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What's wrong with Facebook? (part 1)

Mon 17 May 2010 by mskala Tags used: , ,

I thought it would be sufficient to just announce I was leaving Facebook, and all my friends who would care about such things would already have a pretty good idea of what the issues involved were, and would be making their own peace with those issues. I'm not the first and surely won't be the last among my circle to do something similar. Last night, though, I had a chat about it with some of my friends who aren't so well-connected to the Internet culture, and it became clear to me that there's room for me to write something laying out some of the issues surrounding Facebook and why those issues are important.

Let me start by saying it's not about "privacy."

Human issues

These may be personal to me and not relevant to anyone else; they are, nonetheless, important. One reason they're important is that they go beyond any of the technical issues of how Facebook works and the corporate issues of how Facebook is run. These are issues with what Facebook is. Even if it worked perfectly, it's not clear that these human issues would be resolved. I think a good argument can be made that I don't want to use anything like Facebook even if it worked and were well-run, just because what Facebook is is not a good thing.

Facebook has never gotten me laid, and there is no reason to think it ever will.* My saying that opens up several cans of worms and it'll no doubt draw a disproportionate amount of attention, some of which will be the wrong kind of attention, but I'm nonetheless saying it and saying it first. The asterisk indicates that I may write a footnote going into some of the issues surrounding my decision to say that I care strongly about the fact that Facebook has never gotten me laid; those points would distract from discussion of Facebook itself, though, so I'll confine them to a separate posting if I choose to discuss them at all. You will too, or your comments will be deleted. This here's a posting about Facebook, not about me. Nonetheless I'll say that yes, that and no other choice of words or phrasing is what I intended to say, and yes, it is an important point; but also no, it's not the only important point, nor necessarily the most important point.

The most significant stories I can tell about my use of Facebook, are not happy stories. People who talk about good things that happen on Facebook generally tell stories along the lines of meeting long-lost friends they hadn't heard from in forever. I've done a certain amount of that too, but very little of it has changed my life in any significant way. It's not clear that Facebook really helped, because for anyone I really wanted to still communicate with, first of all we'd probably still be in touch, and second, we could find each other with Google. Facebook only makes such things easier by a very small amount.

On the other hand, I can easily list off a whole lot of unhappy things that have happened to me in connection with Facebook. People I considered friends who I no longer consider friends for reasons connected with communication we had over Facebook. People I fell out of touch with, and got back in touch with over Facebook only to find that they are (still) really boring people whom I have no time for and end up filtering, but I'm socially obligated to keep them on my list just because I have nothing against them worse than "you bore me." Friends of mine flaming each other because they disagree on important subjects (fortunately rare, but it happens). Friends of friends of mine flaming me because my friends, maybe or maybe not to their credit, have more tolerance for certain kinds of fools than I do. If I sit down and make a list of my experiences with Facebook it's really surprising just how many of all these kinds of things have happened. It's worse than Livejournal, and Livejournal was not good. It's not quite as bad as Wikipedia. It can be argued that people are people wherever you go, but I'm not sure that's really true. The environment shapes the interaction, the interaction on Facebook tends not to be good, and I think it's reasonable to assign part blame for that to Facebook.

Ninety percent of Facebook is shit. Of course that is commonly said about everything in general, but I'm not sure that it's really as true about everything in general as it is about Facebook. The point is: when I log onto Facebook there's an awful lot of chaff to sift through just to find a relatively small amount of worthwhile content. This is inherent to Facebook's design and it's not clear that any amount of customization or filtering can ever change it. Facebook's "Top News" feature is supposed to solve this, but it's ludicrously bad at its job, and there are strong theoretical reasons to believe that a version of that that would actually work, will be literally impossible until many years into the future. So extracting value from Facebook will necessarily demand a large investment of time from me. It's not clear that it can ever provide an amount of value in return that could make the prospect worthwhile.

Technical points

Some of my objections have to do with the Facebook Web site itself. These aren't to do with what Facebook is, or who's running it, but the fine details of how they choose to run it. Technical objections are or should be easy to address; but they haven't been addressed, and the mistakes were made in the first place, and there's every reason to think they'll continue to be problems and other similar problems will show up in the future.

