> A quick look shows it to be essentially a ***; are these people
> "regulars" to your knowledge, I recognise a few like Paul Kamen
> but other than that?
See my response to Harry's post to get some history about the
5-part FAQ posted here, to which Harry refers.
I'll address some of Karen's points to add my insight. Not that
I'm doing this to dump on Karen, mind you, but her thoughts are
provocative and might be worth another look.
> My personal opinion goes something like this,
> QUOTE: 5.9 What's a formula for top speed?
Already dealt with this elsewhere.
> (ii) I say it's an ego trip for a bunch of "edu" addresses (poor
> souls they can't/couldn't make a living doing it so.........
> they just can't accept that real life has moved on without
I say it's just old information from the group as it was several
years ago. It should surprise no one that a FAQ compiled several
years ago should reflect the makup and interests of the group *at
that time*, not as it is now.
One of Usenet's primary starting points was as a tool for
academicians to exchange information. As such, rec.boats used to
be primarily folks from ".edu" addresses, as was Usenet in
general, till it was expanded into the public at large. Therein
lies the most probable explanation for the pre*** of "edu"
in the FAQ, and further conclusions are likely off base.
The parenthetical notion of "those who can't do, teach" is a
pretty tired joke that did not bear mentioning here. Among other
things, "edu" guys were crucial in conceiving Usenet and the
digital computers upon which it runs, so it stands to reason that
they are in fact creating for others the real life, of which they
themselves are accused of being bereft. Moreover, alligning
character assessments to three letters after a dot in an email
address would be equivalent to heaping similar conclusions upon
someone who has misspelled "driftwood" in her email handle. So
probably best not to go there ;-)
> (iii) Lots & lots of unattributed, unsubstantiated "opinion"
> mostly claiming to be the original work of "jfh" (really sad bs
> but I guess he at least thinks he's published),
"jfh" is John F. Hughes. He was one of the more recognizable
contribitors to rec.boats in years past. I am not in a position to
judge his specific contributions to the FAQ, partly because it
would be too time consuming to read and verify the items therein,
but I do recall that he and his opinions were held in high esteem
by rec.boats in general during his tenure. I confess to archiving
a private email that John sent me many years ago, congratulating
me for one of my contributions... just as some people frame the
first dollar bill they earn. It was for me a sign that I had "made
On to more ancient history. John maintained rec.boats' FAQ back
when he was around to do it. John doesn't contribute to rec.boats
anymore, that I can tell. I suspect he is doing less writing and
more sailing with his family, you know, real life stuff. He does
post the charter to rec.boats.cruising once a week as a service to
that group, by automatic post from a computer at Brown I believe.
I don't know if the rec.boats FAQ is meant to be posted
automatically as a service to us.
> (iv) the usual endless list of "book titles" (I sure you'll
> particularly appreciate they're all devoted members of the "I'm
> gonna write a book" brigade, usually reprinting other peoples
> original material with no attribution), the point is posters to
> rec.boats need the info, not which book or series of books they
> should "buy" or "take it to a dealer",
Unless each person wishes to recreate the entire scope of human
experience for himself/herself, learning from the available
millions of cumulative years worth of others' experiences is the
way to go. It separates us from the beasts. Books are a very
reasonable way to accomplish that goal, even those that merely
parrot old information. It is still infinitely more than
Some books are better than others, and some bibliographies are
more appropriate than others for certain audiences. In light of
the history of the FAQ and its intended audience, it is not
necessary to dissect this aspect of the FAQ any further.
As for the notion of including the information instead of citing
it: if recommending a first-rate book can answer a question better
than regurgitating an entire screed in a FAQ, then maybe that's
the best way to do it. People used to be much more receptive to
the idea of "look it up" as a response to a question, more willing
to lift a finger to affect their own lives and not depend on
others to serve them in the manner to which they want to be
accustomed. Now we want every bit of information available how,
where, and when we demand it. Or perhaps there's some middle
> (v) Club addresses, what a joke ! (they need the security of a
> herd, their institution, the team or whatever just to visit the
> toilet & I'm not talking about our habit of going in pairs),
This is part of that "human experience" thing mentioned above.
Some folks find it more expedient to allign with a group of common
interest to learn more and share more about their own interests,
than to go it alone. Anybody who frequents this newsgroup is part
of such a club. It stikes me as paradoxical that one who seeks
exchange with others in this medium could find fault with the
notion that others seek to do the same elsewhere. If security in
numbers were unnecessary and undesirable, Usenet itself would not
> (vi) Lots of emphasis on "organised competive" boating, mostly
> sail, I'm guessing the trailer sailer "squadron". (after all
> like all "organised competive" sports types, they think if you
> can't do something totally useless for mankind better than
> someone else, then you can't be a good person & there's that
> safety in numbers thing again.)
What do you call 2 sailboats underway and in sight of each other?
Alright, you got me here. What good for mankind are pro sports on
the tele, music art & theatre, jet skis waterskis &
Anwser: They are fun. Fun to do, sometimes fun to watch. All work
and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Once you allow that doing
something fun is OK, then you are just haggling over the details
when discussing it any further.
Honing one's technique through competition with self or others as
a way of surmounting mediocrity is both a mean and an end towards
enjoyment. It may not meet with another's 'higher standard', but
lots of folks nevertheless do it who might very well call what we
do here "useless".
> (vii) It's really just spam.
It's really just old rec.boats information not applicable to the
current group, probably not deserving of the editorializations it
Anyway, we might take it upon ourselves to come up with our own
FAQ for the group as it now. I have some ideas on how to bring
this to fruition if any are interested in hearing them.