buchmann at BELLSOUTH.NET
Mon Sep 9 21:42:32 UTC 2002
Many of the regulars on ADS-L know me
from off-list exchanges over the past
five years. ( I'm not one for on-list chatter.)
It is however obvious, from the recent ( quite
useful ) discussion that many newbies have no
idea who I am -- I likely neglected to post an
intellectual profile, as I find such take up space
in archives without enlightening posterity.
>From a background in theoretical physics,
philosophy of science, history and language,
I did further postgraduate work in experimental
psychology ( learning / motivation ) and spent
my career in "information." I am now retired
and my primary research interest is the social
history of American technological-economic
development in the twentieth century.
I was introduced to mainframe computers in
1960 and last used an academic mainframe
in the early nineteen-eighties. I almost bought
a mini-computer in the mid nineteen-seventies
but was saved by the advent of the micros.
I bought my first ( of many ) micro-computers
in 1980. I remember the early days of micros
as a very exciting period, with science fiction
dreams coming daily to fruition.
Although I spent my time in (and near) academia
not only in the United States but also in Latin
America, the British Commonwealth, and
Continental Europe I find some recent remarks
on this list to reflect memories rather different
from my own.
My memory of DARPA-net e-mail was that it was
almost exclusively in uppercase. ( Even the main-
frame I used in the early eighties was all uppercase.)
Most micro-computers were incapable of "full ASCII."
I believe that many politically correct "netiquette"
usages were promulgated by quite politically incorrect
techies who used them to lord it over those whose
tech was somewhat less advanced. [ It was considered
fun to berate some poor liberal arts flunky, who could
only use uppercase, that he/she was being rude ! ]
The impact of this techie exuberance should be
examined for its influence on the development of
common computer usages -- a lot of them resulted
from some fairly rough humor.
That said, I apologize for upsetting the tender
sensibilities of neophytes -- I'm a cripple and
find it difficult to use the shift key. Sometimes
I forget or just get lazy.
"Bethany K. Dumas" wrote:
> I have been using email on computers since the early 1970s, and I have
> always been told that all caps is a convention that is the equivalent of
> shouting - UNLESS the author explicitly states that the caps are to be
> interpreted in some other way (commentary in text, for instance).
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