Facebook overrides the normal operation of GUI controls, especially the righthand scroll bar. This is incredibly annoying. It's number one on the AlertBox Top Ten Application Design Mistakes - though I have to disclaim that the author of those also says a lot of things in other articles that I don't approve of. On Facebook, if you try to scroll to the bottom of the page, more entries magically appear. It's not quite as bad as AssetBar, where more entries will appear without limit so you can never really scroll to the bottom at all; that is the main reason I haven't bought a paid subscription with Achewood. (Hear that, Onstad? That stupid infinite scroll bar is costing you money!) Facebook's broken scroll bar at least settles down once it has loaded one new batch. It's still very annoying, though, not least because the magical redesign and associated server round-trip occur just as I'm in the middle of reading new updates and don't want to be interrupted.

Other ways in which Facebook breaks the browser GUI include not allowing the arrow keys to be used to scroll (this is probably a side-effect of whatever they're doing to override the scroll bar); pop-up windows that don't appear as standard windows but as some kind of custom-designed CSS thing; scripts that watch the contents of input fields as you type (for instance, to enforce content length limitations by means of your keystrokes disappearing when you get to the limit); non-scrolling extra tab things overlaid on the window (for instance, to support the chat feature); a chat feature that can pop up and steal your keystrokes at any moment; and so on. (Do you know you can mark yourself unavailable for chat? Most people don't know that. Do you know how easy it is to accidentally mark yourself "available" again?) If you examine the JavaScript that runs Facebook, it becomes clear that overriding GUI behaviour is a basic policy: virtually everything visible in your window when you're logged onto Facebook has scripts attached to everything to which scripts can be attached. If a GUI control happens to behave in a standard way, it's only by the coincidence that what Facebook said it should do happens to be the standard thing. Nothing is left to just have its normal standard behaviour by default. That leads right into the next point.

Facebook uses obfuscated JavaScript. That is to say, the code on the Facebook site that tells your browser what to do, is deliberately made as difficult as possible for programmers to read. This may shade into a "corporate" objection belonging in the next section, because part of my complaint is that Facebook is run by the sort of people who think obfuscated JavaScript is okay; but it's a specific technical point not completely captured by the more abstract objection. Obfuscated JavaScript is objectionable in itself, beyond merely being a symptom of a more abstract problem.

Facebook attempted to prevent me from closing my browser window. As I said at the time I discovered that, anything that does that is pretty much by definition malware. Being able to close a window in a fast and final way is important (see, for instance, Farm Sluts); the fact that Facebook is able to do this represents a security bug in the browser and the fact that Facebook tried to do it indicates that Facebook is run by the kind of people who maliciously exploit security bugs. It's been pointed out to me that Google Apps does something similar with a warning that you haven't saved your changes yet, but A. it's bad when Google Apps does it, too - the purported noble goal of preventing you from making an inadvertent mistake is NOT a good enough justification; and B. it appears that Google Apps only warns you about the consequences of what you're about to do, instead of actively stopping you from doing it. Facebook stops you from being able to close the window, and it is clear that that is deliberate.

Although Facebook allows you to disable many of its features, doing this is hard, and you cannot disable the ones you'd really like to disable. You can hide personal information like which "Pages" you're a "fan" of from your friends - but not from API users, such as spammers. Your friends are probably the people you wanted to publish that stuff to in the first place, so being able to hide it from them isn't useful. You can disable "Applications" from being allowed to post items in your "feed"; but only one at a time, and some of the most annoying items in your feed come from Facebook's own application-like things (such as "Video") and you can't block those.

I'm going to experiment with Steve C's suggestion of splitting long postings into multiple parts... so stay tuned for Part 2, in which I'll cover what I call "Corporate" problems with Facebook. Those are the problems associated with the attitudes and policies of the people who run it.

27 comments

metawidget
On the topic of bad flame-war places, I'm surprised you don't mention news sites, especially the centre-leftish ones (from the Globe and Mail to the CBC). Reading them is like being sober at an all-you-can-drink frosh party.

One thing that sort of discourages me from un-facebooking myself is that I get invited to a lot of interesting things through Facebook — not quite "Facebook gets me laid," but it does make scheduling things and knowing about events easier. I'm wondering how much that applies to you, and what backup strategies you have — or if you even need some. metawidget - 2010-05-17 19:57
MikeP
I generally avoid reading the comments on news sites, unless I feel like laughing at the idiots. The difference between them and what Matthew describes though, is (unless you yourself participate) those comment flamewars aren't personal. When they happen on your wall or in your comments, it's implicitly personal, even if it's not directed at you. It's not happened to me, but I've seen it happen to others and I feel uncomfortable on their behalf, and I'd hate it if it happened to me - it's almost like somebody's standing on the doorstep hurling obscenities at you. You can close the door, but you know they'll still be there, waiting to pounce when you come out.

