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[ih] History of Flaming

>>What is more interesting about this note is how looking back 
>>changes your perspective vs having been there.
>John: This is an interesting point. Those of you who followed early 
>versions of flaming - would you remember them for being more 
>reserved from today's point of view?

This is a common problem I find with historians.  In fact, I was 
reading a quite interesting article last night on how this same 
problem had distorted histories of the English Civil War and 
Cromwell's role.  Over the past  3 centuries, the view of the 
conflict and its causes has changed at least 3 times to fit the times 
of the authors.  None of which it appears was the case at the time. 
A real problem of historians tending to ascribe today's motivations 
to yesterday's motivations.

As I was always taught:  one must look at things from the point of 
view of the organism not the observer.

This has been even worse with the history of the Internet, where many 
Just-So stories abound.  Many times I have read completely fictional 
accounts of history in this field based on "it must have been like 
this."  The tendency to create the history based on the outcome is 
far too common or where myths seem to be all too prevalent.

As to whether flaming has changed, it is hard to tell.  I doubt that 
any of us have a wide enough exposure to know at this point.  It does 
seem that the lists I am on are a bit more sedate.  That the flames 
of old if they start to arise are tampered more quickly.  It is hard 
to tell if this is because we are more civilized or because there is 
less tolerance when the shoe is on the other foot.

Take care,
John Day