by a RAM/SMN Newsgroup Contributor
via my wonderful, yet Visual Basic-programming ;-) husband, John
The following is an attempt to help the members of my favorite news groups, RAM and SMN, understand the various types of contributors. I have not named any names; you know who you are.........
Type G - The Guru
The Guru actually knows a lot of stuff over a fairly broad range of subjects, and may or may not have operational experience. The Guru's posts can be disputed, but cannot be dismissed. Do not argue with a Guru unless you have proper standing within the group. Silly flames directed toward a Guru will draw concentrated counter battery fire from the rest of the group. When provoked, the Guru can mimic the characteristics of other types.
Type B - The Brat
The Brat has memorized one or two standard reference works in an area, but has no actual experience. The Brat is like a person who has a collection of pornography but has never had s*x. He uses a lot of foul language, although without flair or style, in an effort to be "military". The Brat believes the things he sees on "Wings" are true, and thinks "The Final Countdown" and "Up Periscope" are documentaries. Brats are viewed as being about 14 years old, but some are much older.
Type Z - The Zealot
The Zealot ferociously defends his own country, warfare specialty, community, gender, political party or ethnic group from the combined attacks of the entire rest of the world. The Zealot has no doubts about his righteous knowledge, and tends to flame anyone who questions the slightest element of his rant. Lacking both the capacity to compromise and the slightest sense of humor, he contributes noise and consumes bandwidth without providing any useful information.
Type H - Mr. Hypothetical
Mr. Hypothetical likes to create nonsensical combinations of nonexistent combatant units and set them upon each other. He can leap temporal, geographical and technological boundaries at a single bound, and considers theactual historical events of the past to be unworthy of his attention. Because his silly ideas are by definition untestable, Mr. Hypothetical never loses an argument.
Type P1 - Picky-Picky
Picky-Picky thinks the rest of us are vitally interested in the fact that the Mark 5 Mod 14 version of the Block 22 had a framjammitz that was twelve millimeters longer than the Mark 13, at least during leap year at high tide. This is normally not a problem, unless there is another Picky-Picky in the group who will quote the low tide value of 11 millimeters and begin an excruciatingly boring back and forth discussion of the parameters involved. Picky-Pickys like to use terms such as "parameter", which is an old Scottish word meaning "lacking a life".
Type O - The Old-Timer
The Old-Timer knows that the only truly important aspect of military history is what happened to his unit during the months he was there, whenever that was. If he is a member of that exclusive group of "Them What Has Been Shot At", he is doubly sure of his place in history. He is triply sure that today's soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are a bunch of whining wimps. It's fun watching today's wimps try to argue with the Old-Timer, while they simultaneously honor his service in the past.
Type E - The Expert
The Expert is actively working today as a professional with the subject of the current discussion. He shares many characteristics with the Guru, the Zealot and the Picky-Picky. However, he has the advantage of invoking the "classified" label whenever he starts to lose an argument. "Well, you're wrong, but I can't tell you the details because they're secret."
Type L - The Loon
The Loon is like the Zealot, but even less compromising and much more entertaining. He begins with a bizarre conclusion, usually some conspiracy story, and follows up with "evidence" which has no relevance to reality. Foolishly, the Gurus and Experts try to point out the gaping holes in the story, using technical details and the laws of physics. This of course only encourages the Loon, who is not burdened with any knowledge of the subject at hand. He simply modifies the facts to fit his theory.
Type N - The Newbie
Newbies come in several varieties. Some have relevant real world credentials, but have no concept of the technicalities of operating a news reader. This is forgivable and correctable. Others display their relative ignorance in our little world, but they ask polite and specific questions. This is understandable and laudable, and rarely draws flames. A small number ask stupid questions, then perversely refuse to pay attention to the answers. They then become offended when their little b*tts get a well deserved flaming. Newbies have a half life of about two weeks, then they transition to another type.
Type I - The Illiterate
Some of us can't type. This is usually graciously overlooked by the group, and can be cured with the use of a speltcheker. For others, English is legitimately a foreign language. Their nonnative grammar and syntax is also generally forgiven if the thoughts behind the post are worthwhile. Another group, unfortunately, is like totally dumb and just can't seem to put two ideas together without using words like awesome and cool and then they just go on and on and throw in dirty words as a substitute for vocabulary and they really don't seem to know how to construct a readable sentence and particularly don't realize that the sentence was over with long ago and really should be put out of its misery even though their poor writing does seem to distract attention from the fact that they also are incapable of producing a single simple rational thought.
Type S - The Smart*ss
I don't know anybody like that.