FoRK Classic: The Ten Commandments of FoRKposting.

I Find Karma (
Thu, 12 Feb 1998 02:47:39 -0800

Not to pick on anyone in particular, but within a half hour of each
other I received

> From Wed Feb 11 23:55:49 1998
> ...
> "dumb all over, a little ugle on the side"


> From Thu Feb 12 00:12:10 1998
> ...
> Lung fluids testing could have more persistent caches of trace metabolites,
> because of the environment for folding in and off of sections of lung.

So perhaps now would be a good time to review the "Ten Commandments of
FoRKposting" online at

They are included below for your convenience.

> Commandment 1: Thou shalt use a meaningful Subject line to tag your
> message, so that when we go back through the archives to find your
> contribution, we can actually find it.
> Commandment 2: Thou shalt forward only new bits. Most humor is not new
> bits; if you forward old bits to FoRK, you must pay the penalty of
> finding new bits within 24 hours, or suffer the fate of being tagged a
> 97%er by your peers.
> Commandment 3: Thou shalt reference where you found the bits. This may
> either be a citation or a Web link. Note that FoRK likes to hear
> rumors, too, as long as you vouch for your source being at least as
> reliable, say, as Robert X. Cringely.
> Commandment 4: Thou shalt know who the real Robert X. Cringely is. And
> thou shalt know the difference between the various Robert
> X. Cringelies of the world. (As a bonus, thou shalt also know the
> difference between the Adam Rifkins of the world.)
> Commandment 5: Thou shalt only forward the relevant bits and/or
> clue. Don't forward to FoRK 400 Meg of garbage, but likewise, don't
> just post a URL and expect everyone to click on it. I repeat: forward
> only the relevant bits and/or clue.
> Commandment 6: Thou shalt FoRKpost in a format that is readable by
> intelligent human beings. Garbage spewed by Internet Explorer does not
> count. Creative spelling is allowed, but only if it adds
> humor. Remember that humor is rarely new bits.
> Commandment 7: Thou shalt comment on any bits and/or clue you
> forward. Don't just send us raw bits, because we are all well
> read. Send a paragraph or two about the bits. To quote the brilliant
> Dan Connolly,
> > The paragraph or two of personal analysis is the essential
> > part. Without that, a "hey, read this!" message is nothing more than a
> > commercial. In this age of information overload, let's do each other
> > the favor of information _reduction_.
> So give us commentary, or stay quiet.
> Commandment 8: Old bits plus commentary equals new bits, so you can
> break commandment 2 as long as you add *worthwhile* commentary.
> Commandment 9: Flaming is only new bits when it includes new
> commentary. Flaming of companies, products, and people is allowed (and
> encouraged) on FoRK, as long as you give intelligent reasons for your
> flaming. Therefore, saying something like "Micro$oft is lame" is not
> allowed, but saying something like
> > Why, oh, why do I still use this shitcan OS Win95 when even the M$
> > lovers among us cry out NT4.0? The little bugger was slurping data to
> > a telnet log as I was rushing aboard this flight, only to have its
> > telephone cord yanked and put to sleep. Once airborne, I wake it, the
> > display comes up, it 'burps' -- flashes the screen, makes violent
> > noises, usually reinstalls PC Card devices on the pessimistic
> > assumption everything always changes -- and nothing.
> is okay.
> Commandment 10: Thou shalt always say it with style. FoRK is a class
> act, so let's keep the FoRKposts classy, okay?

If you're curious about noise-to-content ratios, we refer you to the
Tufte-CLB Interview at

with the classic paragraph...

> The problem with the Web is that it's low resolution in both space and
> time. In so far as space, the computer screen is an inherently low-res
> device, that's just a limitation of the hardware. And that resolution
> is made lower by the design of the images. In so far as time is
> concerned, well, it's the "World Wide Wait." The rate of information
> transfer is very low. The payoff, measured in bits per dollar, is very
> low relative to the investment in hardware, time, etc. It's another
> situation where we've replaced one nuisance with another.

So please, let's try to keep FoRK as high resolution as we can -- after
all, here we control the horizontal AND we control the vertical.


The only way to see Information is to see it. The main elements in
Information Design are (1) you have to be able to see and (2) you have
to be able to count.
-- Edward Tufte