldn’t have thought of searching the archives but the moon landings, how more bloody obvious can it be? :mad:

I don’t know…I made it to about 800 or so posts before I had my first Pit thread devoted to me. Oh yeah, well, I did start it myself, so perhaps that does not count.

Look…you don’t want to be the victim of the known firebrands here on this Board? Well, follow the following lessons:

  1. Read, and think, then read, and think, then search the SDMB, then search the Web, before you start a new GQ thread. Try to at least find the info first, and post about your failure or limited success, so people at least know you tried. This will eliminate about 10% of the firebrands, whose main response is “well…I searched for 0.05 milliseconds and found not only the answer to your question, but I won $10,000 too…”

  2. For fuck’s sake start the the thread in the proper forum. Think carefully about this one. Not doing this makes the Mods, Admins, and another 10% of the firebrands angry at you. It’s easy. If you are not sure, well, one could ask a Mod via e-mail where a topic belongs.

  3. If a known firebrand attacks you for no good reason, and they seem to be acting pretty much insane, then simply ignore them completely. No matter what they say, how they taunt, etc. If they keep chasing you around from thread to thread throwing in little snipes and using their “me too” sockpuppets, then others will see what a walking trainwreck this person really is. And then the stalking flamer will eventually get the shit flamed out of them by either another Board firebrand or someone that simply is not intimidated by them.

3a) If said firebrand attacks you via e-mail, and it is in reference to something on the SDMB, do not hit “reply”. Send it to an Admin, and then to their ISP.

3b) If said firebrand attacks you in #straightdope chat, first remember the following:

Then, remember to turn on your chat log function. Note that there are a lot of “Board Celebrities” who say some really assholic things in chat - things that would get them kicked off the SDMB or openly despised if they were made public here. However, you should not post them here - ever. You should ignore them, and if you are attacked repeatedly e-mail Jophiel with a description and the appropriate log excerpts. And of course, someone who is on the bots can always permanently ban them too… :wink:

  1. Kindly do not step on Superman’s cape unless you really, really are sure of yourself. Don’t tell people that are known authorities that they are “wrong” or “fucked” unless you have some damn good evidence and citations and .MPG’s of interviews with other authorities, and a note from the Governor, etc. Don’t tell Esprix he doesn’t know anything about the gay and lesbian community, don’t tell sailor that he doesn’t know anything about solar energy, and don’t tell David B that he really just doesn’t understand Christians…unless you are more certain that anything you have ever been of in your life.

  2. The Mods and Admins are always right. No, you didn’t read that, go back and re-read. Now write it on a piece of paper and tape it over your monitor. Of all the flames, snipes, complaints, etc. I have witnessed in the last year against Mods and Admins, probably no more than 2 of them have been justified and garnered an admission of wrongdoing or mistake. Why? Well…

a) The Mods and Admins are just plain good. They are smart people, who know the rules, and know how the Board is to be run.

b) They are feeling, human beings who are required to make numerous judgement calls with every thread they read. They can make mistakes. If they do, let it go - it’s not your concern, unless you truly and deeply are hurt and insulted. Then remember…

c) It’s their rules. It does not matter who is right or wrong. Even if they make a mistake, it does not matter. It’s not your house, it’s theirs. So openly criticizing and flaming them is not the way to win friends and influence people. Thus, what you should do if you really, really have a complaint is…

d) E-mail them. It works.

  1. Just be polite. See the oft-referenced phrase of Tuba - “Don’t be a jerk.”

Think about these 6 rules. They work. I don’t obey all of them, because I make mistakes. But I try.

I talk a lot, so my post count is quite high, but I’m still a bit of a newbie speaking strict time involved. I have yet to get a pit thread (to my knowledge) devoted to me,which is crazy because I’ve made some wild-ass accusations quite a few times. Not that I’m trying to get a pit thread started about me, just that I go off the handle pretty quick.

Well, there’s always tomorrow.

But then I see one here devoted to spiritus? Say it ain’t so! Next thing you know they’ll post one about manny…oh, er… :wink:

Another one to add to Una’s lovely post.

7)Some things should be dealt with privately. As much as we love our gossip, when people bring extremely private business to the boards and it starts bleeding all over… things get ugly. On the same token, if you take offense to something that a poster says… sometimes it’s best to drop them an email instead of calling them out on the boards. Not all the time, of course. But once and awhile.

And whatever you do, don’t tell Anthracite that she knows nothing about coal and energy production.

Seriously. Just don’t. Trust me on this.