Matthew, I'm interested in reading the next part. I've been uncomfortable with Facebook myself, and like metawidget, my own experiences aren't quite as negative as yours, but their corporate policies really do piss me off. MikeP - 2010-05-17 21:54
def0
What I don't like about Facebook:

You need an e-mail-address to be able to use their own e-mail replacement (which is not as flexible). They optionally notify you by e-mail about new messages, but you can't reply to those messages by e-mail. (Unless there is an app for that that I am not aware of. It would be possible.)

They enable using an XMPP-client for chat, at least, but don't do federation. It is like they don't want to be part of the net, but rather replace it.

Most items in the stream are from apps; spyware people voluntarily use. The Fluffbuster Purity AddOn for Firefox relieves that noise, and it becomes obvious how little signal there really is. Facebook seems to be a "casual gaming" platform more than anything else.

Anything that can be done with Facebook can be done better by other means. I think the only reason people use it is so they don't need to memorize more than two web-addresses, and more than one desktop button. def0 - 2010-05-18 00:50
Axel
Funny, I was talking about FB with a couple of (not highly Internet-savvy) friends last night and they too are unhappy with the place. I feel the decline of Facebook is about to begin. Do you have the data for when they went online?

metawidget - the Globe & Mail and CBC centre-leftish? If it wasn't for the Canadian references and the fact that you spell "centre" correctly I would swear you were from Oklahoma. Axel - 2010-05-18 05:47
Marci
The new thing is that corporations who I want updates from are using fb and twitter to make those announcements. For instance, the Palm Pre which I've been waiting for to hit AT&T for two years while I limped along with my old Palm, not being interested in changing companies (or particularly interested in an integrated palm/phone, but that's a different discussion entirely) I've seriously considered making a separate FB account just to keep up with company and other business announcements. If FB lists were easier to use, I'd have separate lists, but then if FB were easier to use, this discussion would take an entirely different tenor. You can ignore all Xapplication updates, but it's not easy.

My brother, for instance, has me excluded from viewing his "wall." I've discussed it with him and first it took four or five conversations with him for him to believe me that I couldn't see it and he still hasn't figured out how what setting he needs to unset to allow me to see it. This is not the sign of an easy UI. Marci - 2010-05-18 07:11
Matt
Axel: The Globe and Mail is at least to the left of the National Post; and the CBC is at least as far left as the Globe and Mail. It's all relative. I think the decline of Facebook is already well underway; I'm not the first among my friends to leave for substantially similar reasons to my own, and I think my friends are representative of the population that will leave not first but early in the rush. The whole thing looks to me like it's following a trajectory similar to that of Livejournal. Wikipedia says Facebook first opened to the public in 2004.

The parallel to Livejournal may be instructive. Just like Facebook, Livejournal went through periods of being not really open to the public, and then they let everybody in, and grew really fast, and then they tried to "monetize" in a serious way. I tried just now to find the link for that graph of Livejournal user numbers, showing how they peaked at about the same time they sold to Six Apart. I couldn't find it, but maybe other readers have the link handy. Cause and effect is hard to pin down: does exploiting users cause these sites to deflate, or does a deflating user base cause them to try to exploit the users? Either way, it's clear that it's a bad sign when users start feeling exploited.

It'll be interesting to see whether Twitter can avoid the same fate.

metawidget: I may have wimped out to some extent in that my account still exists. People who want to look for me on Facebook can still find me there, and find my off-Facebook contact information. However, if everyone did as I do, the place would cease to exist. Facebook's "event" feature is certainly convenient, I'll give it that. It's not *necessary*. The events I get invited to on Facebook that I actually want to attend, I would still get invited to without Facebook. The organizers of those events need to have infrastructure for inviting people outside of Facebook because of the large minority who refuse to create accounts at all. So how much is the convenience offered by Facebook really worth? At this point, I think the answer is "not enough."

def0: I've noticed that spreadsheet software tends to be the go-to solution for all problems, for inexperienced computer users. A spreadsheet is kind of like a toy database, so people will use one instead of learning to use a real database package. It's kind of like a toy programming language, so people will use it for that. It's kind of like a toy word processor, so people will use it to do structured word-processing-like tasks. Spreadsheets are seldom the really *right* answer to any system design question, but they end up getting used a lot because they represent one-stop shopping of sort-of-acceptable solutions to many different kinds of problems. I wonder if we're seeing a similar effect with Facebook. Matt - 2010-05-18 08:40
Owen
My biggest beef with Facebook is that it's a site designed ostensibly to allow real people to reconnect in the virtual world, but it's designed by and populated by people who still believe that that "privacy" and "internet" are concepts from the discussion of the same thing. Every user is just nodal memory. All of my bits are black.

