There Is No Cat

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Friday, April 19, 2002

Farewell, InfoUkes

After over two years, I finally gave up on the InfoUkes genealogy mailing list. What a freaking mess that list is. My very first post two years ago was hijacked into a thread of attack and counterattack in a fight I had nothing to do with, and it never ended. [Name deleted due to threat of legal action], or [Name deleted due to threat of legal action], as he sometimes goes by, is a disruptive presence who can never exit an argument gracefully when he can keep jabbing back. The amazing thing is that they finally kicked him off the list, but he keeps resubscribing with different HotMail accounts every time he gets thrown off. I'm starting to think that [Name deleted due to threat of legal action] is really an aggression-bot, because no person could possibly be such a jerk. I had to laugh the other day when another list member accused him of contacting her employer to try to get her fired for things she had said on the list. His reply was that she should immediately retract her claim that he had contacted her employer, or else he would contact her employer. I don't know how anyone could post that without realizing how it looks. I used to think that [Name deleted due to threat of legal action], who is a professional genealogist specializing in Ukraine and eastern Europe, stayed on the list because he was trawling for clients, but I can't imagine why anyone would hire someone who had displayed such an unprofessional attitude. I don't think I want to know what the pathology is that would keep such a person on a list he constantly derides as full of "stupid asses". It must be rough being the smartest person on Earth, constantly surrounded by and challenged by your inferiors.

Please note; I have edited this post on 18 September 2002 to remove the name of the gentleman referenced in the paragraph due to the threat of legal action from said gentleman. This man also threatened to contact my employer "exhibit what kind of person you are", which I consider a very thinly veiled threat to try to get me fired.

Unfortunately, the constant fighting on the list has so completely poisoned the atmosphere there that other people have started acting like fools. There was one gentleman on the list, V, who was a nice guy. He was such a nice guy that when he was getting ready to travel to Ukraine on an extended trip, he offered to do research for list members for the cost of expenses. Unfortunately, he got sick, so he wasn't able to do the research as promptly as people would have liked, and a couple of the people who had asked for his help got very petulant about it. They just wouldn't accept that double pneumonia and hospitalization in an underdeveloped country without an Internet cafe on every corner was an acceptable excuse.

So this week, there was a post from another gentleman who asked that everyone who had sent money to this gentleman please contact him so that their money could be refunded. That just set off another round from the idiot gallery. For all these people knew, V could have died. But no, they had to get the knives out again. Another list member who had heard from V explained that V had been robbed and badly beaten, which resulted in another trip to the hospital, and from there back to North America and a premature end to his trip. Was that enough? No, of course not. One person insisted on proof that he had been beaten. Jesus on a stick! That was the last straw for me. I posted asking if 8 x 10 glossies of his bloodied face would be acceptable, then signed off the list. Apparently none of these people have ever had anything bad ever happen to them, and they have no lives. I can't think of any other reason that they would surrender simple decency and humanity because they were so desperate to get a few lousy pieces of paper. I've never seen such a contentious list. There were some really nice, helpful people there, but they were largely drowned out by a few jackasses. If I wanted that sort of signal-to-noise ratio, I would start reading netnews again....

Anyway, my two-plus years on the list were an education. It was interesting to see how a small number of jerks could so completely ruin the experience for everyone else. In a way, it was the history of Ukraine writ small; a nation whose leaders have rarely missed an opportunity to dissolve into infighting when they should unite in the face of a common problem has produced a list that mirrors that history. I can see now how a small number of people were likely responsible for the failure of the nation to gain independence on a number of occasions before 1991, despite the wishes of the vast majority of decent, patient, frustrated people.

Good riddance, InfoUkes genealogy list.

Posted at 1:47 AM

Comments

Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

yeah, what a shame! We ukis seem to know how to dig our own holes.

Posted by kat at 5:16 AM, September 30, 2002 [Link]

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

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