Ultimately, I'm still on Facebook because I consider flame wars to be one of the heady signs of evolutionary change. I like watching different trees in my social network brush up against one another with fricative effervescence. Also, I get paid to be there.

Ultimately, my favorite thing about facebook is that it's inspired you to put your code where your mouth is ansd make your own site better. Owen - 2010-05-18 10:12
kiwano
@def0:

To reply to a message notification by email, simply go to the facebook page of the person whose message you're responding to, get their email address, and copy it into the "to" field in your reply to the notification :) kiwano - 2010-05-18 12:07
def0
@kiwano
You assume for some reason that people publish their email address on Facebook to invite spam.

It is easy enough to just click on the link in the email-notification to reply via Facebook, so in order to reply to a mail with something that is for all intents and purposes crippled and neutered mail, I first have to open a web browser that does who knows what so I can do something that I could do faster and more conveniently from the mail client I got the message in in the first place. def0 - 2010-05-18 22:19
Bex
I know you said you don't want comments about getting laid, but if you're looking for something similar in social-networking with getting laid specifically in mind, check out FetLife (linked as my URL below). Owen points out that their UI design is "conventional" and does not present the scripting problems you mention in this post either. Bex - 2010-05-19 11:54
Matt
[Blah - just ran afoul of my own spam protection by using the term "opposite-sex". That match-pattern has now been deleted.]

What I actually said was a little more subtle and abstract. I don't want comments right here on the subject of whether it is or isn't advisable to mention the fact that getting laid is of importance to me. That's because I've had the experience before now of getting random "OMG! You shouldn't dare to talk about such things in public! That's a big mistake!" responses. The questions of what topics I should or shouldn't discuss in public, and why I might choose to discuss them or not, are interesting questions, but inappropriate for this particular posting.

As for your link, I realize you may not know the answer to this and that's okay, but: do you think it's likely that greater than 20% of opposite-sex contacts on that system are initiated by the woman? Matt - 2010-05-19 12:11
Steve C
Matt, I remember a excellent post you wrote about how all social networking sites are doomed. Now is a good time to repost that to your updated site. Steve C - 2010-05-19 23:15
Steve C
All of your reasons why Facebook is wrong/bad/evil etc. are valid except the first one. There's literally an infinite list of things that haven't gotten you laid. Just because one of those did not get you laid doesn't mean it did not have merit. Even if you confine the list to "things you've tried specifically to get laid" and slam those for failing does not mean that it's a worthless activity that doesn't benefits you in other ways. Rhetorical example: has your favorite food gotten you laid?

I suppose you could broaden the point to "Facebook is a social networking tool that doesn't meet my social networking goals.' But that seems to be significantly different and still the same counter applies: Just because it doesn't meet your goals doesn't mean it's without merit. Steve C - 2010-05-19 23:48
Steve C
I don't use Facebook. I was forced to for a surprise birthday party once 3-ish years ago and did not like it. I immediately abandoned it after the party and a few weeks later I had to delete it due to the spam and phishing I was getting through it. Very glad when I created it to leave as much blank/ fake as I was allowed. Steve C - 2010-05-19 23:53
Luke
@Steve C: Something that doesn't help me meet my goals is without merit, at least to me. Even if I accept that whatever it is has some merit, I still have every reason to reject it on a personal basis because the whole reason I do anything is to achieve my own goals. Luke - 2010-05-20 19:36
Bex
"What I actually said was a little more subtle and abstract."

Yeah, Owen often infers that I am a greedy reductionist. I don't have much of a counter-argument, because it tends to be true.

"do you think it's likely that greater than 20% of opposite-sex contacts on that system are initiated by the woman?"

Hmmm. That's tough to say, as I'm fairly new to the site and also a woman, so Owen might be better to answer this one. I will say that, as I see it, MOST of the contacts made on the site are through conversation that takes place in "message board" style group discussions which are either topical or location-based, or posted for a specific event. It doesn't seem like the type of site where there is a lot of "cold-friending", where folks initiate messages with each other simply from browsing through local profiles. Users instead seem to beencouraged to "meet" and gain common ground based on personal interests and intellectual discussions, to meet and gather in local groups, etc. All that comes with the added benefit of having a forum to disclose the sometimes-harder-to-define aspects of ones sexual/relationship personality, the ability to post (and browse) "graphic" photo/vid/blog content, and the same kind of "friend feed" way of posting and viewing activity that Facebook made famous. I don't think there is any chat system either, which I love.

If you're looking for a site where you can just make a profile, sit back, and wait for the ladies to come to you..... well, I'm not sure such a site exists. But if you want to go somewhere that gives you more opportunity to make a sexy web presence than just what you can come up with in 500 characters or less, I give it 2 thumbs up. Bex - 2010-05-20 22:37
Matt
I'm actually not sure which posting that is, Steve C. Maybe How to run a conspiracy/...a drama? Those aren't exactly about the doom of all social networks, but I'm not sure what else you might might.

I can potentially make a very long list of ways that Facebook could benefit me - and that list should probably include a wildcard for benefits I haven't thought of. The fact that Facebook doesn't help with one specific item on that list is not, all by itself, a completely damning argument against Facebook having any value. However, you seem to be saying that because of that line of thinking, then examining possible benefits one by one is a completely worthless exercise, and I think that claim is going too far.

Of the many ways that things in general could be of benefit to me, almost all of them are not reasonably within the range of what Facebook could do. For instance, it's not reasonable to expect that Facebook could, all by itself, clear out the cockroaches in my apartment. If I eliminate all the things that Facebook can't reasonably do for me, the list of potential benefits gets a lot shorter.

Of the relatively few benefits I could ever reasonably expect from Facebook, almost all of them are trivial. For instance, I don't care whether participation on Facebook will allow me to know at a moment's notice whether Joe Bitzfilk who I met at a conference once "Likes" today's lolcat-of-the-day. If I ignore - or aggregate into a single "other" heading - all the trivial things Facebook can do for me, the list of potential benefits gets a lot shorter. By this point it's finite and probably less than a dozen items.

At that point it is reasonable to examine the remaining benefits exhaustively (I can do this because there are only a few), and assign weights to them. It turns out the the potential of getting laid accounts for a significant fraction of the total value of all possible benefits from using Facebook. Nothing else it could plausibly do for me is as important, and very few (and, especially, only a finite number of) things it could do for me even rank in the same ballpark. So if, on experiment and analysis, I determine that the actual potential on that one item is zero, that's telling me something important about the value of the entire package even though the entire package includes an infinite number of items.

Think of this as evaluating the first term of an infinite series and then drawing a conclusion about the sum of the whole thing. If you can justify certain assumptions about the rest of the terms, that's perfectly correct math. Matt - 2010-05-21 07:12
Matt
Hmm. It didn't seem to like my links. Trying again, they are: http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/economics/social-networking/run-a-conspiracy.php http://ansuz.sooke.bc.ca/economics/social-networking/run-a-drama.php Matt - 2010-05-21 07:13
Steve C
@Matt: "How to run a conspiracy/...a drama?" is close to what I remember but not quite. Hmm. Perhaps someone else wrote the article I read and I confused it with those? It had to do with "Coolness" (as you define it in those articles) and how social networks are doomed because they encourage the "Uncool" (also as per your definition) to interact with the group until the "Cool group" leaves and seeks to reform the group elsewhere. Happened to Friendstar, and MySpace and is happening to Facebook now.
Sadly I have no idea how to find that article now if you weren't the author. Steve C - 2010-05-21 13:59
Steve C
I was trying to convey two concepts and might have muddied them both. I'll try and clarify but I'm getting kind of on a tangent to Facebook.

First there's "Something that doesn't help me meet my goals is without merit, therefore I will not do it." Second there's "_____ isn't going to get me laid, therefore it's without merit." They are related but different. Furthermore the two ideas can be logically combined (and people do it) but that turns you into a complete and total asshole.

@Luke: Regarding the first point, have you ever been overly nice to a stranger you'll never meet again? Or left a tip for a waitress for a meal you though wasn't very good? Or failed to steal something that you KNOW you'll get away with? Voluntarily disclosed something unpleasant you knew would hurt you? All of those are examples of actions that are not in your own self interest.

We all do things that are objectively without merit. We also do (and fail to do) things that run counter to our own goals. Does not necessarily mean we should not do it. Steve C - 2010-05-21 14:03
Steve C
Regarding "getting laid"... it's the super goal. It is the biological goal that bigfoots every other goal except those above it in Maslow's hierarchy. It's a special case because it's argued that every other normal human goal (money, power, fame, recognition, knowledge, art, music, social interaction etc etc.) is really about getting your rocks off.

Matt's first point against Facebook was too much in line with the combined logic of "_________ isn't going to get me laid, therefore I will not do it." The TV show "Keys to the VIP" is all about assholes critiquing other assholes' attempts to get laid. The goal appears to be to cut away everything that doesn't get you laid. The result is pure sleaze. I find the show and the participant's actions reprehensible but they are meeting their goals.

I could continue but I'm already well away from the discussion of Facebook and well into Matt's fair warning* about comment deletion. Steve C - 2010-05-21 14:09
Matt
The usual dodge on people doing things that don't seem to benefit themselves is to claim that obviously, a person who does such things *does* have goals they are serving - such as "I want to live up to my self-image of what a nice person ought to do." Of course, that quickly becomes tautological, but it doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong.

Your mention of assholes and sleaze highlights such goals. You imply that I should avoid sleaze and being an asshole... but if it's not to my benefit in some way to do so, then *why*?

The record should speak for itself as to whether I am in fact sleazy or an asshole, but that's beside the point. Matt - 2010-05-21 18:29
Steve C
Why indeed.

And my name links to today's xkcd since it seems so appropriate to both the Facebook discussion and this side discussion.
http://xkcd.com/743/ Steve C - 2010-05-21 22:39
Phil
Matt, as a long time reader, this particular post is a great example of your skills and weaknesses. While your technical evaluation of facebook is no doubt spot on, you see too little value in its social merit. Yet somehow vast numbers of people continue using it. They are just as malcontent over its technological capabilities but the social ties are enough to keep the momentum going. In engineering, a better solution is just that, a better solution. In society, a better solution is just a lone cry in the woods such as this post. You can exclude yourself from facebook due to its flaws just as you can cut ties off from other people due to their flaws. Point is, facebook doesn't care, neither do other people. Leaving facebook is an impotent gesture that makes you look, impotent.

I appreciate that you've kept the possibility of making anonymous comments. Do you really see a difference in having a personal website and a facebook profile? The stuff I put on facebook is the stuff I want *everyone* to see. I appreciate the ease in which my friends get that stuff broadcast to them, but the more people see it, the more they can appreciate my grandness. I want less privacy on facebook so that more people can worship me. Over the years I've seen vastly more personal posts on your site than you could ever put on a facebook profile. You've taken most of that down, but suppose somebody cached all of those, and decided to put them up on a separate website that you don't control, would you use copyright laws to force them to take it down? Phil - 2010-05-22 20:24
Matt
My decision to leave Facebook influences others' possible decisions to leave Facebook; and others' decisions to leave Facebook, or not, change the consequences for me of my decision. So it makes sense for me to talk about my decision; talking about the decision to leave Facebook is an integral part of, and possibly more important than, merely changing how often I log into the Web site.

If it's true that a Facebook profile is just the same as posting the same information elsewhere, for instance on this site, then why is it the case that my Facebook experiences are notably worse than my personal-site experiences when they involve the same items? There seems to be something different about Facebook in the social interactions it fosters; context matters.

The latest couple pages of Future Pig are relevant: http://www.futurepig.com/fut058.html

There are a lot of old versions of this site in the Internet Archive. Many postings from here were originally posted on Usenet as well, and therefore are in Deja News^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Google Groups. How I'd react to someone posting archived copies elsewhere would depend a lot on the circumstances of how they posted it, what they said about it, and the effect of the posting on my interests. Again, context matters. Matt - 2010-05-22 20:57
Matt
To clarify: it would be an impotent decision if and only if I did not talk about it. Matt - 2010-05-22 20:58
Samuel Bronson
I don't quit facebook, I just rarely bother to get on because I have better things to waste my time on -- like learning obscure facts about PostScript, PDF, or TeX (which could actually turn out to be useful, but usually doesn't lead to accomplishing any of my immediate goals particularly efficiently -- I did say obscure facts), or even about operating systems I will probably never actually use ... Samuel Bronson - 2010-12-24 22:57


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